Monday, June 16, 2014

Okavango Machaba Day 1: A trio of lions and a loud but unseen stampede


I had a day to equilibrate before traveling from Johannesburg's OR Tambo Airport to Maun, Botswana, and on to Machaba Camp.

Air Botswana flew me on the modern equivalent of a DC-8 (large passenger propeller plane) from JNB to MUB. The flight from Maun to Machaba's bush airstrip was a bit less spacious.

Machaba Camp 1

Machaba Camp opened just last year.
Machaba Camp Website

The main lodge is an open, tented dining and lounge area.


Here's the view from the main lodge. Beyond the idled makoro is the gentle Khwai River. The other side of the river is the Moremi Game Reserve.


The rooms are in tents, which are protected by tents! Here's a shot of my lodgings.

Machaba Camp 8

And what it looks like with me on the inside. The window covers come down at night. The tent entrance zips, but there are no locks. Camp protocol is that guest are to be escorted to and from their tents after dark, as we are among the hippos, lions, and wild dogs.

Machaba Camp 7

ODP provides a detailed document for what to expect for their Machaba Camp photo tour.
ODP Machaba 2014 - Information and Guidelines

Their host photographers also blog each day's events.
ODP Blog - Okavango Machaba Camp - Three Lions Cause a Wildlife Stampede after a Swim In the Dark

A pano view from the game drive truck (Land Rover with three tiered benches and a canopy):

Machaba Camp 3

The focus of the afternoon's game drive was a trio of lions: one male and two females. We arrived near the end of their nap and waited them out. They slowly stirred and rose, making their way to the Khwai River. They swam across and out of range of our cameras. But soon afterr the crossing, a stampede of zebras and who knows what else could be heard from across the river (in the Moremi Game Reserve).

Here are my keepers from
Machaba Day 1.

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