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New Website, New Blog, but the Old Blog Archive remains: September 28, 2023

After many years of wanting a real website, this month I finally have a website designed by the very knowledgeable Rey Rey Rodriguez ( TheMindOfReyRey ). My old blog,  Vacation-Travel-Adventure  continues with the same address but it is located in the "Archives" tab on my new website . The new blog which is a continuation but with much better resolution for 4K screens, it is now at .

Moremi Game Reserve National Park, Botswana: Feb 20-23, 2016

Almost as soon as we reached the park’s boundary, we began to see mud-covered elephants, giraffes, and a leopard. The leopard is one of the “big 5” game animals sought after by hunters and photographers. Now we've seen 4 of the 5: elephants, buffalo, lions, and a leopard. The leopard was under a bush right next to the road. He was hot and panting in the shade of the bush. Just above him, he had stored his recent kill of a male warthog. Leopards are built with short powerful legs that help pull up and stash their kill in trees to protect it from other predators. This leopard had a radio collar on its neck. Again, I am amazed that we could sit (in the safari truck) just six feet from this animal and be ignored.

Just a short distance from the leopard, elephants were covering themselves with mud and applying a powder of dirt for good measure.

So far, each park has been significantly different that the one before. While Nxai Pan is a dry, flat Kalahari landscape, Moremi has thick woods and grassy marshes.

Through the gate and further into the park we saw lots of buffalo. Buffalo have a fly entourage that follows along and lingers after the buffalo have passed. That is the one annoying discomfort of being in the presence of a herd of water buffalo. We were so close that I could take portraits of their unique faces and expressions.

And, we saw elephants—a female herd with lots of babies. In Nxai Pan we only saw single or groups of bulls.

February 21, 2016: At sunrise, we were already in the truck hunting animals.

Wildebeest (gnu)

Saddle-billed Stork
Wattled Crane (Endangered)
Moses spotted a couple of warthogs with tails in the air running through a grassy meadow. Then, he spotted the three lionesses hiding in the same grassy meadow.

These lionesses looked like they have had a very hard life. One was old and thin and their ears were torn from too many fights. The warthogs hid in the bushes and eventually made a safe escape.

A little more exploring and we came upon a magnificent mixed herd of 400-500 elephants that worked their way across our path.

In the afternoon, we saw more elephants and met the hippo's challenge.

We ended the day with a rarely-sighted caracal. He or she was laying in the road. It allowed us to quickly take a few photos and then it sauntered off the road and lay down in the nearby tall grass. Amazing luck!

February 22, 2016: A thunderstorm struck last night dumping lots of rain. After breakfast, we suited up with fleece lined rain ponchos and hit the road again. Hyenas were calling last night and as we left the campsite, a hyena loped across our path. Then we ran into two hyenas resting nearby. Hyenas usually look quite ugly, but one of these hyenas put up his head to take a look and then, looking quite cherub like, went back to resting.

It began to rain harder, but the animals didn't seem to mind the rain and we saw animals that we hadn't yet encountered.
Red Letchwe and also maybe Sitagunga
Female Reedbucks
Tsessebe and her baby
We watched a group of giraffes blocked by a family of warthogs. The warthogs stood their ground against the giraffes. Each giraffe slowly considered the warthogs and then quickly ran a wide arc around them. On the other side, the giraffes who had made it past the scary warthogs looked back at their remaining family member who never got up the courage to walk or run past the warthogs.

After dinner, we listened to all the voices of the night: hippo, elephant, hyenas, and leopard calls. Hearing a leopard call didn't help my sleep. We are camped at the second-bridge campsite which has a tree that Moses calls the second-bridge leopard tree for obvious reasons. It is a perfect leopard tree and we are camped next to it.

February 23, 2016: This morning we woke to the mellow sounds of the Ground Hornbill. Their song sounds like four or five notes created from plucking the strings of a cello. The Ground Hornbill is a threatened species.

We packed our stuff and began the 7-hour drive to Khwai Community Concession (another community managed game reserve). Along the way we saw Vervet monkeys sometimes called "blue" monkeys because of the color of their testicles.

Vervet Monkey 
Waterbucks with their circle of white on their butts. This is not a target but a "follow me" marking for the herd.
A young male Kudu

We had almost reached Moremi's North exit gate when we were stopped by two adorable young female warthogs snuggling in the middle of the road. They were so sweet to watch. How could a huge giraffe be afraid of these small creatures?