Machaba Photo Safari

26th January 2015
I always love going to Botswana, the Okavango Delta is a beautiful and an amazing place to photograph Wildlife.

Machaba is located on the Northern edge of the delta in the Khwai concession and it borders onto the Moremi Game reserve.

I was fortunate enough to host a 8 day Photo Safari at Machaba in 2014, after arriving and checking in it was time to depart on our first safari.

A small pride of Lions had been spotted earlier that day and we headed off to see if we could find them again, we got them just before sunset, 2 lionesses and a young male, they had just started to wake from their sleep and it was not long before they were on the move, we stayed with them for the next few hours and they walked through the bush, we got great images of them at dusk and also using the spotlight, later on the 3 of them crossed over the river and watching the 3 lions swim across was great but a bit hard to photograph in the low light, once the Lions got across the other side they proceeded to stalk and chase a herd of Zebra, we sat on the other side of the river listening to the hunt but in the end the lions were unsuccessful, it was a great start to our safari and now it was time to head back to the lodge.

Over the next 8 days we saw the lions on many occasions, we got some great spotlight images of them, one morning we found a dead Elephant not too far from the camp and feeding on him were the two dominant male Lions of the area, this of course provided us with almost unlimited lion viewing although after a few days it got really smelly and we had to be aware of the wind direction before stopping at the sighting.

We also managed to find a few different Leopards and although they were on the move the entire time which made the photography difficult in the Mopani bush we still got some great images of them.

There is also a Spotted Hyena den close to the camp and we spent many hours at the den site watching the pups and adults as they played and wrestled with each other, I managed to get a few low angle shots of them using the Cam ranger which turned out great, the Hyenas were good value and fun to watch.

Botswana has many Elephants and of course these were not in short supply at Machaba! We saw many herds of Elephants as well as solitary bulls as they moved through the concession, we saw a number of Elephants crossing through the Khwai river between the Moremi game reserve and the concession, they always seen to enjoy the water and each crossing was a fun affair.

Botswana is also rich in general game and we saw and photographed impala, Tsessebe, Giraffe, Hippo, Jackals, Buffalo , Waterbuck and numerous other antelope, we were also treated to a few sightings of Wild dogs, although they were mostly on the hunt and following them while trying to photograph them was a bit tough we still managed to get some good images of them.

Along the river and in the shallow pools of water at Machaba there is also a great variety of birds and waders, we spent some time on bird photography as well, with a few good results.

There was also time to try some landscape and star photography as the night skies in the Delta are spectacular. All too quickly it was time to tackle the long drive back to South Africa, Machaba had given us some great sightings and a few wonderful images.


Photo comment By Kathleen Merritt: Your work is simply brilliant..

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