Day 55January 18, 2020 in Namibia ⋅ ⛅ 31 °C

The Cuando River is a river in south-central Africa flows through Angola and Namibia’s Caprivi Strip and into the Linyanti Swamp on the northern border of Botswana. Below the swamp, the river is called the Linyanti River and, farther east, the Chobe River, before it flows into the Zambezi River.

Cruising along the River Chobe – (Please click on the image above to enlarge the whole gallery)

We have a supremely leisurely afternoon sailing up and down this very tranquil river watching hippos, crocodiles, elephants, buffalo, antelope and lots of beautiful birds including a yellow billed stork facing down a crocodile. The croc loses. We also see a big flock of Marabau Storks, allegedly the ugliest birds in the world.

Hippos – (Please click on the image above to enlarge the whole gallery)

The marabou stork is a massive bird: large specimens are thought to reach a height of 152 cm and a weight of 9 kg It has a wingspan of up to 3.7 m It is often credited with the largest spread of any landbird. Typical weight is 4.5–8 kg Females are smaller than males. Bill length can range from 26.4 to 35 cm Unlike most storks, the three Leptoptilos species fly with the neck retracted like a heron.

The marabou is unmistakable due to its size, bare head and neck, black back, and white underparts. It has a huge bill, a pink gular sac at its throat (crumenifer(us) means “carrier of a pouch for money”), a neck ruff, and black legs and wings. The sexes are alike, but the young bird is browner and has a smaller bill. Full maturity is not reached for up to four years.

Crocs – (Please click on the image above to enlarge the whole gallery)

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