South Africa, Botwana and Zambia, March 2020

A park close to Randburg, near Johannesburg, South Africa. Tony is with Niel, his South African couchsurfing host, and Yurika from Japan.
A park close to Randburg, near Johannesburg, South Africa. Tony is with Niel, his South African couchsurfing host, and Yurika from Japan. Taken on the afternoon of 5th March.

Gaborone, Botswana

Afternoon of Saturday, 7th March 2020

Cows wondering by a road, near Gaborone Town, capital of Botswana. They seem to wander where they want! Taken on afternoon of 7th March.
Cows wondering by a road, near Gaborone Town, capital of Botswana. They seem to wander where they want! Taken on the afternoon of 7th March.

Sunday, 8th March 2020

Selfie of Tony and Eva, the couchsurfer I stayed with.  Next to her house. A car behind.
Selfie of Tony and Eva, the couchsurfer I stayed with. Next to her house. A car behind.
Another selfie of Tony and Eva. Tony's arms outstretched.
Another selfie of Tony and Eva. Tony’s arms outstretched.
Tony in the road outside Eva's large house. A single storey brick built house with a wall and gate in front.
Tony in the road outside Eva’s large house. A single storey brick built house with a wall and gate in front.
Tony standing in the street, which is located in a suburb of Gaborone called Tlokweng. A cow grazing opposite.
Tony standing in the street, which is located in a suburb of Gaborone called Tlokweng. A cow grazing opposite.
Tony at the side of the road with another cow standing in a grassy area behind.
Tony at the side of the road with another cow standing in a grassy area behind.
Tony with Eva. Three more cows eating long grass at the side of the road.
Tony with Eva. Three more cows eating long grass at the side of the road.
Tony in front of the large metal gate at the front of Eva's house.
Tony in front of the large metal gate at the front of Eva’s house.
Tony sitting at a small table in Eva's kitchen eating food from a bowl. Cup of tea on the table.
Tony sitting at a small table in Eva’s kitchen eating food from a bowl. Cup of tea on the table.
Tony outside the house touching a wooden wind chime.
Tony outside the house touching a wooden wind chime.

Gweta, north Botswana

Gweta is a small village in north Botswana, roughly 2.5 hours by bus from Naum and 1 hour from Nata.

Sunday, 15th March 2020

Tony touching the roots of a large baobab tree. Baobabs reach
heights of 5 to 30 metres (16 to 98 ft) and have trunk diameters of 7
to 11 metres (23 to 36 ft). They are able to store large quantities of
water in their trunks to help them survive in dry savanna conditions.
They also lose their leaves during arid periods. They are sometimes
called 'upside-down trees' because when leafless their branches look
like roots sticking up into the air. Their fruit is quite large, and
resemble a small rugby ball. They are also furry and edible.
Tony touching the roots of a large baobab tree. Baobabs reach heights of 5 to 30 metres (16 to 98 ft) and have trunk diameters of 7 to 11 metres (23 to 36 ft). They are able to store large quantities of water in their trunks to help them survive in dry savanna conditions. They also lose their leaves during arid periods. They are sometimes called ‘upside-down trees’ because when leafless their branches look like roots sticking up into the air. Their fruit is quite large, and resemble a small rugby ball. They are also furry and edible.
Another shot of Tony in front of a baobab tree.
Another shot of Tony in front of a baobab tree.
View across the savannah landscape covered with grasses among
dispersed bushes and trees. A pair of horses grazing on the grass.
View across the savannah landscape covered with grasses among dispersed bushes and trees. A pair of horses grazing on the grass.
Expansive view over the prominently grassy landscape. Cows and
other animals grazing in the near distance.
Expansive view over the prominently grassy landscape. Cows and other animals grazing in the near distance.
Looking across the Nwetwe Salt Pan. This very flat landscape is covered with salt and other minerals and extends off into the far distance. A group of four people walking in the near distance. This area becomes a lake during the rainy season.
Looking across the Nwetwe Salt Pan. This very flat landscape is covered with salt and other minerals and extends off into the far distance. A group of four people walking in the near distance. This area becomes a lake during the rainy season.
Tony by a Safari vehicle on the Nwetwe Salt Pan. This large vehicle
is used for safaris and can seat 9 people in the open back covered by
a canvas, with one passenger in the cab with the driver.
Tony by a Safari vehicle on the Nwetwe Salt Pan. This large vehicle is used for safaris and can seat 9 people in the open back covered by a canvas, with one passenger in the cab with the driver.
Tony in front of another massive baobab tree. This one is part of the 'Baobab forest', located a 10-15 minute drive from Gweta.
Tony in front of another massive baobab tree. This one is part of the ‘Baobab forest’, located a 10-15 minute drive from Gweta.
Tony examining a large root extending from the base of the baobab tree with his cane.
Tony examining a large root extending from the base of the baobab tree with his cane.
A natural watering hole for wild animals. Lots of animals, mostly goats, drinking on the far side. Beyond the savannah landscape of grassland mixed with bushes and trees.
A natural watering hole for wild animals. Lots of animals, mostly goats, drinking on the far side. Beyond the savannah landscape of grassland mixed with bushes and trees.
More goats and other animals next to the watering hole. The parched remains of a dead tree in the foreground.
More goats and other animals next to the watering hole. The parched remains of a dead tree in the foreground.
Tony near to the watering hole.
Tony near to the watering hole.
Tony holding a big roughly spherical lump of dry elephant dung.
Tony holding a big roughly spherical lump of dry elephant dung.
Close up of the elephant dung.
Close up of the elephant dung.

