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Diving with Dinosaurs

Hello and welcome to my blog, this is a place where I will share the backstage of all my adventures and give a day by day report from the field .

My first story for you is about my trip back to the remote Jurassic ages. Botswana was the gateway for this passage to the past, a place that is home for 16 ft dinosaurs: the Nile crocodiles .
My assignment was about to take underwater photos of big Nile crocodiles, reporting the environment they live in.


The field of this challenge was the Okavango´s River Delta in Botswana , a beautiful place full of life .


Daniel Botelho diving with Nile crocodiles from Daniel Botelho on Vimeo

The Okavango River is a river in southwest Africa. It is the fourth-longest river system in southern Africa, running southeastward for 1,600 km (1,000 miles). It begins in Angola, where it is known as the Cubango River. Further south it forms part of the border between Angola and Namibia and then flows into Botswana, draining into the Moremi Game Reserve. Before it enters Botswana, the river drops four meters, across the full 1.2 km-width of the river, in a series of rapids known as Popa Falls, visible when the river is low, as during the dry season. Discharging to an endorheic basin, the Okavango does not have an outlet to the sea. Instead, it empties into a swamp in the Kalahari Desert, known as the Okavango Delta or Okavango Alluvial Fan. In the rainy season there is an outflow to the Boteti River which in turn seasonally discharges to the Makgadikgadi Pans, which features an expansive area of rainy season wetland where tens of thousands of flamingos congregate each summer. Part of the river's flow fill Lake Ngami. Noted for its wildlife, the Okavango area contains Botswana's Moremi Game Reserve.

Some of the most prolific predators of that area are the African fish eagle and Nile Crocodiles .

The Okavango river supports a complex diversity of underwater environments .

Crocodiles can be found anywhere in the Okavango delta system : inside caves, using trunks as camouflage and even in lily gardens .

15 ft crocodile .

13 ft Nile Crocodile inside a deep cave .

The caves are mostly made by crocs and hippos , they can be very tight and sometimes we could see nothing because of the mucky water created by the crocodile. The roof of the caves are made of an entanglement of papyrus roots , a beautiful plant that floats all over the wetlands of Okavango delta.

My good friends, Brad Bestelink and Andrea Crawford took me inside a cave and there was a 14 ft (4 meters) crocodile inside, a Dinosaur that is now called Mr.D , one of the most beautiful creatures I ever saw in my life.

Special thanks to Nxamaseri Lodge/Team, my home in the Okavango, special thanks also to Brad and Andy for sharing your backyard with me, teaching so much about the crocodiles ! Thanks John for the good attitude, Jean-Pierre Botha and Mr. Amos Nachoum for the perfect logistics, super thanks to Jason, he knows well the weight of my gear : ) . All my love to the best assistant I ever had in my life, my dad, thanks for joining me, the first but not the last expedition together !


Face to Face with Nile Crocodiles from Daniel Botelho on Vimeo.

20 Comentários para  “Diving with Dinosaurs”
  • David

    How did you not die? Just curious:)

    • Daniel

      Hi David ! We followed very severe rules and knowledge to be safe in the water with the corcs.
      Best regards

  • MattDPG

    Great first entry! When do we get another one?!

  • DB

    Thanks Matt!!! More coming soon!!!

  • Kevin Eberle

    Great work. I love the underwater work you do

  • Daniel

    Thanks a lot Kevin, glad to know you like my work!

  • Jorge Botelho

    Bom Dia Daniel

    Foi com muita satisfação que ao navegar pela net encontrei alguém que com o memo apelido que eu, tem mais coisas em comum. Uma delas é o gosto pelo Mar e pela Água, local que escolhi para trabalhar como instrutor de mergulho recreativo. Para além disso também eu tento contribuir com a minha parte de preservação e proteção dos Tubarões.
    Em conjunto com mais 2 companheiros, somos os “criadores” da Semana de Proteção aos Tubarões em Portugal, já inserida na European Shark a Weak. Dá uma vista de olhos no site da APECE a 23/10/2011 (
    Agora podia estar aqui a escrever quase sem parar, mas não o vou fazer, talvez em outra altura se o contato se mantiver.

    • DB

      Salve Botelho!!!! Muito obrigado pelo contato e pelo trabalho que desenvolve em Portugal, um grande abraço!!!!!!

  • Ryan Bradley

    Great job Daniel, those gator pics are amazing.

  • j morris

    You sure do lead a very dangerous life. i sure it must be exciting.

  • Barbara Hall

    Just wonderful shots! Thank you so much for getting to see the wonderful things that live in another world from us. Creatures that I will never be able to see in my life. You do wonderful work and hope you have a book coming out soon of all the things under the sea. Keep Diving

    • DB

      Thank you so much Barbara!!!! I am super glad you liked my work!!!!!!

  • Fernanda Pinto

    Olá, Daniel
    Fotografias fantásticas e um interesse e olhar sobre a natureza e os outros seres que vai rareando nos humanos. Fico contente de saber que há pessoas assim.
    Espero que continue o seu trabalho. Eu, pela minha parte, vou divulgar a beleza que há nele.

  • chris h

    What are you doing for disney? I worked there for a while at the seas. Nice shot with the great white. I am a divemaster and marine mammal trainer.

  • Carolina

    Li a matéria no g1 sobre os tubarões e seu trabalho. Lindas fotos! Parabéns pelo seu trabalho!

  • Alexander N.

    Amazing photos and footage you got there, inspiring! Would love to hear more

  • Giovanni Ligonis

    What a wonderful trip! Thank you so much for sharing your pictures and your thoughts. Congratulations, you did what I can only dream of. Giovanni Ligonis