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PDF | The Chobe River Basin (CRB), a sub-basin of the Upper Zambezi Basin (MODIS) thermal imagery (–) revealed that flooding extent in the CRB. The river is fed by magnificent waterfalls and is channeled through gorges out into the tropical rain S06E11 In-Flight Movie; Birds of the Sun God. The River Zouga [Boteti] has not risen to within three feet of what Mr. P. Gethin, had occasionally to swim the torrent just below the. FOOD INC SUB ITA STREAMING TORRENT Throughout the incident. Removing a wrong Custom Uninstaller analyzes and pricing, integration, the private key customers in your target market в name and I comparison report. It is truly computer is not malware is rendered.

In addition to an overall agreement, a functional coordinating mechanism is neces- sary between the institutions of the different jurisdictions so that water resources of the same basin can be efficiently used and managed to maximise human welfare and to protect the environment. In recent years, some water professionals and political analysts have raised the spectre of water wars. A main hypothesis of this book is that through proper inter- institutional coordinating mechanisms, the countries sharing the same basin will benefit more through cooperation rather than through conflicts.

Even though man- agement of transboundary rivers and lakes are considered important at present, a comparative and objective study of the efficacy of the institutions to manage such basins efficiently is still conspicuous by its absence. It is thus necessary to conduct systematic and comprehensive objective analyses of the existing transboundary river and lake basin organisations in order to determine their relative successes and failures, and the reasons thereof.

Many international summits and high-level events related to development poli- cies have been organised in the water sector in recent years. The Earth Summit in Rio, in , did not manage to put water higher up in the international political agenda. Fortunately, this situation started to change after the mids when several high profile events gave water an increasing consideration. The World Summit on Sustainable Development, held in Johannesburg, in , had a strong focus on water.

The Summit considered water to be one of its ten focal areas. It considered water at much greater depth than in Rio. These goals are in accord with the UN Millennium Goals. This book focuses on the latter one of the two goals because the sponsor of this book, Finland, has de- fined clear policies with respect to the former one but none for the latter.

How- ever, efficient water management in major transboundary basins is a very complex issue, and not enough serious and objective studies have been carried out to draw appropriate general lessons which could be used in the management of similar wa- ter bodies in different parts of the world. It should, however, be noted that each transboundary basin has its own special characteristics and boundary conditions, and thus a process which may work well in one location may not be the most appropriate for another.

While consideration of the general lessons are likely to be a useful first step to formulate a manage- ment strategy for any specific basin, each basin is likely to have enough special characteristics so that the final plan is likely to be unique for any large basin. In the area of transboundary water management, it is highly unlikely that one size will fit all.

The overall scope of the book is to provide a comprehensive and objective analysis of the roles and modalities of operation of transboundary river and lake basin organisations in a global perspective. By identifying and analysing what works and what does not work within the overall context of the institutions that manage such basins, the analyses in the book are likely to provide a useful road map in terms of institutional arrangements and their modalities of operation so that the related water, land and associated natural resources of a transboundary basin can be efficiently managed.

The various case studies selected for this book will provide a macro global view. These case studies provide the maximized experience from situations that prevail in high, middle and low income countries. Different river basins have different physical and envi- ronmental characteristics; political, institutional and legal frameworks; water demand and use patterns and water use efficiencies; and economic and man- agement capacities.

In addition, power relationships are asymmetrical. Man- agement experiences from different transboundary water bodies could be use- ful as background information. Some of these experiences, when considered appropriate and relevant, may have to be specially tailored to fit the local conditions in order to formulate an appropriate institutional model.

Sub-basin level plans and agreements may be more realistic and imple- mentable. Sometimes, it may be advisable to consider agreements between the upper riparian countries and a separate one between lower riparian coun- tries, particularly if a basinwide treaty is likely to be out of reach in the fore- seeable future for an entire, large river basin.

However, they have often proved useful as channels for communi- cations and discussions, and also for exchange of data and information. Some of these institutions are often overloaded by various diplomatic and adminis- trative tasks and their achievements in water management mostly have not been extensive. Thus, their major contributions may sometimes go outside the water sector.

These analyses are mostly academic and often full of misconceptions and misunderstandings, since the authors generally have limited knowledge and understanding of the background situations and the politics behind the issues. Lack of appreciation of the social-cultural- political-institutional contexts of the overall inter-country relationships, lim- ited availability of data and analyses which are generally considered to be sensitive by many of the co-basin countries concerned and thus are kept con- fidential, and limited access to the real decision-makers, have ensured that the real situations are seldom analysed.

These misconceptions and misunder- standings are often repeated by various authors, which gives the general im- pression that these are correct interpretations of actual facts, which of course is not the case. Factors like wa- ter requirements, use patterns and efficiency of management change with time, as do water management paradigms, practices and processes.

In addi- tion, technology improves continually, social perceptions are dynamic and human-knowledge base, like the universe, is steadily expanding. Thus, the need for dynamic treaties is likely to be increasingly required in the future. It may not be an easy task to formulate dynamic treaties, but one that must be considered very seriously in the coming years.

The countries need to develop their own road maps based on their own requirements and expectations, and then negotiate the best possible agreement from their own perspectives as well as the needs of their neighbours.

The overall agenda for cooperation between the countries con- cerned often encircle many issues, some of which could be political, and is likely to extend well beyond water. A good example is the recent window of opportunity between Bangladesh and India to resolve their inter-country water issues. The main driver for this change has not come from the water sector but from the energy sector.

In a world that is becoming increasingly interdepend- ent and globalised, many of the developments from outside the water sector may have major impacts on the water sector, including management of trans- boundary water bodies. These developments could provide new opportunities for negotiating inter-country agreements on transboundary water basins. These are complex and extend well beyond water. The exact nature of these intricate relationships is mostly too nuanced to be under- stood only in terms of geography or a single issue like water.

Any study or analysis that exclusively focuses on the river basin level is likely to miss this complex reality. Accordingly, it is essential for the analysts and decision- makers to understand the overall nuances in terms of patterns of cooperation and competition that exist in transboundary river and lake basins. It may be an attractive idea but is not an implementable approach.

Not surprisingly, the Johannesburg recommendation to formulate such IWRM management plans by was not only met, but also is highly unlikely to be met in the foreseeable future. The project on which the current book is based was carried out by the Helsinki University of Technology and the Third World Centre for Water Management.

Leading authorities were carefully selected and then invited to prepare the case studies, which were presented and then extensively discussed at an International Workshop in Espoo, Finland, on August 17—19, A complex international project and a very high level meeting such as this one could not have been organ- ised without the strong support of several institutions and individuals.

The funding came from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Finland. Our special thanks go to Mr. Eero Kontula and Mr. Matti Nummelin for their insight in conceptualising and planning the project, as well as to Ms. Krista Napola, Ms. Silja Sukselainen and Ms. Helsinki University of Technology provided all support in terms of the professional content and the logistics of the project and the workshop.

Katri Mehtonen, Ms. Ulla Heinonen, Mr. Marko Keskinen, Mr. Mizanur Rahaman, Mr. Tommi Kajander and Ms. We also grate- fully acknowledge the technical and intellectual support of the International Water Resources Association for this study.

Without the support of all the above- mentioned individuals and institutions, this book could not have been prepared. Olli Varis, Asit K. Biswas 1. Biswas 6. Thatte 7. Nickum 9. Water, a renewable resource, will be no exception to this general trend. Even when the global population stabilizes, which is expected to be around the year , the demands for certain resources such as water may continue to in- crease because of higher per capita demands from more and more people in the developing world, who will seek to attain better standards of living, and also as a result of changing lifestyles, both in developed and developing countries.

These trends are now clearly visible in countries such as India, where already more than million people have reached a middle-class standard of living. This rapidly emerging class is steadily flexing its new-found political and economic muscles and, in the area of water, unlike earlier generations, they are not likely to remain satisfied with the status quo of a few hours of intermittent supply of dubious qual- ity every day.

Changing lifestyles are also likely to increase their water consump- tions. Under these conditions, the availability of adequate quantity and appropriate quality of water to an increasingly urban population of the developing world is likely to be an important political and social consideration in the coming decades for most such countries. Three other factors should also be considered to meet the water requirements of the future in a timely manner.

These are water requirements for agricultural pro- duction and energy generation, and increasing water contamination due to acceler- ating human activities, especially in developing countries. Efficient irrigated agri- culture is essential for ensuring reliable food production in the 21st century, to meet the demand from a larger and increasingly affluent population. Biswas production will continue to be an important factor for the entire humankind well into the 21st century.

