Discovering Botswana

The Experiences of Paul & Henrietta Delahunt-Rimmer

Tracking and a final mokoro trip

Tracking southern Africa

Born Free Botswana

On our last day we just wanted to have a gentle morning and the evening off. We had a very long non-stop journey home ahead of us. Tracks from a lion and lioness had been seen in the area of the mokoro station. We wanted to go out in the mokoro as a final trip so we asked if we could try and track the pair on our way there. We knew that there was only a slim chance of finding them but the tracking is half the fun. We eventually picked up the spoor but kept losing it in the grass. We weaved all around the place and as far as we knew they could be miles away by now. It isn’t only following the tracks that you can find animals, it is knowing their behaviour and where they are likely to have gone. To fill in the time we looked at other tracks and smaller things of interest.

The big five Botswana

‘I am very tired, leave me alone’

Our tracker, with his eagle eyes, spotted the lioness sleeping against a termite mound in the shade. We circled around and got within a few metres of her. She woke up but was very dozy. We watched her yawning and stretching for about half an hour until the sun got onto her back and she moved on to find better shade for the day.

Lioness Botswana

Where did I put my shades?

We followed her for about a kilometre and then she started stalking an antelope. This is it we thought, we are going to see a kill and we were very close. She was only playing, she got so close to the antelope that she could have easily taken it out. She just yawned again and wandered off into the bush.

African Photography Holidays

Painted reed frog

We took the mokoro a long way out across the lagoon stopping to photograph frogs of course. We found a nice island and unloaded the cool box. It was nice on our last day to just sit under a tree sipping Savanna listening to the wild life. All good things have to come to an end so we reluctantly packed up and poled our way back to the jeep. On our way back to camp we passed a magnificent Baobab tree (Adansonia digitata).

Trees of southern Africa

African Baobab tree

We just didn’t want our last day to end so asked if we could break the cool box open again and have a drink under the tree. Master was concerned about the fact that the male lion still seemed to be around but relented on the understanding that we stayed near to the vehicle. These are amazing trees and some are as old as 2,000 years. They are steeped in legend and superstition. For example if you pick a flower you will be eaten by a lion, however if you drink water in which the seeds have been soaked you will be safe from crocodile attack. The tree has many uses. The leaves can be used for making medicine. The bark is fireproof and rope and cloth can be weaved from it. The tree can store hundreds of litres of water that can be tapped. Mature trees are often hollow and can provide shelter for animals or people. This space has also been known to be used for anything from a bar to a prison cell. A hole [sic] new meaning to bars in a prison. Related Article