April 2 - 17, 2008
This was a Golden Gate Audubon trip, arranged with Letaka Safaris. We flew via Frankfurt, spending a couple of days there to get used to the time zone, and met the group in Maun, Botswana, via Johannesburg, SA. We missed our flight, but arrived only about 3 hours late, and the group was waiting for us.
The Okavanga Delta is famous for animals and birds, and we were not disappointed. There are lots of elephants and a wide variety of antelope, with giraffe, zebra, hippopotamus and a variety of smaller creatures covering the landscape. We saw lions and two flavors of jackal, but missed leopard.
Another tour member, Obie Gilkerson, and I were both interested in photography, so were often waving 500mm lenses out of the vehicles. Vehicles were the typical Southern Africa safari Toyota landcruisers, with access out the roof and open sides. Although clumsy for entering and leaving, they offered good views of the countryside. The weather was excellent, cool at night and not oppressively hot during the day. Our excellent guides were Brent Reed and Scotty, supported by a staff of 5.
We saw about 300 species of birds, and 63 were new. The photographic opportunities were good. Tent camping was reasonably comfortable, food was excellent, and we only had 9 flat tires during the trip!
“Birds of Southern Africa” by Ian Sinclair et al (2002). Princeton Field Guides (3rd Edition, sponsored by SASOL).
Taita Falcon Lodge,
near Livingstone, Zambia. A
more spectacular location (on the cliff above the Zambezi River) is not