Category Archives: Wildlife Sightings

LEROO LA TAU – the hidden gem of the Makgadikgadi

#ILoveDDS

This weekend we were given the opportunity to spend a night at Leroo La Tau – a lodge situated overlooking the Boteti River in the game rich Makgadikgadi. As a lesser-known safari destination, I had no idea what to expect, but little did I know that I would have one of my most exhilarating safaris to date.

Edited

Despite being only a 30 minutes light aircraft transfer from Maun, Leroo La Tau captures everything that is mesmerising and wild about Botswana. As you enter the lodge you walk out to the stunning swimming pool positioned with breath taking views of the river and wildlife below. The Boteti River was dry for decades, but recently began flowing again seasonally. With that, particularly during the dry season, Zebra and Wildebeest amongst other wildlife come in their thousands to quench their thirst.

P1050745 P1050748

Leroo La Tau also offer boat cruises when water levels permit. A matter of seconds after departing on our cruise we encountered a blur of black and white galloping down the steep banks to the river. There is something heart clenching about watching animals in their masses rushing down the riverbanks to the water’s edge. The riverbanks are also a prime area for predators to lie in wake, waiting for the opportunity to arise as distracted wildlife take a drink. We witnessed this ourselves the following morning on a game drive, where we encountered 8 of the biggest lions I’d ever seen, who had made a kill that very morning.

Along with Zebra, Wildebeest, predators and a mind blowing amount of birdlife, we had the fortunate sighting of a herd of elephant crossing the river. Sitting quietly by the riverside, our hearts full and eyes wide, we watched them swim and splash and drink.

BlogQuoteLeroo La Tau is not only about game viewing, although that certainly is a big attraction. The staff are kind, helpful and always willing to please, and surprises are never far away. From our evening boat cruise we noticed the flicker of flames on the riverbank, and saw that our very own Bush Dinner had been set up. With the stars as our ceiling we dined to the soundtrack of roaring lions and snorting hippo.

To find out what Leroo La Tau has in store for you, make a visit! As a hidden gem, the Makgadikgadi National Park is home to some of Botswana’s best kept secrets.

P1050860P1050901

IMG_4283


Cheetah at Chitabe!

Chitabe Camp is situated in a private concession in the Okavango Delta, and a short 15 minutes light aircraft transfer from Maun. In May, we had the pleasure of staying at this beautiful camp and experience all that it has to offer.

P1050592

Upon arrival at the camp we were greeted by singing and dancing, a very friendly welcome which immediately put us at ease. The manager, Thompson, greeted us and showed us through to the beautiful communal bar/lounge area which overlooked the vast expanse of the floodplains. Chitabe is built on raised wooden walkways creating the feeling of being up in the trees and really at one with nature!

P1050589After lunch, we retired to our rooms for a siesta. The rooms are simply beautiful, there are 8 in total which are all positioned apart ensuring total privacy. While the walls are certainly canvas, the rooms themselves are a million miles away from camping… Offering spacious en suite bathrooms with both an indoor and outdoor shower (I promise – this is a must to experience!), and a huge double bed positioned to capture the view of the Delta.

In the afternoon we headed out on a game drive to see what the area had to offer. Within the first hour we headed to an overgrown area where the guides had previously spotted leopard. We waited eagerly, looking this way and that way,straining our eyes to make out any signs of a predator… Finally, we found what we were looking for, a leopard cub positioned beautifully on a tree with the evening light reflecting to create the most breath-taking photographs.  We returned to camp feeling exhilarated.

P1050612Dinner was communal, a great way to interact with other guests and make new friends. The meal was 3 courses and absolutely delicious.

Retiring to our rooms we settled down to a night sleep, with the whooping of hyenas the chorus to our dreams.

We were woken at 5:30 am while it was still dark and very cold (bearing in mind this is mid winter). For a moment we questioned our sanity… why are we heading out on a game drive in this freezing cold weather?! As it turned out, we will never ever regret that decision! Within the first hour we came across a pride of 3 lion taking shelter under a tree. One lion was blind in one eye, a very unique thing to see. But the best part came after that, as we headed back to camp we were informed via radio that a cheetah had been spotted on a kill. When we found the cheetah, it was panting heavily with the Impala kill lying next to it. Cheetah sightings are rare and it was fantastic to see it with a kill.

P1050663 P1050632

Returning to camp we packed our bags, and with heavy hearts we bid farewell to the fantastic staff and guiding team of Chitabe. A well run, beautifully located camp in a wildlife haven – we don’t hesitate to recommend it to anyone!