Thursday, July 5, 2012

Beautiful Botswana............

Although Abu Camp is mostly for the elephant experience, there is plenty going on where elephants are not directly involved.  
Being on the Okavango Delta, water is omnipresent, and with water come crocodiles, hippos, water fowl, birds of every description, and beautiful flowers........even in Winter.
The colorful and friendly Crested Barbet joined us for breakfast at camp........
........then we headed out on the drive.
Around 11 o'clock Newman, our charming Bushman ranger, served us 'elevenses', bush tea with fresh scones and strawberry jam. They really hit the spot as you can see from Bob's grin........
.....and we were on our way to view everything Botswana had to offer on a sunny day. Yes, the Winter sky is that blue with nary a cloud ever.
The beautiful Lilac-breasted Roller - everybody loves this colorful small bird 

Bob being measured against a termite mound - they are built to huge proportions by those tiny insects.
We found a Spotted Hyena den - the babies were sunbathing in the grass.

 The brilliance of the tiny Malachite Kingfisher.
Huge herds of Impala - usually one male with his harem.
 Two sleek young males still in the 'boys club' but definitely looking for girlfriends!
The elegant male Saddle-billed Stork.
The very handsome Roan Antelope - he has to be my favorite.
That same day we took the afternoon boat trip on the delta with Newman...........
He was so gracious and made each of us a waterlily necklace. Newman is an awesome man and we felt blessed to have him as our guide.  Although he'd retired, he returned to work because he didn't feel comfortable as a 'townie' and wanted to continue working in the bush surrounded by nature which he loves so much.
At last I'm able to capture birds in flight.......some of the time! My new camera allows that if I can get it all together! Learning to use an SLR on this trip was an experience - thankfully tips from Paula and Kim on where to set that ISO helped a lot!
This white beauty is the Great Egret.
Of course the afternoon ended up with 'sundowners' on the water.........what could have been any better than ending a perfect day this way!
Next day we were off again.....and yes, that was a tiny plane! Now you know why we only get to take one soft duffel and a small carryon per person.
Heading to Zimbabwe.....................
.................and this pic is for blog friend Sarah in Texas so she can see the special gift she gave me for the 2010 safari got to visit Africa yet again!
Abu Camp was awesome.............and I'll always remember Cathy (above) with great affection. 
Botswana is a wonderful country, be sure to visit if you ever have the chance.

21 comments:

  1. The color of the birds is amazingly vivid. You got some great shots. It's obvious that you all know how to enjoy a day in the bush! Thanks for sharing the shot of the bag. ;-) Glad it's been a useful gift.
    Hugs ~ Sarah

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  2. Amazing shots, I'd say that you've mastered the new camera very well.

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  3. Such wonderful photos, Mary. The birds, the animals...oh my. I'd so love to see all this in person, but thanks to you, I get to go along on your trip!

    xo
    Claudia

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  4. I'm in awe...such a wonderful place and gorgeous wildlife Mary, I'm certain you will carry this journey in your heart for the rest of your life :o)
    Rose H
    xx

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  5. Your photos are just stunning Mary. What beautiful and colourful birds there. I didn't realize that the southern part of Africa has winter and such cool temperatures. What an interesting trip! Hugs, Pamela

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  6. Hi Mary,

    Oh goodness - your photos are breath taking - amazing - stunning. They look like National Geograhic quality - the birds are so colorful and the country so beautiful. I am going back to take another look - so much beauty to take in.
    Thank you for sharing. Stay cool - the heat has not reached us yet in Southern California - thank goodness we are very close to the ocean breezes.
    Blessings,
    Erin

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  7. Well, like all the rest I am fasinated with the pictures you took and have shared with us. Love those birds but the close up of the elephant is also a "reach out and touch" moment.

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  8. What beautiful and colorful birds - wow, I love them. And the water lilys OMG they are beautiful. I didn't realize Africa even had winter cold. How interesting. This trip looks like so much fun and so many memories you made. I just love the photography - you take such great pictures. Thanks for sharing them all.

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  9. I would be beside myself with great JOY to see these sights in person. The birds especially would give me a thrill. I saw kingfishers in Thailand flying over the rain forest and I was thrilled. What a lovely visit with bush tea out in the bush. Loved that Newman decided his heart was there in the bush too. What a perfect place to lose ones heart.

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  10. How beautiful those birds are! All of your pictures are stunning Mary. I love the bush tea and the glasses of wine at sunset....how fun!

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  11. What fabulous pictures, I have been reading all your entries, you sure had a wonderful time.

    Can I be cheeky and ask which SLR camera you go. I am looking at getting a new camera and handing mine on to OH.

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  12. Well Mar, i told you that so many people associate "hot" with AFrica and don't understand that way below the equator it can be bloody freezing! Your pics are about the same as mine so i'm enjoying following your blog daily until we go somewhere else!

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  13. Mary, your pictures are absolutely beautiful! Thank you so much for being you. So happy you are home again-we'll talk soon. Jim spent quite a bit of time reading and gazing at your gorgeous photography show! hugs, Mary Ann

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  14. I think you have master your SLR as you have some AMAZING shots - especially the birds in flight. Wow what colorful birds. And LOVE that shot of happy hour in the boat - now THAT is my type of travel. Really enjoyed this post! Hope you will be sharing more photos from this trip.

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  15. Hi Mary,

    How lucky to come across the Hyena's cubs. They remind me of the African Hunting Dog/Wild Dog puppies I saw in Zambia.

    Of course I swooned over the bird photos.

    The Crested Barbet is one of my favourites, as it is striking and makes such a distinctive call.
    I agree with the others that your camera is wonderful, just being able to shoot the birds in flight is amazing.
    One of my other favourites is the Saddled Billed Stork. Such a beautiful bird.

    Thanks for the fabulous photos.

    How long did you spent in the Okavango Delta?

    Did you stay in such luxurious accomodation throughout the trip?

    Sft x

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  16. Meant to say I love the Malachite Kingfisher. Such a neat bird.

    Sft x

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  17. There are nearly no words - I could say 'fabulous' but that wouldn't touch it.
    I've told Sigurd that I want to go!

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  18. Mary your photos are exeptional, you really have posted a slice of Botswana here.

    I am loving that Lilac Roller, infact I love all the pictures and feel like I've had my own little Botswanian adventure.

    Paul

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  19. I love those colorful birds the best. The roller in flight is breathtaking...what a great photo!

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  20. Gorgeous images! I love that lilac breasted roller. So beautiful! Such a wonderful trip! Best wishes, Tammy

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  21. I agree with the other comments, those birds are just so beautiful!

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