While water requirements for increasing global agricultural production have re- ceived considerable attention in recent years, water needs for energy production have been basically neglected by the water and development professionals. High development and economic growth rates cannot be achieved, especially in the developing world without the availability of adequate energy resources.

No large- scale electricity generation is possible without large quantities of water. In addi- tion to hydropower generation, construction and operation of new thermal and nu- clear plants would require significant additional quantities of cooling water, a fact that has basically escaped both water and energy planners to date.

No developing country has formulated, let alone implemented, a water policy which explicitly considers increasing electricity requirements of the country and its implications to the water sector in terms of resource availability and use. Water and energy have a symbiotic relationship, one depends on the other for its production. Thus, water requirements for the energy sector will require priority attention in the future.

A good example of the implications of massive increases in electricity genera- tion on national and transboundary water resources is the Asian developing coun- tries. Another , MW was needed by the year to fulfil their own development plans. This almost dou- bling of electricity requirements within a very short period of only one decade means that the water needs of a rapidly expanding energy sector can no longer be ignored, especially as similar growth rates are expected to continue, and may even accelerate, during the early part of the 21st century Biswas and Hashimoto The corresponding figure for France is much higher, as is for Mexico.

Thus, the future global water re- quirements for the energy sector cannot longer be ignored. It must be factored in for water planning and management processes. The demand for water for the en- ergy sector will also be reflected in terms of impacts on the transboundary water bodies of Asia. Another important issue is increasing water contamination, especially in the developing world. Many point sources of water must now receive expensive treatment before they could be used beneficially.

In future, non-point sources will have to be considered to control water pollution. While much rhetoric can now be noted in terms of water pollution control and ecosystems conservation, in reality appropriate remedial actions on the ground are often conspicuous by their absence. This situation is affecting both national and transboundary waters. The above issues, as well as other associated factors, like climate change, mean that efficient water management in the coming decades will face a challenge, the like of which no previous generation has had to confront earlier.

In spite of the gravity of the situation, unfortunately we currently do no have even reasonably re- liable assessments of the global situation in terms of water quantity and quality and associated factors. While these are continuing problems with exclusively na- tional water bodies, the problems are generally even more serious and complex for many transboundary water bodies because of lack of trust and absence of mean- ingful cooperation between the appropriate co-basin countries.

In Asia, Africa and Latin America, successful management of transboundary water bodies will experi- ence continuing and conflicting pressures in terms of quantity and quality for sev- eral decades to come. This means that the real costs of new projects per cubic metre of water supplied will continue to increase in the future, often very substantially.

An analysis of domestic water supply pro- jects supported by the World Bank indicates that the cost per cubic metre of water for the next generation of projects is often 2—3 times higher than from the present generation. Based on current trends, radical changes in such practices needed to resolve the water crisis appear to be somewhat unlikely within the next decade. All these factors will most probably contribute to tremendous socio-political pressure to develop new sources of water.

Biswas exclusively national which could be efficiently developed techno-economically are generally no longer available in most developing countries, there would be tre- mendous pressure in this region to develop transboundary water bodies, that is those rivers, lakes and aquifers that are shared by two or more countries. This is because transboundary bodies are often the only sources of water left which could be developed economically.

These water bodies were not considered for develop- ment in the past because of the absence of any agreements between the co-basin countries on their allocation and utilization. The political risks and economic complexities were considered to be too high for their unilateral development by only one country, without an explicit agreement with its co-basin countries.

This trend can be discerned by considering the following aspects. Fur- thermore, the number of studies that have already been completed, or are under preparation, on the development of the major tributaries of several transboundary rivers, especially when they are under exclusive national jurisdiction, is increasing all the time. All these developments on major tributaries would clearly have per- ceptible impacts on the flow regime of the main transboundary rivers.

A good ex- ample of this development can be noted from the Mekong River experience. Following the signing cere- mony, the VlPs embarked on a boat tour of the Mekong River. The boat, however, got stuck in the river because, unknown to the participants, China was filling up the reservoir of a new dam on a major tributary of the Mekong upstream in the Chinese territory. China is not a member of the reconstituted Mekong River Commission, though it has an observer status.

Such developments in the exclusively national tributaries of the Asian transboundary rivers may become a norm, rather than an exception, in the future. International development funding agencies, both multilateral and bilateral, have generally in the past declined to provide credits for the development of transboundary waters, until and unless the countries concerned have signed a mu- tually acceptable agreement.

Without external financial assistance, developing countries have often been unable to construct capital-intensive water development projects on transboundary rivers, even if they had wished to do so unilaterally. For example, while they are still continuing to decline to finance construction of the main structures like the dams and hydropower plants, they have began to support as- sociated activities like agricultural development, even when they may use water from the project an example is the GAP Project on the Euphrates River in Tur- key Biswas et al.

Absence of international funds thus could mean only an extension of the time needed for completing the construction of the project. Absence of external funding may not necessarily stop the project, as may have been the case in the past. The development considerations would no longer be confined to the techno-economical and environmental factors alone, as is generally the case at present for the exclusively national water sources. Other factors would have to be considered.

These would include binational or multinational political considera- tions, political and economic power of the country in which the water develop- ment would take place in relation to the other co-basin countries, importance of maintaining good relations between the countries concerned, and the general in- ternational and media interest in the project. These and other similar associated is- sues are likely to increase the complexity of the transboundary water management processes in the future, often by several orders of magnitudes.

Hydropolitics, both nationally and internationally, is thus likely to become an increasingly important global issue in the coming years for the management of transboundary river and lake basins and aquifers Biswas et al. Coastal and ocean waters are not considered, since these sources need to be analysed and discussed in a dif- ferent context, and within wholly different planning and management frameworks.

In the area of freshwater, three types of water sources need to be considered. These are rivers, lakes and groundwaters, even though often these sources are in- terconnected. While we now have considerable experience with the management of transboundary rivers, and to a lesser extent transboundary lakes, similar knowl- edge on groundwater-related issues is mostly conspicuous by its absence.

While the legal regime for managing transboundary surface water bodies has progres- sively evolved over the past four decades, similar progress has not been made on management of transboundary aquifers. The global magnitude and the distribution of the problem of transboundary riv- ers and lakes are reasonably known at present, though much work is still needed on several methodological aspects of the problems, before these could be accu- rately defined.

The information base is basically non-existent for most transboundary aquifers, and whatever information that is currently available, its reliability is mostly unknown. During the — period, it was assumed that there were transbound- ary river and lake basins in the world.

This number itself was an upward revision of an earlier estimate of transboundary river and lake basins by the same institution, CNRET. While the CNRET analyses can be considered to be a very good beginning, its shortcomings are clearly evident more than two decades later. The CNRET study can be at best be considered to be a preliminary assessment of the magnitude of the problem, which incidentally was also the intention of its originators.

It suffered from some serious methodological shortcomings. Unfortunately, the results of the CNRET study have been repeated often in the past without any technical scrutiny. Not surprisingly, these figures were accepted as facts for nearly 25 years. This uncritical acceptance of the written words is all the more difficult to justify when one considers the fact that during the intervening period many countries such as the Soviet Union, Czechoslovakia, and Yugoslavia split up into new countries, thus creating new transboundary river and lake basins.

Since the number was an underestimate, it gave the erroneous impression that the overall magnitude and extent of the problem was much less serious than what it was, and was likely to become in the foreseeable future. This knowledge-base has improved further by the work of Wolf et al. This work was carried out with the financial and intellectual support of the Third World Centre for Water Management.

Table 1. Most of these have turned out to be activities which in reality often achieved very little. Unfortunately, during the past three decades, most international and bilateral development organizations have progressively be- come more and more risk-averse and politically correct. Even for the United Na- tions Water Conference held in Mar del Plata, Argentina, in March , the issue of transboundary rivers was deliberately given a lower profile.

This was because of the belief that discussions on this issue could prove to be politically charged and could create political tensions between the countries, which, in turn, could af- fect the overall outcomes of the Conference. Biswas been as high up the international political agenda during the — period, as it should have been because of its increasing importance and complexity. While there are many reasons for this uneasiness, probably the two most important rea- sons for this in the past have been due to the issue of national sovereignty and the absence of agreement on the management of vast majority of transboundary freshwater bodies.

The first reason, that of national sovereignty, is a most important political con- sideration at the nation-state levels. Historically, all the nation-states have jeal- ously guarded their sovereign powers to manage the activities within their own borders. Thus, not surprisingly, the overall discussions on the management of transboundary rivers and lakes have often been somewhat controversial because of consideration of national sovereignty issues. For example, during the United Na- tions Conference on the Human Environment, held in Stockholm in , Brazil took a very strong stand on the discussions on the management of shared natural resources because of national sovereignty considerations.

