To catch the Nxai Pan Zebra migration in Botswana, you need to be there at the right time before the animals head in to the salt pans when it's hard to reach them. Knowing when to go (usually in April) is important to catch them at Nxai Pan.
Once you understand where the game is located and information of recent sightings, the next task is to get to these areas and look for tracks and signs confirming recent activity. If this can be confirmed then the best chance would be to focus in this area. Having said that animals are creatures of habit, the reality is they wonder as they please and there are no guarantees of sightings even though there were recent sightings and/or tracks and signs, but it’s still a good starting point.
|Paying attention to the track is important to pick up knowlege on animal movement. Here a pride lions had walked on this Kalahari track and we soon caught up with the pride of 15. If we didnt see them, would be a good starting point to search.|
|The king of the bush, this male Kalahari lion in Khutse GR in Botswana was a prize sighting.|
|Molose water hole in the Khutse GR in Botswana was a favorite hang out for us and these two brothers, Blondy and Sandy who ruled this part of the Kalahari and the only water source for miles.|
|Sleeping lions are not much fun!|
|Mating lions will seldom leave the immediate area.|
|Serengeti lions are very relaxed around vehicles and are known to use the shade of vehicles to rest.|
Easily the most elusive and prized sighting in the bush and almost impossible to track. Even if you are able to get information on recent sightings and hang outs, leopards are hard to find. Leopards being elusive and stealthy, makes these cats really hard to locate and when located, often hard to get clear shots. The best way to find a leopard is to find a kill up in a tree, to which the leopard is almost certain to return but again good luck as this is a rare sighting.
Being a night creature, once again your best chances are first thing in the morning, before sun up. If you miss them at sun up your next best shot is up a tree during the day. If you don’t look hard enough you will miss a leopard in a tree as they can disappear in to a tree with amazing ease. Unlike Lions, Leopards usually are not blatantly obvious to spot and often at a sighting, we wonder how many Leopards we may have driven past without noticing them. We have known an instant where several game drive vehicles failed to notice a leopard in a tree despite being parked right next to it and watching a waterhole. We have also pointed out a leopard in a tree to game drive vehicles who have failed to see it!
|Leopard in a tree is difficult to spot unless you have a keen eye.|
|Elephant interactions are great to watch.|
|Elephants will drink daily, knowing the drinking spots as this on the Chobe river in Botswana offers great viewing.|
|If your in Chobe Botswana, get on the river in the evenings for best elephant views.|
|Mating elephants are rare as this scene on the Serengeti plains.|
|You need to hold your nerve in close elephant encounters.|
|Never get between a mother and baby.|
|Lone bull on the road heading your way is an encounter to test your nerves.|
|You wana hope this big boy keeps going and gets off the track!|
|Buffalo drink daily|
|This old male got himself some bush effects.|
Unfortunately due to relentless poaching, Rhino sightings are rare and in a lot of parks, extinct. Rhino are not the most exciting of creatures to observe but their prehistoric appearance makes up for their lack of other behavioral characteristics. Rhino also need to be given their space as can be temperamental and unpredictable but the most likely scenario is the Rhino will run away.
|Malemas' pan at Khama Rhino sanctuary is a well kept secret for good Rhino sightings.|
|Cheetahs' hunt during the day offering great shooting opportunites of a big cat on kill.|
|Nxai pan in Botswana offers typical Cheetah country|
|Wild dogs act like a mans best friend - very relaxed on the road and around vehicles.|
|Molose in the Kalahari offered us great wild dog sightings|
|Catching the pack on the move is a great thrill will dogs.|
Best dog sightings: Kutse GR, Kalahari (seasonal), Botswana.
Caracal and Serval
|Getting a clear shot of a Serval is a prize sighting.|
|Caracal is the rarer sighting of the smaller cats.|
Best Caracal and Serval sightings: Fluke sightings, East Africa.
|Brown Hyena is hard to find other than the Kalahari.|
|Hyena clans are great to watch and finding a den is your best chance.|
|Hyenas are very bold around cars, this chap went back to sleep in the middle of the road.|
Best sightings: Brown Hyena, Kalahari. Spotted Hyena, Ngorongoro Crater.
|Spectacular Gemsbok is a common Kalahari sighting.|
|The spectacular Sable, Chobe NP has resident herds but otherwise rare.|
|Greater Kudu is a common in Southern Africa but rare in East Africa.|
Thankfully Africa is still home to some of the greatest migrations on earth, with the Serengeti Wildebeest migration in Tanzania and the Kob migration in Sudan. All migrations are however at the mercy of humans and the Serengeti migration is under threat due to a proposed public road through the national park.
|The migration was supposed to in the east but the lack of rain meant they were standing on the side of the raod in the central Serengeti - it was plain luck.|
|Migration info is critical to get to the right spot|
|Mara Crossing - Kugatenda Serengeti|
|We caught this whole crossing on our own in the Serengeti!|
|Kogatenda crossing point near Asilia Olakira camp is perfect.|
|The animals will gather and run up and down the bank before crossing.|
Mara River crossing Serengeti - you need to do some work to catch this.
|The open plains of Nxai pan|
|With only one road round the pan, its important to make the most of animals close to the road.|
|Superb Starling - a spectacular but relatively common sighting in its habitat.|
|The spectacular Red and Yellow barbet|
|Ant eathing chat? - which one?|
|Water holes are a great spot to bird, a resident Saddle bill stork is perfect company.|
|Being the samllers of the scavengers, the Hooded Vulture hangs back at kills. |
Like mammals, birds embark on migrations but these are over mind-blowing distances accross continents, the longest being the Arctic Tern who moves between the two arctic circles. All areas experience some local and migrant bird movements with the change of the seasons. The arrival of the summer season and the annual rains marks the change of the seasons and the arrival of the migrants. The arrival of the migrants is a much anticiapted time of the year for birders, when the European migrant birds arrive in the warmer Southern hemisphere.
|White stock are iconic migrants who arrive in Africa from Europe.|
|Zanzibar red bishop is a dull brown job that takes on a jewel like plumage in summer.|