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Lilac breasted roller singing from a branch. Savuti, Botswana.

Nothing but pics in this post. Please enjoy the animals. Savuti is part of the Chobe National Park system in the Okavango Delta region of Botswana. Of the four parks in the Delta we visited, Savuti was the most dry, and I often found the word "desolate" bouncing around my head, even though that's not really apt. But there's something lonesome about the scenery. And it was littered with elephant bones, which gave it kind of an ominous feel, like we were stepping into a more wild frontier. 

Elephant skull on the ground in Savuti, Botswana.

 But there were plenty of alive elephants, too! We watched them at a very nice water hole one evening. 

Elephant family drinking at a water hole at sunset, Savuti, Botswana.Elephants and giraffes in an ancient and iconic scene at a water hole in Savuti, Botswana.

Daytime water hole. Man-made hole, water pumped in. Seems like a good idea to quench parched elephants and other critters in the brutal dry season, and works well for safari visitors to see a nice clump of animals. But our guide pointed out that it disrupts the animals' natural migration and wandering patterns and they may stay around the area when they really should be moving on, when nature would take away the water and coax them into their traditional patterns. So there are good and bad aspects to it. The second pic down, it's not even in focus but I really liked how the branches stick up behind the elephant's head like a little wacky hairdo. Mad scientist elephant. 

Elephants drinking at a man made water hole in Savuti, Botswana.Elephants drinking at a man made water hole in Savuti, Botswana.Elephants drinking at a man made water hole in Savuti, Botswana.

But even in the dry season, beautiful flowers make their way into the landscape. This is a rather indelicate name for a delicate flower: knobbly combretum. 

Knobbly combretum blossoms, Savuti, Botswana.

And they are super yummers to the giraffes. 

Giraffe eating knobbly combretum blossoms, Savuti, Botswana.

Giraffe standing next to a bare tree in tall brown bushes. Savuti, Botswana.

My favorite African bird ... really my favorite bird, period ... is the lilac breasted roller. We had some gorgeous lighting on it one morning. 

Two lilac breasted rollers perched near each other on branches. Savuti, Botswana.Lilac breasted roller singing from a branch. Savuti, Botswana.

Here's a new bird for me, a korhaan doing a mating dance for a rather unimpressed female. Our guide said he'd never seen that bird in mating form before. It was hilarious to watch him chase the female around and subject her to watching the big red bloom open up on his head. She just didn't care and would scamper off, only to be pursued and re-subjected. Poor guy. I personally think his flower-like hat is rather dashing! 

Male korhaan with his mating head feathers open, courting a female. Savuti, Botswana.Female korhaan unimpressed with a courting male. Savuti, Botswana.

Savuti was the second place we witnessed the grace and intensity of a leopardess (read more about that amazing, magical experience HERE). Here are a couple more shots of her. 

Leopard (leopardess) stalking an impala. Savuti, Botswana.Leopard (leopardess) scoping out breakfast, Savuti, Botswana.Leopard sits with her back to us, watching an impala Savuti, Botswana.

The terrain in Savuti was more rugged than the other parks we visited in the Okavango region. Can you pick out the elephants here walking up the rocky hill? Not the typical landscape for an elephant. 

Elephants in the rocky, rugged landscape of Savuti, Botswana.

This little elephant on the side of the road says, "good night!"

Young elephant at dusk. Savuti, Botswana.

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