Kasane & Chobe National Park

Thursday, 18th March 2020

Tony in front of a large three-storey building. A tall tree growing in front. This is the Baobab Prison Tree at the police station in the town of Kasane, north Botswana.
Tony in front of a large three-storey building. A tall tree growing in front. This is the Baobab Prison Tree at the police station in the town of Kasane, north Botswana.

Many old baobabs are hollow inside and so is the old tree at Kasane. But in this case the people in the area have helped along a bit and increased the erosion inside the tree manually. Baobabs can survive this treatment. They form a new layer of bark on top of the injury. The tree in Kasane was used as a prison for many years. Culprits had been imprisoned and “parked” there before they were relocated to other prisons. The Baobab is still there and alive but it has changed its structure over the years. The main stem with the prison cell has split up in several spots and cannot be used as a prison any more. Only fragments are left of it. Nevertheless these are still alive. Attached to the main stem grow two baobabs – it is uncertain whether these are branches of the main tree or two genetically separate baobabs. Info taken from baobabstories.com
Looking up at the tall baobab in front of the police station.
Looking up at the tall baobab in front of the police station.
An elephant sitting in the water near to the riverbank. Taken during an afternoon boat cruise through Chobe National Park on the Chobe River.
An elephant sitting in the water near to the riverbank. Taken during an afternoon boat cruise through Chobe National Park on the Chobe River.
The elephant now standing and walking out of the river.
The elephant now standing and walking out of the river.
Slightly closer view of the elephant heading away from the river. The surrounding landscape is a mix of grass, bushes and trees.
Slightly closer view of the elephant heading away from the river. The surrounding landscape is a mix of grass, bushes and trees.
A medium-sized bird standing in shallow water at the river's edge. It has a white head and breast. Its back appears to be brown, but this is mostly out of view. This seems to be an African fish eagle.
A medium-sized bird standing in shallow water at the river’s edge. It has a white head and breast. Its back appears to be brown, but this is mostly out of view. This seems to be an African fish eagle.
A female nyala looking directly towards the camera from amongst vegetation on the river bank. A small bird sitting on its back. Nyala are a type of antelope found in southern Africa. In colour it is pale brown with white stripes across its back. The males have large horns. The bird sitting on its back eat the insects.
A female nyala looking directly towards the camera from amongst vegetation on the river bank. A small bird sitting on its back. Nyala are a type of antelope found in southern Africa. In colour it is pale brown with white stripes across its back. The males have large horns. The bird sitting on its back eat the insects.
The partly submerged head of a crocodile appearing close to the boat.
The partly submerged head of a crocodile appearing close to the boat.
The head and back of the crocodile now visible in shallow water
close to the river bank.
The head and back of the crocodile now visible in shallow water close to the river bank.
An elephant shaking water off its body while standing in shallow water.
An elephant shaking water off its body while standing in shallow water.
A pair of hippos basking amongst reeds. In the background an
expanse of marsh.
A pair of hippos basking amongst reeds. In the background an expanse of marsh.
A large crocodile on a grassy bank in the middle of the river.
A large crocodile on a grassy bank in the middle of the river.
A closer view of the large basking crocodile. A small black and white bird sitting on its back.
A closer view of the large basking crocodile. A small black and white bird sitting on its back.
A group of about six hippos a little way distant, mostly submerged in the water.
A group of about six hippos a little way distant, mostly submerged in the water.
A closer view of some of the part submerged hippos.
A closer view of some of the part submerged hippos.
Another crocodile on grass at the side of the river. A good view of its head.
Another crocodile on grass at the side of the river. A good view of its head.
The boat approaching a small settlement with moorings. A rope
suspension bridge over the river in front.
The boat approaching a small settlement with moorings. A rope suspension bridge over the river in front.
The boat heading into the moorings. Several other boats used for viewing wildlife tied up. Sign for Chobe Water Villas.
The boat heading into the moorings. Several other boats used for viewing wildlife tied up. Sign for Chobe Water Villas.
A building at the side of the river. It is raised up on stilts with its roof and walls constructed from reeds.  One of the many tourist villas along the Chobe River.
A building at the side of the river. It is raised up on stilts with its roof and walls constructed from reeds. One of the many tourist villas along the Chobe River.
Close-up of Tony sitting outdoors under a shelter having a drink. The location is the Old House, a restaurant and guesthouse. One of the oldest buildings in Kasane.
Close-up of Tony sitting outdoors under a shelter having a drink. The location is the Old House, a restaurant and guesthouse. One of the oldest buildings in Kasane.

