Zebras in Botswana

Cute in black and white, Makgadikgadi National Park, Botswana

Cute in black and white, Makgadikgadi National Park, Botswana

Zebras play an important social and political role in Botswana’s society. Political?

‘Coat off arms’, Botswana

‘Coat of Arms’, Botswana

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.

Even zebra statues have a peculiar look, Botswana

Even zebra statues have a peculiar look, Botswana

Zimba enjoyed an even higher status here in Botswana.

Black and white stripes, Botswana, Makgadikgadi National Park

Black and white stripes, Botswana, Makgadikgadi National Park

Scientists argue that the stripes confuses the tse-tse flies, who apparently prefer one coloured animals.

Confusing hunters, Makgadikgadi National Park, Botswana

Confusing hunters, Makgadikgadi National Park, Botswana

Hunters argue, that the stripes confuses predators to aim for a single victim. The idea remains the same.

This look cracks me up, Makgadikgadi National Park, Botswana

This look cracks me up, Makgadikgadi National Park, Botswana

Zebras look rather confused staring at Zimba, that is a fact.

Friends for Zebras, Moremi National Park, Botswana

Friends for Zebras, Moremi National Park, Botswana

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.

Drinking zebras in black and white, Makgadikgadi National Park, Botswana

Drinking zebras in black and white, Makgadikgadi National Park, Botswana

Even in bigger herds, there are always seperate smaller groups, edging and playing together.

Shame I wasn’t any closer, Makgadikgadi National Park, Botswana

Shame I wasn’t any closer, Makgadikgadi National Park, Botswana

Pick the right photo moment,

Or for this one, Makgadikgadi National Park, Botswana

Or for this one, Makgadikgadi National Park, Botswana

and one gets an incredible silly looking photo. 

Black and white bonanza, Makgadikgadi National Park, Botswana

Black and white bonanza, Makgadikgadi National Park, Botswana

They are highly sociable within their herd and gather together very often.

Friendly tussle, Makgadikgadi National Park, Botswana

Friendly tussle, Makgadikgadi National Park, Botswana

Every now and then a bit of negligence appears, which is short lived.

Close up, Makgadikgadi National Park, Botswana

Close up, Makgadikgadi National Park, Botswana

Their intriguing facial expressions adds perfectly to the stripey pattern.

Cl(assy) lineup, Moremi National Park, Botswana

Cl(assy) lineup, Moremi National Park, Botswana

Actually, either view you see from a zebra, it always looks amusing.

Zebra in disguise, Moremi National Park, Botswana

Zebra in disguise, Moremi National Park, Botswana

The Zambezi River seems to be the cut off point for Zambia’s Crawshay’s zebra.

Furry fowl in the safe middle, Makgadikgadi National Park, Botswana

Furry foal in the safe middle, Makgadikgadi National Park, Botswana

However, there are two different species living in Botswana.

Curious looks, Makgadikgadi National Park, Botswana

Curious looks, Makgadikgadi National Park, Botswana

In Northern Zambia, particularly around the Okavango Delta, lives the ‘Chapman zebra’.

Chapman zebra mom and fowl, Moremi National Park, Botswana

Chapman zebra mom and fowl, Moremi National Park, Botswana

Their white coat appears a bit more yellowish, and their stripes and shadow stripes extend to their hooves.

3-D zebra, Makgadikgadi National Park, Botswana

3-D zebra, Makgadikgadi National Park, Botswana

The ‘Burchell zebra’ inhabits the southern region. Their legs and bellies are almost completely stripeless.

Stunning, Makgadikgadi National Park, Botswana

Stunning, Makgadikgadi National Park, Botswana

They do appear to be a fair bit brighter in white.

Bathing time, Makgadikgadi National Park, Botswana

Bathing time, Makgadikgadi National Park, Botswana

A daily bath in the rivers helps though.

Triple hearing, Makgadikgadi National Park, Botswana

Triple hearing, Makgadikgadi National Park, Botswana

Zebras can hear well and are therefore spooked quickly by uncertain sounds.

Mom and fowl zebra islanders, Makgadikgadi National Park, Botswana

Mom and fowl zebra islanders, Makgadikgadi National Park, Botswana

However, smell and eyesight is generally less developed. This would explain the curious looks towards Zimba, particular when parked.

Developing senses, Makgadikgadi National Park, Botswana

Developing senses, Makgadikgadi National Park, Botswana

For a newborn foal, it takes a few days for all senses to be fully developed.

