Chobe Safari

28 07 2009

Chobe Safari

Lions, and hippos, and elephants, oh my.

Today I crossed over into Botswana to take a day safari at the Chobe National Park.  I shared the ride to the safari with the Kleiners from Drenthe, the Netherlands, a group of about 30 students from an Irish Catholic church, who had been doing a mission service project, and a couple from New Zealand.  The Kleiners and I rode in the car with the students on a bus.  I talked een klein beetje Nederlands (“a little bit of Dutch”) with the Kleiners.  We also talked a little bit about Dutch church politics.

After about an hour drive, we got to the Botswana crossing of the Zambezi River at the point where Zambia, Zimbabwe, Namibia, and Botswana meet.  There are scores, maybe hundreds, of trucks waiting to cross by ferry, one at a time.  Unfortunately our trip was faster with three loads of people on a speed boat ferry across the river.

Speedboat Ferry Group

Speedboat Ferry Group

Dugout canoe to cross the river

Dugout canoe to cross the river

Next was an immigration check where everyone has to fill out two forms with only a couple of pens for the 30-40 people.  Then there was a short ride to the safari company offices and on to the Chobe Lodge.  There we got on a boat for a two hour river cruise.

Getting on the Chobe River

Getting on the Chobe River

At first I was concerned that this might be a disappointment.  There were a lot of birds of different types and a few animals in the distance.  Then we encountered the hippos, swimming, sleeping, and roaming.  There is no shortage of hippos here.  It is amazing that something that big can swim.

Birds

Birds

Drying Wings

Drying Wings

Swimming Hippos

Swimming Hippos

Hippo

Hippo

Crouching Hippo

Crouching Hippo

Then there were the crocodiles, the Cape Buffalos, the Legwe (?) antelope, and water monitor lizards.  Then the elephants arrived with impalas and Kudos.  On the way back four elephants decided to give us a swimming display as they crossed the river.  It is amazing that something that big can swim.

Crocodile

Crocodile

Crocodiles

Crocodiles

Cape Buffalo

Cape Buffalo

Water Monitor Lizard

Water Monitor Lizard

Hillside elephants

Hillside elephants

Elephants at the Beach

Elephants at the Beach

Elephant swim

Elephant swim

After lunch we loaded into the safari trucks for a land tour.  Again we started slowly with antelope, birds, and warthogs.  Then there was the herd of female elephants and babies.  Next came the giraffes.  On the way back we got close to a number of animals, including having to wait for the elephants to cross the road.

Legwe antelope and warthogs

Legwe antelope and warthogs

Warthogs

Warthogs

Teal Rooter Bird

Teal Rooter Bird

Ribbed Mongoose

Ribbed Mongoose

Elephant herd

Elephant herd

Giraffes

Giraffes

Necking Giraffes

Necking Giraffes

Posing Kudo

Posing Kudo

Elephant Crossing

Elephant Crossing

Finally, there were the lions.  We did not get very close to them, and they were mostly hidden in the underbrush.  Still we saw lions.   After the lions we stopped for a baby giraffe crossing the road and some up-close impala.  The joke about the impala is that they have black markings on their rear ends that look like the McDonalds logo.  Impalas are fast food for the lions.

Lying Lion

Lying Lion

Kudo Female Closeup

Kudo Female Closeup

Impalas

Impalas

Baby Giraffe Crossing

Baby Giraffe Crossing

Baby Giraffe catching Mom

Baby Giraffe catching Mom

It was a very good day and a great way to close my adventure.  Now what remains is about 11 hours on buses tomorrow to get back to Ndola and then about 19 hours of airline flights on Thursday and Friday.

Passport check

Passport check

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One response

29 07 2009
Brad & Ronda Noteboom

wow … just wow! the pictures were amazing – what a wonderful creative God we have! we are thankful you could enjoy this slice of life today, such a gift! praying for a calm and uneventful return home.

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