It may have been a blessing that we did not stay the night in Zimbabwe. We had hiked the entire ridge of Victoria Falls during our stay and the greatest pleasantry would have been to see the sunset and rise over the falls. However we would have had to pay to get back into the park and it was not cheap (20USD or 150Pula/SAR).
As we crossed out of Zimbabwe towards Botswana we encountered lots more elephants on the road. It really is a beautiful unspoiled wilderness. We returned to the Chobe Safari Lodge to spend the night. We skipped the lavish dinner and had an improv meal of beans, tomato, canned tuna, vegetables and salt. I was starting to get used to this meal! We ate it at a little Bayou Bar which was built atop the marsh along the River Chobe. Bugs were everywhere!
We bed down on the campsite. I awoke about four hours after sleeping which would have made it about 1am. I could hear all kinds of very foreign noises in the vicinity. Was that a lions growl? Did I just hear a hippo grunt? I really had lost my bearings and woke up feeling as if I was in the middle of a game park with no protection from the great outdoors besides the thin walls of my tent. Trust me I was really freaked out...I also had to pee, so things were not looking good. I felt my tent rustle just a bit as if a lion was brushing past. I tell you my heart was racing. Then I heard "Die vleis is lekker" (The meat is great in Afrikaans) which brought me back down to earth. Our neighbors at the next campsite made the noise which indicated there was no danger outside. Boy was I relieved and so I made the journey to the toilet. Immediately as I opened the tent door I could see that I was not in the middle of the savanna. It is not entirely impossible that what I heard was not a lion and hippo however. What a night!
We arranged a boat trip on the Chobe River in the morning. Little was I to know that this would be one of the best trips I have ever taken. We started from this luxury lodge just down from our campsite. I believe it was called the Chobe River Lodge.
Looking out over the river at dawn.
We traveled in a boat similar to this one.
First crocodile sighting was a bit 'petite'. However with each croc we saw after this, they were larger.
Banks of the river Chobe
...and bigger... See how close we came to the crocs? Our guide was really good about getting us right up front. However I think this might have been a little intrusive for the animals.
Water Monitor Lizard which is a relative of the amazing Komodo dragon lizard.
Bigger still. These are amazing creatures. This one would be capable of taking down a man.
Insert food here. The crocodile opens its mouth to maintain its internal body temperature.
There was a huge assortment of birds in the park as well.
A massive group of hippos.
Great treat to see the hippo rise out of the water. I am not sure which one of his buddies he was standing on. Note the baby hippo in the lower left.
Prize shot!!!! This is the most dangerous African animal, that's right kids even more deadly than the lion. These beasts are extremely territorial, unpredictable and can bite through you with one chop.
Water monitor lizard again. Sunbathing.
Mammal and reptile together.
This elephant was off by itself and grazing in the marsh land of the river.
We got real close to this one. As close as I have ever been, nearly 10 ft. Just after I took this picture I was hit with a piece of mud that he through at the boat. You can see she is picking up the mud now. I screamed out "oh gosh she hit me!" Heart racing again. Just a warning from this gentle giant.
Oh Lord! All the elephants came out for a drink at the same time. Large, small, you name it. This is an amazing sight.
Big mama crocodile. This is nearly four metre's long.
Elephant bath time. No rubber ducky but there is a bird there somewhere.
Truly the best game drive I have ever experienced. The river Chobe is an experience unlike any other.