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Miles Noltings’ Safari Journal in Southern Africa

August 21, 2022 According to AAC's Consultants

Hello safariers! I’m writing to let you know that I will be spending the summer in Southern Africa. My goal is to visit as many spectacular safari destinations as possible and to share some photos and videos with you along the way.

Kwando Safaris

For my second safari, I visited Kwando’s camps in Northern Botswana.

At Pom Pom and Mma Dinare, my highlights were more wild dogs and a large pride of lions – including a lioness sitting in a tree!

Mma Dinare is located on a private concession in the south-eastern Okavango Delta. Overlooking the Gomoti River, the camp features nine stylish tents with en suite bathroom, outdoor shower and private verandah to enjoy the views of the floodplains. Raised walkways connect the tents to the main lounge with comfortable seating areas, swimming pool and fire pit. Join other guests for meals served at a long captains table. Activities include morning and night game drives, seasonal water activities and seasonal walking safaris.

Mma Dinare is located on a private concession in the south-eastern Okavango Delta

Normally, slender mongooses like this run away when they come across a vehicle. But this one was happy to bask in the sun!

Despite how common they are to see, I never tire of the Lilac Breasted Roller’s beautiful plumage.

A fully-grown male kudu is a sight to behold.

Two wild dogs greeting each other. The one on the right is the Alpha female, which is why researchers have placed a GPS collar on her.

As they get older, wild dog pups are more and more comfortable leaving their underground dens.

Pom Pom is nestled on Pom Pom Island in a private concession in the heart of the Okavango Delta. Accommodations consist of nine en suite tents each with a small private deck overlooking the lagoon. The main building is constructed of thatch and features the lounge, bar, dining area and small swimming pool. Game activities include game drives, mokoro (dugout canoe) and boat trips to explore the crystal clear channels, islands and waterways, as well as catch and release fishing.

Pom Pom Camp is nestled on Pom Pom Island in a private concession in the heart of the Okavango Delta.

A lioness sits high up in a tree. You can see her cubs sitting on the ground in the bottom left of the screen.

She alternated between dozing off and intently scanning the horizon for any unsuspecting prey.

This lion pride had a whopping 10 cubs!

Being a huntress and a mom is tiring!

She bolted up just as a small herd of impala passed by in the distance.

I never get tired of the bright-eyed curiosity of baby mammals.

Kwara is a beautiful camp situated on a deep water channel in the northern Okavango Delta. I went on a boat cruise, where I saw elephants, Leche and many birds – including a Pel’s Fishing Owl. The cruise ended with a remarkable sunset and G&T.

Lebala Camp is located in the open plains next to the Kwando River. This area is well known for its wild dogs, and I was lucky to see a large, gregarious pack. I also saw a hyena den, with a couple of adorable, curious pups.

While cruising the channels near Kwara Camp, I came across this Little Bee-Eater, perched in profile on top of one of the many reeds.

Kwara Camp.

With G&T in hand, I admired the sunset on top of the pontoon boat’s roof.

Lebala Camp.

Lebala Camp has several packs of wild dogs that frequent the area. This pack had at least 12 adult members.

What a pleasure to witness this wild dog pack’s greeting ceremony!

Wild dogs are very mobile animals, so I was very happy when one sat still long enough for me to get a nice portrait photo!

When they weren’t walking around our vehicle, these adorable cubs sat in their dens, peaking their heads over to see if we were still there!

near to Lebala camp is a den of spotted hyenas with some very adventurous pups.

A very young spotted hyena pup. The pup was brave, sticking his head out of the den, and occasionally venturing out close to our vehicle.

For several minutes, these curious spotted hyena cubs walked around and under our vehicle. They were particularly curious about the rubber tires. Their mom was tranquilly sleeping nearby.

Driving back to camp after sundowners, I encountered several nocturnal animals, including this White-Faced Owl.

The lush, green grass and plentiful water attracts zebra and many other plains game to this part of the Kwando Reserve.

While en route to visit Lagoon Camp, this Red Lechwe decided to dash and splash across the lagoon.

Savuti Camp – Linyanti Reserve

My first visit was to Savuti Camp in northern Botswana. During the dry season, this area becomes heavily concentrated with wildlife – especially elephants and big cats. Take a look at some of my highlights!

A leopard cub gazing back at me from a top a termite mound.

This same cub was on the constant look out for prey – but the constant alarm calls of nearby birds made any attempt futile!

During the mid-day heat, elephants like this one like to cool down with a swim in the lagoon and devour Lilly pads.

This giraffe towered over his companions, eating leaves well out of reach for the others.

A small pride of lions enjoyed the last glimmers of light as the sun set. This lioness intently looked for any signs of prey.

Neither a cub nor fully grown, this young male lion will have to wait some time before he can lead his own pride.

My guide and I came across a mating pair of lions. They seemed more interested in resting than mating though!

I stayed three nights at Savuti Camp. I like how spacious the tents were, as well as the “classic safari” feel of the camp and the friendly staff.