Oil on Canvas 50cmx70cm

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Meno A Kwena – Teeth of the Crocodile

Meno A Kwena Tented Camp is on the banks of the Boteti Riverbed, (dry since 1995). The Boteti River is one of the few drainage systems that carry the Okavango floodwater out of the delta in times of average, and above average rainfall, deep into the Kalahari. The Boteti riverbed is on the western boundary of the Makgadikgadi Pans National Park in North Central Botswana. It is the dry season range of Southern Africa’s largest zebra and wildebeest migration, along with a variety of wet and dry land species, of both migratory and resident wildlife.

The camp was established to reduce the impact of cattle and human encroachment on this sensitive area, one of the last remaining watering points for wildlife in the dry season. A ’Water for Life’ project has sunk wells deep into the river bed and pumps water into three pools for the wildlife, predominantly zebra and elephant.

It’s amazing to stand high on the bank and look down on the zebra as they pour down to the waterhole, their characteristic zig-zag disappearing into the trees on the far horizon. The Elephant bully the Zebra away from the waterhole so they enjoy uninterrupted access, staying seemingly longer than necessary. But, then as they regard Zebra as animals that “spend their days, kicking, burping and farting out loud in public” (An Elephant Bloodline, Howard Blight), its hardly surprising.

 

Evenings are filled with the cry of Lion, stampeding herds and the whistle of the Pearl Spotted Owl, while the days are noisy with bird song, the sound of their wings beating the still air. A lone juvenile Giant Eagle Owl floats past our vantage point, then sends out his single plaintive call.

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