African Safari, Selinda Camp, Botswana

Sunday, 22 June 2014
We are still in Mozambique at Azura Resort without a fast internet connection so I’m not able to post as many pictures and details about our trip as I’d like to at this stage. However, I’ll share a few of the experiences we’ve had and then add to it when we’re back in the states. 

If you’ve never been on an African safari, it is worth the time and money (start saving now) to go. Specifically, we booked our trip with Nicky from Eyes on Africa and hired a private guide, Grant Atkinson, for the extra assistance with capturing nice pictures of the animals. Grant has his own company, Atkinson Photography and Safaris, and you can find him on Facebook or through a Google search. He made our safari successful through his knowledge of animal behavior and advanced training in photography. Even I was able to get amazing photos with his help! 

The rooms at these camps are fantastic. I'd certainly classify the experience as "glamping:" glamorous camping. They did not have heat or air conditioning and only one out of three allowed hair dryers but guests truly have the feeling of being one with nature.

In our first Botswana camp (Selinda), we watched and photographed two packs of Wild Dog (quite rare to see), a lion pride of females and cubs, Kudu, Warthogs, buffalo, hippo, elephant, and giraffe. The pride of lions was feeding on a carcass and some of the smallest cubs were nursing. 

I couldn’t believe our luck getting to see the pride and be close enough to really study their interactions. That night as we left the feeding sight, we also saw a black-backed jackal in the shadows, hoping to get a scrap of meat once the lions moved away.

Also in the Selinda camp, we slept next to a sleeping elephant! At night, a guide walks guests to their tents because elephant and hippo regularly wander through (the camps are not fenced). One night Grant was taking James and I back to our tent and we startled an elephant that was sleeping while standing next to trees beside our tent. It was dark so we didn’t see it and got quite a fright! He shook the trees and half-heartedly trumpeted his annoyance. I drifted off to sleep after listening to it snore for about an hour and letting my heart beat slow down. What an experience! 

The hippos were also pretty interesting. They stay in the water during the day because their skin is a bit too fair for the sun. At night they wander out of the water and vacuum up soft grass using square-shaped lips. They make a very deep, almost laughing call that can be pretty scary until you figure out what it is. WAA-WAA-WAA-WAA! :)

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