the river 3

There’s a bridge that crosses just south of our little stretch of river, with a tall termite mound (just so you know where they live, further to our termite mating post a week ago or so). Sorry about the confusing tree background

Surface detail. After the structure, the best part

And as luck would have it, we saw our biggest Shongololo yet. It’s a work of art

And eager to move. Watch this one!

That was the 2nd movie take. My friend ruined the first one

But back to the river:

This is the middle section of our little river stretch. It really is like out of a dream

The river’s main botanical interest are the water lilies

The first time the buds open they’re a light pink, then fade to white. They close each night

If you look carefully you’ll see a small water monitor swimming through the lilies here

Here’s a bigger one, maybe 3′, on land. About 60% of the size of the monitors in Bangkok’s canals, the same size as the beauty at Galvan’s Gorge, Australia, and less than half the size of the Komodos on Rinca Island, Indonesia

Which brings us to our first bird, the African Jacana

Check out the huge toes.This is how it walks across the lilies where it spend all its time picking bugs off the leaves.

It has a unique chick rearing habit: the male does all the work, and she’s polygamous so can have multiple families going at once. More detail on this here

Sometimes there are large groups of birds, maybe 5 our 6 species within a few yards of each other

This monster is the Goliath heron. He’s about 5′ tall

And he fishes for the big ones, like below

Ugly looking catfish on the right. A good fisherman catches about one fish every 10 minutes. The ones on the left show up ion menus as ‘bream’ which the Euro tourists understand as something meaningful apparently

These prehistoric birds are very hard to get close to. They’re African Openbills and are about 3′ tall. They eat snails primarily. They’re fat and happy. Anytime they want a snail they go to the water’s edge and immediately pull one out

Every time I get within 15 feet, off they go

One with a snail in its beak

Croc time.

A cow carcus near the water’s edge

And a 5′ croc sits a few feet off shore. I guess waiting for it to decompose a bit or something. They’re Nile Crocodiles, huge like in Australia, with verified records over 20′

Here’s a little one, about 3′

Egrets. There are 3 species. You can tell them apart by beak colour

And an amazing Pied Kingfisher. I’ve spent a lot of time trying to catch one fishing. Hopefully I’ll catch it before I leave shortly

This is a Black Crowned Night Heron. A beautiful little bird, about 10″ high

Cormorant

This perfect little jewel is the Little Bee Eater

I’ve saved half of the cooler birds for another post.

So I watched a bunch of “important” Botswana cultural videos with a friend. I thought you’d think this one was interesting. It’s about a girl who wants a white boy to take her away, haha. Note the corny Canada picture at 3:25. Matebele by Charma Gal

But no matter, “very Botswana” says my friend, of the couple of dozen we watched this week.

Change of topic:

(You know how in Australia they shorten words like sunglasses to sunnies. And BBQ to barbie. In Botswana it’s even easier. Botswana is Bots, the capital Gaberone is Gabs, etc)

Anyway

In both Namibia and Bots meat is the thing (cooked well done by the indigenous, never bloody). Because there’s a lot of it, like every member of the antelope family from Springbok to Oryx, plus beef and zebra, hippo and dried elephant.

Here’s the grossest thing I’ve eaten here, a plate of Mophane worms. An expensive local delicacy. The white blob is sourgum. Really boring and rubbery

Each worm looks like this, about 2 or 3 inches long.

Actually it was pretty good. The guts had been fried out, so you were left with this crunchy and tasty shell.

The worm is actually a caterpiller of a giant moth. Pic from web

This is another local delicacy, water lily. The part you eat is the junction where the leaf stems exit the tuber. It’s mixed in with crushed beef and has a pretty nasty texture overall. Not a favourite

Comments

4 Comments so far. Leave a comment below.
  1. Anonymous,

    Wow! Aun estas viajando! This is fantastic… congratulations! aunque yo no me comería esta especie de gusanos….
    Un abrazo!

    Imma

  2. Good looking Kingfisher. Those bird shots are right up my alley.

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