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Lions swimming at Duba Plains

Early one morning at Duba Plains camp in the Okavango, we followed a buffalo herd as it crossed the deep channels between the small, dry, bush-covered islands of the upper delta.

Close in pursuit, watching the buffalo herd, were three lionesses and a young male, waiting for their opportunity when one buffalo would stray too far from the herd and lose its protection.

Reluctant to cross, ever wary of crocodiles lurking in the deep water, these lions swam in front of our vehicle closing in on the nearby herd.

Hyena cubs playing

On the Khwai River last June, we visited a den site that has been occupied by the local hyaena clan for the last few years.

They would have taken this over from an aardvark, warthog, porcupine or other smaller less dominant mammal and all females raise their cubs here. As they share the responsibilities of cub rearing, this provides them with the protection and shared babysitting of the clan.

We saw one older female looking after these four cubs as they wrestled and played relentlessly.