The Wildebeest population of Botswana has dropped by more than 90% in the past twenty years.
At the time of independence Botswana was one of the poorest countries in the world with most of its foreign earnings coming from the beef industry. The European Union agreed to buy Botswana’s beef on condition that the country controlled the movement of wildlife into the domestic herds’ ranges in an attempt to stem foot and mouth disease.
What the government did was to erect a series of fences across Botswana. These were generally done without thought for the wildlife. At the time in Botswana was Africa’s second largest where almost 500 000 wildebeest migrated between the wetlands of the north and the dry central Kalahari after good rains when the Kalahari was lush and watered.
The Okavango Delta is a vast inland river delta in northern Botswana. It’s known for its sprawling grassy plains, which flood seasonally, becoming a lush animal habitat. The Moremi Game Reserve occupies the east and central areas of the region. Here, dugout canoes are used to navigate past hippos, elephants and crocodiles. On dry land, wildlife includes lions, leopards, giraffes and rhinos. However, the bird life in these regions are equally rich in diversity.
I took this photo while on my first Botswana Delta photo safari trip. April 2019.