Saturday, August 11, 2012

Chobe in Pictures

I'm finally getting another update up!  I want so share some photos from my trip up to Chobe National Park, which is in the northeastern corner of Botswana.  The trip was a quick weekend turnaround with 11 hours of driving each way, but well worth the travel time.  On our drive up we saw an elephant and two or three giraffes on the side of the highway!

Wouldn't want to hit one of these guys on the road!
The Chobe river runs along a portion of the northern edge of Botswana where it creates part of the border between Botswana and Namibia.  It flows east and merges with the Zambezi river at a point where the borders of Namibia, Botswana, Zambia, and Zimbabwe all touch.  Just a few miles down the river from there, the Zambezi river cascades at Victoria Falls, which we visited on Sunday.

We arrived at our lodge on Friday afternoon and were welcomed by two warthogs chowing down on the lawn near the parking lot.

Welcoming Warthogs
The lodge was fantastic - it was a bit of a splurge for us but we managed to get the "local discount" since one of the people traveling with us has applied for residency in Botswana (they didn't seem to check on our claim that we were residents anyway).  After freshening up, we headed out for a sunset boat cruise into the park, during which we saw hippos, elephants, crocodiles, mongoose, warthogs, baboons, monkeys, kudu, impala, and about a million beautiful birds. I'm sure we saw other things as well I just can't remember at the moment - it was overwhelming and beautiful.

Thankfully we had borrowed a camera with fantastic zoom capability so we were able to capture some photos that did the experience justice.

A banded mongoose crosses the path of a young antelope

Water Buffalo - these things have massive horns!
Reportedly the most dangerous creature to encounter on safari if you are on foot.
Hippo having an afternoon snack
Hippo close-up

Elephants on the island in the middle of the river

Myself and my travel companions on the roof deck of the boat

Hippo naptime





HUGE crocs - the big one was at least 8 or 10 feet long!

Elephant family walking down to the water

The elephants began drinking in unison, using their trunks like straws

Then they poured the water out of their trunks and down the hatch!

Baby elephant! It looked over at us mid-gulp.

Chobe River

The island in the middle of the river, with hippos, water buffalo, and elephants visible

More sunbathing hippos

This croc jumped out of the water just as our boat approached

Croc close-up! Scary!

Camouflaged Croc - the hill behind is the Botswana side of the river

Elephants and water buffalo on the Namibia side of the river

There were so many beautiful birds

This was amazing - towards the end of the boat ride, we stopped in an area where there were tons of different types of animals heading for the water.  These are impala and elephants.

It almost looked like a stampede just before sunset - from our vantage point we could see impala, water buffalo, hippos, elephants, and warthogs

Here you can see some warthogs in front of the impala, which are in front of the elephants

And there is a bird!  Does this remind anyone else of the opening scene in the Lion King? I couldn't help but hear Elton John singing "Circle of Life" when this was happening.  It was surreal.

And then some GIRAFFES emerged from the trees!

Giraffe joining the party

It was really an indescribable experience to see so many animals in one place, and it made me incredibly happy that Botswana has done such a great job of preserving the natural habitat for these animals.  What a fantastic way to start a weekend!

On the boat's journey back to the lodge we circled around the other side of the island and saw this guy:

Water Monitor lizard - this one was definitely more than 2 feet long, and he slid into the hole behind him in the cliff as we sailed off
We caught a beautiful sunset with a classic African red sun on our way back.  It was a magical day, and our trip had just begun!

Chobe Sunset

I will put the rest of our trip, which included a game drive and a visit to Victoria Falls, in a separate post since this one has so many photos in it.  Stay tuned!


  1. mm,/ Thanks! Beautiful! I want to go! Mom

  2. Your wonderful photos and commentary allows me to do some vicarious travel. Thank you for these posts. I look forward to the next addition. Jeff