Chobe National Park, Botswana

Feb. 1

Munya cooked too many eggs so I tried to help him out by eating 3 of them. I can’t be helping too much with such things or I’ll need new shorts.

The border crossing at Kuzinga is the place where 4 countries meet. Zambia, Zimbabwe, Namibia and Botswana all meet here. The process was easy. Get an exit stamp from Zimbabwe, drive a bit and get an entry stamp for Botswana. We disinfected our shoes, got back in the truck and entered Botswana.

In Kasane we got supplies and once at the campsite, set up for lunch. Since we had a 2 hour wait for our game drive, some went swimming in the tiny pool. Sue and I went for a walk but were told not to wander too far as there are elephants and buffalo running free.

We packed up the bare minimum for our night in the bush and set off on a game drive. 3 hours later we’d spotted SO many animals, driven through pouring rain while the sun shone, witnessed a rainbow and perspired a gallon of water. The bush camp was a pleasant surprise. There was a make shift toilet surrounded by canvas. Alex and Calvin had erected ALL the tents, including a kitchen tent. Dinner was a delicious beef stew over rice.

Jack gave us the “safety lesson” while we enjoyed a campfire. By the time he was finished we were all pretty terrified and glad we were dehydrated as then we wouldn’t have to get up in the night to pee. There are too many animals there in the middle of Chobe National park that will kill you if you look at them sideways.

At 5 am I heard someone’s alarm go off. I’d heard lions roaring and elephants trumpeting in the night but they weren’t close enough to be scary. After packing everything up and having breakfast, we were on the road again shortly after 6 am. This morning’s game drive was slower, as in, not so many animals but we DID get to see a pride of lions, including a young male.

Back at main camp, I washed a few things and relaxed. Later on some of us went on a boat trip on the Chobe River while others went to town. While enjoying the scenery and vast number of animals and beautiful birds we noticed thunderclouds. It was fun to watch until we realized we’d left the tent flaps open. We could only hope the others made it back in time to close them.

It was just the 4 of us on the boat and the captain provided us with ponchos so the down pour just added to the adventure, not to mention the beautiful rainbow that resulted. We got a little close to a mama and baby hippo and she reared out of the water at us. It sure startled us but the captain just laughed so we figured we were probably safe.

Back at camp we discovered the others had been 10 minutes too late to close the tents. Someone had nicely hung out our sleeping bags but most of our clothes were fine. Lesson learned. You never know when it’s going to rain. Always close tent flaps when leaving camp. Better a hot tent than a wet one.

Feb 3

I slept very well considering all I had was a damp sleeping bag liner on a plastic mat for the night. I woke up around 4 am with cold feet but that’s not too bad. By 4:30 we gave up on sleep and just got up and started packing. We tried mopping out the tent and just packed it up hoping it dries in Maun.

We passed a long tine of trucks headed the other way to the Zambian border. It went on for MILES. They’re bullding a bridge but for now, they all wait their turn for the ferry which goes every 10-15 minutes but only holds one or two trucks. They could go through Zimbabwe but it’s too expensive to pay taxes, visas and tolls..

The highway was nice and smooth so I got some photo editing done. Matt (our driver) did a constant 100 kph with the odd stop for an elephant crossing. They’re certainly not endangered in Botswana. In fact, they can be very large pests. The ministry of agriculture has erected a high voltage fence all around the agricultural district and there are cattle grates in the highway. It stops the animals with hooves but not the baboons. There are 2.5 million people in Botswana and over 40,000 elephants.

The only stops were for “bushy bushy” which is Botswana’s name for squatting on the side of the road to “mark your territory. Men go ahead of the truck, women behind. It’s all very civilized. 🙂

Pretty bird

Pretty bird

Approaching storm

Approaching storm

IMG_9801_pe

Elephants playing

Elephants playing

Hippo in the sunset

Hippo in the sunset

Rainbow over a hippo on the Chobe River

Rainbow over a hippo on the Chobe River

Sunset over the Chobe River

Sunset over the Chobe River

IMG_9864_pe

Hippo splash!

Hippo splash!

Mama hippo was NOT happy that we wanted to see her baby.

Mama hippo was NOT happy that we wanted to see her baby.

sable antelope

sable antelope

Kudu

Kudu

Pumba!

Pumba!

wart hog playing in the mud

wart hog playing in the mud

Pumba!

Pumba!

Impala. African Mcdonalds.

Impala. African Mcdonalds.

IMG_9706_pe

Corey bastard

Corey bastard

IMG_9731_pe IMG_9748_pe

That's one way to carry your kid

That’s one way to carry your kid

IMG_9775_pe

Red billed round bill

Red billed round bill

kingfisher

Crocodile regulating his body temperature

Crocodile regulating his body temperature

Aranga ....don't think that's spelled right

Aranga ….don’t think that’s spelled right

Our humble abode in the bush

Our humble abode in the bush

Secretary bird

Secretary bird

Baby elephant slipping in the mud

Baby elephant slipping in the mud

Baby hiding under it's mama

Baby hiding under it’s mama

Sunset over Chobe

Sunset over Chobe

king fisher

king fisher

IMG_9706_pe

Approaching storm

Approaching storm

Buffalo

Buffalo

Elephants playing

Elephants playing

Hippo in the sunset

Hippo in the sunset

Rainbow over a hippo on the Chobe River

Rainbow over a hippo on the Chobe River

Sunset over the Chobe River

Sunset over the Chobe River

IMG_9864_pe

Hippo splash!

Hippo splash!

Mama hippo was NOT happy that we wanted to see her baby.

Mama hippo was NOT happy that we wanted to see her baby.

sable antelope

sable antelope

Kudu

Kudu

Pumba!

Pumba!

wart hog playing in the mud

wart hog playing in the mud

Pumba!

Pumba!

Impala. African Mcdonalds.

Impala. African Mcdonalds.

IMG_9706_pe

Corey bastard

Corey bastard

IMG_9731_pe

Lion!

Lion!

That's one way to carry your kid

That’s one way to carry your kid

IMG_9775_pe

Red billed round bill

Red billed round bill

Kingfisher

Kingfisher

Crocodile regulating his body temperature

Crocodile regulating his body temperature

Aranga ....don't think that's spelled right

Aranga ….don’t think that’s spelled right

Pretty bird

Pretty bird

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s