2017-07-23: Leroo La Tau in Botswana

For stop #3 on my recent trip to Africa, we left Namibia behind and moved on to Botswana, where we stayed at the beautiful Leroo La Tau camp, which is situated on the Boteti River.  Based on our particular travel dates, getting there was a little bit of a to-do.  We flew from Little Ongava to Windhoek, overnighted in Windhoek with a 4AM wake up call for a transfer back to the airport, then onto a flight to Johannesburg, a connecting flight into Maun and finally our small plane transfer to the camp.  We arrived at camp at around 3pm, and had a relaxing drink and snack on the deck and then a sundowner boat trip.

Each game drive started and ended with a boat trip, as the camp was located on the opposite bank of the river to the conservancy where we took our game drives.  It was great to have the differing perspectives of game and bird viewing from land and from the water.

A group of bull elephants, arriving in from the Nxai Pan area, enjoying a refreshing play in the river.
A group of wattled cranes strutting along, looking for breakfast.
A watchful jackal spotted on one of our game drives.
A pair of marabou storks roosting in the treetops at sunset.

As we spent 3 days at the camp, we had the opportunity to take a day trip to Nxai Pans.  It was a long day (with a 6:30am departure arriving back around 7pm), but definitely worthwhile and very enjoyable.  We had a picnic lunch in the Nxai Pans park, saw the amazing Baines Baobab trees and a few giant elephants along with loads of other game and interesting birds.

A pair of old bulls enjoying a mud bath.  Many groups of elephants were making the trek from Nxai Pans down to the Boteti River by the camp.  They arrived appearing white from the salts in the mud in the Nxai region.
Admittedly not the best photograph, as I shot it straight ahead while the vehicle was moving, but it gives a bit of perspective on the size of the Baines baobabs.  The trunks of each of the trees directly in front of the roadway were wider than the length of the land cruiser we were in.  They actually make the trunks of the California redwoods seem kind of small!
One of the pans with a baobab in the distance.  The pans were rapidly drying out, and the animals were beginning to move towards the river.
A group of little bee-eaters seen during our afternoon boat trip along the Boteti River.  There were about 6-8 of these birds all clustered in one area.
An African Jacana Dad with his chick.  They often call these “Jesus Birds” because from a distance, they appear to walk on water.
I spotted this Crimson-Breasted Shrike in some bushes during our drive around the Nxai Pans Park.  Try as he might, Calvin could not convince the bird to come out of his hiding spot, so this was the best I could do for an image.

Our guide Calvin, camp managers Nelson and Umani, and all the staff at Leroo La Tau went out of their way to make sure we were comfortable and enjoying our stay.  We were even treated to two performances by the Leroo La Tau choir, including a special song for my parents, who celebrated their 47th wedding anniversary during the stay.  It was truly a special place in a very beautiful area.


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