Welcome to the Autumn edition of the Waterhole. However, at the moment in the UK it is difficult to know if we are in summer, autumn or winter as the weather has been a variant of all of these over the past few weeks. This is presumably the effects of global warming which seem to be changing weather patterns across the world.
This was very apparent to me in August and September when we took our family holiday in Botswana. I had heard that there was a drought and that less water was in the Delta than before, but I was not prepared for the sight I saw as we flew from Maun across the Delta to the Jao concession.
Almost no water at all. From the air you could see the areas where water was meant to be and the dry island areas standing proud, but everything was dry. The disappointing aspect of this was that we were not able to spend any time in a mokoro or even a small motor boat so the activities were restricted to vehicles and walking. I noticed that there were less birds than on previous visits and certainly less fish eagles and kingfishers.
But to balance the disappointment, was the plethora of game that had filled the gap. In the one camp we were able to see wild dogs, leopard and lion at close quarters. There were elephant, giraffe, buffalo and a brown hyena.
It is amazing how nature gives and takes, although we had hoped to see the water animals, hippos, crocodiles and frogs we saw animals and scenery that we had not expected. This confirmed to me that Botswana is a fantastic destination for game and especially to see wildlife in its natural habitat without masses of other people. It also confirmed to me that it is not possible to visit Botswana with a fixed idea of what you are going to see.
Every day on safari in Botswana is special and should be anticipated without expectation.
Finally, I would like to report that this recent trip achieved two sightings which I have sought for over fifteen years – my first aardvark and a caracal! Difficult to achieve more than that!
Botswana Tourism will be at WTM again this year on stand AF531 with six co-exhibitors. If you are attending the show please do come by and say hello and learn more about this fantastic destination.