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My safari highlights spotting wildlifeby Dalene Ingham-Brown


I camped my way from Namibia to Zimbabwe, encountering countless wildlife and memorable moments. Here are a few of my favourite experiences...

Elephant crossing

While on the Chobe River Boat Cruise I watched as a herd of elephants gathered on the bank of the Chobe River. The group of about twenty elephants were gathering for a united swim to Sedudu Island for a sunset nibble of green grass and to enjoy a lovely mud bath. The swim began, babies and all. I held my breath as both the adults and baby ellies made their way across the croc-infested water. Success! The herd of elephants made it across to the island with no fatalities. It seems there truly is safety in numbers.

Elephants line up before crossing Chobe River

Elephants get ready to cross the Chobe River

Buffalo convoy

On a morning game drive in Chobe National Park, I watched as hundreds of buffalo made their way, in convoy, across the Chobe landscape. It was simply amazing.

A herd of buffalo cross the Chobe National Park landscape

A herd of buffalo in Chobe National Park

Hippo pool

Drifting through the Okavango Delta's lush lilypad-lined waterways in a dugout canoe is one of the most peaceful experiences I've had in Africa. I never thought such a tranquil cruise could deliver the hefty dose of adrenaline that it did. How? Hippos. Twelve of them. We entered a large clearing where the pool of females waded, protected by the alert male who did nothing but keep his eye on our canoe, ducking below the water and resurfacing in a different spot. It was definitely an exhilarating highlight of my trip!

Hippos wade together in the Okavango Delta

Hippos in the Okavango Delta

Tracking lion

I'd just watched the sun rise over Chobe National Park's landscape when our game drive guide smelled something familiar in the air. He weaved the 4x4 through the rough trails of the park until he'd successfully managed to use every skill learned in animal-tracking school to bring us twenty metres from where a group of lions lay on the carcass of their latest kill. Bellies full, the lions batted their eyelids as if sleepy after a satisfying meal.

A lioness lies lazily on the carcass

A lazy lioness lies near a carcass

Spotting leopard

"Leopard!" I grabbed my nearest camera and aimed it at the spot where I'd just seen the elusive member of the big five, but I was too late. After spending a night camping in Etosha National Park, we were on our way out, enjoying a morning game drive. Our guide was intent on getting us another look. The plan? To keep our eyes peeled as the truck crawled along the dirt road in anticipation that the leopard would try and cross the path, heading for a nearby waterhole. Suddenly, it happened and we caught another fleeting glimpse of the majestic leopard.

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