Safari photo diary – Botswana and Zimbabwe, May 2021

A three-week safari odyssey through the highlights of Botswana and Zimbabwe last month immersed us in the fascinating wildlife and stunning scenery of this region. 

Here is a series of images from this epic trip.

Spending an evening with the habituated meerkats of the Kalahari was an up close and personal experience! Watching them socialize, dig for grubs and scorpions, and then retire into their burrows for the night to keep warm was a delightful and memorable wildlife encounter.
Mombo’s legendary leopard lineage showed off the new generation with two playful cubs contesting with their mother for the spoils of their impala food store. Observing them in the crisp morning light, and once again that same evening, rated as one of my top leopard viewings ever.
Everywhere you travel in Africa, the impala make up a healthy part of the herbivore count. Perhaps the most graceful of all the antelopes, even their great agility can’t keep them from the clutches of big cats, wild dogs and sometimes hyena.
These playful hyena cubs we found at their den while staying at Mombo entertained us with their inquisitive nature and determined bouts of rumbling with their siblings. They will take four months or so to molt out of their black natal coats and into their namesake spot patterns which mark them for life.
Flocks of tens of thousands of red-billed quelea fly in a mesmerizing, synchronized flight over woodland around Mombo Camp. Much like a school of fish they shimmer and swerve through shafts of light.
The elevated wooden track into Mombo Camp.
Mombo Camp’s stylish interiors provide the ideal place to rest up after a morning’s game drive.
As we journeyed into the northern reaches of the Okavango Delta, our time in Selinda produced spectacular lion action with a pride of 14 demonstrating these big cats at their most cooperative and competitive as they tore into a wildebeest kill one morning.
Red lechwe moving through the delta.
One of the highlights in the Okavango Delta was seeing this bull elephant effortlessly move through these channels. Confident of being left alone by the big crocs and feisty hippos who call these waters home.
Wild dogs showing their close bonds as they rest up in the Selinda Reserve, Botswana. This endangered carnivore exhibits some of the most interesting behavior and we were able to witness lots of cool interactions in this pack of 12.
Sleepy Simba in Selinda.
A hungry cheetah in Selinda Reserve scanning the grassland one evening.
Victoria Falls in high flood following good rains in the Angolan highlands catchment area several months and 1,500km away. Combined with some fascinating insights about the life of David Livingstone by local history buff Chris Worden, this was an amazing and memorable visit.
Enjoying a buffalo herd’s visit from the pool edge at Linkwasha Camp, Hwange National Park.
Mother and calf white rhino graze in the sanctuary of Malilangwe Reserve, Zimbabwe.
This Nyala bull near Pamushana Lodge was one of the most photogenic species we saw. The stunning, spiral horns and captivating white facial lines made this individual a favorite subject to train our cameras on.
Curious cubs near Pamushana Lodge, Malilangwe Reserve. Waiting for their turn to feast on the buffalo kill the lionesses have made overnight.
The exquisite view from Pamushana Lodge, over the 130,000 acres of wilderness at Malilangwe Reserve.