The Central Kalahari

No visit to Botswana would be complete without time spent in the mighty Central Kalahari, and given that we have both recently read the amazing we’re both chomping at the bit.

After again loading up on supplies we bounce along sandy and rutted tracks to find extremely friendly and helpful rangers at the entrance gate. Soon after stamping in we’re exploring extremely, extremely remote pans, sand tracks and scrub land.

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There is nothing, and I mean nothing out here

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Vultures looking like they’re up to no good

There is plenty of wildlife, and we’re stunned to find to young male lions napping at a waterhole. Again we watch for hours as they doze, yawn, lie on their backs with feet in the air and behave exactly like lazy house cats.

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This is the most we saw this young male move in about three hours

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These two kept a close eye on me

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Sleeping, again

Soon before sunset the wildlife increases a hundred fold, and we even catch some elephants right at sunset on the lookout for water.
Later the lightning is stunning, and I’m stoked to catch it with my camera.

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These little guys show up right at sunset

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The elephants are very active at sunset, providing great shots

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Sunset over camp

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Lightning seen from camp (composite photo)

The following morning we find a small group of lions so close to the sand track I’m actually afraid to wind my window down. They pay us little attention, though they are massive and extremely enormous. I really don’t want to find out how quickly they can lunge across about six yards.

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How close? THIS close

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Battle scars are clearly visible

The highlight comes when we find a pride feeding on a kill – they all have bloodstained faces and distended bellies, and virtually all pant and laze about as they focus on digestion. Each lion has many battle scars and they all look grizzled and tough.

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I don’t think he wants to share

For lunch in the intense heat we stop at the tree island where the Owens lived and work while they studied the animals way back in mid 1970s. Although there are tire tracks around now, there is absolutely nothing else, and plenty of curious animals wander close to us, making us feel exactly as they must have all that time ago.

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I love these antlers

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This guy hung around camp all afternoon and it’s easy to see why Zazu is such a character in The Lion King

The central Kalahari is absolutely breathtaking.


PS If you have not, I highly recommend reading the Owens’ book – you will feel exactly as I did roaming around the Kalahari.

3 Responses

  1. Paul Porman says:

    Dan, I finally caught up with you. I thoroughly have enjoyed your text and videos from building your Jeep to yesterday’s post. I bought a 2 door Jeep Sport last July and love it. I probably will never go to Africa, but it has been fun to travel with you. Your pictures are great too. Look forward to your next text/video! Safe journey!

  2. lonni says:

    Hey Dan,
    When I was in Etosha back in 2016, the lions were quite close as well:

    thanks for continuing to share these awesome trip reports & photos!

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