Thursday/ memories from Botswana

I cleaned up some pictures from my old 35 mm negative scan archives.
These were all taken in the nineties in Botswana’s Tuli block⁠ — the eastern tip of the country wedged between Zimbabwe in the north and South Africa in the south.

Picture from 1993. Giraffes are the tallest terrestrial mammals. Taxonomists have gone back and forth debating how many species and subspecies there are. Giraffes are native to Africa only, and this one is the Southern giraffe (G. giraffa).
The bush buck (Tragelaphus sylvaticus) likes forests, savanna bush and woodland. Picture from 1994.
This is a giant rock scorpion (Hadogenes troglodytes), native to southern Africa. These scorpions are not poisonous and sold on the exotic pet market. Scorpions are arachnids (eight legs), and their evolutionary history goes back to the Silurian period 435 million years ago. Picture from 1994.
Bibron’s thick-toed gecko (Chondrodactylus bibronii), also called Bibron’s sand gecko or simply Bibron’s gecko, is a species of lizard in the family Gekkonidae. The species is native to southern Africa. Picture taken in 1994.
The Nile monitor (Varanus niloticus). They are found throughout most of sub-Saharan Africa and along the Nile. I knew they in this outcropping of rocks, hiding from me. So I waited patiently for them to come out. Picture taken in 1988.
P.S. See if you can spot a second shy lizard in the picture!
The impala (Aepyceros melampus) is a medium-sized antelope found in eastern and southern Africa.
This picture was taken in 1990. We had to manoeuvre through a herd of elephants on the way in to the camp. It made this African elephant (Loxodonta africana) angry enough that he chased after us for disturbing them.
This white-backed vulture (Gyps africanus) is approaching its nest. I see they are now listed as Critically Endangered. Picture from 1993.
One of the rangers at the camp took me to this hippopotamus (Hippopotamus amphibius) that was basking in the sun on the banks of the Limpopo river. I had a telephoto lens to catch it as it jumped up and bolted into the river. Hippos are surprisingly agile and extremely dangerous. Picture from 1994.
The most memorable picture I took in Botswana, no question. There were eight of us locking eyes with the big cat from an OPEN Jeep. The ranger might have had a firearm – I’m not even sure. His confidence made up for the lack of a weapon. My dad had a piece of metal pipe that he had grabbed as we piled into the Jeep to go find the lion (Panthera leo). Picture from 1997.
A southern yellow-billed hornbill (Tockus leucomelas). They are common and wide-spread in southern Africa. They use their bills to forage for seeds, small insects, spiders and scorpions on the ground.

2 Replies to “Thursday/ memories from Botswana”

  1. Yes, Botswana is a wonderful destination for photographic safaris for wildlife and birds. My pictures are not National Geographic standard, but hey, I can say I was there and I took them :).

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