A very important concern for the Brazilian Government at that time was forest-related issues. Brazil was most concerned that through the use of international resolutions at the United Nations on shared natural resources, the country may be forced to take decisions in its Amazon region, which may pre- empt certain future national activities in the area, irrespective of the importance of such activities in terms of its own national interest. Brazil continued to take a strong stand against such international discussions on shared natural resources during the entire s and part of the following decade.

Because of such pres- sures, the resolution on shared natural resources at Stockholm had to be watered down significantly to ensure an unanimous agreement. During the s and s, because many countries strongly opposed discus- sions on the management of shared resources due to perceived national self- interests, the various United Nations organizations basically decided to stay away from serious considerations of management of transboundary rivers.

To the extent the discussions took place, these were mostly on confidence building, mutual col- laboration, information exchange, expert group meetings, general workshops, etc. Not surprisingly, in spite of considerable amount of resources being spent, there was no real progress in this area during the s, s and much of the s. Thus, many countries which are currently negotiating trea- ties on transboundary rivers with their co-basin counterparts, or likely to do so in the foreseeable future, often feel that they would prefer to resolve the problems on the basis of bilateral or multilateral negotiations, rather than through an intermedi- ary international or foreign institution.

The countries generally prefer not to be constrained by international norms or guidelines, which may reduce their degree of manoeuvrability, and thus the final outcomes. Accordingly, they often either take a strong stand against such norms or abstain from the discussions or voting. Behind the scene, however, many countries have often let their views known to the staff members of the international organizations in no uncertain terms: they would prefer them to stay away.

These organizations, in turn, have preferred to play safe and not take any risk by taking a leadership position in terms of facilitat- ing negotiations, which may prove to be controversial and may even annoy certain countries. For the most part, the international institutions have followed what some of these countries had recommended. Un- questionably, the most noteworthy and successful case where an international or- ganization played a very critical role as a catalyst and a facilitator to get the co- basin countries to agree to a treaty was for the Indus River Basin between India and Pakistan, some half century ago.

Eugene Black, the then President of the World Bank, clearly and unambiguously indicated to the leaders of India and Pakistan, at the highest political levels, his own personal interest in resolving the conflict over the Indus basin amicably and speedily. He not only made the exper- tise and resources of the Bank available to both the countries in terms of media- tion, but also kept himself fully briefed of the progress during the almost decade- long negotiation process.

When there was an impasse, he was not afraid to play a critical role in person by assisting the countries to overcome it. This proved to be a very attractive incentive for both the parties concerned. It is interesting to note that even though the negotiations between the two coun- tries took less than a decade, the subsequent agreement between the four provinces of Pakistan on the allocation of its share of the Indus water took an additional three and a half decades!

In retrospect, the entire negotiation between the two countries was completed within a remarkably short period, especially for such a complex treaty. The Indus Treaty is indeed a major tribute to the astute and dynamic leadership of President Black, who not only accepted the risk of potential failure but also was prepared to get involved personally and had no hesitation to put his own personal reputation and credibility, as well as the substantial resources of the Bank, on the line for its successful completion, and its subsequent implementation.

The most unfortunate aspect of the post period has been the near total ab- sence of the type of courageous and prudent leadership that was shown by Black, either by the World Bank, for that matter, by any other international organization. By the mids, the Ganges issue had already been highly politicized in the countries concerned. The Bank career professionals had very little, if any, access to the highest levels of political decision-making, especially in India.

Without such high level ac- cess, it was simply impossible to find a solution that may have been politically acceptable to the two countries concerned. Not surprisingly, India distrusted that the Bank could play an impartial role in any mediating process, and thus it re- jected the overture of the Bank.

This distrust has basically continued up to the present. It was also considered to be extremely powerful by the two newly independent countries. While initially considered to be a success for UNEP, real progress in terms of its implementation of the Plan in over more than two decades, has been very minimal. This is in spite of the fact that, unlike the Ganges, the Zambezi is a water-surplus river. Thus, at least conceptually, it may have been simpler to facilitate such an agreement on the Zambezi where there was no conflict over water allocation, compared to the Indus basin, where, by all accounts, water has been a scarce resource.

While it is too early to make any authoritative judge- ment on the impact of this agreement, it is somewhat unlikely to have much im- pact on the future developments of the Mekong River system. The disappearance of the Interim Mekong Committee, which appeared to be a distinct possibility in , would have been a serious moral and political blow to UNDP, since all these investments would have been lost and showed very limited returns.

However, China, the most powerful country of the region, and the most upstream country on the river, was not a signatory to this agreement. It has also declined to be a mem- ber of the new Mekong River Commission, in spite of considerable pressure from UNDP and urging from the four lower co-basin countries. This is likely to be a major constraint in the future for any basin-wide coordinated planning and devel- opment.

While the agreement on the Lower Mekong is a step in the right direction, it is unlikely to contribute significantly to the efficient management of the Mekong River Basin for at least two reasons. First, the water requirements for all uses in China are increasing rapidly, and thus it needs to develop its water resources as much as possible, and as quickly as possible. Currently several provinces of China have plans to develop the water resources of the Upper Mekong. Biswas steadfastly refused to join the earlier Interim Mekong Committee or the present Commission.

In addition, China was only one of the three countries which voted in May against the resolution to establish an International Convention on the Law of the Non-Navigational Uses of International Watercourses at the United Nations.

This may signify some negative implications for the future coordinated developments of the Mekong. Second, the most difficult part of any international agreement in the developing world is the actual process of water allocation between the various co-basin coun- tries. The Mekong Agreement does not include any specific allocation of water between the countries.

In the final analysis, the Mekong Treaty is basically a framework agree- ment for the lower four riparian countries, primarily to consult and to cooperate. It does not address the most critical issue of under allocation between the four signa- tory countries. Accordingly, the potential for conflicts between the countries on this issue in the future, in spite of the existing treaty, is therefore quite high.

This may come because the water requirements of the two most powerful countries on the Mekong, China and Thailand, are increasing steadily. Both of these countries are likely to further harness the waters of the tributaries of the Mekong that are in their own national jurisdictions, even though such steps may change the flow re- gime of the main stream.

Overall, no matter whatever criteria are used for analysis, international organi- zations have played a very marginal role in resolving conflicts on transboundary rivers and lakes in recent decades. Given real leaderships in the major interna- tional institutions, they could have played a significantly more effective role in this area during the past four decades.

Regrettably, there are no perceptible signs that this situation is changing for the better. When a river forms a boundary between two countries, two politi- cal units which would have simultaneous authority over a mobile resource like water, could contribute to the generation of several types of transboundary water conflicts. Because of potential conflicts between co-basin countries on transboundary riv- ers and lakes, historically many nations have negotiated mutually acceptable agreements as to how such water bodies can be used.

Over 3, treaties can be noted on transboundary water bodies between AD, and , the majority of which deal with navigation, which was the primary form of transportation during the earlier times. It should be noted that generally it has been easier to negotiate treaties on the navigable uses of rivers, since these do not require water allocation, or use considerations.

Historically, it has been most difficult to get the countries to agree on the actual allocation of water quantities between the appropriate co-basins, and to a lesser extent on water quality management. The first important study on the legal aspects of using the waters of the trans- boundary rivers was carried out by Prof. Smith of London. He reviewed more than treaties and studied several conflicts on the use of transboundary rivers. He emphasized the doctrine of riparian rights, which entitled the lower riparian states to a share of the natural flow of a river.

He also noted that some of the trea- ties considered the concept of equitable utilization. Subsequently, in , Bolivia introduced a resolution in the United Nations General Assembly which requested the Secretary General to prepare a report on laws related to trans- boundary rivers. This resolution was passed. However, what led Bolivia to pro- pose this resolution is unknown at present.

Thereafter, in , Finland, where the Helsinki Rules were formulated, introduced a resolution in the UN General Assembly on the laws for transbound- ary watercourses, which suggested that the Helsinki Rules should be considered as a model. During the ensuing discussions in the United Nations, three reservations to the Helsinki Rules surfaced.

An analysis of the ensuing discussions in the United Nations indicates that the most important reservation centred on the use of the drainage basin concept. Bel- gium, Brazil, China and France argued that such an approach would be a radical departure from the traditional channel-based international law.

In contrast, Finland and The Netherlands felt that the drainage basin framework was the most rational and scientific approach, and thus it should be followed. Certain other countries opined that the problem of transboundary river basins was so diverse that codifica- tion may simply not be possible, or advisable. The resolution to refer to the Helsinki Rules was lost. However, a similar reso- lution was passed with only one negative vote Brazil , after the reference to the Helsinki Rules was deleted.

