When looking for remote land that is virtually untouched by humans but teeming with wildlife, think of Botswana. From colorful birds to romping warthogs to ancient trees, here are 15 photos of Botswana and its many creatures that will make your jaw drop.
1. Botswana plains
The wide-open Botswana plains make it easy to spot Africa’s most amazing creatures.
2. Pied Kingfisher
They aren’t called kingfishers for nothing — this bird loves to hunt for fish by diving head first into the water, then swooping back into the air with a tasty morsel in its mouth.
These gigantic hippos are somewhat nocturnal as they like to graze at night and lazily lounge the day away in the water. They wallow in the cool river to get relief from their own heaviness, and protect their sensitive skin from the burning sun.
4. San tribe
The bushmen of Botswana are known as the San people. The hunter-gatherer tribe is one of the world’s oldest, and provided inspiration for the film “The Gods Must Be Crazy.”
Seen with a common mynah on its back, the warthog — like most pigs — loves to wallow in muddy water and considers taking sand baths an essential grooming method.
6. Okavango Delta
The Okavango Delta is a large interior wetland that offers a haven for birds and animals. During dry seasons, the delta expands to three times its original size and wildlife flocks to the area, making it one of the largest animal concentrations in the world.
Yes, flamingos do live outside of Florida. Their brilliant reddish-pink beaks work as a water filter — when they feed or drink water, they hold their beaks upside down to strain out any unwanted bacteria.
8. Wild Dogs
Often mistaken for hyenas, wild dogs are known for their excellent hunting skills and can take down animals five times their size.
9. Baobab trees
As one of the world’s longest-living trees, the baobab holds a special place in wildlife history. Some are estimated to be as old as 6,000 years. Think about all the things they have seen.
Image credit: Michael Jansen ( https://www.flickr.com/photos/brainstorm1984/ )
10. Makgadikgadi Pans
A Steinbockchen doe is luxuriating in the white sandy Makgadikgadi Pans. This oasis is one of the world’s largest salt flats and covers up to 4,000 square miles.
11. Vervet Monkey
These spiteful vervet monkeys are often seen swinging through the jungles of Botswana, scavenging for food, and destroying competitor’s meals. Vervet monkeys would much rather let their competitors starve than give up on a food fight.
12. Lilac-breasted Roller
Looking as if it emerged from the pages of a child’s coloring book, this beautiful rainbow-colored roller likes to perch itself on the tallest tree it can find to keep a watchful eye for a potential meal.
The male lion is all roar but no action. The female lions are the ones that hunt for the meals, while the dominant males are left behind to “secure” the area. When the females bring back a fresh gazelle or a zebra, the male lion always has dibs first (despite the lack of contribution).
Owned by De Beers, Debswana controls the Orapa Mine (seen above) which reputedly harbors over 1.2 billion worth of diamonds. However, it’s predicted that the mine will dry out within the next 20 years and cause Botswana’s economy to rapidly decline.
Botswana is home to the world’s largest concentration of elephants. These sensitive creatures are known to be very attentive to their young. In fact, if a young one should cry out in pain or whine, the entire elephant clan will rush over to fuss and soothe the baby until it is comfortable again.