Botswana Wilderness Safari for SADC Residents Trip Report: Little Vumbura

Andrew Beck Andrew 5 Comments

We were now 5 nights into our 9 night itinerary and were very excited to be heading to Little Vumbura for the final 4 nights after having enjoyed such great sightings at Chitabe and Pelo Camps.

The permanent swamp and island habitats abound with beautiful tree-islands of every size, surrounded in turn by permanent waterways created both by the summer rains and the annual winter floodwaters of the Okavango Delta. Common trees found around these two camps are the jackalberry, African mangosteen and the ubiquitous sausage tree, which provide shade food and shelter to a fantastic range of wildlife. Breeding herds and lone males of elephant often move through camp – particularly when the jackalberry trees are in fruit.

The first surprise on arrival was to find out that the floodwaters had pushed so deep into the concession this year that the usual boat station located just 5 minutes away from Little Vumbura Camp, was now inaccessible. This meant that we would be making a 20 minute boat cruise to and from camp for our morning and afternoon game drives – hardly a negative!

Arriving in camp we settled into our rooms, grabbed a bite to eat and wasted no time in getting back out into the field.

Whilst most of our first afternoon was spent trying to relocate on a female leopard that had been seen earlier in the day our plans took a rapid turn after the call of a pack of wild dogs came through on the radio. The light was perfect and they had just killed a Tsessebe right next to a shallow pan.

Again, the final leg of our safari was off to a cracking start!

We didn’t see the pack of Wild Dog again and I am almost certain that they were in the final stages of finding a suitable den site which means that they would be covering huge distances before finally settling down and concentrating their efforts in a much smaller area.

The absence of the Wild Dog didn’t haver too much of an impact thought as we enjoyed sightings of a large variety of general game species.

Lions proved to be the most difficult of photographic subjects on this portion of the trip. We saw a group of 4 male lions on a number of occasions but these guys were clearly intent on trying to establish a territory in the region and were covering massive distances each night.

When we did find them they were invariably tucked away in thick bush making photography tricky but not impossible!

We did however, after some serious tracking and crossings of flooded channels, manage to find a pair of mating lions on our final morning. The young male was clearly inexperienced at the “task at hand” and did very little to “please” and elicit the usual aggressive response from the female.

Nonetheless, it was a great sighting!

The highlight of our stay in Little Vumbura was without a doubt comprised of a number of sightings of this beautiful female leopard.

An afternoon of tracking combined with a bit of luck was the prequel to an hour of photographic bliss as we were able to find her and her two small cubs.

The female was leadin her cubs back to a kill she had made and her journey back to the kill provided us with some great photo opportunities.

The excitement levels on the vehicle reached an all time high when she approached a flooded area and, it was then that our dreams of photographing cats in water for that typical Okavango Delta image became a reality.

Over the next day and a half we spent more time with her and her cubs and witnessed some incredible behaviour and interaction – more on that in an upcoming guest blog post though!

I think it is safe to say that there were a couple of heavy hearts as our journey through the Okavango Delta came to an end.

We walked away with some incredible images, sightings and memories. This safari really encompasses the delta in all its facets an.


Join us in the Okavango Delta

If you're a SADC resident and want to experience the Okavanago Delta with us check out details on our upcoming safaris by following the link below.

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Not a SADC Resident?

No problem, we have a safari which caters for non SADC residents, follow the link below for more info!

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About the Author

Andrew Beck

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Very few people can tell you what their passion in life is. Even fewer will be able to tell you that what they do for a living is in fact their passion. My love for the bush and conservation took me on journey which would not only allow me to explore the continent which fascinates me so much, but to share my passion for photography and conservation with others. Be sure to check out my my website and instagram account.

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