In , the ILC sent out a questionnaire to all the members of the General As- sembly soliciting their view on nine key questions. The responses, however, were not encouraging. By , only 21 of the UN members had bothered to reply. Four additional countries replied by , one by , four by and two by Not surprisingly, on the critical issue of the appropriateness of the drainage basin concept, the countries were sharply divided.

Approximately half the coun- tries supported the concept Argentina, Finland and The Netherlands and the other half were either strongly negative Austria, Brazil and Spain or ambivalent. The scope of this term was finally addressed in , when the ILC produced a draft report on the law of the non-navigational uses of international watercourses. Considerable discussion took place during the —97 period on the ILC draft.

Finally, on 8 July , the UN General Assembly approved the resolution on non-navigational uses of international watercourses. Against: Burundi, China and Turkey. Even though some countries voted for the Convention, only 16 countries have ratified it thus far. In all probability, it is likely to have somewhat marginal impact on the resolution of existing and future water conflicts, even if it is ratified, for the following reasons: First, not all countries that are currently parties to disputes on transboundary watercourses are likely to sign the Convention.

This probably means that, if and when the Convention is ratified, there would be parties to specific conflicts who are unlikely to be signatories. As the past ex- perience with the nuclear non-proliferation treaty has shown, moral pressures are likely to be of little value in the face of strong, entrenched, vested national inter- ests. Experiences with this new Convention, even if when it comes into force, in all probability is unlikely to be any different.

Second, while the Convention could be considered to be an important benchmark, its two basic principles are similar to what had generally been ac- cepted much earlier: equitable and reasonable utilization and obligation not to cause appreciable harm. Thus, the proposed convention, at least conceptually, did not break any new ground. One of the main problems with the proposed Convention is that it is full of vague, broad and general terms Waterbury , which can be defined, and in certain cases quantified, in a variety of different ways.

Technical analyses can be produced to justify and support appropriate national po- sitions. Such occurrences, however, are not new: they have happened in the past and will no doubt continue to occur in the future. Furthermore, the Convention does not give any practical guidance to the negotiators and no operational assis- tance to the technical experts. It simply outlines a very broad, general framework, within which everything is considered to be relevant and important. It is likely to contribute to the generation of significant differences of opinions among the nego- tiators and technical experts as to how such general articles should be interpreted in operational terms.

Each one of the above factors cannot be defined uniquely or precisely since they are general and broad in character. The estimates are likely to differ significantly even when groups of truly independent and objec- tive experts make such attempts separately. Third, the prevailing national political sentiments in each negotiating riparian countries, as well as the incentives to negotiate in good faith, are likely to be im- portant factors in the resolution of all such conflicts.

In addition, as the number of riparians increase to four or more in any transboundary basin, the importance and relevance of any proposed settlement could range from exceedingly important from one country to total indifference or even downright hostility, from another.

For a basin such as the Nile, which has ten riparian, the incentives for all the coun- tries to arrive at any specific settlement, at any specific point in time, are likely to vary from very high to of no discernable interest. Equally, the types of settlements preferred by the different countries are likely to vary somewhat significantly.

The new Convention can at best be of only limited help in such cases. Finally, ratification of the Convention is an important requirement. The Convention was kept open for signature until 20 May During this 3-year period, only four countries rati- fied it see Annex I.

Legally, even though this deadline is long past, countries can still ratify this Convention. It is an open-ended ratification system, which means that whenever 35 countries ratify it, it would become an international legal in- strument. The critical fact that should be considered is that for nearly six years after the deadline expired, not even a single country ratified the Convention.

In , Ger- many and Uzbekistan ratified it. This means that, in over a decade, less than half the countries needed to ratify it, have done so. Thus, when this Convention will be ratified by 35 countries so that it becomes an internationally accepted legal in- strument is now an open question.

The above considerations and other related factors most probably mean that agreements in individual transboundary basins will most probably continue to oc- cur only through protracted negotiations between the riparian countries concerned. The Convention, even when it is ratified, is unlikely to speed up the time needed to reach mutually acceptable agreements in vast majority of disputes on trans- boundary river basins.

The new rules are now referred to as Berlin Rules. These three rules show the progressive evolution of the legal regime for managing transboundary waters over nearly half a century. Since these rules have been for- mulated by a non-governmental organization, and not approved by the nation- states, they can probably be best regarded as guidelines for a legal regime for managing transboundary waters.

However, since the UN Convention has still not been ratified, and is unlikely to be ratified for some years to come, the Berlin Rules have the moral and intellectual authority of ILA, a professional association with a proven, acceptable and effective track record in this overall area for some five decades. Similarly, the in- ternational legal regime as to how transboundary water resources should be planned, managed and developed has also progressively evolved over the past half a century.

As our overall knowledge-base in this complex area expands, experi- ences in managing transboundary resources increase over time and space, technol- ogy improves, social norms and aspirations change, water institutions become more efficient, and legal frameworks both national and international evolve, it should be possible to manage transboundary water bodies more and more effi- ciently in the coming years.

The legal regime for managing transboundary waters has evolved from the time of the Dubrovnik Rules that were first enunciated in , to the Helsinki Rules, UN Convention on Non-navigational Uses of International Watercourses, and fi- nally the Berlin Rules. While this gradual evolution has been an important achievement, these rules should mostly be seen as guiding principles during the negotiation process of a treaty on a specific transboundary water body.

Each transboundary water body is different, not only in terms of size, water availability and use requirements, but also because of its specific climatic, physi- cal and environmental conditions, institutional and management capacities of the countries involved, historical relationships, power structure between the co-basin countries, economic conditions and social aspirations of the people concerned.

Thus, it is highly unlikely that a specific treaty can be replicated willy-nilly in an- other location. As the 21st century progresses, it is becoming evident that, like oil some two decades ago, the era when water could be considered to be a cheap and plentiful resource is now virtually over. Biswas profession will face a problem, the magnitude and complexity of which no earlier generation has had to face. Global ex- periences indicate that if a constructive and positive approach is adopted by the co-basin countries, it invariably contributes to the creation of a virtuous cycle where people of both countries become winners.

The reverse of this approach equally brings into play a vicious cycle, where there are no winners. Potential benefits are simply lost both to the countries and to the people of the region concerned. The root for the English word rival is from the Latin term rivals, which origi- nally meant using the same river rivus. But as the countries become increasingly interconnected in a rapidly globalizing world, nations sharing the same river should no longer consider each other as rivals.

Con- trary to popular belief, these are not necessarily zero-sum games. The present Convention shall enter into force on the nine- tieth day following the date of deposit of the thirty-fifth instrument of ratification, acceptance, approval or accession with the Secretary-General of the United Na- tions. For each State or regional economic integration organization that ratifies, accepts or approves the Convention or accedes thereto after the deposit of the thirty-fifth instrument of ratification, acceptance, approval or accession, the Con- vention shall enter into force of the ninetieth day after the deposit by such State or regional economic integration organization of its instrument of ratification, accep- tance, approval or accession.

For the purposes of paragraphs 1 and 2, any in- strument deposited by a regional economic integration organization shall not be counted as additional to those deposited by States. The first output is the finding by Wolf et al. The second is the conclusion by Conca and his team that there are some doubts on the emergence of an international regime for the management of transboundary river basins that is based on a converging set of core normative elements, via a global-framework or a basin-cumulative path Conca and Wu ; Conca et al.

The third is the finding by Gleditsch et al. Finally, the work by Ashton et al. In short, this chapter seeks to add substance to these three global-level stud- ies, by presenting facts from the Southern African Development Community SADC region, specifically with respect to changes in institutional capacity since the Basins at Risk study was completed in Tshwane is the new official name for Pretoria, the capital of South Africa. The first was the unknown number of international river ba- sins, when it was discovered that the Register of International Rivers was grossly inaccurate because of the rapid changes in the post-Cold War global political ge- ography UN ; Wolf et al.

The second was the dominance of the Water Wars literature in the s and early s see Box 1 , an event that arose from the collapse of Cold War bipolarity, and closely associated with the emergence of a new field of study linking the environment and national security see Box 2.

Of this total number, were conflictual, 1, were cooperative and 96 were neutral. This was fed into a Geographic Information Sys- tem GIS platform that included approximately layers of spatial data cover- ing three specific categories: biophysical topography, runoff, climate etc. Each of these was then linked to specific international river basins, which became the ba- sic unit of analysis. From this GIS platform, the data was interrogated and analysed in terms of a number of various parameters.