Protective motherhood, Makgadikgadi National Park, Botswana

Protective motherhood, Makgadikgadi National Park, Botswana

They can’t actually recognise their mom for the time being. She scares other family members of and doesn’t leave the foals side.

Fluffy fowl in mom’s protection, Makgadikgadi National Park, Botswana

Fluffy fowl in mom’s protection, Makgadikgadi National Park, Botswana

The foals fluffy newborn coat is fairly obvious, and incredibly cute.

Grazing zebras, Moremi National Park, Botswana

Grazing zebras, Moremi National Park, Botswana

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.

Mingle and mix, Moremi National Park, Botswana

Mingle and mix, Moremi National Park, Botswana

Small water source equals small herds? Those herds were mostly divided in smaller family groups. There was always one loudmouth amongst it.

Loudmouth, Makgadikgadi National Park, Botswana

Loudmouth, Makgadikgadi National Park, Botswana

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.

Water casualties, Makgadikgadi National Park, Botswana

Water casualties, Makgadikgadi National Park, Botswana

Zebras appeared surprisingly casual around these waters. The danger of crocodile attacks appears rather slim.

Exaggerating colours, Makgadikgadi National Park, Botswana

Exaggerating colours, Makgadikgadi National Park, Botswana

These skyblue waters added a lot of depth and colour to already scenic surroundings

All colours, Makgadikgadi National Park, Botswana

All colours, Makgadikgadi National Park, Botswana

A black and white zebra standing in a wall of blue is simply awesome.

In full swing, Makgadikgadi National Park, Botswana

In full swing, Makgadikgadi National Park, Botswana

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’.

Fowl over two wheel track, Makgadikgadi National Park, Botswana

Foal over two wheel track, Makgadikgadi National Park, Botswana

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.

Bouncing away, Makgadikgadi National Park, Botswana

Bouncing away, Makgadikgadi National Park, Botswana

Particularly cute to watch are the foals.

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With shorter legs they seem to bounce, rather then run.

Giving way for the young ones, Makgadikgadi National Park, Botswana

Giving way for the young ones, Makgadikgadi National Park, Botswana

Even more so together with mom.

All colours, Makgadikgadi National Park, Botswana

All colours, Makgadikgadi National Park, Botswana

Maybe she is teaching a better technique?

Spooked out off water, Makgadikgadi National Park, Botswana

Spooked out off water, Makgadikgadi National Park, Botswana

This gets even more dramatic whilst running through deeper waters.

Splish splash, Makgadikgadi National Park, Botswana

Splish splash, Makgadikgadi National Park, Botswana

Who doesn’t like the idea off that?

Double shower, Makgadikgadi National Park, Botswana

Double shower, Makgadikgadi National Park, Botswana

I didn’t think I would get an opportunity, but surely appreciate that I did.

A little more casual, Makgadikgadi National Park, Botswana

A little more casual, Makgadikgadi National Park, Botswana

Over and over again.

Zebra Island, Makgadikgadi National Park, Botswana

Zebra Island, Makgadikgadi National Park, Botswana

Seeing zebras congested on a small green island of blue on the Bodeti River was another unexpected surprise.

Smaller herd, Makgadikgadi National Park, Botswana

Smaller herd, Makgadikgadi National Park, Botswana

In larger herds they kept an eye out for danger.

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In smaller groups, mostly with a young one, gathering and drinking was a safe options.

Stranded? Makgadikgadi National Park, Botswana

Stranded? Makgadikgadi National Park, Botswana

I still am amazed by the richness of all colours combined.

All colours combined, Makgadikgadi National Park, Botswana

All colours combined, Makgadikgadi National Park, Botswana

Zebras sky high was just as unexpected.

Confused looks, Makgadikgadi National Park, Botswana

Confused looks, Makgadikgadi National Park, Botswana

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.

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The typical zebra sound is often heard and hard to describe, but easily recognisable.

For crying out loud, Makgadikgadi National Park, Botswana

For crying out loud, Makgadikgadi National Park, Botswana

The facial expression is an unforgettable sight. 

Grazing on riverbanks, Makgadikgadi National Park, Botswana

Grazing on riverbanks, Makgadikgadi National Park, Botswana

For obvious reasons, the zebra has played a big role in my travels too.

Food and drink bar zebra style, Makgadikgadi National Park, Botswana

Food and drink bar zebra style, Makgadikgadi National Park, Botswana

All combined, it is one off my favourite animals to observe, that’s for sure. 

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