Still energised by an eventful night with elephants and hyenas, we hit the “road” (so to speak) through Savuti towards the Chobe Forest Reserve and the Chobe National Park.
In contrast to the day before, we saw very little wildlife, but the scenery was just grand. The roads were sandy, but mostly good. Very corrugated in a few places, so that the Prado behaved like a bucking bronco for one stretch with Marina at the wheel. (She is not a fan of driving too slowly, but in her defence, it’s difficult to judge the speed you need for a corrugated road.) This resulted in some luggage being launched through the vehicle into the laps of the passengers and some broken food containers in the back.
(Note to self: Avoid glass bottles containing grated beetroot during future roadtrips…)
Anyway, not too much damage done, so after some repacking and wiping beetroot juice off everything, we were on our way again.
That afternoon, we arrived in the very nice campsite at Muchenje, our second stay there. (The first time was a couple of years ago over Christmas, with Reinhardt and Inga, in very different weather – but that’s a different story!)
The Muchenje campsite is a very spacious and comfortable stop-over and an ideal place to stay when visiting the nearby Chobe National Park. There are only a few camping spots, well-shaded and quite private. The ablution blocks are very nice (and were very welcome after our stay in Magotho, where such facilities were… absent). Great to have a decent hot shower again! There is also a little shop at reception, where we eagerly bought some firewood and cold beers, and I think also some boerewors. WiFi works on the little verandah there, so we could send sign of life to our families again.
The campsite is located on the edge of the floodplain of the Chobe River, but since it was a very dry time of year, there was no water in sight. There was a flowing channel, but it must have been far away towards the border with Namibia. Our own camping spot was right on the edge of the plain, which made for very nice views, especially at sunset.
There was however also a troop of mischievous (read: thieving!) vervet monkeys, who tried to steal anything that wasn’t locked away. Throwing cups of water at them was an hilarious exercise, but had only limited effect.
We were very keen to see some more wildlife, other than the vervet monkeys. After a quick breakfast, we packed up and drove onto the tar road towards Kasane and turned into the strip of Chobe National Park that borders the river with the same name.
Here we were certainly not disappointed. I will let the following photographs speak for themselves.
We drove on the various side roads through this northern part of the Chobe National Park, separated from the Caprivi Strip in Namibia by the Chobe River. In contrast to the day before, we saw not even a single elephant! We’d seen many during previous visits here, but today they were hiding out somewhere. It is amazing how large numbers of such large animals can disappear into the bush completely. However, we had nothing to complain about, we saw many other species, including one we’d never seen before, a Southern African Wildcat (Felis lybica cafra). They are usually nocturnal animals, not often seen in daylight.
Somewhat reluctantly we left Chobe and drove through Kasane towards the ferry that would take us back into Zambia, where our adventures would continue. Look out for those in the next post!