At the end of our stay in Botswana & Victoria Falls, Kate flew home from Vic Falls airport via Johannesburg, while I was driven back across the border to spend a final 48h staying at the Pangolin Photo Safaris new lodge on the edge of the Chobe river and Namibia’s Caprivi floodplains near Kasane airport.
I was matched up with a small, friendly group of experienced wildlife photographers from Australia and South Africa, and we had a wonderful time on 3 boat-based safaris plus one morning game drive.
All the lodge staff were excellent, and our guide Hoosain majored on wildlife expertise and description, while we were all mostly able to manage the technical photographic details of our own equipment, so this worked well. Pangolin have photo boats equipped with mobile gimbal-equipped seats - I quickly established that the mobility of my light Olympus equipment with its fine image stabilisation meant it was was much better off the gimbal and hand-held, even at 840mm equivalent focal length. However, the rotating seats, stable boat and wide separation of guests’ photo stations was very helpful for us all.
First, images of my favourite local bird, the nimble African Skimmer.
Here are some images within Pangolin’s lodge, and of one of their photo boats, a residential boat, and some of the competition…
We had some entertaining sightings of African Jacanas, known as the ‘Jesus Bird’ for their gravity-defying abilities to walk on water (lily-pads, actually) aided by their spectacularly huge feet. They pull around surface vegetation to disturb insects and other small water creatures as prey. We were lucky also to have some prolonged sightings of their charmingly ungainly chicks.
Finally in this section, a set of African Spoonbill images.
More birds in the next post, including roosting yellow-billed storks, rollers, kingfishers, and the close ecological associations between the park’s mammals and birds.