The cheetah is a rare sighting as they are not abundant in the Okavango Delta of Botswana. To see one is extraordinary and for this cheetah enthusiast, a high point for sure. The relaxed posture of a wild, not captive, cat and to see that its fed and content (for the moment) is a wonderful sight. He appears confident, healthy, and quite the bad-ass from my point of view as it was his presence that prompted hundreds of animals to run like hell in the opposite direction. And here he is, lounging, catching his breath.
The Okavango Delta is a haven for Cape Buffalo which occur in herds in their thousands. These herds move between the permanent waterways of Northern Botswana.
The northern water ways of Botswana are one of the best places in Africa to see Buffalo. These formidable creatures are one of Africa’s Big Five and have a reputation for being extremely dangerous, especially when wounded. Buffalo are the third most numerous antelope in the Okavango.
They need to stay close to water and enjoy grazing on the seasonal floodplains around the Delta. Large herds that number in their thousands move between the Chobe region and the Okavango. These are usually mixed herds that include females and breeding males.
Older males are generally forced out of the group. They tend to be solitary or for bachelor herds. You might hear guides refer to them as “old dagga boys”. The word “dagga” is Zulu and means mud – it refers to the fact that they like wallowing in mud.
Buffalo are large animals and can weigh up to 700kgs. They are grazers and eat the longer grass which allows other grazers to access the shorter grass. Buffalo can also eat grass that is less nutritious, especially in the dry season, which means they do not migrate as far as other animals in the Delta, such as Zebra.
Buffalo are the favourite prey of Lions, and where there are Buffalo, the Lion prides are sure to not be far behind. There is a fairly permanent herd of around a thousand Buffalo that live on the Duba Plains in the Okavango and there are a couple of prides of Lion that regularly hunt them. This is one area where you are almost guaranteed to see a Lion kill.
The Buffalo often migrate between the seasonal savannahs of the Chobe region and the Okavango and can usually be found in the Chobe/Linyanti areas and the Khwai regions of the Delta.
El guepardo (Acinonyx jubatus) es el animal más rápido del mundo. Se encuentra en las zonas más apartadas del delta y se halla en peligro de extinción en estado salvaje, pues es presa fácil de depredadores como el león o el leopardo. Sin embargo, se han creado al menos cinco reservas en el sur de África donde se reproducen sin problemas gracias a que son un atractivo turístico muy rentable.
Los búfalos negros (Syncerus caffer) viven en zonas con muchos pastos, agua y sombra, es decir, donde hay islas medianas que permiten la vida de las manadas. Son muy peligrosos en estado salvaje.