hummingbird nest with two babies in colleyville nature center

Colleyville Nature Center

The Colleyville Nature Center is owned and operated by the City of Colleyville Parks and Recreation.  This 46-acre refuge which features nine ponds and 3.5 miles of trails is a nature lovers paradise located right in the middle of a neighborhood!

I learned of this pocket of paradise, just 20 minutes from my house, through a group called Hiker Babes.  The group is global, and it has both a North Texas Chapter and a DFW Chapter which posts events on Facebook regularly.  It was my first time joining them for an activity, and me and my friend Laura had a nice time. And Laura even walked away with a backpack giveaway! Lucky winner!!

clustered monarch butterflies

The Monarch Butterfly Migration

I’m not sure how I originally heard of the Monarch butterfly migration.  All I knew was that a bunch of monarchs cluster on trees in Mexico during the winter, and I thought it would be cool to photograph.  Well, I got so much more than I bargained for and learned a ton.  What a special experience!

Before I delve into the details, I have two major tips for seeing the monarch butterfly migration in Mexico. 

  1. Unless you are fluent in Spanish, read the book Bicycling with Butterflies by Sara Dykman, as the guides don’t speak English.  While she pushes her agenda on occasion, she provides a wealth of knowledge about the monarchs I wish I had known prior to visiting.  I ended up listening to the entire book on my extended travels home from Mexico.  It made what we watched that much more fascinating.  I have a renewed appreciation of the monarch butterfly.
  2. If you only have time to visit one Sanctuary, make sure it is El Rosario and go on a weekday.  DO NOT go to any sanctuary on a weekend.  They get way too crowded.
lioness in tree at pom pom

Day 8 – Final Drive of Botswana Safari

Well, the time has come to say good-bye to beautiful Botswana.  What an amazing trip we took!  Many thanks go out to our handler, Kelvin, who organizes trips for us around Africa.  My next stop will likely be South Africa. I know it will be amazing too!

Botswana Wildlife

The magnificent sunrise treated us to more spectacular scenery.  A solitary female lion laid in wait of a hunt while tsessebe grazed on the golden grazes.  Baboons darted from one tree to another.  Fighting for territory, one baboon tried to shake another off the swaying tree limb!  The babies just clung to their moms. 

leopard in tree on botswana safari

Day 7 – Botswana Safari Pom Pom

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! 

leopard in tree in pom pom

Day 6 – Botswana Safari in Sango and Pom Pom

We spent our final morning at Sango Safari Camp before flying out to Pom Pom in the Okavango Delta.  We paid for six activities, and we were supposed to have one more safari drive in Moremi Game Reserve, but the bush airlines scheduled us for an early departure. 

At first, Sango wasn’t going to provide a morning drive due to limited time.  But Mack Air and Moremi Air fly in and out of the Khwai Concession bush airport, which means there is only a runway…no buildings, no bathrooms, no control towers, no security.  So, we pretty much only needed to show up a few minutes before departure time.

As a result, I countered, “You can give us ½ a drive or return our money.”   We promptly had a drive scheduled with our awesome guide, July! 

I’m noting this for beginner safari goers because flights take place all day and passengers can be moved around (which happened when left Pom Pom for our international flight).  So be sure to notify the camp staff the day before departure so adjustments can be made. While Botswana was my fourth safari, it was my first as the organizer working with the handler and camp personnel who always go above and beyond.


Day 5 – Botswana Safari in Moremi Game Reserve

Our fifth day of our Botswana safari was the most chaotic, adrenaline pumping day of safari I have ever had.  As I mentioned in a previous post, Day 3- Chobe and Khwai, when asked by our guide what I wanted to see, “I said cats and wild dogs.”

July immediately responded, “Well you won’t see the dogs.  We haven’t seen them for two weeks.  And even if you do see them, they don’t stay still long, so you will only see them for a couple of minutes.”

Well, we got word from campers that the wild dogs returned last night.  As a result, all the safari vehicles from the nearby camps were out looking for them in Moremi Game Reserve.  Lucky for us, KB, the other guide from our Sango Safari Camp, spotted them.  He radioed July with the direction the dogs were headed. 


Day 4 – Botswana Safari in Khwai

For our first full day at Sango Safari Camp in Khwai, we watched the sunrise as we huddled around the fire eating our continental breakfast.  The six of us piled into the safari vehicle, again equipped with wonderful, fleece lined ponchos. 

July took us through the burn area with a reedbuck to the Khwai Concession for the morning.  Since Dom and Gary didn’t join us on the yesterday’s afternoon safari, we wanted to give them a chance to see the leopard with the kill if it was still there.

lion in khwai concession

Day 3 – Chobe and Khwai

The third day of our Botswana safari included a morning drive in Chobe, a flight to Khwai, and an afternoon drive in the Khwai Concession.  We followed our usual morning wake up routine in addition to having our bags ready to go, so we could spend as long as possible out on the game drive.


We were in the park by sunrise, and what an fiery sky it was!  We should have known the bright orange was a warning for a super windy day.  Due to the dust and wind, some of the animals stayed hunkered down, but it didn’t stop us from seeing baboons swing from tree branches while playing with a piece of clothing.

leopard in a tree in chobe national park

Day 2 – Botswana Safari in Chobe

I’ve been slow with posting about Africa because I’ve been struggling with how to present so much and make it interesting rather than just saying we saw lions again, which we basically saw every day!  For now, I’m going to go day by day.  In the end, I may adjust to each stay, as we spent a few days at three different places, the first being Chobe.

So, I will start with day 2 in the Chobe National Park.  We arose at 5, went to breakfast at 5:30, and left for the park by 6 am. We donned parkas, wool hats, gloves, and a fleeced poncho that was provided by the lodge.  The poncho was super nice, and it is the first time in my four safaris that we used something more than a blanket.

cub yawning in chobe

Day 1 – Botswana Safari in Chobe

After our three nights in Victoria Falls, we took our scheduled transfer with Wild Horizons to Chobe Bakwena Lodge located next to Chobe National Park in Botswana. We had a great driver with all kinds of stories which made the hour drive to the border go quickly.

At the border, we were met by Max, our safari guide from Bakwena Lodge for the next two days.  He walked us to the immigration window where they checked our passport and vaccine cards.  As a US citizen, we did not need a Visa, but they did want a vaccination card or for the unvaccinated, a COVID-19 PCR test within a 72-hour timeframe.