SNAKE!

 Posted by  Africa 2017, Travel
Feb 162018
 

Then

Before I came to Botswana three years ago, one of my biggest concerns was snakes. I wondered if I’d feel comfortable just walking around the yard and garden. It turned out I was, even walking in flip-flops and barefoot.

For starters, Pip, the dog, dependably alerted us to any and all garden interlopers, those with two legs, four legs, wings, or none of the above. Add to that the fact that we saw precisely zero snakes in the yard week after week, and, yeah, I romped around freely.

Pip, sadly, is no longer with us.

Now

Today, Missy and Mister, the young dogs in the house, began playing on the deck beside the pool. Nothing unusual there. But then I noticed that while they were lunging and prancing, as they often do, they weren’t lunging and prancing at each other. They were focused instead on something below the bottom step of the veranda.

I got up to investigate, curious but not concerned.

SNAKE!

Cape cobra, young female, Maun, Botswana

SNAKE!

It was small, but the head and hood were up.

COBRA!

Preparedness

We’d been warned about spitting cobras. All the animals, save these two young ones, have had venom in the eyes and know a thing or two about snakes. Was this a spitting cobra? I had no idea. There are other kinds. All the same, I kept my distance and averted my face. Cobras can spit venom as far as three meters.

I ordered the dogs to “leave it” and come to me. Thankfully, with just a little firmness and/or persuasion, they did. Bandit, the cat, on the other hand, walked off the other way. I secured the dogs in the bedroom and alerted Mike, who just the other day commented on not seeing snakes in the yard.

We have a rubber tool like a short whip—a sjambok—that can kill a snake, but it’s probably not even a meter long, so you’d have to be awfully close to the reptile to do it. That’s a bit closer than I want to be to most snakes, but this thing was tiny enough that I actually thought we could handle it. But who wants to kill anything if you don’t have to? Certainly not Ali and Mark, the home owners.

Mark, the Nephew

In addition to having instructions about spitting cobras, we are also armed with a phone number for Ali’s nephew, Mark (not to be confused with homeowner Mark), who loves snakes and is willing to come rescue one, if he’s not out being a pilot or saving rhinos or doing something else interesting and useful. We got lucky. He was home and able to come right away.

Mike kept an eye on the cobra and I kept an eye on Mike while we waited for Mark. As soon as things calmed down, the wee snake put her hood down and slithered off. Not wanting a cobra wandering around the yard, Mike corralled it, preventing it from fully escaping.

So the snake opted for an upward path and slithered toward a nearby short tree . . . under which Bandit sat. Ack! I called for him to come to me, and I used my watch-out, hurry-up voice, but the stubborn cat just looked at me, bored and unconcerned. I didn’t want to lunge for him because I didn’t want to get that close to the cobra and because that would look to the cobra like I was lunging at it, possibly putting it on the defensive, or worse, the offensive. I remained as still as Bandit, and the the cobra slithered on by, not a foot away from the cat, and continued a short way up the trunk. Bandit got up and walked away.

The snake was still on the tree trunk when Mark arrived, and he smoothly and delicately grabbed the snake with his snake grabber. Cue the New Age music. Mark proceeded to gently lay the snake on the ground. It didn’t rear its head up or put up its hood. Everyone was calm and slow and quiet.

Except me, of course. My heart raced, and I wanted to prance and lunge as the dogs had done, but I didn’t.

Kneeling beside the snake, Mark pressed a skinny, insubstantial twig down, just behind the cobra’s head, and walked his fingers slowly up the stick to the cobra’s neck. Then he swapped his finger for the twig, and gently picked up the snake, which wrapped its tail around Mark’s wrist as though holding his hand. She appeared perfectly calm. I imagined her saying, “Thank goodness you arrived! These people don’t speak snake. How can you be in Africa and not speak snake?”

Mark Flatt with young cape cobra

Yeah. It was really that big!

Hey, I said it was small. Actually, it’s about 14 inches long. And it’s a young female. And it’s not a spitting cobra but a “highly venomous” cape cobra, which grows to be about five feet long. That wee thing could seriously hurt or even kill us and/or the dogs.

ZOIKS!

The guidebook also says it “readily bites.” I am so relieved the dogs escaped unharmed.

Mark slid the cobra into a pillowcase and tied the top in a knot. He will drive her out into the Bush to live happily ever after, away from people.

So, after about four total months or so living on this property, counting three years ago and this year, we saw our first snake in the yard. Exciting, eh? The story should end here, right?

