Botswana Bound – November 5, 2011
From Zimbabwe, our driver only took us as far as the Botswana border. We then had to change vehicles and drivers after clearing immigration and walking across some kind of matt that apparently cleaned our feet (we later found out it was for foot and mouth disease – better safe than sorry I guess). Then we continued on to the gorgeous Chobe Safari Lodge.
OMG this lodge was so stunning and it was set right on the banks of the beautiful Chobe River! We all enjoyed a cold one on the outdoor patio overlooking the river.
We did our first boat cruise that afternoon and WOW we never thought that we would see what we saw on one cruise! Chobe National Park has the highest concentration of elephants in the world (they are my Mom’s favourite) and boy did we see a lot of elephants – it was awesome! I’m sure that we had to be some of the luckiest people because right away we saw hippos, crocodiles, baboons with babies, cape buffalo, elephants with babies, water buck, kudus, red puka, impala, water monitor lizards, and lots of birds that are too numerous to name.
To top all of this off, our cruise ended with the most beautiful African sunset that we have seen thus far!
Game Driving and River Cruising – November 6, 2011
Today we did our first game drive, up at 5:00am because well you know, that’s when the animals are out! Again we felt like the luckiest people on earth and we were on the hunt to find cats. We first saw a sable which apparently is endangered in Botswana and then we saw herds of elephants with babies.
A short while later we saw baboons with their babies and large herds of cape buffalo.
Then we found what our guide was looking for, two female lions with cubs feeding on a fresh warthog kill. It wasn’t pretty, actually it was nasty to see, but it was an experience and after all it’s the circle of life and TIA (This Is Africa).
Shortly after the lions we saw a group of painted dogs, they were cool and they really did look like they had been painted.
Then came the giraffe’s, these are one of my most favourite animals.
Some of the locals have very unique names, our game drive guide’s name is Innocence (as in not guilty).
We returned from our game drive at around 9:30am and then went for a huge buffet breakfast. I have to say that I really thought we would lose weight in Africa but that’s not the case, they are stuffing us full every meal with wonderful dishes of all sorts. We have had kudu casserole, impala, brean fish, angel fish, and many different vegetables that we’ve never even heard of.
Late afternoon we went on another boat cruise and it was amazing again. For some reason on this particular boat cruise (maybe it’s always like this) the river was literally full of crocs, they were everywhere, so many that you could have used them as stepping stones (note to self, don’t go near the water). Again we end the day with an absolutely gorgeous sunset with the silhouette of elephants, I’m not too sure what could be better than that!
We have tried to find out a couple of times when our driver is supposed to pick us up the next morning, the hotel said that someone would call in the afternoon, but we didn’t hear from anyone – okay it might be time to worry?
Last Day in Chobe – November 8, 2011
Hmmmm we still didn’t hear about our pickup time, oh well off we went on our game drive, no time to worry! (Thinking again, should we be worried)?
Again innocence (not guilty) is our guide and we mention to him that we really want a picture of a guinnea fowel because we haven’t been able to get one yet. These birds remind me of little turkey’s but they have blue heads and beautiful foliage, they chase each other around like they are crazy, and they are pretty fun to watch.
Today I mostly focused on photographing birds since that wasn’t my focus the previous day and Botswana has some really beautiful birds, one of my favourites was the blue african roller.
We see everything that we saw yesterday with the exception of the lions. We were also lucky to see a roan which can be a bit rare because they are quite shy. We also saw more kudu and a couple more of the rare sables (which are very hard to photograph).
We arrived back at the hotel at 9:00am only to find out that our transfer driver has been waiting for us since 8:30am. OMG (this is an OMG panic) worry sets in that we won’t make our flight check in time as we have to go back to Zimbabwe to the airport which means a two hour drive and another border crossing. I thank the driver for waiting and explain that we have been trying to find out our pick up time since yesterday. All seems to be okay and we head for the Zimbabwe border.
The guys at the Zimbabwe border were a total blast, they were whistling a familiar tune so we started humming along with them, the next thing you know, we’re singing Sweet Home Alabama with them while they are issuing our visa’s-WE LOVE ZIMBABWE even if each entry to this country costs us $75(Canada did something to them because we pay the highest visa fees). We paid $450 in visa’s going in and out of Zimbabwe, how insane is that?
We managed to get to the airport with time enough to spare to have a beer, so all is well that ends well, and again TIA (This Is Africa).
Where we stayed: Chobe Safari Lodge
Written by: Tammy Hermann…Live~Love~Travel