Elephant and baboons crossing river channel Caption: An elephant and group of baboons prepare to cross a channel of the Chobe River, Chobe National Park, Botswana.

Camera: Canon EOS 450D (Canon Rebel XSi 12.2MP); Lens: Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM telephoto zoom; Focal length: 300mm; Shutter speed: 1/500; Aperture: f/8; ISO: 400.

For an elephant, fording a shallow river channel means walking across and getting your feet wet. But for baboons, particularly mothers with babies, the crossing is a dangerous and unpleasant undertaking.

The baboons cross these channels within the Chobe River system to forage for food on the fertile “islands” before heading back to the mainland. But they’re also clever animals, very aware of the crocodiles that lurk along the river banks, so try to get across the water as fast as possible (below).

Baboons and elephant crossing river
While sympathetic to their plight and the dangers they face, it’s nevertheless fascinating to watch them scramble across the water. Those not carrying babies take a running jump from the bank and remain airborne as long as possible.

I’ve added a photo sequence of this to my Picture Stories – see Baboon in a Hurry to Cross River. If you enjoy the photos on that page, please hit the “Like” button or leave a comment.




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+Scotch Macaskill