Well, guess what: It doesn’t.

The Story Continues

The dogs and I were doing our before-dinner walk around the garden. The young ones were racing ahead as the old one and I cut a corner. My eyes were fairly glued to the ground as we walked, noting every stick and seedpod. When my eyes screamed at my brain, snake!, my brain thought it was a joke or a signal that had taken a detour through my imagination.

I stepped a wee bit closer, shielding my face with my hands, and looked harder. Told you so, brain, it’s a snake!

The young dogs were oblivious, but the old dog, Gib, who doesn’t move quickly anymore, was right by my side, determined to take the shortest way back to dinner, which was straight over the snake.

Once again, my fervent gestures (Gib is deaf) persuaded the dog to come to me, and we went around the snake. I whistled for the youngsters, who came obediently, as there was nothing curious competing for their attention, and all the dogs were contained, out of harm’s way.

“Mike, you won’t believe it, but there’s another snake in the yard.”

I called Mark again but got no answer . . . and no voicemail. A message after the series of rings said something like I had a bad number, but the voice was accented, and I didn’t fully understand the words. I dialed another two times, hoping to leave a message, but always getting the same result.

The snake was surprisingly mellow. In fact, we wondered if it was dead, but it moved slightly when poked with a stick. We decided we might be able to get it into a pillowcase ourselves, even without a grabber. I watched the snake as Mike rounded up a pillowcase and the sjambok. I suggested we put the pillowcase in a trash can or bucket, so no one was holding it while we dropped the snake in. The snake waited patiently while Mike rounded up a trash can.

On the third try, Mike had the snake balanced well enough on the sjambok to get it into the pillowcase. Now who wants to touch the pillowcase and tie the top in a knot? Neither one of us, but I picked it up and Mike gingerly tied the knot. We draped the pillowcase over the edge of a large trash can and put the lid on top, pinning the knot so the snake and pillowcase dangled over the edge on the inside of the can.

The phone rang. It was Mark. “I see I missed three calls from you.”

Ahem. Nice, patient guy, Mark.

I told him about our second snake, describing it as about 18 inches (46 cm) long, solid gray-black, small head. I said we had it snugly ensconced in a pillowcase for the night, and he promised to pick it up in the morning.

I swore I wasn’t going outside anymore today, but, of course, the dogs had to go out before bed, so I lied. I took the brightest flashlight we had for the night stroll, and stayed out only as long as it took Gib to take care of business.

In the morning, Mark opened the pillowcase for a peek at the new specimen. Only now did we attempt to get a photo, and it was a pretty lame attempt. Sorry, you get proof of a second snake, but no good look.

Purple-glossed snake, Maun, Botswana

The second snake of the day

Purple-glossed snake, closer

Same #2 snake, closer

On first glance, Mark wasn’t sure if this beauty was a harmless purple-glossed snake or its dangerous lookalike, a burrowing asp, which has long fangs and painful venom and cannot be held safely behind the head. Looking closely at the head scales, he thought it most likely the purple-glossed snake. My guidebook says the purple fellow is slow and rarely bites. He was certainly slow last night. (I don’t actually know it was a he. We didn’t look.)

Can That Please Be All?

And now the story ends.

With luck, we won’t have any more snakes in the yard, but you can bet I’ll be looking. And probably wearing sneakers instead of flip-flops.

Feb 102018
 

Once again, we are visiting Africa during the “off season,” generally my preferred season to travel anywhere. It is summer here, and hot! We’re talking 110-degrees Fahrenheit and even higher. We’re talking walk-into-the-shower-fully-clothed-and-walk-out-soaking-wet hot, provided you’re lucky enough to have a shower.

It’s also the rainy season. We recently got 2.5 inches of rain in less than an hour, a real downpour. That means grasses grow and trees leaf out, and all that greenery obscures views of animals. Puddles and waterholes pool up all over so that animals no longer congregate around permanent waterholes. They’re spread out, harder to find.

But the abundant water (or more abundant, anyway) and ample green food also means babies. The off season here is the birthing season, and that presents some special viewing opportunities. Mind you, many species hide their babies in burrows and brush when they are born, away from predators and even the rest of the herd, so finding them can be a challenge.

Babies with Different Coloration

Babies’ coats often differ from those of adults so they are better camouflaged while they are most vulnerable.

Banded mongoose pup, Africa

Banded mongoose adult and pup

I imagine something that small is pretty hard to find, anyway.

