The pattern at all game lodges follows a similar pattern, a three hour early morning game drive, the rest of the day relaxing at camp and a three hour evening/night drive. At Fika Futi we follow much the same pattern only we tend to stay out a lot longer in the morning, around four to five hours and a shorter night drive
Today we started out very early, it was cold and there was heavy cloud cover so you could not see the sun rise and the cloud cover did not clear all day resulting in a disappointing sun set. However, our game viewing during the day could not have been better. At first light we came across a pair of bat-earred foxes. These look like a fox but with the biggest ears around and a great bushy black tail and a not a very common sighting so it was off to another good start.
There is very little water around at present as the rainy season does not start until November but in one of the few small water holes we came across a pair of Saddle-billed storks fishing and very successful were they. The markings on these birds are really quiet extraordinary and you have to wonder what nature was doing here. Shortly after watching the storks have breakfast we came across a herd of elephants in the dry river bed, our morning was complete. A lot of these magnificent animals have left the reserve due to lack of food and some have crossed back into Zimbabwe, others have moved to other parts of Botswana and those that have remained have broken into smaller family groups in order to survive. The group we saw were around 10 elephants with a couple of youngsters including a very small baby that our guide thought was only a few months old. The herd munched away on thorny acacias together with bark off trees while we sat and watched. It was now time for us to have our breakfast and the routine at Fika Futi is to find a good viewing area and set up the picnic table with breakfast goodies and enjoy the bush while stretching the legs. Today we headed off for a safe spot but before we could get there we came across the big male lion who controls this area. What a choice, breakfast or watch the lion. A late breakfast was in order. This male is about 10 years old and is the father to the five lions we saw yesterday and he is still very strong and able to control his territory. Like all the cats we have seen so far, this lion was lying down trying to get some sleep, one day we might see some action. Moving on we found out breakfast spot on an open plain and had set up just as a second herd of elephants decided to cross the plain. We were about 50 metres off their path and they seem very relaxed so we continue to have breakfast with the elephants. A bit special.
On our evening drive we saw a number of giraffe, zebra and impalas but no sunset and as we were heading back to the lodge we saw two young hyenas running back into a den that was believed to be abandoned. We waited but these two were not coming out so we will be back tomorrow.