There are many national parks in Africa, and one of the most celebrated is Chobe National Park in Botswana. It’s located at the intersection of Botswana, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Namibia. You can visit Chobe from any of these countries, and can spend up to 3 nights camping in the park. We spent one day there – which included a river tour and game drive. Given our short time there, we were impressed with the number of animals we saw.
Our morning started with a river tour – where these birds greet us.
Our guide had to carefully point out this camouflaged baby croc. Baby crocs have to hide because adult crocs will eat them.
Like this guy… who played dead as our boat pulled up right next to his face. Our guide assured us that crocs can’t jump (into a boat, for example.) We were assured he was alive by his slowly blinking eyes.
While this buffalo chowed down on grass, his bird friend chowed down on the bugs swarming the buffalo’s face. Will was jealous – he definitely wanted one of those birds for himself.
This kudu was enjoying a drink at the river. The kudu’s horns grow another twist every few years.
We spotted a young male elephant on his own, probably just cast out of the herd as happens to male elephants in early adulthood. Here he is contemplating whether to cross the river.
The most impressive bird we saw was the fish eagle. Check out that wingspan!
There were many hippos in the water, where they spend most of their time. Hippos in the water, however, don’t make good photo subjects. Here, we caught one crossing a river island with his bug birds on his back.
After lunch we got into the safari truck and started our drive. There were many, many elephants near the river- some crossing, some cooling off, some heading back to the bush.
A huge group of mongooses swarmed a tree as we passed.
We caught a group of elephants running down to the river… this baby tripped a little as it tried to keep up.
We were hoping to see a lion, even though it was the hot afternoon – the worst time for lion sightings. Our guide took us to the site of a dead elephant, which the lions had fed on earlier. At first, we didn’t see anything- the elephant carcass was too far into the bush. “I’m going to take a risk,” our guide said and drove the truck into the tall, dry grass. Sure enough, as we approached the elephant, a lioness came into view. She had a new wound on her shoulder and gave us a glance as we came near. Our guide quickly navigated the truck back to the trail.
On the way back, we ran into several giraffe and endless impala beating the heat in the bushes.
Chobe is a breathtaking park both in wildlife and landscape. We could have spent more time here if we hadn’t planned to go to South Luangwa in Zambia for a 3-nighter. More on that soon!