Gemsbok baby, Africa

Gemsbok young

Young gemsbok have to earn their letterman sweaters. Not sure what I’m talking about? Stay tuned!

Hartebeest baby, Africa

Hartebeest baby

I see they are born with those crazy forehead shelves on which the horns sit.

Impala baby, Africa

Impala baby

Gives new meaning to “rubbernecking.”

Wildebeest baby, Africa

Wildebeest or gnu baby

They are at their most handsome right now.

Jackal pup, Africa

Jackal pup

But they get their adult coloration fast!

Springbok lamb or fawn, Africa

Springbok lamb or fawn

Those magic, superhero ears! “I can fly; I know I can!”

Kudu baby, Africa

Kudu baby

Adult Look-alikes

Some babies look like small versions of the adults.

Rock hyrax pup, Africa

Rock hyrax pup

Those old-man eyebrows!

Zebra foal, Africa

Zebra foal

A bit fuzzier than adults, but colored the same.

Hippo baby, Africa

Hippo baby

Ohmygosh, they come out as sausages; it’s not something they grow into!

Giraffe calf, Africa

Giraffe calf

Half a giraffe, sort of.

Elephant calf, Africa

Elephant calf

What a baby elephant can’t do is control its trunk very well. For instance, most have to learn to drink with it. When they’re young, they drink with their mouths.

Adolescents

Some young stay with their mothers for several years, until they are quite large and adult-looking. Would you believe this guy is still in Mom’s care?

Black rhino young, Africa

Black rhino young

Funny and Adorable

Warthog piglet, Africa

Warthog piglet

Babies with muttonchops crack me up!

Baboon baby, Africa

Chacma baboon baby

Vervet monkey baby, Africa

Vervet monkey baby

Baboons and monkeys tie for the goofiest babies, both in looks and behavior.

Nurseries

I call this an impala nursery, but, technically, it’s called a “creche.” Impala, springbok, and other herd animals will gather their young in groups so mothers can take turns wandering off to eat. The wee ones learn the social rules of being in a herd, and adolescents and adults linger nearby to supervise and keep a lookout.

Impala creche, Chobe National Park, Botswana

Impala creche

How often do you think a tired adult tells a misbehaving youth, “I think I smell a lion”?

A Newborn!

My favorite baby sighting of all: a newborn springbok. This brand-spanking new springbok still looks wet, darkly colored, has its umbilical cord dangling, and is wobbly on its spindly legs. Mom still shows signs of recently given birth on her hind end, and she’s ravenous, eating, eating, eating.

Newborn springbok, Okaukuejo, Etosha National Park, Namibia

Newborn springbok

They’re alone in the middle of a wide, open plain. No lions in sight. May the odds be in your favor, little one.

Feb 082018
 

More wonderful animal signs.

Little known fact: The original manuscript of Been There, Done That: Reading Animal Signs included a running joke that I envisioned on every other spread. The joke was a literal take on the idea of “animal signs,” where the animals would have printed signs like road signs, business signs, etc. in addition to their signs in nature. For instance, where the book talks about snowshoe hares and how they strip the bark off willows in winter, the literal twist would be a barber pole and shop sign (or whatever the illustrator invented) advertising “hare cuts.”

Well, here’s another take on “animal signs” in Botswana and Namibia.

Most Popular Animal Signs

The ones we saw most often, and three of my faves. As you scroll, name those silhouettes.

Elephant, animal sign in southern Africa

Kudu, animal sign in southern Africa

Warthog, animal sign in southern Africa

Can you identify them all?

Elephant, kudu, and warthog. I love the twisty horns on the kudu, very accurate, and I love the way the tusks on the warthog are depicted and the bicycle-flag tail, also accurate.

Twofer Sign

They like this animal so much, they made two signs for it. Recognize it?

Gemsbok, animal sign in southern Africa

Gemsbok, oryx, animal sign in southern Africa

If you said “oryx,” give yourself a point. If you said “gemsbok,” give yourself a point. If you pronounced “gemsbok” HEMS-bok, give yourself an extra point.

Gemsbok, an animal so nice they drew it twice.

Specialized Signs

I wish we had seen these all over, the way we did the above signs, but we didn’t. They may be out there in a few places, or they may have been special ordered for the private reserve where we saw them.

Can you name that silhouette?

Cheetah, animal sign in southern Africa

Leopard, animal sign in southern Africa

Steenbok, animal sign in southern Africa

Cheetah, leopard, and steenbok.