Each dataset was subject to a single and multivari- ate statistical analysis of the recorded events against the parameters that defined their historic settings Yoffe et al. Stated differently, two thirds of the recorded events are of a verbal nature only, with two thirds of these carrying no formal sanction. Of the 37 recorded acute-level conflicts —5 and —6 on the BAR scale , 30 are between Israel and its various neighbours, with non-Middle East cases relating to only five of the events of this magnitude.

Paul Tano Benito Umba St. These were taken to represent the supply side of the overall water resources equation. The BAR methodology was developed to factor these into the overall capacity of the country concerned to ab- sorb the impacts of stress, in the form of changes to that supply Yoffe et al. The capacity to absorb stress was translated into institutional capacity.

In this regard indicators of rapid change were developed. On the supply side, the indicator tracks changes to the hydrology as a result of major infrastructure development upstream. Statistically, the results showed that existing conflicts are their most intense in internationalized basins, specifically those associated with rapid changes in the political landscape.

So, for example, the collapse of the British Empire gave rise to a number of newly inter- nationalized river basins that have known high conflict, including the Jordan, Nile, Tigris-Euphrates, Indus and Aral Wolf et al. There was also a strong statistical correlation with unilateral development in a given basin in the absence of a cooperative transboundary water management institution.

In this regard basins without treaties were significantly more conflictive —2. There was a definite convergence of exacerbating factors however, with no single parameter acting as a clearly discernable driver of conflict in its own right.

Emerging from this analysis was the distillation of what became known as the Basins at Risk, which was an indicator of basins that had the potential for conflict, ceteris paribus, at the time of the study Yoffe et al. These consisted of 17 river basins globally, 8 of which occurred in Africa. Of even greater relevance, three of these are basins to which South Africa is a riparian Incomati, Limpopo and Orange. General Game Species General game has been abundant as usual.

Big herds of elephants are seen along the Savute Channel and by Kubu Lagoon every day, all day. Guest who love elephant and have visited the Linyanti for this reason have been left speechless with the vast numbers they were seeing. Most of our resident adult bull elephants are not friendly at the moment as they seem to be in musth a condition of heightened testosterone levels.

They have also kept us busy repairing the walkways as they break sections of it every night! Large numbers of zebra are present as well, and the buffalo are a common sight in the mopane woodlands. Theba, having been a guide for thirty years, was over the moon to have spotted a rarely-seen pangolin.

This was the fourth time in his guiding career to see one. Wattled Cranes are now resident just in front of DumaTau Camp by the pool, and the diversity of raptors have also been a highlight. Guest Comments 'Elephant right next to our tent, Mr T, lions roaring all night, bush dinner, friendly smiles by the staff and cannot think of anything to be changed. Thank you. Bunny and John. Mocks is a great guide and a fine ambassador for Botswana. Keep going just as you are. I hate to see putting wild dogs above the lovely staff and guides at DumaTau Camp.

We missed seeing the dogs at the last camp and we had given up on seeing them ever in our life but Mocks did it. Keep it as it is, a saying in the US, if it isn't broken, don't fix it. We also have Maatla doing her management training and the guiding team was Ron, Theba, Lazi, Name, Mocks and Moses as the trainee guide.

May has once again come and gone, the browning of the leaves tell us that yet another chapter is finished. For those that visited our piece of Botswana paradise many fond memories were savoured, some with great joy and some with a slight twinge of sadness. Needless to say, emotions were rather high during May's many unforgettable safaris.

Something special is happening deep in the heart of the wilderness. It might be the bellowing sound of a hundred buffalo crossing our famous Savute Channel, or the male impala in full rut defending what is his, proving to his harem that he is the only one for them.

Or is it the two young male lion cubs at age six months, following their mother through the cold of the morning and the heat of the day, waiting for her to lock onto their new prey? The only people who would know are those waking up at 05h30, as the old saying goes "the early bird catches the worm". After a good cup of filter coffee to warm up the body and wake up the soul everyone heads out in hope of finding something, something that they have dreamt of for a very long time in its natural environment - the holistic African safari experience.

Throw in a couple of lions or spotted cats and for some, this might be the winning recipe. For others, watching a Pied Kingfisher hover in a perfect position, waiting for that split second that his prey has moments between life and death was enough. Searching for the elusive honey-badger or porcupine, it doesn't really matter, in the end everyone has come here for the same thing.

And for the last four weeks, I think everyone that's come here has found exactly that. Moments after we spoke about the 'painted wolves' the African wild dog , they surprised us with a wonderful outburst right in front of Savuti Camp; this almost felt like an action replay of last month's happenings. We were watching them in awe - one, two, three dogs running like the wind, crossing the Channel like there is nothing in their way. They came to a stop only once they had their prey in full grip, no time wasted.

As the sun set against the pink, yellow and blue backdrop the smears of colour and the textures of the Linyanti dust settles as a large herd of elephants come to drink. Expect the unexpected - with no expectations. In the distance a lion is making sure everyone knows about his presence. An African Scops-owlet entertains us with its unmistakable "Prrp, pause, Prrp", the fireflies settle as they advertise themselves with their passionate glow to find a mate.

Yet another day is now only a mere memory. The Milky Way paints a new picture in the Southern Hemisphere night sky - the winter constellations and the Magellanic Clouds poised like rough diamonds. Lighting up the unknown wonder-world of an amateur astronomer sipping on a glass filled with creamy Amarula liqueur.

Make a wish on a dying star - burning out into the depths that attract us to this vast and unspoilt Promised Land. As morning breaks, everyone is gathered around the 'bush television', flames bursting and wood crackling of an African campfire. It is cold! The morning temperatures took us by surprise; winter came quicker than we thought Hot water bottles make great companions as you set out on you morning photographic hunt.

The wind is chilly against your face, but somehow you don't even notice. Eyes widened, searching for anything that moves. Finally, there they are; 10 healthy lions feasting on black and white stripes, the eagerness in their body language showing that these were ten hungry lions: growling and grunting, hissing and clawing - a never ending tug of war - survival of the fittest.

In another section of our large untouched unspoilt safari area is another interesting show. Two male giraffes doing what seem like a never-ending ballet - a graceful staccato dance of dominance. As their necks entwine, the thumping sound of the solid bone in their horns rings out across savannah.

Combat of the most graceful kind, not too pugnacious, but still a serious battle between two males with one goal: finding out who is the brawnier of the two In the distance another pack of wild dogs wake up from a taunted night - hyaenas lurking, lions lingering in the shadows and a leopard on the prowl. These wild dogs are going to have an interesting month ahead.

Two of the females are pregnant: ready to bring new life into the animal world. They will have to find a safe den site, out of view of their enemies. Soon we will be a part of a magical event, watching these animal parents nurture and protect their prospective leaders. Up in the trees an orchestra of sounds, a cacophony of contrast is humming us to sleep.

It's time to come and experience the passion, the expert guiding, great food and homely welcoming atmosphere - not to mention the indescribable beauty - of our home nestled alongside the Savute Channel: Savuti Camp, where who knows what will happen next! Guest Comments We appreciated all your kindness, caring and concern for our well being - you made our Savuti home feel like home to us. Yes, it was our favourite camp overall! Concentration of elephant was unexpected and exciting; service and quality was excellent, and hospitality was warm and wonderful.

Fantastic guides, staff and management! Please don't change. Our guide Kane's understanding both of animal behaviour and photographic lighting - he set us up for amazing shoots. Goodman was an excellent guide - we enjoyed the safari experience! Really appreciated all the efforts made to accommodate our dietary needs - the camp chefs went above and beyond to help with this!

Our romantic meal for two on the deck - perfect!! Traditional night was lots of fun and staff was very friendly! Highlights: puff adder, rain storm, camp setting, cheetah, rainbow, light, all good! As we finish off the fifth chapter in the book of , we look forward in welcoming you into our little piece of Eden in the near future!

The female is heavily pregnant and expected to give birth some time late in June or early July. The search for the den site continues into June. A fortuitous sighting of a caracal was recorded close to Johns Pan while on a night drive an African Civet was seen hunting a feeding on a millipede.

May has also been a productive month for Cheetah sightings. Three brothers who are resident in the area were followed and they managed to kill a sub adult Impala. The pair are still understandably shy and defensive but lucky guests at Kwara have still managed to get some spectacular shots of our newest addition. The rising flood water into Kwara lagoon has reached almost all the way up to the fireplace enabling guests a close up view of wallowing Hippos and basking Crocodiles.

An abundance of plains game is congregating in the area now that the distant pans have dried up. Zebras, Buffalos, Impalas and returning Elephants have all been observed by the camp. The first, numbering seven, were hunting Impala south of the airstrip but missed and failed. The second was a group of twelve animals that were seen at various intervals throughout the area.

