Herping Botswana

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Herping Botswana

Postby westOZZY » Fri Jun 23, 2006 9:50 am

G’day guys

I’m going to be spending a few months in Botswana (Kasane) this summer (Dec-feb) mainly to photograph wildlife, particularly reptiles. I am a zoology student, working as a field zoologist in Western Australia, so I have a fair amount of experience with our native reptiles (www.naturewa.com).

What sort of herping can I expect at that time of year? I understand it will be the rainy season (the best time for herps over here at least) and it will be quite hot, will night driving be the best way to go?

Can anyone tell of their experiences herping in Botswana/Zambia, specifically the northern part of Botswana close to Vic Falls, as this is where I’ll be based. I’ll be staying with Mark Vandewalle, a wildlife biologist and herper who I’m sure will have all these things covered, but I’d like to hear any of your thoughts on herping in that region.

Thanks guys, look forward to hearing from you!

Dean
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Postby Natal Black » Sat Jun 24, 2006 2:50 am

Hi Dean , Personally I havnt been to Botswana so I cant advise you on request , however if you have time to pop into south africa Id be happy to arrange a meeting with you and show you around , feel free to call me.

Thanks
Andrew
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Postby westOZZY » Sat Jun 24, 2006 7:07 am

Thanks for the offer Andrew, but unfortunately i'll only be in Joburg for a few days to see the family....then off to the wilds of Botswana!

Any decent herping near joburg?

Dean
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Postby Jandejager » Mon Jul 10, 2006 2:34 pm

Hi Dean.

I, sometimes travel to Zambia / DRC., via Botswana. Youle see, Botswana has some open savanah land around Francistown to Nata, with broken bushveld (sandveld), that turns into full bushveld.Be very carefull if youre driving...at night theres lots of donkeys on the road right up to Nata! & some elephant. Bitis Arietans are quite comon through-out Botswana & Zam. occasionaly youle see Mambas & diferent sand snakes.

Nata is the start of the Reserve, you have been warned! there is animal disease control gates that are sometimes closed (on the road), & it is easy to drive into them. Elephants are plenty! we have found buffalo, girafe, sable, kudu, impala, lions, etc while passing(especially in the dry monts, when the animals cross the road to water holes) up to Kasane. from Kasane to Kazungula, youle find that youre getting closer to the Zambezi, as the humidity & temp rises, as wel as the density of the scrubs & bushes.Crossing the Zambezi we still saw lots of water monitors, & an abundance of crocs, hippo, (ps the fishing is excelent!) Livingstone is one of the hottest & crapiest places to be in summer! Humidity.. 10 times worse than Durbs.HOT!

Around the Zambezi, youle find lots of vinesnakes, boomslang, spitters, brown house, File snakes, molesnakes, bushsnakes, wolfsnakes & Afrocs.(bit more to the botswana side.) plenty geckos & other lizardy reptiles.

Close to Livingstone (15km from Vic falls) there's a small reptile park (on the Chirundu / Mosi oa Tunya road) . "Gwembe Castle Crocodile Park" theyle charge you US $10. just say youre a local/resident from Livingstone, & say you want to speak to Bwalya or Morgan. They are two keen local herpers, that can arange for you to go herping for Bitis gabonica close to Kitwe / past Lusaka, or just about anything! Theyle also show you that huge ex man-eater crock! But believe me if I say its not wort paying more than 10-000 kwacha for entrance(if you mention Morgan or Bwalya, youl get free access)

That area is a reptile haven, surely youl find just about anything there.

I promise youle love it, just take enough food & drinks!
F...T...W...Dyslectic...??
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