We arrived at Magotho Camp late afternoon and enjoyed setting up camp in the middle of the bush, completely self-supporting and without any supporting facilities from the camp. It was one of our favourite camp sites.
We truly enjoyed the rest of the evening around the camp fire, under a spectacular night sky and surrounded by the sounds of nature, with highlights some rumbling hippos and occasional roaring lions in the distance. Most excitement came from a curious hyena though, who repeatedly sneaked up behind us, to within only a couple of meters, probably trying to find some left over from our braai.
Day 21 – Jul 9: Khwai (Magotho Camp)
Today we particularly looked for wild dogs, west of our campsite, following some leads from a ranger. Wild dogs were really the only animals left on our wish-list. In fact, they were on top of our wish-list for this entire trip and I had carefully planned the last few days of our trip through Khwai and Moremi to have the best possible chance to see them.
So no wild dogs this morning, but we were quite satisfied with the hippos. After lunch we decided to explore the area east of our camp. Our game drive through this area turned out to into one of my favourite drives of our entire trip; the flood plains of the Khwai river make for a spectacular landscape and attract a lot of elephants. I mean, really a lot of elephants..! One after the other mostly breeding herds of elephants came to the river to drink, as if they had to queue somewhere in the bush. Really unbelievable; we spend a few hours just sitting in our car, watching this spectacular scene. I do not exaggerate if I say that in 2 hours we saw a few hundred elephants, with some herds of up to 50 animals.
An amazing morning! We drove back to camp for lunch and a little siesta.
In the afternoon we went on a game drive, knowing that in this area night-drives are allowed. At night we saw plenty of grazing hippo, some wild cats, a honey badger and plenty of elephants, which were a little more intimidating during then night compared with during the day, even more so knowing that they don’t really like to be disturbed with lights at night, so we kept the use of our spotlights to a minimum and just enjoyed the atmosphere rather than trying to take any photos.
The sun had hardly disappeared behind the horizon and the sky was already filled with stars and the Milky Way.
Day 22 – Jul 10: Khwai – Moremi Game Reserve (North Gate Campsite)
Early morning we looked again for wild dogs, but without any luck. We decided to make a move to our next destination North Gate, from where we wanted to explore the other side of the Khwai river.
After our river crossing the landscape changed into mixed mopane woodlands and relative wet marshland, beautiful! It looked ideal for wild dog and leopard and indeed not much later Dio spotted something run through the bush on the right of the car and I also just managed a glimpse, of what we eventually were very sure was a wild dog. We drove around over the fairly extensive network of small roads in that area, but did not find dogs… But we found this beautiful leopard, who was clearly on a hunt!
We crossed the bridge and left Khwai behind, entering our next destination, the MOREMI Game Reserve and the OKAVANGO Delta.