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Under the Heat and Stars of the Botswana Wilds

October 20th

Well, that was a great night’s sleep.  I went to bed with the sound of two lion roars and a few low rumbles behind our tent.  Then heard that these lions were right behind our tents.  So cool, glad I didn’t have to use the toilet at that time.  Just before sunrise I awoke to the couple sleeping in the tent next to me, stating that they saw elephants and zebras in our camp just an hour earlier.  We had a delicious breakfast and then loaded ourselves in the jeeps and we were off.  The land here is dotted with impalas everywhere, Johann says they are the ‘fast food’ of Botswana.  They seem nervous this morning.  So the guides are suspicious that there may be lions around.  Shortly thereafter there they were sleeping under a tree, 5 majestic Lionesses.  We sat there and just connected with them as they lay there digesting their night’s kill.

They are so beautiful, I feel incredible in their presence.  We spent the morning in pure awe at seeing so much wildlife.  We saw Kudus, mongoose, crocodiles, hippos, Baboons, so many birds, eagles, Tsessebe (pat of the impala family), so many elephants, giraffes, etc.   We then stopped to do an exercise that had us blindfolded and then we had to find the large termite mound that Alwyn and pointed out to us.  We were to use our senses and the practice of mind mapping to find it.  This was so very powerful.  Relying on our senses, other than sight, to lead us there.  While we were all taking the time to be blindfolded, two very curious elephants came into the area very close.  They just seem so curious and then moved on to the river.  It felt so good to get out of the jeep and be standing on the same ground as these and all of the animals.  I feel so very comfortable and no fear at all.  Alwyn encouraged us to do some mind mapping for the whole time.

So we had to remember where the lionesses, certain trees, herds of elephants, anything that stood out, were in relation to the camp.  He mentioned that we would be drawing a map of this at the end of the days.   Our guides kept pointing out the alarm calls of the birds and the squirrels. And then to sort it out as to what was going on.  This practice led us to some amazing sights.

After the morning game drive we headed to camp for lunch and rest in the peak heat of the day.   I am sitting under a tree writing this blog and struggling with the heat.  I have a spray bottle to help and it does give some comfort, but it doesn’t take long to be back to be back to the uncomfortable heat.  It is above 40 degrees.  We learned that this is the spring and is the hottest time of the year just before the rains.  This is also a good time to come as the grasses grow to 3 feet and there would be so much less to be seen because of that.  The animals are all so hot and come to the river a lot.

At 4:00 we headed back out for our game drive.

It’s amazing to see so many hippos in the water.  We watched the elephants be in the water with the hippos, yet they both respect each other’s space.  There was a swimming hole in the river that had a lot of hippos in it.  Two elephants came to bathe, but didn’t go too close to the hippos and gave them that space to swim.  They are respectful of each other.  There are far too many animals that we saw, for me to write about on this blog.  The guides are so informative and I have learned so much about these animals/birds/insects.  They love their work and love to share what they know.  It makes such a difference when you understand these animals at a deeper level.  The sunset tonight was so incredible.  We return to our camp for a delicious supper in the dark and then a gathering around the campfire.  We head to bed in hopes that a breeze will come, it is so at night.  Not much cooling down.

I have this incredible feeling as I reflect on the day.  Craig Foster showed us the abundance of life under the water.   Alwyn and Johann are showing us so much life on land.  I am incredibly in love with our earth.  Under the heat and stars of the Botswana Wilds, Good Night.