Chobe’s winter wonderland

This post shows a gallery of images which portray the remarkable diversity of life along the Chobe river during June which is mid-winter in southern Africa. The abundance of life, sunshine, colour, and activity is astounding.

“We cannot navigate and place ourselves only with maps that make the landscape dream-proof, impervious to the imagination. Such maps – and the road-map is first among them – encourage the elimination of wonder from our relationship with the world. And once wonder has been chased from our thinking about the land, then we are lost.” ~ Robert Macfarlane

A pride of lions on the bank of the Chobe river just upstream of Pygmy goose bend at around 6h30 in the morning.

Last light on the river as we are mooring the photographic boat – another productive photographic day!

A typical scene of a herd of elephants which have chosen to enjoy a salad of water grass and water lily stems rather than walk miles inland looking for food to eat.

A sunset with the iconic three Jackalberry trees standing monumental and silhouetted on a spit of land on Sedudu island.

A breeding herd of elephants drinking together with the little ones in the middle for protection.

The soft pastel colour of dawn travelling quietly on the photographic boat into Jacana alley hoping to see Jacana chicks, crakes, herons, coucals, weavers and bee-eaters.

A sun warmed mudbank in the Chobe river on a winter morning where crocodiles and hippos share nature’s warm peacefully.

Elephant valley around mid morning. This is a gathering point for wildlife to drink and eat the mineral rich white chalk on the river bank.

A breeding herd of elephants drinking and enjoying the mineral rich chalk down at Elephant valley.

The end of another fascinating and inspiring day’s wanderings along the Chobe river.

“There’s a sunrise and a sunset every single day, and they’re absolutely free. Don’t miss so many of them.” ~ Jo Walton

A group of female kudu on the river bank just down river from Chobe Game Lodge. The kudu were eating the mineral rich soil on the river bank.

The three Jackalberry trees standing at the northern most part of Sedudu island at sunset. These trees are home to Fish Eagles and Lilac Breasted Rollers alike.

The abundance of life is everywhere. A bull elephant ahead of the other two bulls disturbed a flock of White-faced Whistling Ducks and Comb Ducks while the Grey Heron looked on impassively.

Travelling back to our mooring at Chobe Safari Lodge. The winter sunsets can produce a dramatic light show due to the dust in the atmosphere.

Expect the unexpected. A pair of mating Water Monitor Lizards on the river bank close to the water’s edge.

Painted skies provide the last light just as we are returning before last light.

A flock of Blue Waxbills next to the water’s edge just down river from Puku flats. These beautiful pastel Blue Waxbills were drinking in relays from this bush.

A pair of intrepid fishermen standing and polling from their makoro fully aware of the massive crocodiles which live in the Chobe’s waters.

“Water is the most perfect traveler because when it travels it becomes the path itself!” — Unknown

A family herd of kudu drinking from the river at elephant’s valley. They are very nervous drinking directly from the river because of the risk of a crocodile attack.

A flock of Collared Pratincoles disturbed by some passing buffalo on the bank of the south channel of Sedudu island.

A splash of hippos were disturbed and rushed for the water where they feel safest.

A Trumpeter Hornbill flying from a fruit tree next to the water’s edge at Chobe safari lodge. An image taken during our breakfast.

A lone Curlew Sandpiper foraging for edibles along the edge of Sedudu island.

A small herd of buffalo making their way west from sandbank to sandbank along the northern channel past Sedudu island.

A scene just upriver from the rapids in the Chobe river. Shortly thereafter the Chobe meets the mighty Zambesi river before the swollen body of water pours over the Victoria falls.

After photographing birds in the trees at the rapids we were traveling back to the lodge at sunset while flocks of waders were returning to their roosting trees in the rapids.

A serene scene with two pairs of Pygmy Geese quietly feeding at the edge of Jacana alley.

When I am travelling on the Chobe river I am constantly amazed at the abundance of wildlife it attracts. Not one morning or afternoon boat trip is the same. Nature is in a constant state of flux. What you see in one place in the morning you may never see it again the same place.

Mother nature perpetually throws up new interactions which generate new understandings and new appreciations which leave me with an overwhelming sense of the wonder, complexity and natural intelligence inherent in this river system.

“The fact is that no species has ever had such wholesale control over everything on earth, living or dead, as we now have. That lays upon us, whether we like it or not, an awesome responsibility. In our hands now lies not only our own future but that of all other living creatures with whom we share the earth.”~ Richard Attenborough

Explore, seek to understand, marvel at its interconnectedness and let it be.

Have fun, Mike

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