They Can’t All Be Winners

And then there were these. Not quite up to snuff, if you ask me.

zebra, animal sign

giraffe, animal sign

The zebra is tolerable but too cartoony compared to the others, and the spots ruin the giraffe. Anyone got a black Sharpie? Let’s color those in. I suppose it’s better than this, though:

Umm . . . what?!

Hyena, animal sign

That looks like a zombie mouse head on . . . what? . . . a canine body with too-long legs and a dislocated shoulder?

My best guess is that it’s supposed to be a hyena based on the rounded ears, little potbelly, and tail. It lacks that distinctive sloping back, which seems like a no-brainer.

Any other guesses? Maybe it really is a zombie mouse.

Animal Signs at Namib-Naukluft

Namib-Naukluft animal signs

In the Namib-Naukluft desert, park personnel warn you to beware of chameleons, ostriches, and gemsbok.

As the picture indicates, the ostriches we saw were generally running, but they were running away from us and posed no danger. Does anyone else think this looks like the Roadrunner?

Thank goodness we never encountered a chameleon. When we were here three years ago, one tried to bite Mike’s hiking boot. Vicious creatures, chameleons.

Lay-bye Animal Sign

Here in Botswana and Namibia, some roads have things called “lay-byes.” I am not making up the spelling.

Lay-bye sign

At home, we’d call them pullouts or rest areas.

Sometimes they have shaded tables and trash cans. I’ve never seen one with an outhouse or bathroom, though.

lay-bye warning

The blue, black, and white are the colors of the Botswana flag. Many trash cans and tables are painted these same colors in Namibia where flag colors are blue, green, and red. Go figure.

Some lay-byes have signs like this:

lay-bye warning, close

And it’s a good warning. We’ve seen elephants and giraffes very near lay-byes.

Most Frustrating Sign

We’ll be saying “geen toegang” forevermore, not pronounced correctly, of course. It’s Afrikaans, I think, for “nya-nya, you can’t go here, and here is where we keep the most exciting animals, behaviors, and interactions,” or simply “No Entry.”

Geen Toegang, No Entry sign

Another Favorite of Mine

And, finally, here’s one I wish we’d seen often, but we didn’t.

No fences, animal sign

Private game reserves are fenced. Ranches are fenced. Namibia has a lot of fences. We saw a bunch of dead wild animals that had been caught in fences.

I am not a fan of some fences.

What’s your favorite animal sign?

Feb 072018
 
White-backed and lappet-faced vultures

“Unless you include some decent photos of us in this post, I’m out of here,” said the vulture who wasn’t at Mahango or Etosha.

An Animal-Sign Mytery

Animal signs are one of my things, whether I’m at home or traveling. I wrote a book about them. Of course I’m looking for animal signs here in Africa; Mike is, too.

In some cases, spotting an animal sign can be more fun than spotting an animal because signs present a puzzle or mystery. An animal sign presents a story we have to figure out; an animal presents a story we can watch unfold. As much as I enjoy watching a wildlife story happen, I think it can be more fun to puzzle one out from clues.

The Clue that Starts it All

While driving on the dry, sandy, wooded side of the Mahango Park, we happened upon this clue:

White-backed vultures in tree at Mahango, Bwabwata National Park, Namibia

A clue!

See the clue?

It’s a tree full of vultures, white-backed vultures, I believe.

White-backed vultures in tree at Mahango, Bwabwata National Park, Namibia

The clue, closer

Know what mystery this presents?

The Theory

It wasn’t time to roost for the evening, so they weren’t hunkering down for the night. Vultures are scavengers, and I believed there was something dead nearby. My first thought—and hope, I guess—was that a predator made a kill nearby, and maybe that predator was still around. Spotting a predator is somewhat rare, which makes it special. (Dear herbivores, I love seeing you, too.)

We looked and looked, moving the car forward and back, watching all around for movement.

We saw nothing. The vultures weren’t budging, so they weren’t yet being permitted near the thing. Something had to be present to prevent them from feasting.

We waited. We watched. We slowly rolled along the road.

Another Clue

And then Mike caught it: movement.

This guy . . . or gal:

Yellow-billed kite, Mahango area, Bwabwata National Park, Namibia

Yellow-billed kite

It dove behind some brush, then returned here.

Does anyone else think it’s crazy that a single kite can fend off a passel of vultures? Come on, vultures, you can take him! Get together. Organize!

