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Wednesday afternoon, 6th March. Vervet monkeys hung around the lodge. Indeed we were advised not to leave our sliding doors open. I did go onto my balcony a couple of times to look, but I didn’t see any. These were in a common area.

After a rest it was out on the boat again, in the same direction. Some familiar wildlife and some new. One very special.

Reed cormorant
Chacma baboon
Water thick-knee
Young Nile crocodile. Looks almost benevolent.
White-crowned lapwing. This time the reason for its name can be seen.
Water monitor
The first and last time we saw this animal, a Puku
Pied kingfisher
Yes, we saw lots of elephants, but I didn’t take lots of photos
I was intrigued and, I confess, slightly amused to see this flag. I had noticed it in the morning, but this time I asked Neil for confirmation that it was indeed the Botswanan flag. ‘Why is it there?’ ‘To show that the [uninhabited] island belongs to Botswana.’ And I recalled from my previous reading that, while the boundary between Botswana (then the Bechuanaland Protectorate) and Namibia (then German South West Africa) had been settled between respectively the UK and Germany (I find myself indignant on behalf of the Africans) in 1890 as, at this point, the ‘main channel’ of the Chobe River, no determination had been made of which channel either side of this island was the main one. The two, by now independent, countries took the matter to the International Court of Justice in 1999. The ICJ studied the geography, including depth and speed of water flow, and determined that the main channel was to the north of the island, so it belonged to Botswana. At the same time it recalled to both countries that seven years previously, they had reached an accord whereby each would have unimpeded rights of way on the river on both sides of the island, known as Sedudu in Botswana and Kasikili in Namibia. Interestingly, leader Neil, Namibian, referred to it as Sedudu.
A very scarred back
African fish-eagle
Egyptian goose
Common waterbuck

Goliath heron
Buffalo and cattle egret
‘A long time’ since we’d seen a giraffe
Vervet monkey family

These last two pictures had been taken while the boat was moving fast, with, unusually, no stopping, and at a time when I would have thought we would be turning round. Yet the boat sped on, further and further from the lodge.

After a short while all became clear. A leopard! Those local boat steerers/guides keep in touch with each other!

I hadn’t given my hope of seeing a leopard – which would complete my big cat ‘list’ – a thought for days. But given this opportunity, I, like everyone else, took zillions of photos, of which here are a very few. It (I don’t know whether it was male or female) was a long way off, but once you knew where it was, there was a clear view.

At least she (no, sorry, I have to give the feline a gender) was alert, and not stretched out fast asleep
We dreaded that there might be/hoped that there would be some leopard/warthog action…
… but neither seemed very interested in the other in the event.

I moved to the upper deck of the boat, and by the time I was there, she also had moved.

Short of seeing her catch prey and dragging it up a tree (the chances of seeing that from a boat were slim to non-existent, I would imagine) this was the best possible view we could have had. From these pictures, I extract the following enlarged portraits.

It was now indeed a race to get back to the lodge before the (Chobe) national park shut. I don’t think we made it in time (there were no physical barriers) but I didn’t hear of the boatmen being fined either.