Thursday, October 29, 2009

Chobe National Park

Chobe National Park is located in North-eastern Botswana. The northern boundary of the park is the Chobe river, which also is the border with Namibia's Caprivi strip. We visited two sections of the park, the Chobe Riverfront and Savuti. Unlike Etosha NP in Namibia, there are no fences here and you are out there with the animals.

During the dry season many animals come to the riverfront area as there is no other water around. (Strictly no swimming unless you are a fan of hippos and crocs) This works well for the human visitors as it is easy to see many animals, which we did. There were herds of impala, zebra, water buffalo, hippos, and many many elephants. We also saw a pride of lions and a leopard. The highlight for me was the afternoon we spent watching dozens of elephants come to the river to drink and swim. When they left the water they walked right by our vehicle (a car length or so away). Quite nerve-wracking when a large elephant starts looking your way from this distance!

The Savuti area has in the past had a water channel flowing to it, but is presently dry. There are a few waterholes that the animals come to - mostly we saw very large bull elephants with massive tusks. They also came fairly close to the vehicle, but no harm was done. We saw two of them do a bit of fighting, which was quite impressive. At night we heard elephants and lions - one night there were lions in campsite 4, we were staying at campsite 6. We visited a bushman rock art site, and while stopping for a break at a nearby baobab tree, we were joined by a safari tour group, very nice people from America. As we were chatting a lone impala ran past. The guide commented that often when an animal is running like that there is something chasing it. Sure enough about a minute later a pack of 8 wild dogs came trotting past about 5 meters away - too quick to fetch the camera! We felt very fortunate as wild dogs are in decline all over Africa and becoming quite rare.

Will post photos when possible.

No comments:

Post a Comment