We focused in on the brush and could just make out a large, smooth, black-ish lump. We didn’t bother taking a picture because you wouldn’t be able to see anything. My brain leaped to “hippo,” but the terrain was all wrong for a hippo, and we were too far from the river. That couldn’t be right.

Oh, to be able to get out of the truck for a closer look! We were not supposed to; it’s against Park rules. We are, mostly, rule followers, but it was also really brushy, and there could be cats, lions or leopards, in the brush. Or a grumpy herbivore. Black rhino? Or a terrified antelope with pointy horns and sharp hooves. Ya never know!

The Final Clue and Conclusion

We continued farther along the sand road until we looked back on the lumpy, brushy area. Here, on the other side of the tallest brush, we had a slightly better view, just enough to see part of the horns and conclude it was a cape buffalo, still largely intact, and thus probably not the victim of a predator. We also picked up the reeking stench. Gah! It was vulture time, for sure. Clean-up on aisle 6!

We returned the following day, and the lump was flattened. The scavengers worked fast! We also saw live buffalo in the area.

Cape buffalo, Mahango area, Bwabwata National Park, Namibia

Female and male buffalo specimens

And thus concluded our mystery. We solved it, starting with the vulture clue. It took some doing: patience, searching, thinking, guessing.

More Vulture-sign Stories

It wasn’t the first time vultures led us to a story. Thanks to vultures in Etosha National Park, we discovered four jackals eating a dead springbok one day, and hyenas and jackals eating a zebra the next.

Vulture sign in Etosha National Park, Namibia

A bunch of vultures is a sign

That’s just a few of the many vultures on the scene. They were far away. The dead animal and diners were visible only with the help of binoculars, patience, and some experience, but the stories were there, and we enjoyed figuring them out.

Without the vultures getting our attention, we never would have stopped, zoomed in, and seen what was happening. We would have driven right by, as some people did, even while we sat there.

Hyenas and jackal eating zebra kill, Etosha National Park, Namibia

Left to right: jackal, hyena, dead zebra, hyena. Look closely!

Now, if I told you I made this oil painting of one of the dining jackals and two hovering vultures, you’d be at least a little impressed, right? Heck, I would be!

Jackal and vultures, Etosha National Park, Namibia

An oil painting or a really bad photo?

But the truth is, it’s a really bad photo, zooming in with the digital zoom. I only wish I’d painted this.

How about some better shots of our heroes, the vultures?

Lappet-faced vulture

Lappet-faced vulture, good ol’ F222

White-backed vulture

White-backed vulture

Though our Mahango vulture-sign story didn’t have the exciting and dramatic conclusion we hoped for, it was fun and satisfying. The more mundane endings such as this enhance the exciting ones.

And there have been exciting ones. Stay tuned!

Have you ever solved an animal-sign mystery? Tell me about it!

Feb 062018
 

Mike and I are big fans of Mahango, which is an area within the Bwabwata National Park in northeastern Namibia. I’m also a fan of saying “Bwabwata.”

We can cover the whole Mahango park road, sit and watch animals for several hours, and even revisit the river portion of the road three times in a single day. That is to say, the Mahango area is tiny. It’s also crawling with running, leaping, and just-standing-there wildlife.

Oh, and very few people visit it.

It’s where I saw my first leopard three years ago, but I’d love it just as much had I never seen a cat there.

Topping off this great park is a great nearby private lodge with tents, cottages, campsites, and restaurant/bar/lounge: Nunda River Lodge. Don’t go thinking it’s on the Nunda River. It’s not. I don’t know of a Nunda River. The lodge is on the Okavango River. “Nunda,” I just learned, is the Hambukushu name for the fruit of the jackalberry tree.

Many of the cottages and campsites are on the banks of the river, but this time we were in campsite #5, not on the river. I could have been disappointed, but the site was grassy and shaded, and shared every single night by these lovelies:

Four white-fronted bee-eaters perched at night, Namibia

White-fronted bee eaters

These are white-fronted bee eaters. We saw this group and two sets of pairs one night, and then various pairs or quads every other night during our stay. I was surprised by the flimsy branches they chose. They must enjoy rocking and swaying at night. Hmm. Maybe I shouldn’t be surprised at all: Who doesn’t like that?

I know that birds will roost together at night—at home, chickadees rely on their warm-bodied feathered friends to survive Alaska’s cold nights—but I’ve never seen it. Now I have, and I’ll look harder at home for roosting chickadees.

But . . . Mahango . . .