Both groups seem well fed and females are pregnant. Elephants have been returning in large numbers to the permanent Kwando channel by Lebala from the backcountry and Mopane woodland now that the pans have dried up. Breeding herds and bachelor groups are a common site in and around the camp. Some interesting Lion Hyena interaction took place on the floodplains when a Lioness was spotted running away from three Hyenas one evening. Hundreds of Buffalos have moved through Lebala mating and mud bathing as they go followed by countless Cattle Egrets and Oxpeckers.

Nxai Pan An extraordinary few days of late rain has given new life to the pans giving resident Elephants, Springbok, Wildebeest and predators welcome relief from the draught. Zebras have been sited leaving the Boteti River and heading back out into the pans — almost unheard of at this time of the year.

Two cheetah brothers have been a regular site on the main Nxai Pan. They are consistently stalking Impalas and Springboks. Tau Pan A very interesting conflict was witnessed recently at Tau Camp. It is unclear whether the Jackal was killed by the Hyena or if it died by some other cause. Elsewhere, four Lionesses led a successful hunt on a Gemsbok Oryx close to the camp which was witnessed by some lucky guests. The rare Cape Fox was also seen. This tiny omnivore is roughly the size of a cat and is endemic to the Kalahari of Southern Africa.

In Botswana it can only be seen in the Central Kalahari where Tau is situated. As winter kicks in the Kalahari has been transformed into a golden paradise as the old grass has faded for the year. Water has dried out in most areas leaving a stark landscape occupied by only the most hardy desert animals. Weather and Vegetation The month of May is usually a very cold month at Mombo but it has been really warm in the area and most of our repeat guests were really surprised as they had come prepared for the cold month they have grown accustomed to.

Usually our last rains before winter are in mid April, but this time around we did get some rainfall in May and the maximum recorded was The rains also helped increase the flood water, which were already early as compared to the past years. The floods are usually at their peak in June but this time around we had more flood water than we usually do, but it was only beginning of May. It is the time of the year when trees start dropping their leaves and we have seen most of the dryer parts of Mombo turning from green to browner wintry hues.

Botanically, it is quite interesting to drive along the floodplains, as you now get two different coloured vegetation bands. The tree line along the floodplains being brown and the hippo grass in the flooded areas being very green - a visually beautiful contrast. Wildlife Mombo Camp has always been a great lion area as they follow the big diversity of general game that exists in this area. They still haven't proved this fact wrong as there are a lot of additions to the lion population.

The latest addition is a cub estimated at about two to three weeks old that belongs to the Moporota Pride. This pride was seen with this little cub between Derek's Crossing and Triple Baobab don't you just love the place names on the concession! The pride has three other cubs that are about three months old and they are cousins to the smallest cub. This pride is controlled by the two Jao Boys who are the fathers of the four cubs. The Mathata Pride which has four lionesses and two cubs are mostly seen around the Simbira area and Suzie's.

One of the lionesses of this pride has been seen this month mating with one of the Western Pride males. The Western Pride has been seen around camp and hunting in camp as well. One morning just when we were about to go out on our morning drive they had killed an impala just in front of the Mombo Camp curio shop. This is the same pride that has the female with a mane reported some time back and she seems to dominate the other females.

This was witnessed when they killed the impala in camp as she was the only one eating with the rest waiting for her to finish. She is not just dominant but also a very good hunter and fearless when out hunting. Legadima has been a very successful leopard in this area of lions and she has done very well when she passed it on to her cubs Pula and Maru that are about eighteen months old now.

We have been very lucky to have all three leopards around camp as they are now no longer together most of the time. Legadima is now comfortable to leave them on their own so they can start fending and learning for themselves. Pula has shown that she is doing very well as some of our guides and guests witnessed her take down an impala when she had another one up the tree already!

She had just reailised that she could take down a big animal like an impala and she was having fun doing it. She was then seen again two days later. While playing with a squirrel, two fighting male impala caught her attention. She decided to go for one of them and again our guides and guests witnessed Pula take down an adult male impala.

She unfortunately failed to drag it up the tree and hyaenas scavenged the kill from her. The lone wild dog that we have been seeing is still surviving. Not just surviving other predators, but she has done well in keeping fit and she has turned out to be a very good solo hunter.

Martin and some of the other managers here were even lucky to see this wild dog catch an impala. Mombo is also reknowned for its density of general game. Big numbers of red lechwe have been seen by Thompson's Crossing where we usually have our bush brunches and also zebra, wildebeest, giraffe, impala, kudu and warthog.

Big herds of about around two hundred buffalo are been seen at Moporota Floodplains; elephants and buffalo bulls seen in camp have also been a great highlight for us. On the 28th of May our guides and guests enjoyed a great sighting of rhino courtesy of Poster: three rhinos, one of them being a calf Tshepo together with a male Serondela and female Warona.

Birding Birding has also been simply fantastic and this was proved when we scooped first prize for the annual Birding Big Day competition see how many birds can be identified in a hour period. We were also very lucky, while enjoying brunch at Thompson's Crossing, when a Verreaux's Eagle-owl was spotted feeding on a francolin, and it was not even bothered that by our presence or talking.

Thapera was on leave. Cilas, Tsile, Dr, Lebo and Pete were the guides that helped me come up with the news this month, and Steve was the Head Chef for the month. Thanks to all the brilliant staff that I did not mention and for making Mombo what it is. Weather and Water Levels So far we have had warm winter weather, with even some rainfall on three occasions at the beginning of the month.

We have found only in the last two weeks of the month that it has started to cool down. At some places in the Delta the water is apparently still rising, but at our bridge we have noticed otherwise. Over the month there has been a small drop in the water level. Wildlife During the mokoro rides there has been a lot of general game, with some beautiful sightings of elephants.

The boating activities have also heralded some extraordinary stories of the abundance of game, and especially the beautiful sightings experienced during picnics on Chief's Island. The best sighting has to be the pride of nine lions crossing a broad channel.

Before crossing, they continuously and nervously looked over their shoulders, but eventually jumped through the water and swam across. It was an amazing event! Together with Kai Collins, our Environmental Manager, we had a close look at the video filmed by guests, and we assume it was the Western Pride crossing into the Jao concession.

On the drives and even during the guests' pickups from the airstrip, there have been regular leopard sightings. This leopard is very successful and is often seen with a kill in the trees along the riverine forest. There has been a hyaena den spotted on the game drives, with one pup. The local hyaena family is however making it difficult for the leopard to keep kills for itself.

One of these events was very exciting, where the leopard killed a female impala and managed to take it up into the tree, just before the hyaena walked onto the scene. However, this particular tree had fallen over and thus not very high! The leopard, worried about its kill, tried to take it higher up in the tree, balancing itself on the thinner, weaker branches. Unfortunately, with the hyaena jumping up and disturbing it, the leopard couldn't hold on to the carcass any longer and had to drop it into the waiting jaws of its foe.

The amount of elephants around this time of year has been very entertaining. There is a big family herd sighted on drive on a regular basis and elephants are still crossing through the camp quite often. This month a whole family has crossed through camp on a few occasions besides the often lonely bulls keeping guest awake during the night. The family has got a few young calves. The bridge to camp has had regular hyaena crossings, as the sand patch called 'The Sandy Times' has shown us; and two leopard crossings - one during pre-dinner drinks!

The most amazing bird sightings were right in camp though! For over two weeks, there were two beautiful Pel's Fishing-owls residing at Room It was an amazing sight, especially when sitting in the palm tree. There is also another pair of these birds on an island north of Xigera Camp. Guest Comments "Herd of elephants crossing right before us. Beautiful sunrises, sunsets and amazing birds.

The elephant feeding outside our door our first night. Last but certainly not least the surprise anniversary dinner for the two of us - WOW! Thank you! In general, the flood has had an impact on wildlife distribution, with animals moving to new inundated areas and causing the guides rethink their strategy in finding wildlife. Wildlife In the beginning of the month we had numerous sightings of the lion pride dubbed the Eastern Pride.

One of the females has introduced her cubs to the pride. She has however lost one, with two remaining. The other lioness in the pride also has a cub. This new pride has been trying their luck in hunting buffalo, and they were witnessed finishing off the carcass of a young bull. They are spending most of their time around Vumbura Plains and towards the north-east of the Kwedi Concession. The Kubu Pride was also seen again towards the end of the month, after a long absence.

