Nxai Pan

This is definitely desert.  Actually, the entire area that includes the Okavango is ‘desert’.  But due to plate tectonics a large part sank and that allowed water to move in.  The area is still covered by hundreds of meters of sand.

There’s a water hole in front of the camp.  Almost all the elephants that came were bulls.  At one point I counted 19 bulls at the water hole at one time.  When they leave, sometimes one at a time, other maybe two or three, and they just seem to disappear.  I never saw more than a couple when we were out in the vehicle.

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There are usually a few other visitors along with the elephants.

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It’s hard to get decent photos in the bright harsh light of the desert sun.  At least for me it is. 

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kori bustard, heaviest flying bird in the world

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a few impala; springbok are the most common in this type of landscape in the rainy season

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giraffe do well in arid environments

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a few wildebeests

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A secretive little antelope.. steenbok.

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The wildlife was not nearly has plentiful here in the desert.  We did find this lioness and her two cubs.

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arghh… cut off by this template..  but if you click on it you see all of it.

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dusting is important.. helps keep insects away and help protect their skin

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black backed jackal.. I was surprised by how small they were the first time I saw them.

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We didn’t see very many oryx on this trip.  They survive well in the desert since they don’t require much water at all.

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southern pale chanting goshawk

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yellow billed horn bill… I love the hornbills.

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Just a few photos of more wildlife.  There were  others that we saw but didn’t make for good photos: honey badgers, bat eared fox, and even a brown hyena so far away that it was only a dark spot crossing the landscape.

southern pale chanting goshawk

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lilac breasted roller, of course

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Male and female ostrich

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This is the actual pan.  The pans are perfectly flat and very empty.  During the rainy season they fill with water but it is quite shallow and the ground is porous so the water doesn’t last long.  It is apparently amazing for watching the wildlife congregate when filled with water but you have to time your trip just right.

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These are the famous Baine’s baobobs, named after the man that ‘discovered’ them.  Of course, they had been an important part of the culture of the local people for centuries.

There are far more photos of these baobobs than anyone probably wants to look at.  I loved the patterns they form.  I wish I knew how to edit them well to black and white.  I think they would look amazing.

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just to give you a size comparison…

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This is the fruit from the baobob.  You have to break it open and pull the seeds (I think) out and eat them.  Not too bad.

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Nothing is more peaceful than elephants at sunset.

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One thought on “Nxai Pan

  1. I can’t believe you have come to the end of your second last trip. It seems like you only just began. The day light is harsh but I can imagine early morning and late afternoon would be fantastic especially at the water hole.
    Such a small water hole but so many visitors, I bet you sat and watched for a long time. You saw quite a variety of animals and birds, I would love to see the photo of the honey badger, good or bad, I don’t mind.
    Really like the baobabs and never too many photos of them for me. 15401, 15405 and 15443 jumped out at me but they were all great. I particularly like the shadows of the branches on the pan.
    Looking forward to your next trip.

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