One is exactly the number of gnu, also called wildebeest, I photographed in Botswana. Being wary animals and fast runners, many others eluded me. The gnu is another of the large antelope species native to Southern Africa.
Loosely separated from its herd, this gnu is taking a break from grazing on the African savanna.
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?
We crossed, but did not speed over, this bridge and a number of others like it in Botswana. At certain times of the year, excepting drought conditions, there would be a marsh underneath.
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.
Elephants, being large and gray, work well as monochrome images.
This small desert-adapted elephant survives on limited flora and regularly has to walk miles in the Namibian desert to reach its water supply.
One has to exercise caution when getting up close and personal with such an enormous animal. Better to rely on a longer lens!
Elephants are social creatures and travel together in matriarchal families.
This elephant seems to say, “Talk to me, I’m all ears!”
Elephants have strong mother-baby bonds.
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.
A variety of animals showed up for roll call in this shot taken in Botswana…
a giraffe, an elephant family, lechwe antelopes, and a few birds!
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!”