Khwai is calling, battling Hippo’s and all . . .

by Naomi on September 12, 2010

in Wildlife

Post image for Khwai is calling, battling Hippo’s and all . . .

Selecting a calm, open spot along the winding Khwai river in the Okavango Delta, we loll beside our vehicles while Danie fires up the gas. He’s a master at the art of the skottel braai, tossing bacon and eggs like a ninja with a nunchaku. The aroma is enticing as the air is crisp, and we’re starving. It’s around 8:30 am, but we’ve been awake for ages, catching the best of the light ever since sunup.

Hippo’s blast lazily every so often, reminding me of Jeremy Mansfield’s brilliant impression. He had us in stitches one morning on Highveld Stereo, transporting us right here to one of our favourite places. The snorting intensifies, trapping our attention on two large beasts, intent on one-upmanship. Their teeth clack together for a good twenty minutes, against the lively orchestra of splashing water.

HIPPO CONTEST - Khwai River, Okavango Delta, Botswana

HIPPO CONTEST - Khwai River, Okavango Delta, Botswana

HIPPO CONTEST - Khwai River, Okavango Delta, Botswana


They’re still at it by the time we’ve wolfed down breakfast, so we mosey further along and drift into the day. Swinging past later on our afternoon drive, we find the pool more peaceful. That’s not to say there’s little to photograph. Game is abundant, but Dave is diverted by a branchful of Bateleurs. Climbing from the car, he creeps closer, avoiding heaps of dung while relishing the freedom of this stretch of land.

DAVE AT PLAY - Khwai River, Okavango Delta, Botswana

The raptors oblige, perching long enough for him to capture their beauty:

BATELEUR - Okavango Delta, Botswana

JUVENILE BATELEUR - Khwai River, Okavango Delta, Botswana

{ 23 comments… read them below or add one }

RiikaInfinityy 마왕 September 12, 2010 at 8:35 am

If you never write battling, I thought they were playing around with each other in form of love :3 beautiful images as always<3

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Naomi September 12, 2010 at 11:41 am

Thank you for your lovely comment, Riika – which provides a great oportunity to clarify 🙂

From what we saw, this was more of a confrontation and contest to ‘test size of gape, tusk development, and weight’ (as per the link on the word ‘Hippo’). While we were watching, it didn’t escalate into serious aggression.

Have a gorgeous rest of your day!

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RiikaInfinityy 마왕 September 12, 2010 at 1:47 pm

That’s great to hear :D~ Sounds like a tough competition ;D~

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cindy September 12, 2010 at 8:37 am

Fantastic, I was transported 🙂
(I wonder if there is a bacon and eggs option on the Mr Delivery menu …)

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Naomi September 12, 2010 at 11:35 am

Thanks, Cindy 🙂 Now there’s a good question, but not one I’d expect from our sublime chef!

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Lin Eleoff September 12, 2010 at 11:31 am

Absolutely magnificent. I REALLY need to work on the pictures on my blog! ha… kudos to Dave too! L

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Naomi September 12, 2010 at 11:42 am

Thanks so much Lin – will pass on to Dave 🙂 I think your pics are pretty funky!!

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Jingle September 12, 2010 at 3:33 pm

that is supper vivid and fun,
the mouth is cute…

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Naomi September 12, 2010 at 4:13 pm

Thanks Jingle 😀 I see the mouth as more large than cute, especially with its big tusks (teeth)!

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souldipper September 12, 2010 at 8:46 pm

What a treat to see a shot of Dave at work. Your description brings the scene so crisply alive for me. It’s a thrill to not only see the beauty, but also to learn from it. Thank you, Gifted One.

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Naomi September 12, 2010 at 8:51 pm

Your kind words bring a big smile to my soul, especially knowing how much you love the African bush 🙂 Thank you, Amy xx

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kateshrewsday September 12, 2010 at 10:09 pm

Maddie is going to be sent with these beautiful raptor pictures, Naomi, thanks so much! My favourite would be the hippos though…wonderful pictures, and so characterful. `i’m off to Youtube to see if I can track Jeremy Mansfield’s impressions down!

Lovely post, thank you:-)

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Naomi September 13, 2010 at 7:34 am

Thanks, Kate – hope Maddie enjoys!

I’m grinning at the thought of tracking Jeremy’s impressions down. Not sure if that’s possible, though, as he made a handful of hippo grunts and snorts, thrown into his usual ‘Rude Awakening’ show. It was hilariously realistic 😀

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nrhatch September 13, 2010 at 1:08 am

Gorgeous birds. Fierce tusks. Beautiful images.

Thanks!

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Naomi September 13, 2010 at 7:35 am

Thank you, Nancy! Have a gorgeous day 🙂

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buttercup600 September 13, 2010 at 1:50 am

Amazing photographs Naomi, I recall those early mornings on the Sabie river with them on my doorstep…no words to describe really!! Looks like I’ll have to postphone my October holiday due to workload!!!! Darn….:) Thanks for sharing xx

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Jamie Dedes September 13, 2010 at 5:53 am

Whoa! Amanda, that’s too sad …

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buttercup600 September 13, 2010 at 5:58 am

Very…don’t even go there…have a shipment coming in and don’t know the exact date 🙁

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Naomi September 13, 2010 at 7:48 am

Thanks so much, Amanda 🙂 I’ll pass on your compliments to Dave, who is so appreciative of all of you!

What an incredible time you must have had at Sabie!! Reminds me of a couple we met who were also staying there. Their canoe was bitten by a hippo, which caused it to sink along with their expensive camera gear. The lodge guide swiped the single life vest and swam for shore, leaving them to make their own perilous way – hippo’s, croc’s and all. They escaped fine, but seriously unimpressed with the service they’d received!

This is such disappointing news about postponing your holiday! 🙁 Hope you don’t have to work too hard, but things do have a way of sorting themselves out, so perhaps a later holiday will be even more stunning. That happened to us a while ago, when postponing a ski trip for work – the snow was PERFECT when we finally arrived 🙂

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Jamie Dedes September 13, 2010 at 6:00 am

Well, hey, I stepped over a puddle and met two King Charles Spaniels today. One yawned. I saw a dove and two crows. A hummer sped by and surprised me and the neighbor’s Chuhuahua. It was altogether quite an adventure … No pix. It all happend too fast!

Seriously, I’m seriously jealous. Your fine writing along with Dave’s stunning photographs makes for a completely engaging read. It all sounds too lovely to be true … but I know it is … 🙂

Thanks so very much, Naomi, for blogging and for sharing your adventures and Dave’s photographs. Nice to see him in one this time!

It’s Monday there already, I think. Have a fab week … Blog on …

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Naomi September 13, 2010 at 7:56 am

Thank you, Jamie! Also for the LOL – love the way you write 😀

We are blessed beyond measure to have the bush so close by. It’s the least we can do to share a little 🙂

It is indeed Monday, early morning…have a stunning week too!

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Tokeloshe September 13, 2010 at 11:24 pm

Great post and fantastic photos!

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Naomi September 14, 2010 at 5:35 pm

Thank you, Tok! Really appreciate your appreciation 🙂

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