Chobe National Park, Botswana

October, 3 2010

Last evening we arrived at the largest aardvark I have ever seen! OK, it was a monster statue at the side of the road advertising our next stopover point of Planet Bayobab guesthouses and campground. A very funky place with a large pool, great thatched huts to rest in and amazing Baobab trees all lit up at night making a wonderful sight at sunset and afterwards. Finally, one of the campers (and soon to be good friend) Luke from England, decided to take me up on my offer to use the 2nd bed in my room rather than sleep in a tent.

So did I mention they had a bar… A NICE one! Yeah, that night I celebrated being with the group again for quite a while and the next morning, while truly (and surprisingly) not hung over, I was wiped out as we headed for our afternoon game drive at the Chobe river.

Well, I had thought the 3.50US to see the crocodile meat farm of crocs on concrete was the biggest waste of money, it turned out that this Chobe day game drive was! We saw the river from shore and some elephants and hippos and water buck, but reality was they were FAR away in the river which we were to take a ride on later. Add to that heat close to the Hurgadah Egypt heat, dust galore and a horribly slow, bumpy ride with no breeze in the back of the game truck and you’d find a less than enthusiastic group drenched in sweat!

But after the game drive we went straight to the river to start our evening boat cruise on the Chobe river…it was FANTASTIC! Up close and personal with many of the water animals like crocodiles and hippos! Literally feet away from the boat. Due to the summer low waters, the island in the river is a safe haven for animals from most predators so it was densely packed with elephants, rhino, gazelle, warthogs, and water buffalo just to name a few. I’d be remiss in not mentioning the birds as they were EVERYWHERE and were of such variety that I have overloaded my brain trying to remember even a handful of species.

Then we were treated to on of my top sunsets of the trip so far. On river with the sun setting over makuru’s being polled around by the locals, elephants eating along the banks, a pair of kissing (literally) hippos, and another frolicking pair of elephants wandering directly through the sun as it crosses the horizon… Oh and did I mention the pleasantly pleasing and refreshingly cooler breeze that picked up along the way.. All in all, quite spectacular and one of those moments you realize when it is happening, this is something I will draw on when I need to remember how beautiful the world can be!