Sunday, October 6, 2013

Day 14 - Chobe National Park

We left Zimbabwe today and arrived in Botswana around noon. Our hotel is beautiful and located on the banks of the Chobe river. The Chobe river runs into the Zambezi river, which then runs over the Victoria falls, and eventually into the Indian Ocean. We had some free time this afternoon so I had time to throw on my bathing suit and take a dip in the pool. Soooo nice. And what a difference the weather is here compared to Cape Town. It's in the mid-90s to 100s here. The heat today was quite oppressive.  

The main attraction today was an afternoon safari cruise on the Chobe river. Chobe is different from the other places we've been bc it is a national park and therefore we have no idea what we are going to see. With the private game reserve, they knew exactly what they had on the property. Here, there's no way of knowing what you're going to see. 

Out on the river you could totally tell the difference. We saw close to a hundred Cape buffalo, a good 50 impalas, close to 30 elephants, crocodiles, waterbok and more. The best was we finally saw our hippos!!!!  We probably saw 20-30 hippos up and down the river with their heads peaking out over the water surface.   At one point, we came around a bend and saw a huge mass grazing on the grass. Turns out it was a hippo, which is a rare sight to see a hippo out of the water grazing during the day. We kept waiting for him to head back into the water, but he wasn't budging. While that was happening, on the other bank were a herd of elephants and their babies. It was hard to decide which side of the bank to watch!

As the sun was setting, we came across another pod of hippos. These hippos were more cooperative than the others in the water and even yawned a few times for us. The sunset was beautiful, with a herd of Cape buffalo grazing next to us. What a great way to end the day. 

Looking forward to our two game drives tomorrow. Rumor going around is that a group on a game drive yesterday saw a leopard. I could only hope that we see one. That would close out the big 5 we've seen on this trip. How cool would that be?

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