1. Elephants have terrible eyesight (even worse than humans), but they make up for it with an incredible sense of hearing and smell.
2. Leapards rarely fight back. These cool cats hunt alone so, if they’re injured, they’ll almost certainly die. The result? They go for easy kills and stay above the danger in trees.
3. As soon as her eggs hatch, a crocodile mother puts her babies in her mouth. There’s a pouch in there and she can carry her babies the short distance from the nest to her “nursery.”
4. When we asked our guides what animal they most fear, both separately said the African Buffalo. One explained that “you never know what they’re thinking.” The other simply said “they’re crazy.”
5. A close second in fear factor: the hippo. The hippo is scary because “they don’t know what they want.” They’re humongous herbivores who are notoriously aggressive. They’ll charge at the least provocation and you don’t stand a chance if you stand between them and the water.
6. Girraffe males duel each other by standing side-by-side, swinging their necks wide and whacking each other in the chest.
7. To cross the river, elephants join trunk to tail.
8. Ostrich tastes like steak. Crocodile tastes like fish. Yes, we speak from experience.
9. Folks here are serious about poachers. A military force patrols the park and, when they find a poacher, they shoot to kill.
10. Zebras are the national animal of Botswana! Our guides informed us why this is a fitting partnership. One: In Botswana, blacks and whites live in harmony. Two, zebras have a diamond shape between their eyes that perfectly illustrates Botswana’s booming diamond industry.
Bonus Fact: When asked about Cecil the Lion's death, our guides didn't blame the American dentist in the least. However, they're emphatic in their condemnation of the dentist's Zimbabwean guide. Their reason? The American likely didn't know he was outside of the law while the guide absolutely knew. This debate is of course separate from the moral question of African laws allowing these killings in the first place.