The long, green grass of the well-watered Okavango River Panhandle is ideal for hiding the slinking silhouette of a lioness huntress out on the prowl for her dinner. She drops low into the grass and tries to disguise her form and get as close as possible before charging out of the bush, targeting her prey. It is quite something to catch a lion on the move during the day, as it is most common to find them lying in the cool shade with the intermittent swish of a tail being their only movement. “Flat cat”, they call it. Lions are big sleepers during the day, setting out to hunt at night; however, they are opportunistic eaters and catching them prowling during daylight is a possibility.
Here, in the Okavango Panhandle in the north-western region of Botswana, lions are well-fed on the abundant game, and the wildlife activity is constant. Guests aboard the Delta Belle Houseboat have the area all to themselves on an exclusive tour of the Panhandle from the privacy and comfort of this double-decker houseboat. Cruising along the Okavango River and using a tender boat to wind in between the narrower waterways, the Delta Belle offers a wonderful perspective on the surrounding wilderness.
Whether it be the ample birdlife, the famed fishing ground, the large herbivores, or the grand predator population, the Okavango Panhandle is a haven for wildlife. There is never a dull moment and game viewing from the deck is always exciting. In a moment like this one, guests happened upon a lone lioness, stealthily stalking a family of warthogs. It is an incredible moment to bear witness to and to watch how she approaches her potential meal. To remain unseen by these wary little pigs is not an easy task, and even though she seems to lose motivation at the end, it is a memorable occasion to have witnessed the queen of the Okavango demonstrating her nocturnal hunting practice in such clear sight.