Idyl­lic place that teems with wildlife

African Independent - - TRAVEL -

gloomy, though. Late one night, one of my col­leagues and I were en­joy­ing night­caps out­side our tent when two male lions strolled past about 20m away. The camp isn’t fenced and the next morn­ing their tracks were all over the boma.

Apart from en­joy­ing the myr­iad ele­phants spot­ted on game drives, I was greatly en­ter­tained by a fam­ily of dwarf mon­gooses that had taken an old anthill as their home.

A lantern-lit braai at the base of an an­cient baobab while the last “su­per” moon of 2016 glowed above was a high­light of the stay. The first leg of our trip from Tuskers to Xobega was con­ducted by ve­hi­cle via Moremi Game Re­serve. Moremi is enor­mous, rugged and – at that time of year – hot and dusty.

Like any­where else with a sur­feit of stand­ing wa­ter, it is a wildlife par­adise with all the usual south­ern African sus­pects but with the ad­di­tion of in­dige­nous red lechwe and the su­per-shy si­tatunga.

There are nearly 500 bird species, which made the two “twitch­ers” in the ve­hi­cle very happy, but our en­thu­si­asm was not shared by the other oc­cu­pants at the end of the eight-hour ex­cur­sion. I had to con­tend with a great deal of mut­ter­ing as I fo­cused on a beau­ti­ful African hawk ea­gle.

I had the last laugh on the river, though, when we spot­ted a broad­billed roller, the “leop­ard” of the Botswana bird world in terms of elu­sive­ness. The iced gins would just have to wait.

• Get to Tuskers Bush Camp and Xobega Is­land Camp by fly­ing into Maun with SA Air­link from Jo­han­nes­burg (daily) or Cape Town (five times a week). Xobega can be ac­cessed by Mack Air char­ter from Maun. For de­tails, see www.sun­des­ti­na­tions. co.za

PLUSH: A tent in­te­rior at Xobega Is­land Camp.

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