We were again up for the 5:30am morning drive and it was pretty much a repeat pattern in that we didn’t see much game but we did see quite a few more birds. By the end of the drive we were on over 90 birds and closing in on 100. Our target is 150 so that definitely seems reachable. When we got back Speedy said we were going to fish for our lunch so we had 30 minutes to ‘freshen up’ and then we were into the boat. The giveaway sign was that Thusi (our butler) also came with us so we knew we were going to have lunch somewhere else. They took us into the Santandibe River and we followed the main channel until we got to an Island which was previously used by the local people when they hunted (they usually hunted hippo as they believed the meat was very good for you). On the island was a picnic laid out for us under the trees and so we disembarked from the boat, got our land legs back and once we had gotten rids of the ants that had attacked the ‘stokbrood’, we settled down for a peaceful lunch under the trees and did a little more bird watching. On the trip back everyone nodding off for a few minutes as it was so peaceful on the river and what we our full stomachs it really was the only thing you could do.
That evening we decided on only a short game drive as it had been a full day and so we left at 5pm (you usually leave at 4pm) and we just stayed close to the camp. Speedy took us to see the remains of an elephant bull (including his tusks which were still there). The elephant had been injured in a fight with another one and as he was hanging around the camp and being quite aggressive (and the wound wasn’t healing), the government had agreed that it could be shot. (You cannot do anything in Botswana without the government approving it.) The tusks are meant to be collected by a government agency but as they already have so much ivory stored they haven’t been yet to collect these but it is illegal for them to even move them off the spot (and it seems no one does!). We then got a lesson in poaching & culling from Speedy and Steve who were both very passionate and knowledgeable on the subject. It was a very educational drive. We then stopped to have drinks next to a patch of water and as we did a hippo came up out of the water and grunted and opened its mouth in a show of aggression to us. He just wanted to chase us away and Speedy just clapped his hands and shouted out him. The hippo kept up his show for about 10 minutes or so while we were having drinks and snacks and watching the sun set over the Delta. It then figured we weren’t going to do anything and ignored us until we pulled away again when he again displayed his aggression. It was an amusing and entertaining drinks stop.