Firstly I would like to say that this blog should turn out to be a bit more fun than the title sounds, even if some of my colleagues may beg to differ.
It is amazing how my interests on safari have changed and developed. I remember loving the mechanical aspects of the experience at first. The flights, the transfers, and the game drive vehicles. Then I started to really look out for the biggest animals and the predators. After this phase came rare animals, and subsequently I became a bit of a birder, which opens up a whole world of diversity of sightings on a bird watching safari. More recently I have developed a fascination with the all-encompassing environment and vegetation.
Trees really are fascinating, from the initial awe of seeing a towering monster-size tree, which dwarfs the largest of land mammals, to spotting firsthand the wildlife that these trees attract and learning what local peoples use the trees for, either practically or medicinally. There are also many superstitions! Northern Botswana is home to some of the most striking and magnificent trees found in Africa, and I believe that you don’t have to be a tree nerd like me to find them at least a little bit interesting. I briefly studied Latin at school, and tried to learn Setswana to a point. However, I’m not particularly good at remembering complicated plant names, so I have settled on using my favourite title for each tree, which happens to be the most common name.
I have to thank Veronica Roodt for putting together the excellent book Trees & Shrubs of the Okavango Delta. This is just one work among the great variety of books and maps she has compiled, and an easy-to-read source of information for this blog.