Film crew

Maun Travel Blog

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Us Earthwatch volunteers shared the camping ground with a film crew. One cameraman, Didier, won an Emmy for his whale sequence in Planet Earth (one of the best documentaries ever made). I was beyond ecstatic to meet the crew. Guess what they were in Botswana to film? You got it crocodiles.


On my night off, I joined the film crew in their boat. Someone had told them that shining a torch into the river water would attract insects, which would attract fish, which in turn would attract bigger fish, which would attract small crocodiles. I’m not sure if that theory works in reality. I don’t think crocodiles are inclined to swim towards bright lights if they did, we’d have our work cut out for us! In any case, the fish population in the Okavango Panhandle has declined from over-fishing. When we shone a torch into the water and waited; not much happened. But it was interesting to see what kind of equipment they had and how they set up their shots.


The film crew seemed just as interested in me, because I’d been to the Okavango Delta (which is quite different from the Okavango Panhandle, where we were). They wanted to know how clear the water was, because Didier planned on filming crocodiles underwater. I told them that two weeks ago the water clarity was excellent. I remember leaning out of my mokoro (dug-out canoe) and seeing the bottom of the channel. In comparison the panhandle was murky, made worse by the recent rain. Also, the mokoro polers (who steered the canoes) I met knew where all the hippo pools were. Presumably they’d know where to find crocodiles too.


Didier and the film crew didn’t have much luck finding out where the crocodiles hung out in the Panhandle, so they headed to the Delta a few days later. Luckily for them, this wasn’t their main filming trip; it was more of a “see what kind of footage I can get” trip.


The documentary they’re making covers inland seas. The Okavango Delta was once an inland sea, which is why they were filming in Botswana. I’ll be looking out for their documentary!

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photo by: Biedjee