After conferring about the best way to keep a look out, these ostriches decided at least one must be on the look out at all times!
Botswana is undoubtedly one of the best places in the world to see wildlife. It may not have the vast herds of the Serengeti, but it has an immense variety of fabulous animals. The Big Cats and other Big Five are on the Big Brutes page - but the more common creatures are no less beautiful. The Birds page is self explanatory.
TOP LEFT: Dragonfly
FAR LEFT: Water buck
LEFT: Kudu family
BELOW: Male kudu
LEFT: This zebra is, indeed, eating dirt - probably for the mineral content. We watched as zebras and hartebeasts came to this specific spot for this purpose.
ABOVE LEFT: Young male springbok.
ABOVE: Female & male golden-orb spiders. After she has had her wicked way, the female eats the much smaller male. The spider's silk is almost as strong as Kevlar, which is the strongest man-made material, yet it is made only from water.
ABOVE RIGHT: Zebra with eland - the largest antelope and considered to be rain Gods by the Bushmen. They are extremely shy and will not let vehicles get close.
Neither the warthog nor the wildebeest can be described as beautiful, and warthog are common enough to be spotted 10 minutes walk from our flat, snuffling around Gabs. But we still really like warthogs - especially the way they trot along with their tails straight up in the air. It was rare, however, to see them actually trotting towards us.
These two male giraffes are either fighting, or practising - our guide wasn't sure which. Like the giraffe's run, the swinging their heads to hit each other's neck looks like slow motion - but the thud sounds real. The giraffe on the right with all the growths is obviously not in peak condition.
RIGHT: After much investigation of one guide's apparent claim that there is a difference between the South African giraffe and the Namibian giraffe, I confirmed that there isn't. The colour difference just indicates age and probably sex, as males go darker than females. This charcoaled male is about 17 years old. Giraffes live to about 20.
Impala - or 'stripy bottoms' as we call them. A beautiful, albeit very common, antelope - at least in places that there is water available.
LEFT: Contrary to my mother's suspicions, I did NOT photoshop the blue on this vervet monkey's balls. Clearly the female vervet monkey has a different sense of sexy to human females - or shouldn't I speak for others?
BELOW: Some of the many weird and wonderful creatures which appeared in the very wet season of 2005-6. Locals said they were seeing creatures they had never seen before and the following year, when it hardly rained at all, we could see what they meant. We didn't see a single one of these critters.