On our recent safari trip to Botswana – our sixth – we had the privilege of spending four nights at Selinda Camp in the Linyanti region of Botswana. Selinda is a premier camp owned and operated by Great Plains Conservation, and a member of Relais and Chateaux properties. The camp is located on the banks of the Selinda Spillway at its’ juncture with the Linyanti River, and consists of the main lodge, three magnificent guest suites and a two bedroom Selinda Suite. The concession is 130,000 hectares in area, and offers excellent game viewing with most of the typical wildlife encountered in Botswana. While at Selinda, we were treated royally, fed gourmet food, rested in luxury and experienced a number of special sightings. I might note that the water levels throughout our trip were higher than we have ever seen, grasses were very tall and wildlife detection difficult at best.
Through our arrival the camp was skillfully managed by its’ two gracious and friendly managers Anica and Michael Jones. Anica is South African, Michael English; both have managed propertries in Botswana for some time. They were in the process of moving to another assignment in Great Plains, and have been replaced by Bujos and CeCe Moabi, good friends of ours from Shinde Camp. Bujos is also Bee Poloko’s (Elephant Havens) nephew. Botswana is a small world!
We saw quite a few lions at Selinda. One notable experience included seeing a male and a female lion repeatedly mating – – action was quickly accomplished several times within 45 minutes.
More interesting – and heartwarming – was the sight of lion cubs. Our guides Alex and Opie were aware that one of the local females had three cubs, and we spent considerable time trying to locate the little ones. Finally Opie found them – three small cubs and their mother, who were soon joined by the mother’s mother and her three cubs. What great fun!
One morning we were driving along, and came upon a small zebra sitting in the grass beside her mother. As we approached the two began to walk away to our left, nearing a fairly large group of impale and more zebras. Suddenly the mother and baby – and others – cam rushing past us in the opposite direction. We then spotted a cheetah pulling down an impala, slowly suffocating the prey and then dragging it onto the adjacent buses. A live kill!
Carmine Bee Eaters
We were constantly followed by carmine bee eaters who were going after insects stirred up by the safari vehicle. We all tried to capture these birds while in flight, possible because they tended to return to their original perch. But difficult indeed.