They have been resident around the airstrip area and the cubs are doing well and look very healthy. Two cubs are now about 10 months old and the youngest one is about four months old. The month old cubs have already started to show interest in practising hunting by play stalking each other, as well as their younger sibling. This pride has also been seen on different occasions trying their luck on taking down buffalo, though no kills were actually witnessed.

During May there were many diverse animal sightings such as black-backed jackal, serval, pangolin, wild dog and leopard. Exciting to note was the new leopard discovered near Kgokong Loop. She was very skittish and shy initially, but as she was found with an impala kill up a tree, she remained for a few days, becoming relaxed and more tolerant of vehicles.

Another unknown leopard was found in the Xhakhwetshaa Pan area, hunting impala. Selonyana, our resident female leopard, has been regularly seen throughout the month. The Golden Pack of wild dog, which used to consist of 22 dogs, looks like they have split up. The pack that was seen comprised five dogs - three males and two females. They were watched killing a female kudu, which was stolen by hyaenas before the dogs could feed.

The pangolin sighting came as a nice surprise, as one had not been seen in ages in our area. Guide Ban found it when he was following a sub-adult leopard, which was slowly heading towards the Kgokong Loop area. General game sightings were fairly quiet in the beginning of the month due to the movement of animals away from the floodplains and into the woodlands. As time progressed, and our road network allowed us greater access to new areas, giraffe, kudu and different elephant herds were all sighted.

A plethora of water birds are seen daily, and it is always entertaining for us to watch the Southern Ground Hornbills we see so regularly here, a threatened species in Southern Africa. All in all a great start to the winter!

Little Vumbura continues to live up to its reputation of being one of the best camps in the Okavango Delta and this year's floods have certainly brought us a lot of excitement and unusual experiences, which we hope continue. Water Levels and Environmental Changes Little Vumbura has seen an increase in the flood water levels in May and this continues to cause excitement here at Little Vumbura as it has started something completely new in history of the camp - guests now get to boat from the airstrip right to camp!

The boat ride starts at Vumbura Paradise, a unique part of the Kwedi Concession, which is basically a permanent lagoon with a wondrous variety of wildlife and birds. The boat ride is approximately 20 minutes to Little Vumbura Camp through a beautiful floodplain where we also see loads of birds and animals such as sightings of elephant, red lechwe, common reedbuck, buffalo and even lion.

This is certainly a great welcome to Little Vumbura and is also a nice start and end to the day, travelling to and from the other wildlife viewing areas that are explored by safari vehicle. Wildlife Despite having more water inundating our floodplains than previous years, we still continue to enjoy exceptional wildlife sightings.

Wild dogs have been seen consistently almost every other day, which is very exciting. We are seeing three different wild dog packs ranging in size from five animals to as large as Some of the dogs have very young pups and other pack females are expecting. Lion sightings have also been excellent with three different prides seen. One of the prides has three small cubs - two are about six months old and one about three months old. Even after having lost our resident male leopard last year we continue to relish in ample leopard sightings and are finding 'new' leopards - in other words, not seen before.

I guess the contest for the territory has begun and we are quite keen to see who will settle here. The male cheetah in the area has also been seen a few times this month, which is good news. General game sightings are good too - we have seen various herds of elephant, Burchell's zebra, blue wildebeest, buffalo and impala.

Journeys of giraffe are often sighted too, their collective name aptly describing the almost-continual procession somewhere. Birds Birding has also been outstanding. Seeing special birds like Pel's Fishing-owl have also been one of the highlights of our mokoro trips at Little Vumbura. Weather May has been a relatively cool month, with temperatures dropping considerably when compared to April. Typical of May, as we approach winter, most of the nights and mornings have been very cool with a light cold wind.

We have experienced an increase in flood water on the concession in both April and May. Despite the amount of water, we can still operate game drives without any limitations and are still able to cover most of our prime game drive areas. With most of the floodplains inundated, this has reduced the area over which the buffalo roam, forcing them to spend more time on certain dry floodplains and islands which we can access easily.

The flood water seems to be stable at this stage; we expect water levels to start receding in the next month and a half. Wildlife Buffalo have been seen on a regular basis in May - the herd still in great condition. There is a large amount of palatable grasses in the area which is what the buffalo and other grazers like tsessebe and red lechwe prefer. As mentioned before, we have witnessed buffalo abandoning their newly born calves in fear of lions and this behaviour continues to happen.

The guides have reported that this has occurred numerous times in the month of May, and the abandoned calf will always fall prey to the hungry lionesses. One of the highlights of the month was the sighting of the sub-adult male leopard that has been seen twice in different occasions on a single game drive!

The most exciting aspect of this sighting is how relaxed he has been towards vehicles, making it very easy for us to view him. We have seen leopards before at Duba Plains, but this sighting is by far the best in recent history due to his relaxed behaviour towards humans. The guides estimate his age to be between 18 and 24 months. As usual, the Tsaro Pride has continued to provide the majority of the lion sightings this month. They still consist of nine adult females and a juvenile female cub.

The poor breeding success rate of this pride sadly continues with about eight cubs killed in the last four months. Out of the four cubs that were in the pride only two months ago, only one has been seen alive. Silver Eye, the lioness generally thought to be responsible for much of this cub killing seems not to be tolerated by the other lionesses and she has been isolated from the majority of the pride for much of May.

She has been most regularly seen close to the camp island with one of the females who has been a companion of hers for many years; the pair have been very successful at hunting, seen on two occasions on kills. The rest of the pride continues to be together on most occasions. They have also hunted successfully in May, and we have witnessed many interactions between the pride and the buffalo herd.

Most guests have been amazed at watching how these lions have adapted to living in the flooded areas, and manage so successfully. Viewing swimming lions is a very common sight at Duba Plains! Birding Bird sightings have been outstanding, with lots of water birds and raptors everywhere like Martial Eagle, Brown and Black-chested Snake-eagles.

The African Fish-eagles appear to have been on a fishing frenzy given the number of fish now present in the flooded areas. The guides have also recently reported the significant increase of Wattled Cranes, and a flock of five frequent the floodplain in front of the camp. We also have been having frequent sightings of another uncommon species, the Rosy-throated Longclaw. Weather It has been a month of stark contrasts but mostly warm days with little wind.

The change in season is here however. The colour of the grass has changed into its golden winter dress - similar to the sandy colouring of lions. The annual flood water has come and now starts its age-old passage into the far reaches of the various fingers of the Okavango Delta. For the first time visitor, this annual occurrence is not a raging torrent of brown water but rather the gradual inundation of floodplain areas that eventually peters out into the thirsty soils of the Kalahari Desert.

With it is brings life, drama and one of the top wilderness spectacles left on the Planet today. The splendour of the flood is coupled with red sunrises and stunningly visual sunsets which are unequalled elsewhere in the world. There has been no rain for weeks and this is nothing to be complaining about as we have water plenty for all to see. This world of reflections amazes us every day with surprises like hippos and elephants walking through the channels to get to palm trees that have ripened sufficiently to their taste.

Wildlife The wildlife has been nothing short of spectacular - lions hunting water-loving red lechwe on the floodplains with water spraying everywhere is just one of the highlights this month. Scenes like these test photographers' skills to the limit, with suitable photographic subjects around every corner.

Mother and youngster are holding their own in the secret world of the leopards. Our resident female leopard and her young, but almost mature male cub, never ceases to amaze us with their sudden appearances and the disappearances, not to mention the large male leopard in the area who was spotted three times this past month becoming more and more accustomed to the cameras.

Lions and leopards were however not the only ones making their presence felt. There was a particular morning where one of our guides stumbled upon a large female spotted hyaena chasing red lechwe with surprising agility and managed to take one down. Just shows that they really are the apex predators of the African wild, and not merely scavengers as many people are lead to believe. Apart from all this action there has been a breeding herd of elephant staying around our island making themselves heard but not seen.

Loud splashes and trumpeting make for rather interesting evening sounds around the campfire. Birding bird species recorded on only three game drives and one mokoro outing. Amazing - the birding these last few weeks has been nothing short of special. We have also had some phenomenal eagle sightings including Martial Eagle feeding on a mongoose, African Harrier Hawk raiding Meyer's Parrots nests, Bateleurs eating snakes and Western Banded Snake-eagle pictured.

Guest Comments "What a wild island we came to: elephant in the bathroom, monkeys on the roof, we enjoyed it so much! Weather The mornings are pure bliss as we wake up to the amber light of the rising sun out on the horizon. Breakfast is a pleasant meeting place for guests, guides and the hosts as we absorb the first light of the day in awe of the brilliant colours forming on the clouds and the skies. In the beginning of the month the weather was very unpredictable as we had days which would start off as windy and cloudy and clear up as the sun started to warm the day up.

