A Grand Day Out

We are close to the 4 way border of Botswana, Namibia, Zimbabwe & Zambia, so we crossed the river to Chobe reserve park in Botswana for a days Safari. Chobe is 11,700 square kilometres with 100,000 elephants.

The Kazangula river crossing (plus immigration. plus street vendors, plus drunks) was an adventure in itself – more than compensated though by everything from a tortoise, through pregnant Hyena to a game of chicken - truck versus huge bull elephant. Apparently, you have to face them down – occasionally the trucks lose!

The morning boat safari, 3 hours spent cruising along the Chobe river (amongst the hippos and crocks!). An hour at the lodge for lunch, then back out in the 4x4 jeep, it’s low season so we had it to ourselves.

Looking out across the Chobe river we have a 40 strong hippo pod in the shallows, wading birds on the banks and fish eagles soaring above, then out of the bush, trumpeting with delight a family herd of elephants dash and splash into the water. The babies as excited as any kid going to the seaside – magical!

We watch for 30 minutes as the herd go through the daily ritual of drinking, then washing, then digging for salt in the shallows, after this they queue at various mud baths for their turn to role and cover themselves with mud, there is a very specific social order dictating who gets first go at the mud. Only the babies get to break this rule (and every other). Then after covering themselves with dry sand they congregate for a social gathering.

After a full day we head back to camp threatened by the rising waters of the Zambezi – the rains in central Africa are heavy and it is expected that the high water mark will reach the same as the great flood of 59!

The water is just breaching the suspension bridges (between the stilted tent platforms), this has risen 1 meter since our arrival just 4 days before! We are the last guests staying here as the lodge will now have to close, phew!
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