The old road from Serondella to Savuti traversed the Ngwezumba Valley. In 1979 I decided to take that abandoned road and see what the Ngwezumba Valley had to offer. What a trip that was. The road had not been graded for ten years and was blocked by fallen trees that had been pushed over by elephants. But I had discovered a hidden paradise in Botswana. The Ngwezumba Pans and the Ngwezumba Pools had incredible populations of wildlife in the 1970s - and I had it virtually all to myself for a few short years. Ngwezumba only works if the previous rainy season had been a very good one. Then all of the pans in this part of Botswana fill up and last right through to the end of the dry season. If the rains had been poor then the area has very little wildlife. I was lucky - when I was there in the 1970s I had it all to myself and the rains had been spectacular - so the wildlife was spectacular. To this day, Ngwezumba from 1979 to 1984 represents the finest wilderness I have ever experienced.
1/ : In 1979 the track down the Ngwezumba had degenerated into elephant paths.
2/ : I camped for a few days at a pool on the Ngwezumba River.
3/ : The nights felt very lonely. I was 150 km from the nearest help.
4/ : At the Ngwezumba Pools, huge herds of elephant would be coming and going at the same time.
5/ : Walking along the riverbank you could approach animals without them being aware!
6/ : One could get very close to elephants drinking at the pools.
7/ : Then I moved over to the Ngwezumba Pans area and camped at Kwekampa for a while.
8/ : I climbed a tree to take this photo of hundreds of elephants at midday.
9/ : One evening I saw this! Two white rhino! Very special!
10/ : I had to collect water from the pan and then boil it to make it drinkable.
11/ : One night I forgot to take the kettle in. Lions came along and played with it and filled it with puncture holes. Luckily I had two kettles!
12/ : On other nights lions would pass by silently while they were hunting.
13/ : Buffalo came to drink every day. One morning I was ready for them and climbed a tree on the other side of the pan.