We went to Africa because of Pete’s Pond.
A few years ago, my mom got involved in the online community for the National Geographic webcam at Pete’s Pond in Botswana.
Pete’s Pond is an artificial watering hole created to give the animals on the Mashatu Game Reserve an alternative water source to the nearby Limpopo River where they are easy targets for poachers. The webcam shares the activity at the Pond with viewers around the world.
Including my mom.
Last year, at about this time, my brother got the idea that we should take Mom to Africa. Amazingly, we made it happen.
The webcam is located in a hide, and runs 24×7. At night, it is on an automatic sweep, but during the day, there is a camera operator to find and follow whatever action is happening at the pond. In our western mentality, we think, how much could happen at a pond? Quite a lot actually. Especially in a semi-arid climate like Botswana where there isn’t much water most of the year. And, unlike the game drives, where the animals and birds are aware of the vehicle, at the Pond, they are mostly unaware (unless there are unexpected loud noises from the hide.)
When our plane from Mashatu to Mala Mala was delayed by four hours, we were privileged to spend the time at the hide. Afke, the volunteer who runs the webcam, had come to see us off, and when we had the long wait, she graciously invited us to wait at the Pond.
My full set of pictures is on Flickr, but here are some of my favorites.
It’s hard to get good pictures of warthogs. They scamper off PDQ. I got my best shots of them from the hide.
And a Pied Kingfisher
George & Gracie, the Egyptian Geese and GuineaFowl