Our seventh day in Botswana was our last full day on safari. By this point, we had seen so much, we were riding in the tracker seat, stopping to look at flowers, and generally taking a moment to enjoy all of Pom Pom’s nature rather than doing the typical wildlife tracking.
And as usual we experienced more amazing things, starting with the fog covered delta at sunrise. Africa just doesn’t disappoint!
After admiring the super sunrise, we upgraded some of our “security shots.” I don’t know who came up with that term on our journey, but to me, it is perfect. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think you should live behind the lens. I like to enjoy the experience, but also, want to capture the magnificent moment. Memories fade, and a picture is a good way to keep the experience alive.
We came across some Tsessebe. These awkwardly built antelopes with their front legs longer than the back are the fastest antelope in Africa. I would have never guessed that! It was nice to get a closer look since most of our sightings have been in the distance.
Riding in the Tracker Seat
After spotting the Tsessebe, Skills our HOT tracker, shared his tracker seat with us. If I knew how to share an IG Reels, I show him working it, but you’ll just have to check out my IG instead @etbtravelphotography. We all took turns pointing out animals and completely hamming it up. I thought for sure we would not be allowed to do this for liability reasons, but it is Africa, not the USA. Thabo, which means Happiness, said if we hadn’t already seen everything we wanted to see, he wouldn’t have let us.
Safari Jingle to the 12 Days of Christmas!
But seriously, what more could you ask for? The big five, at least five leopards, a wild dog hunt and kill, ten baby lion cubs, and the list continues! In fact, we made up a safari song to the 12 Days of Christmas!
One the twelfth day of safari, our skilled guide gave to me, 12 red lechwe leaping, 11 baboons boogieing, 10 lion cubs romping, 9 buffalos grazing, 8 wild dogs hunting, 7 hippos snorting, 6 elephants bathing, 5 leopards lounging, 4 giraffes loping, 3 black rhinos hiding, 2 jackals prancing, and a fishing owl in a tall tree!
Wildlife at Pom Pom
Anyway, back to our morning drive. We spotted elephants, impalas, another steenbok, kudu, impala, and the leopard we saw yesterday in a different tree. Interestingly, we could not find its kill, but based on the tracks near the original cache, Thabo and Skills do not think hyenas or lions stole it from her. So she hid it well!
We also found the ten lion cubs hiding in the tall grass while the moms were off hunting. Remarkably, they disappeared into the ocean of gold, which is good since they are the most vulnerable when left behind.
Giraffes, wildebeest, and birds also made it into our stops. It is almost like we turned into neophytes again! We stopped for everything since we didn’t feel any pressure to see something more. Additionally, with the water too low for a boat ride, but too high for distant driving, we covered much of the same terrain so we felt like we had seen the area.
The limited terrain would be my only knock about Pom Pom in early September, and although the camp is fancy, I’m glad we only had two days here! In fact, I think we had the perfect amount of time in Chobe, Khwai, and the Okavango Delta, and I would do the exact same on a future Botswana safari.
Back at Pom Pom Camp
After our morning drive, we spent the next few hours lounging and gorging ourselves on more food at camp. My goodness, you will not go hungry on safari. They provide breakfast, a coffee break, lunch, tea, a sundowner, and dinner! I won’t be weighing myself anytime soon.
Anyway, I love safari camps which are on the water because the animals come for a drink during the hot afternoons. Once again, we watched warthogs, mongoose, baboons, and bushbucks meander the shores while we waited for our afternoon drive.
Afternoon Safari Drive
On our afternoon drive, we saw more warthogs eat. Somehow, I have never noticed that they must kneel to reach the grass with their snouts! Our close-up view also prompted the question, “Are warthog tusks made of ivory?” The answer is yes.
It made me wonder if elephant poachers will one day turn to warthogs or if there is not a big enough reward for the risks to get their tusks. It saddens me to even think of this, but despite all the efforts in elephant preservation, they remain on the endangered species list.
Another Pride of Lions
As we continued, unexpectantly at least to us, we came across another pride of lions, with two large males, a young male, some females and a few cubs! The protector was perched on the mound keeping a look out while the others lounged.
Then we experienced an episode of birds when hundreds of storks flew overhead! As usual, we took in another glorious sunset before our night drive which featured hyenas and an African wildcat, which I have never seen.
It was another great day out in the bush! Sometimes I am ready for a vacation to end, but a safari is never one of them. I’m always lost in the magic! We have one last morning drive on the way to the airport. I will savor it until the next time. I’m thinking South Africa in 2024. Who wants to join? ETB