Central Kalahari Game reserve Part 1

07th February 2017
I Have always wanted to go to the Central Kalahari Game Reserve in Botswana and finally after a couple of false starts we went there for 3 nights in July of 2016.

We camped at Kori Pan campsite #3 , we arrived mid morning and set up our campsite and prepared all our equipment for the afternoon drive, while sitting at the camp during the heat of the afternoon a number of small birds came and perched in the shrubs next to us, Black Cheeked Waxbills Great Sparrows and a few Red Eyed Bul Buls, they seem to be habituated to people and I managed to get some nice images of them.

Later on we set off on our drive, we headed off towards Sunday pan waterhole, photographing some ground squirrels along the way.

At Sunday pan there was quite a lot of activity, large numbers of Oryx and Springbok had gathered to come and drink as well as some Kudu and a Pair of Jackals. We spent a few hours at the waterhole watching the procession of animals come and go, finally we headed off back to our campsite.

On the road back to our campsite we spotted a Slender Mongoose perched on a fallen over tree, it briefly watched us before scurrying off into the bush.

Further down the road we photographed a pair of Northern Black Korhaans as well as a lone Male Springbok.

As we approached our campsite we spotted a Kori Bustard walking in the plains with the setting sun behind it, a great way to end off our drive.

At the campsite we got a small fire going and a bit later that evening the sociable Weavers that were in their nest close by started alarming and when I investigated I saw that a White Faced Owl had snatched a chick from the nest, with the help of my wife who shone the light I got a few images of the Owl with its catch.

It had been a good start to our stay and we were looking forward to the following day.
The following morning after a early and cold start to the morning we set off , we had decided to drive South and head towards Piper Pans waterhole, a Lone Springbok greeted us as we left the campsite.

Along the way to Piper Pan we encountered numerous Kori Bustards, they were quite plentiful in the area, at one point we saw as many as 28 birds in one clearing !

In the early morning light we photographed a foraging Jackal and a Crowned Lapwing that was trying to warm up in the morning sunshine.

A few hours later and we started to approach Piper Pans, the concentration of animals started to increase the closer we got to the water hole, some Foraging Bat eared foxes were fun to watch as well as a Secretary bird that was searching through the dry grass for a meal.

At Piper Pan water hole there was quite a lot of Springbok and Giraffe that had gathered for their drink, as we waited and watched several herds of Springbok came to drink, the Giraffe moved off and a lone Jackal came for its drink.

After an hour or so we started the journey north back to our campsite, it had turned out to be quite a warm day and most of the Wildlife we saw were standing sleepily in the shade.

During the early afternoon the Black cheeked waxbills returned to the campsite and I got some more images of them, shortly afterwards we then set off on our afternoon drive.

That afternoon we spotted a pair of Capped wheatears scurrying along the side of the road, we managed to get a few images of them while they briefly stopped to scan the road ahead.

After leaving the Wheatear we spent some time photographing a Ground Squirrel and a pair of Double Banded coursers.

Some more Kori Bustards on the photographic menu as well as a Jackal and Northern Black Korhaan in the late afternoon sun.

That night I did some star trail photography, the beautiful clear skies of the Kalahari are simply amazing.

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