The little bee-eater

Mar 28, 2013 Mike and Marian on Safari
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Dan Myburg is a spectacular photographer. We met Dan and his wife Charmaine at Jacana Camp when we were there to experience Children in the Wilderness. Now Dan was taking us through to Tubu and this was a journey of note. Just near the airstrip at Jao, Dan showed us a nest of a little bee-eater and we waited for him but he was not home. Because the road ahead was going to be a long one, we missed him and continued bumbling our way through to Tubu Tree Camp via Kwetsani Camp. Just past the strip we saw a red-backed shrike - now here is an interesting chap. A bird of the world that flies in from Europe to arrive in southern Africa in time for the rains around November time. Apparently a significant number of the world’s population of red-backed shrikes spend summer in Botswana. They take ten weeks to get here from Europe and they flap the whole time. Sometimes they fly over the Sahara in one shot! Now that is an impressive journey.  

It took us the whole day to get from Jacana Camp to Tubu Tree Camp. First we boated through to Jao Camp. On the way we stopped to see an African jacana sitting on her nest. She was so tolerant and allowed us to get up really close. Jacanas have the most amazing feet that seem to be longer and larger than their bodies - in fact you would think that the feet should belong to an egret or something that size. If you have a complex about your feet just be glad you are not a jacana! She eventually flew off to go do something and we noticed only one egg left. Apparently there should be three at least. Now we were not sure if the others had been eaten by the sly crocodiles lying around or by a bird of prey or if they had already hatched and were safely tucked away somewhere trying to figure out their humungous feet!  

Once we had boated and driven and boated and driven some more, we finally arrived at Tubu…what a little gem of a camp!  Tubu is on an island called Hunda Island and now, with the change of water levels and with it being the rainy season, most of the game was to be found around this island and apparently, according to Map Ives in Maun, also in the northern section of the neighboring Abu Concession. He knew this info and shared it with us when we bumped into him at Maun airport because he had just been on a mission to find rhino from the air by way of helicopter. They didn't find the rhino, but they did see amazing game.  

Still on the subject of Maun, I must tell you that there are TWO Woolworths shops to be found,  I didn't know that and when my eyes clapped on the W sign, I was so excited I managed to climb out of our moving truck and race inside to do some proper shopping. It is very limited compared to Jo'burg Woolies of course, but you can get some reasonable goods. The fresh truck arrives on a Tuesday and a Friday which means that on those days from 09h00 all the women in Maun can be found shopping at WW! I never thought I would be excited about shopping in Maun - just goes to show, the old saying "never say never" is quite true! I seem to be getting to know all the trucking time tables of fresh produce delivered between Maun and Victoria Falls!  


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By Marian Myers

Mike and Marian Myers are living the bush-lovers dream! Follow the bushwhacker and his city girl through their news, views, videos and photos posted on their blog "Mike and Marian on Safari”.

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