Zebras are wild equines native to southern and eastern Africa. Famous for their stripes, it has been said that no two are alike.
This mountain zebra, one of the three species of zebras, stopped and looked my way from a ridgeline in central Namibia.
These three are plains zebras, the species I saw frequently in Botswana. A “dazzle” is the name for a group of zebras and these animals do dazzle with their dramatic stripes and their powerful bodies. I actually think the zebra on the right might be pregnant.
A trio of plains zebras blend into this Botswana landscape.
Is this zebra love?
I wonder what these plains zebras are talking about. Is it a serious topic?
It seems hippos are happily snorting wherever they are and this scene of the African bush is no exception. They are very vocal creatures!
Hippos admire their reflections while other species cluster together in herds along the Chobe River in Botswana.
The impala antelope, which we saw frequently in Botswana, is sprightly, graceful, and swift. You can easily identify it by the black patches above the hooves on the hind legs. These are scent glands, covered with tufts of black hair, which give chemical signals to herd members and may be especially important during a chase.
These impalas appear to be jumping for joy!
In Botswana, we frequently saw lechwe antelopes staring back at us, darting across the bush, or sometimes sparring with each other. Lechwe have varying hues of golden brown fur with white bellies. I didn’t catch one darting…..
but this male is giving me a good look.
These two young males are, we were told, “play fighting”, which involved locking their impressive, spiral horns over and over again. At first, I was skeptical about the fight being playful, but after a few minutes they both gave it up and went their separate ways.
This is my one-and-only photo of a sable antelope, which I had never heard of before and only saw once while on a safari in Botswana.
This beautiful and powerful-looking antelope inhabits the savannahs of eastern and southern Africa.
Yes, we did see leopards in Botswana thanks to our guides. Some of the pictures were a little graphic and, to be honest, I’ll probably never include those in my portfolio. Just not my thing! We did get close, but they were never a threat to us. I hope these images show the terrific beauty of leopards.
I suppose this is your ultimate, classic, everyday leopard pose (if you’re in Botswana), but a favorite nevertheless!
What a beautiful physique and such a long tail!
The leopard blends beautifully with native grasses.
This one looks stealthy! He might have been hunting.
Later in the morning (see last post), we got a taste of animals being less complacent.
This hippo was not making adorable and leisurely snorts like the ones at sunrise. It looks mad as hell, probably at us!
And this female lion didn’t want to share a cape buffalo leg she had carried off from the kill site. It’s as if she is saying, “Mine!”
Our first Botswana camp bordered an inlet populated with hippos whose vocalizations were such a novelty to us. We fell asleep listening to them snort and make bubbling sounds in the water.
Then, in the morning, the rising sun silhouetted their ears poking out of the water.
The first creatures I saw after arriving in Botswana were two birds native to southern Africa.
The first was the Burchell’s glossy starling, which gets its iridescence from a special structure in its feathers that acts as a prism and refracts light.
This exotic beauty, an Egyptian goose, with Hollywood-worthy eye makeup appears to be performing a repertoire on a balance beam.
The elephants in Namibia’s Damaraland are smaller than the typical African elephant. They survive on a more limited diet and have to migrate for miles to drink at desert waterholes. However, they have adapted to this harsher way of life and can live up to three days without water.
They are herbivores – browsing animals that survive on desert brush and trees.
Although not a separate species, they have evolved to have larger feet which help them travel miles across the desert to find water.
Sometimes food is sparse….
…and the terrain is always rugged.
But these elephants are hardy and determined.
A herd gathers together in the afternoon.
Two elephants descend over a hillside to join the herd as the sun sets.