The park hours are 6 AM to 6 PM. We were at the gate at 6:00 AM, and as we expected, we were the only ones. Reception wasn’t open, but the gate was, so we considered that an invitation and let ourselves in. We spent the entire day there, despite being able to drive the available roads in a couple of hours. We stopped by reception on our way out, and I paid for that day and the next. The woman smiled, a bit incredulous, when she confirmed that we’d been in the park since 6 AM, but she didn’t give me a hard time about letting ourselves in, and she allowed me to pay for the next day, too, since we would likely show up early again. You might think this would be normal procedure, to take someone’s money any time it’s offered, but I assure you it’s not.

Here—along with the photo above, Mike, even though it’s a repeat—are a Daily Dozen of the day’s highlights.

Warthogs

The Fabio of warthogs!

Hairy warthog, Mahango, Bwabwata National Park, Namibia

Hairy warthog

Hairy warthog family, Mahango, Bwabwata National Park, Namibia

The whole hairy warthog family

Seriously, this family is notable for it’s extra-full and lustrous locks. And their muttonchops . . . or should that be porkchops? They appear to have exchanged their warts for extra hair.

Ostrich

Woot-woo! (That’s me whistling.) Check out that drumstick!

Ostrich with naked leg, Mahango, Bwabwata National Park, Namibia

The ostrich’s leotards

Ostrich with head hanging, Mahango, Bwabwata National Park, Namibia

That’s so embarrassing

Kudus

Loads of kudu here, the antelope easily distinguished by their pince-nez, milk mustaches, and icing (or oxpecker) drizzles down their sides.

I want to design a pastry called a “kudu horn” that is twisted like the full-grown male’s horns and drizzled with icing. In fact, I’m dreaming up all sorts of Africa-themed bakery tasties for when I move here and open my bakery. (Calm down, Mother; I’m pretty sure that’s a pipe dream.)

Young kudus, Mahango, Bwabwata National Park, Namibia

Young kudus

Water Monitor

A blast from the prehistoric past, and a blast of yellow color. Of course I’m going to like it if it’s yellow.

There’s an ant on me

Connect the Dots anyone?

Go-away Bird

This bird has two things to recommend it, one of which is not its boring gray color. (Sorry, gray lovers. It’s my opinion and my blog. Deal with it.) The crest and longish tail compensate for the lack of interesting color, but the best thing about this bird is its call, from which it gets its name: the go-away bird. Actually, the call is whiny and would be extremely annoying if it didn’t sound like an old lady screeching “go away.” Smash those two words into “g’way” and say it in a high, whiny voice, like this.

I like a bird with attitude.

Go-away bird, Mahango, Bwabwata National Park, Namibia

G’waaaaay

Crimson-breasted Shrike

But I also like a bird with screaming-red color.

Crimson-breasted shrike, Mahango, Bwabwata National Park, Namibia

RED!

Antelope We See Less Often

Reedbuck

Reedbuck, Mahango, Bwabwata National Park, Namibia

Where would you expect to find a reedbuck if not in the reeds?

Tsetsebe

We don’t see these often, and we don’t see many clumped together.

While gemsbok win my Best Coat award, I love the rich red-brown with black colors the tsetsebe sport. And they have a great name, no matter how you pronounce (or mispronounce) it. I’ve been saying “tse-TSE-bee,” but Ali says “SE-se-bee.” Who are you going to believe—me or the lifelong African? Yeah, me, too. It won’t be the first time I knowingly mispronounce something.

Tsetsebe in brush, Mahango, Bwabwata National Park, Namibia

You found me

Buffalo and Lechwe

We’ve been light on buffalo this time around, so it’s great to finally see some. I’ve missed their horndos. You know, the standard girl, flip hairdo sculpted into horns.

Cape buffalo and lechwe, Mahango, Bwabwata National Park, Namibia

Buffalo – lechwe tete-a-tete

Lechwe horns are nice, but it’s their leap that most impresses me. Plus I like saying, “leaping lechwe,” as in “Leaping lechwe, it was another great wildlife-spotting day!” And I didn’t even get to tell you about the elephants, giraffes, sables, roan, vultures . . . .

Maun Oasis

 Posted by  Africa 2017, Travel
Jan 102018
 

In between weeks of travel and exploration here in Botswana and Namibia, we are fortunate to relax and regroup in Maun where we have friends. We call their home an oasis, and it really is. See for yourself here, or watch over on YouTube. The video is 3:17 long.

Music: Ode to the World, provided by Kai Engel.
Photos: All from Mike Weber
Oasis: Mark Muller and Ali Flatt