20. Meno a Kwena

At lunch today I drove off from Maun Airport with a new guide to go visit a camp I haven’t been to before, Meno a Kwena. This particular camp is popular with self-drive campers, as it doesn’t sit far off the tarmac road linking Maun down to Jo-berg. 

The unique thing about this camp is that it sits at the Western edge of the zebra migration, which is why I’m here: if the river is flowing, the zebras should be here.

In talking with my guide as we drive from Maun I find that the river is indeed flowing. It pushed water down past the Meno a Kwena camp exactly two days ago, and now there’s a river where there previously was just a dried channel (like Savute). And yes, the zebra have arrived. (How do they know?)

The camp itself sits on a bank just above a gentle turn on the river, and directly opposite where the animals tend to come down to the water (it’s a gentle slope there, whereas it’s a steep almost cliff-like drop elsewhere). I’m arriving late to camp, so we barely have time to get out on the boat into the river to shoot sunset.

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You may wonder why that image looks so dark and ominous. It’s because the huge mass of zebras moving around kick up a lot of sand as they come down to the water, and at the edge of day like this, it’s like having a cloud of smoke hanging in the air. (Just a reminder: my own personal photographic style tends towards dark and ominous, not the usual stuff you see here on the site.)

Since it’s a migration, one of my goals is to see how many zebra I can get lined up drinking water simultaneously. It doesn’t take long before I exceed my previous record:

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It’s a constant flow of zebras. As some get their water and head back up into the woods, others come down to get theirs.

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The sun has set and it’s time to go eat. But even with my short look at what’s happening here I’m happy. 

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