Zebras play an important social and political role in Botswana’s society. Political?
Yes, they are printed on flags as part of the ‘coat of arms’. Two zebras holding a shield?! This symbol is printed on each coin of Botswana’s currency, the pula. Zebra statues are often seen in front of lodges and hotels.
Zimba enjoyed an even higher status here in Botswana.
Scientists argue that the stripes confuses the tse-tse flies, who apparently prefer one coloured animals.
Hunters argue, that the stripes confuses predators to aim for a single victim. The idea remains the same.
Zebras look rather confused staring at Zimba, that is a fact.
They often stand together watching and scratching their backs, to run off in different directions when danger is spotted. This is major part off their social behaviour too.
Even in bigger herds, there are always seperate smaller groups, edging and playing together.
Pick the right photo moment,
and one gets an incredible silly looking photo.
They are highly sociable within their herd and gather together very often.
Every now and then a bit of negligence appears, which is short lived.
Their intriguing facial expressions adds perfectly to the stripey pattern.
Actually, either view you see from a zebra, it always looks amusing.
The Zambezi River seems to be the cut off point for Zambia’s Crawshay’s zebra.
However, there are two different species living in Botswana.
In Northern Zambia, particularly around the Okavango Delta, lives the ‘Chapman zebra’.
Their white coat appears a bit more yellowish, and their stripes and shadow stripes extend to their hooves.
The ‘Burchell zebra’ inhabits the southern region. Their legs and bellies are almost completely stripeless.
They do appear to be a fair bit brighter in white.
A daily bath in the rivers helps though.
Zebras can hear well and are therefore spooked quickly by uncertain sounds.
However, smell and eyesight is generally less developed. This would explain the curious looks towards Zimba, particular when parked.
For a newborn foal, it takes a few days for all senses to be fully developed.
They can’t actually recognise their mom for the time being. She scares other family members of and doesn’t leave the foals side.
The foals fluffy newborn coat is fairly obvious, and incredibly cute.
I came across various smaller herds off ‘Chapman zebras’ in ‘Moremi National Park’ along the Okavango Delta, mainly around smaller waterholes. These are less likely to inhabit crocodiles and gives a larger escape route in case off an attack.
Small water source equals small herds? Those herds were mostly divided in smaller family groups. There was always one loudmouth amongst it.
This all changed further south at ‘Makgadikgadi National Park’, along the Bodeti River. This river originates from the Okavango Delta, changes names various times and flows widespread through the eastern Kalahari desert. The Bodeti River doesn’t run dry and is therefore a major drawcard for survival.
Zebras appeared surprisingly casual around these waters. The danger of crocodile attacks appears rather slim.
These skyblue waters added a lot of depth and colour to already scenic surroundings
A black and white zebra standing in a wall of blue is simply awesome.
Previously, one off the hardest photos to take, was a zebra in full gallop. I tried a few times from a driving car, which did not work out. I had several options at ‘Makgadikgadi National Park’.
Numerous times, zebras got scared off by passing cars. To get the right moment is still a challenging task. They accelerate to high speeds from next to nothing, leaving dust clouds behind them.
Particularly cute to watch are the foals.
With shorter legs they seem to bounce, rather then run.
Even more so together with mom.
Maybe she is teaching a better technique?
This gets even more dramatic whilst running through deeper waters.
Who doesn’t like the idea off that?
I didn’t think I would get an opportunity, but surely appreciate that I did.
Over and over again.
Seeing zebras congested on a small green island of blue on the Bodeti River was another unexpected surprise.
In larger herds they kept an eye out for danger.
In smaller groups, mostly with a young one, gathering and drinking was a safe options.
I still am amazed by the richness of all colours combined.
Zebras sky high was just as unexpected.
Walking up the steep slopes in blue skies was fascinating. I really didn’t think I would ever have an opportunity like this, but there it is.
The typical zebra sound is often heard and hard to describe, but easily recognisable.
The facial expression is an unforgettable sight.
For obvious reasons, the zebra has played a big role in my travels too.
All combined, it is one off my favourite animals to observe, that’s for sure.