Chobe: Land of the Elephants
Sand & More Sand
We had a long day of varied travel today: mokoro, helicopter, small plane, and finally truck. Once at the Kasane airport we met a couple from New Zealand who joined us for the rest of our adventure.
One thing about Chobe – it is very sandy and driving around is like being on an ATV. This is different than our other excursions; Chobe is a national park and vehicles must stay on the “roads” (generally sand). There are also more vehicles than we have ever seen; it’s reminiscent of our visit years ago to Yellowstone.
In Chobe we are doing something I doubt any of our friends would try – we are going to stay in a mobile camp – & Beyond’s Chobe Under Canvas. Having always read about the “Hemingway-style” safari experience, I wanted to be sure we tried it all. But we were going to have a lot of excitement prior to arriving at camp.
First, we drove through the park and eventually stopped at a shady area along the Chobe River for an unexpected picnic lunch. Then, along with our fellow camp-mates and Ranger Peace, we took a boat trip on the river. It was beautiful and an incredible green contrast to the surrounding brown and beige sandy terrain. We had two particularly amazing experiences; the first seeing so many hippos in and out of the water.
Then, incredibly we saw a herd of elephants cross the water to an island – and then, we could not believe our luck, they crossed again, to the other bank. They were a breeding herd of females and kids – with one really tiny one. They use their trucks as snorkels and the little one bobbed up and down! If I could post the video from here I would – it’s an amazingly special sight to see.
Finally as the sun went down we reached the camp. They were waiting for recharged batteries for the lights in the tents (and the truck had broken down) so we didn’t get to organize before dinner. Drinks were with the other 8 guests around a campfire and dinner was with crystal, linen and china by lantern light. Although we were told Lions roared during the night – I heard nothing and slept like a log.