A Day on Safari in Letaka, Botswana

Frank and Alex Taylor

11 Apr 2016

Ready for the day...

The day starts early when you are woken up by the camp staff at 5am. The anticipation of the day ahead is exciting.  Breakfast at 5.30 and you are off by 6am in the pitch black.  As the sun starts to rise, our cameras are at the ready to catch the wonderful wildlife staring back at us.  Driving through the vast Kalahari is magical.  

Every bend you take, there is a surprise.... the puff adder basking in a pool of water on the track, the herds of oryx running past, the jackals trying to find their early morning meal, the springbok listening intensely to signs of danger. We spend 6 hours on our morning game drive, stopping for a tea break and biscuits.  We continue spotting many animals and beautiful birds.  We head back to camp around 12 o'clock for a wonderful lunch prepared by the camp staff.

After a little rest and a refreshing warm bucket shower, we have a slice of homemade cake and are off again at 4 o clock.  The Kalahari has a different feel now as the sun is starting to set and the shadows create an eerie feel. Springbok are on alert as they know this is the time lions like to hunt. As we turn a bend, our guide spots a female lion warming up in the setting sun in the long grass.  We stop and sit quietly. The lion decides to investigate and makes her way towards us. Slowly she gets nearer and nearer, her eyes fixed on all of us. She is now just a few feet from our vehicle staring up at us.  She walks along the side and round the back. She stops and looks up with her huge eyes.  Our guide reiterates to all of us to keep dead still. She continues down the other side and to the front of the vehicle. Her eyes do not leave the vehicle or us.  She investigates the front and looks intensely at all the faces staring at her.  She then casually turns round and walks away. 

Everyone in the vehicle is overwhelmed by her presence so close.

We continue our drive and head back to camp ready for another fantastic three course meal and to discuss the day's events round the camp fire, with a well-deserved drink in hand, whilst staring up into the blackest sky with millions and millions of the purest sparkling stars.   We are then ready for bed in our tents in the bush with the excitement of what we will encounter the next day. 

The lion roaring in the middle of the night and waking us, reminds us that we really are in the open bush.

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