Behind the Camera

No Water in the Boteti River


As Air Botswana's Bae 146 is about to land in Maun, we are glued to the aircraft window. Liane and Mike had told us that due to heavy rain falls in Angola the Okavango Delta would be quite full of water. But nobody was quite sure if that meant whether the Boteti River would once again carry water after being dried out for many years.

As usual, you can not see very much from the airplane, the air is just too dusty to see further than a few kilometres.

At the airport we are met by Glyn; he will be our guide for the next couple of days. When we ask him if the Boteti River carries any water, he just shakes his head. He says that it is just too early in the year to tell, but there is still a chance. Although he isn't very hopeful, even with the water level being the highest in the Delta for many, many years.

No water in the Boteti River is bad for the zebras, wildebeest and elephants, but good for us.

On arriving in Meno a Kwena, after a two hour drive, we are greeted by David Dugmore, the owner of the camp. He says: „You are very lucky, the zebras have already arrived“.

Elephants at the waterhole

And it's true: when we look down from the cliffs into the dried-out river bed of the Boteti, we see hundreds of zebras and several elephants gathering around the waterhole. During the dry season, David and his team are pumping up to 100.000 litres of water a day into two artificial waterholes. Ever since the Boteti River dried out at the beginning of the 1990s, these waterholes are a very important lifeline for the game between Maun in the West and the Makgadikgadi Pans in the East.

Sometimes, like this year, the water resources are that scarce (despite the heavy rains in Angola) that David is using his last resort: which means he's draining the water from the guests' swimming pool down to the waterholes.


Glyn inspecting the pump

Glyn inspecting the pump


David Dugmore

David draining the water from the swimming pool


We don't mind in the least, on the contrary. After all, we are not here to linger in the pool, but here to take photographs.

Archive "Behind the Camera"


Encounters of the Third Kind

No Water in the Boteti River

Full Moon over the Skelligs

Security Check

Take a Seat!