Page 18 - Discover Botswana 2022 ONLINE
P. 18

  Ihear the call of an African fish eagle somewhere far ahead of me. To my right I see some young hippo playing around in a nearby pool. A smile comes to my face as I hear the water gently splashing up against my mokoro, and absorb the beauty of this vibrant waterway.... happily, I am back in the Okavango.
As a professional wildlife and adventure photographer, I believe there are few places on earth that rival the lush beauty and abundant wildlife of the Okavango Delta. It is one of my favourite places to bring guests, and a truly inspiring environment in which to host photographic workshops. With its staggering 550 bird species, over 160 animal species, plus innumerable insects, reptiles, amphibians and fish, the area is literally a photographer’s paradise. To maximise one’s photographic opportunities, one should try all the different ways of experiencing this area.
Setting out at dawn on a traditional safari vehicle is a good way to start, and enjoy the beautiful rich colours of the sunrise. This time is often referred to as the ‘golden hour’, as the light greatly enhances depth and colour in photographs. We watch quietly and use all our senses as the bush comes alive with the morning song of the birds. Big cats are waking, yawning, stretching, and beginning to move around.
Travelling through the waterways by boat gives us a different angle on the beautiful papyrus channels. The water is clear and still, with spectacular reflections. We may see anything from the majestic African fish eagle, right down to the tiniest brilliantly coloured kingfisher flitting amongst the reeds, at the same time as being alert for elephants, hippo, and other aquatic game.
To feel really close to the earth, going on foot is unbeatable. We silently creep up on small creatures, learn how to track, identify spoor and quietly observe the smaller elements of life like the island building termites at their work. We might even be lucky enough to come upon a pack of wild dog resting up in the shade in the midday heat.
Previous pages: A bull Elephant (Loxodonta africana) crosses the floodplains near Chief’s Island in the heart of the Delta.
Previous pages: An aerial view of the magnificent Okavango Delta at sunrise. Above: Hidden lagoons and small islands dot the interior of the Okavango Delta. Right: Crossing the Jao floodplains by Mekoro is an unforgettable experience.

   16   17   18   19   20