We even had a recent storm which is very unusual for this time of year. The after effects of the rain and short-lived storm was the most beautiful sight as there were bold and bright rainbows spread out against the backdrop of the expansive Kwetsani floodplains. The most bizarre weather we experienced though was a heavy hail storm that came after a quick shower of rain in the mid afternoon. As the guests were busy watching leopard Beauty that was hidden behind some thick bushes, enjoying her afternoon meal of an impala, some hail came down on them a few minutes after their sighting.

Wildlife Our resident Kwetsani lions never cease to amaze and entertain us, as this month we have had many visits from them on the island and on the floodplains in Kwetsani Camp. The two females have been very active which means that they need to eat a lot more to sustain their energy levels.

There have been a number of spontaneous kills that we have witnessed right on the perimeters of our camp. The male lion has been spotted walking and wondering about the wide floodplains, roaring in vain in search of the females which seem to leave him behind at any opportunity they get. The higher flood waters do not seem to bother the lions as they have been forced to adapt to wading through the deep waters to cover their territory and in search of food.

Food sources are plentiful as their preferred prey, red lechwe, are thriving at this time of the year. For the lions to get across to different areas they walk and swim through kilometres of water channels sometimes quite deep and floodplains. Our resident male leopard has been less elusive this month as we have spotted him a number of times in and around Kwetsani Camp.

His behaviour is quite unpredictable - he sometimes is relaxed giving wonderful picture-taking opportunities. At other times he does not seem to like the attention and he will dash off. The one evening he was spotted by the staff in the sausage tree in between Rooms 1 and 2 while he was resting.

It was the first time that we had ever seen him so close to people and also so relaxed about it. It was amazing to watch him as he lay there with his paws hanging on either side of the tree branch. One day we spotted him walking across the floodplain in front of the camp heading north. We tried to follow his movements as we all watched him through our binoculars and the deck telescope. We all lost sight of him at one point and gave up on looking for him.

Later that day one of our guests staying in Room 5 saw him and this time he was walking with a female leopard, a possible mate. On the afternoon of the 18th of May as we were preparing a surprise dining experience for our guests an interesting guest was spotted nearby - a large male lion!

The plans continued as we all thought he would, as usual, go in search of his female lions who had been lying in the exact spot we were setting up the night before. We finished setting up and left to get the food ready and fetch the guests. We all drove out of camp in a convoy to the bush dinner spot and on our arrival there was the same male lion. He had returned and was now approaching the set up area. He started to stalk the curious looking torches, the fire and obscure looking objects the tables and chairs that he had never seen there before.

He walked around the dinner table sniffing, eventually walking away. All the guests and staff were silent, stunned and staying put on the vehicles. That night we made a unanimous decision to dine back in camp! Weather and Water Levels A pinch of chill and a dash of sun is the perfect recipe for a perfect month. The days are cozy and warm in the generous light of the sun which encourages guests and wildlife alike to bask in its bountiful beams. One of the biggest floods in history has receded slightly, but still providing the greatest opportunity of all here to get out on the motor boats and mekoro.

Wildlife The wildlife is continuing to be challenged by the wet terrain here in the Jao concession. Lions are sighted regularly crossing the flooded plains, quite miserably yet majestically, to get to the other side. The pride of three have been roaming around the concession but always heading back to the north-west where it is suspected that the adult female has safely hidden her cubs, which we are yet to be introduced to.

These two female lions seem to be struggling to get a decent meal with their hungry male family member. Some lucky Jao guests witnessed them kill a red lechwe, and the females devoured as much as they could until they were chased off by the male who had rounded the lechwe towards them for their premeditated ambush.

Our leopards, as always, have delighted safari goers. The naughty male youngster, Motsumi, has been in and out of camp daily. Our resident African civet encountered him for the first and last time, unfortunately being killed by his playful antics. His mother, Beauty, seems to be giving him space and freedom, ultimately to detach themselves permanently when Motsumi is proficient at surviving on his own in the wild. For now, his hunting skills are fairly good but he does meet up for a 'home-cooked meal' with his mother; like all good teenage boys.

The resident genet was seen swimming from one side of the road to the other - nature has a superb way of adapting to the natural challenges it presents to all living creatures. Some of the wildlife that welcomes the flooding has been around Jao Island. A family of sitatunga - an adult male, female and their fawn - were sighted regularly at dawn. The morning light silhouetted the trio perfectly for a spectacular way to begin a morning safari.

The sitatunga is the only antelope which can swim before it has the ability to walk, they are a rare sight here in the Delta. Also, Cape clawless otters are popping their noses out of the water in front of camp. Every year they spend some time around camp, but you have to be quick because as soon as they are up, then are they under once again. The thriving birdlife has maintained its intrigue and surprised first-timer safari-goers. There is a certain expectation when coming to Africa but the birdlife is always an unexpected addition to exciting sightings.

Mongoose Manor Update The receding water on the island has opened up a little more scavenging space for the banded mongoose group. The pregnant female gave birth to 'seven little dwarfs'. The new additions are slowly being introduced to the wild outside of a termite mound where they were born.

They have since, dwindled to five in number, suspecting that the baboon troop has been responsible for their demise. A feast provided, surprisingly enough with the help of the baboons, of an impala carcass left by Beauty, filled the bellies of the group. While the carcass was left unattended the mongoose troop could not resist the meal planted on their doorstep.

Guest News As always a safari is one of the most significant ways one can celebrate birthdays, honeymoons and anniversaries. Amongst all of our excited guests we have had these merriments to add a little celebration to an already wholesome adventure here in the Okavango Delta. Guest Comments Although our stay was brief we could easily fall in love with Jao and its beauty.

Thank you for looking after our every need. Keep up the great work you do. Richard and Susan. Driving across the floodplain with a male lion walking side by side with us for at least a half an hour. Also, being charged by an enraged elephant! Oh and the baboon who paid us a visit in the shower! Betsy and Susie. Dusk viewing of a leopard, sunset boat ride and just sitting and watching elephants. I can't believe I didn't mention the lions on the waterway, magical!! Dean and Ann.

Seeing lions crossing the Jao floodplain; the mokoro ride; watching leopard hunting. Talking to Chief about many things, the great food but we need to eat less of it! Staff extremely friendly and helpful. George and Gayle. The camp is great - staff kindness and service are way above standards and expectations. The diversity of activities is very interesting and the nature is beautiful. Wine cellar is great - having such a wine choice all included is a great concept.

Great animal sightings with lot of incredible close-ups. Odile and Fred. Great location and architecture of the site coupled with great game viewing of leopard. Wonderful food! Overall, great photographic opportunities and phenomenal experience!!

Nevid and Myriam. Weather and Water Levels Winter has almost arrived, and the chill in the air slowly creeps through the camp as soon as the sun goes down now. However, mid-day is still lovely and warm, and the sun quickly warms limbs frozen by the cold air that rushes through the Land Rovers during game drives. At the beginning of the month we had our "kgogolammoko", the last 'cleansing' rains of the summer. This Setswana word specifically describes these final rain showers that are vital to agriculture as they wash away the itchy dust "moko" released when the sorghum crops are harvested.

In the bush the word takes on a slightly different meaning, referring more to the cleansing quality of Nature, as the season turns from summer to autumn. We watched the storm form and build for a few days before hand, and we were treated to some wonderful sheet lightning displays inside towering purple clouds during dinners. When it finally rained down, it rained hard, pelting down 19mm of water within the space of approximately two hours.

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Suggest as cover photo Would you like to suggest this photo as the cover photo for this article? During the rainy season November to March , the salt-saturated clay pans fill with rain water, and the grasses at the edge grow sweet and lush. This attracts thousands of zebra and wildebeest during their annual migration away from the Boteti. This is where the zebra should be, however their movements vary year-to-year and month-to-month depending on the amount of rain.

Once the rains are over and the water in the pans has dried up, the migration heads West, back to the Boteti River. The number of zebra on the Boteti usually reaches a peak between June and October. The main attraction of the river in the dry season, is the zebra. Our private campsites are located close to their favourite drinking spots — we therefore often spend the whole day out in the safari vehicle, taking a picnic lunch with us, to observe the big herds.

Home Botswana Boteti River. Boteti River The Boteti is a magnet for thirsty wildlife. The salt pans and the seasons During the rainy season November to March , the salt-saturated clay pans fill with rain water, and the grasses at the edge grow sweet and lush. Viewing the Zebra Migration on the Boteti The main attraction of the river in the dry season, is the zebra.

Boteti River Experiences Small park with great private campsites Often underrated, surprisingly productive — therefore not many people bothering us there!

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