The photographs on these pages were taken on a trip to Botswana and Zimbabwe lasting three weeks during November 2016. The visit coincided with an El Niño-induced drought in Southern Africa during the rainy season from October 2015 to March 2016. As a result of the drought and the fact that November is normally the end of the dry season the landscape was extremely dry with the trees and shrubs largely devoid of leaves and the grass completely dry. This situation meant that many of the animals were very dependent on the few remaining sources of water, both natural and man-made, leading to very large herds of animals close to the water sources. The large herds of grazing animals such as buffalo and zebra also attracted the large predators in significant numbers. Taken together these factors provided ideal conditions for observing large numbers of the big animals of Africa.
The group assembled in Johannesburg before immediately taking a flight to the town of Maun in Botswana. The first three days of the visit were spent at lodges close to Maun, the first night in Tamalakane River Lodge and the following two in Tshima Bush Camp. The next stage of the trip was undertaken in a mobile bush camp for 8 nights. Two nights were spent at each camp location before the camp was moved to a new site. In this way the group travelled from Moremi Game Reserve into the Savuti Reserve of Chobe National Park and finally into Chobe National Park itself. Leaving Botswana from Kasana and then travelling to Victoria Falls by road allowed a night to be spent in the town of Victoria Falls at Bayete Guest Lodge with the opportunity to visit the Falls.