Sunday, September 21, 2014

Chobe National Park: Still No Wild Dogs

Our Botswana adventures began Saturday, when we traveled back over the border from Zimbabwe to Botswana.  We’ve spent the past two days exploring the fringes of Chobe National Park, known for its large elephant herds.  Nothing as exciting as almost swimming over the edge of one of the world’s largest waterfalls has happened during our stay here, but we have been quite content with our two days of game drives.  We’re sure many of our readers are tired of our endless descriptions of different animals, so we’ll confine this post primarily to Giorgio’s amazing photos.

Don and Susan are clearly good luck, as we saw four of the big five (rhinos don’t roam through this part of Chobe).  From our lodge along the banks of the Chobe River, we embarked on two sunset cruises through the park.  For those of you familiar with Lake Minnetonka’s “jungle cruise,” we consider these cruises to be the ultimate jungle cruise, with sightings of hippos, crocs, elephants, and buffalo.  For the first time on our trip, the crocodiles actually did something!

A 4x4 game drive through the park completed the Chobe experience.  As we bumped and sped along the sandy roads, one of the other passengers suggested that our guide compete in the Dakar rally across the desert of Senegal.  We saw several couples self-driving through the park, but Giorgio was quite content not to be digging the car out of the sand while looking over his shoulder at lions in the distance.  In addition, our guide was in contact with other guides via radio and had an idea where to find the lions and leopards – Don and Susan are incredibly lucky to have seen both on their first game drive!

Some of the highlights from Chobe below, starting with the pride of lions expertly spotted by Giorgio.

The rare find of a herd of the highly-endangered sable antelope, plus lots of other grazing animals, like these inquisitive zebra.

One sleepy leopard, considering whether to eat a troop of passing guinea fowl (also known as melon birds).

Various pods of noisy, cranky hippos.

And of course, a multitude of elephants, including a parade crossing the Chobe River at sunset.

Later this morning, we’ll be boarding a five-seater airplane to explore the Okavango Delta for six days and continue our quest to find a pack of wild dogs.  If nothing else, the flight promises to be an adventure!


PS: Susan briefly caught a glimpse of a (non-venemous) snake, but decided not to hop on the next flight back to the US after all.

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