Pangolin Khwai Camp record wildlife number ·

Pangolin Khwai Camp record wildlife number

Travel habits have changed in southern Africa with safaris now about conservation, preservation and education and travellers mercifully shooting wildlife with cameras rather than guns.

With this in mind the team at Pangolin Photo Safari’s new Pangolin Khwai Camp, the innovative Botswana retreat that’s only been open a month, challenged its first guests to see how many birds and animals they could photograph in one day with even the most experienced guides surprised at the results.

Pangolin Khwai Camp hides in a corner the 200,000ha Khwai Private Reserve – one of Botswana’s most pristine and well-managed sanctuaries – with the position in the legendary Okavango Delta providing easy access to arid northern landscapes as well as bushland dotted with waterholes to the south.

The group of three visitors that took the title was accompanied by Pangolin Photo Safari’s co-founder Gerhard “Guts” Swanepoel and photographed 95 species between dawn and dusk while the camp’s 12 guests combined to see 128 birds and animal varieties which highlights the healthy biodiversity of the Khwai Private Reserve.

“The teams managed five hours in the morning, the traditional afternoon siesta was abandoned to stroll the camp’s boardwalks for a few more hits, and the afternoon session proved to be productive with the nocturnal species beginning to appear,’’ explains Pangolin Photo Safari’s director Toby Jermyn.

“Before the contest we estimated a number we thought was achievable, which ranged from 50 to an optimistic 70 because it’s green season and the grass is long and lush at this time of the year, so we were astounded when we established the actual number was closer to 130.

Pangolin Khwai Camp wildlife, a wild dog on the prowl. Pic supplied by Pangolin Photo Safaris

“While we expected to see elephants, leopards, lions, giraffes and hippos we were surprised that other rare species like wild dogs, broad-billed rollers, paradise whydah, and a bushveld gerbil – a first for everyone – in the count which was so exciting for our guests.

Pangolin’s photo-centric camp caters to snappers of all abilities and offers a dedicated area for editing and presentations, those travelling without a camera can use a DSLR body and telephoto lens free of charge, and resident photo guides are on hand to offer advice on composition and technique.

Pangolin Khwai Camp accommodates 12 people with guests staying in spacious Meru-style tents boasting all the creature comforts while there’s an open-plan lounge at the heart of the secluded lodge providing space to drink, dine and debrief between game drives.

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