Part 5: Seba Camp, Okavango Delta
By early afternoon on Nov 30 we made the short hop to Seba in a Cessna 206.  Our guide for the next two days would be Speedy.  On arrival, Speedy gave us a short introduction to the concession and the area, what was currently being seen and what was possible, told us about the various activities and provided basic facts about the camp.  All very useful information to have early on in one’s stay at any camp.
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Managers Tim and Haley continued the welcome and provided more information about the camp and our family room – which was very spacious and well-appointed – and then left us to settle in.
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After tea at 4:00P, we set off on a game drive and saw good numbers of plains game – giraffe, kudu, zebra, buffalo, and also elephant and enjoyed one of our best sightings ever of hyenas, with three sets of hyena cubs around the den, playing and barrelling around, much to our delight.
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The next morning – December 1 – we were up at 5:30A which was really 30 minutes too late, with the sun already well up in the sky by the time we started our game drive at 6:30A.  In summer it is imperative to already be in position to take your best photographs right at first light.
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Lots of Elephants at Seba
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We were looking for a specific female leopard which had been observed the previous day, but had no luck with it.  The game drive ended up being typical of an Okavango Delta outing with a fair number of general game species including zebra, giraffe (lots!), kudu and of course impala.  Towards the end of the drive, while waiting to see if a lechwe would jump across a channel, a large herd of elephants emerged – one by one and sometimes two by two – from the edge of thick vegetation bordering an island.
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Some of them – the vanguard – looked momentarily surprised by the presence of our vehicle in the road but proceeded ahead, making a slight detour around us, past a mokoro station.  Eventually a long staggered line of about 40 elephants of all sizes paraded right by us. Bringing up the rear was a massive elephant bull who came closer to the vehicle than any of the other elephants.
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After brunch that morning we attempted a nap but it was not entirely successful – too much light in the room.
We find the elusive Leopard
The afternoon outing with Speedy was one of our best in several years.  There was an abundance of wildlife:  zebra, wildebeest, kudu, tsessebe, impala, warthog, giraffe and elephants, several with young to very young babies.
En route to our fishing location – a nearby lagoon – Speedy heard some  vervet monkeys make an alarm call and sure enough – there was a female leopard walking in the floodplain, right in the open.
We turned around and drove in the same direction, and saw the heavily pregnant female leopard disappear into thick vegetation just off the road.
We searched for a while but did not see her again.  Then it was on to fishing.  We had a lot of fun over the next hour or so, with Kathy pulling out 5 catfish to my single one.  I did lose a big one though!
Romantic bush dinner at Seba
The day ended on a high note with a spectacular bush dinner on the edge of the water, on a small ‘peninsula’, with lots of lanterns on poles and candles creating a fairytale scene and atmosphere.  It was all very romantic, complete with a full bar, two good South African table wines and an array of traditional African starters such as samoosas, followed by grilled fish, grilled rumpsteak, chicken tagine, roasted new potato, green beans, tomato salad and fresh bread.  It was past 10:00P by the time we got back to camp.  We were already starting to look forward to sending our clients to this camp!
Prior to dinner a very entertaining and well done singing and dancing performance was put on by the members of the Seba staff.  Interestingly – but likely totally co-incidentally – a large troop of baboons were making a huge racket in a stand of trees behind us, as the group started to sing.  They did not like the competition!
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The next day – Dec 2 – we were up very early – 05:00A – to go in search of the leopard we had spotted the previous afternoon, but had no luck with that.  We did find some kudu, zebra and more elephants, and I managed to get a few useful pics of birds in flight.  By 10:00A we sat down to a hot breakfast in camp, and just after 11:00A flew out on a C-206 with Mack Air.  Our routing took us 15 minutes to a place by the name of Xaraxai and another 25 minutes to Khwai River Lodge Airstrip, where someone from our next camp – Machaba – would come to meet us.
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What makes Seba and the Okavango Delta ‘special’
Our overall experience at Seba was a true reflection of every reason why people who come to Botswana once, often end up returning again and again.
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This tented camp is located in typical Okavango Delta mosaic with large open stretches of floodplain, meandering waterways and papyrus-choked channels connecting with the Boro River, lagoons and small palm-fringed islands.  It is remote, private and there is lots of game with very diverse activities including mokoro outings, boating, game drives and walking.  The accommodation, hospitality and guiding are all first-class.

Nowhere else in Africa can you do and see so much in a practically pristine environment with hardly anybody else around.   Over the course of 4 days at Seba and Abu – the two camps are just a short driving disatnce from each other – we saw perhaps three other game drive vehicles out on the roads – total – and shared a sighting with another car only once.

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