ElephantCafe, Livingstone, Zambia

Sunday, 22nd March 2020

Tony arriving in a pickup truck at Zambezi Elephant Trails for an “Elephant Encounter”.  The site is located approximately 10km upriver from the Victoria Falls on the Zambia side . Two adult elephants can be seen roaming around in the background with the Zambezi river beyond.
Tony arriving in a pickup truck at Zambezi Elephant Trails for an “Elephant Encounter”.  The site is located approximately 10km upriver from the Victoria Falls on the Zambia side . Two adult elephants can be seen roaming around in the background with the Zambezi river beyond.
Tony up close with an adult elephant. He is putting food in its trunk from a bag. The food is natural plant material that they would find and eat in the wild.  Elephant's trunks are full of strong muscles and they use them to suck in food before putting it in their mouths.
Tony up close with an adult elephant. He is putting food in its trunk from a bag. The food is natural plant material that they would find and eat in the wild.  Elephant’s trunks are full of strong muscles and they use them to suck in food before putting it in their mouths.
Tony next to the elephant with Ethan, the local couchsurfer he stayed with. The wide Zambezi river, Africa's fourth longest, clearly in view behind.
Tony next to the elephant with Ethan, the local couchsurfer he stayed with. The wide Zambezi river, Africa’s fourth longest, clearly in view behind.
Again Tony and Ethan feeding the elephant, along with one of the keepers, named Africa.
Again Tony and Ethan feeding the elephant, along with one of the keepers, named Africa.
The elephant looking directly towards the camera with Tony, Ethan and the keeper to one side. This is one of five adult African Elephants at Zambezi Elephant Trails, they are named Madinda, Marula, Liwa, Danny, and Mashumbi.
The elephant looking directly towards the camera with Tony, Ethan and the keeper to one side. This is one of five adult African Elephants at Zambezi Elephant Trails, they are named Madinda, Marula, Liwa, Danny, and Mashumbi.
Africa, the elephant keeper, helping Tony touch the elephant's tusk.
Africa, the elephant keeper, helping Tony touch the elephant’s tusk.
Again Tony touching the end of the tusk with Ethan and the keeper alongside.
Again Tony touching the end of the tusk with Ethan and the keeper alongside.
Front view of the elephant holding food in its trunk.
Front view of the elephant holding food in its trunk.
Good view of Tony and Ethan putting more food directly into the elephant's raised trunk.
Good view of Tony and Ethan putting more food directly into the elephant’s raised trunk.
Closer shot of Tony, with Ethan and the keeper, feeding the elephant.
Closer shot of Tony, with Ethan and the keeper, feeding the elephant.
Front view of Tony, Ethan, Africa the keeper and the elephant close to the bank of the Zambezi river. The river is very wide here with several small vegetation covered islands visible. The water level appears quite high, with the lower parts of some trees submerged.
Front view of Tony, Ethan, Africa the keeper and the elephant close to the bank of the Zambezi river. The river is very wide here with several small vegetation covered islands visible. The water level appears quite high, with the lower parts of some trees submerged.
Side view of the elephant with Tony, Ethan and the keeper behind. The elephant is roughly twice the height of Tony.
Side view of the elephant with Tony, Ethan and the keeper behind. The elephant is roughly twice the height of Tony.
Right up close looking at Tony putting food into the elephant's trunk.
Right up close looking at Tony putting food into the elephant’s trunk.
Tony with Ethan taking more food out of the bag. The elephant just behind them.
Tony with Ethan taking more food out of the bag. The elephant just behind them.
Clear view of the end of the elephant's wrinkled muscular trunk. Tony and Ethan still offering it food.
Clear view of the end of the elephant’s wrinkled muscular trunk. Tony and Ethan still offering it food.
Tony almost underneath the elephant's head. The elephant's trunk held aloft against its forehead.
Tony almost underneath the elephant’s head. The elephant’s trunk held aloft against its forehead.
A group of six adult elephants wondering in the surrounding bush. A younger elephant is almost hidden alongside one of the adults. The bush is part of Mosi-Oa-Tunya National Park.
A group of six adult elephants wondering in the surrounding bush. A younger elephant is almost hidden alongside one of the adults. The bush is part of Mosi-Oa-Tunya National Park.
Tony touching the elephant's trunk.
Tony touching the elephant’s trunk.
Tony with Africa the keeper feeling the end of one of the tusks.
Tony with Africa the keeper feeling the end of one of the tusks.