… and back into Chobe!

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.

Driving northeastwards through the Chobe Forest Reserve, an iconic image from our trip – a magnificent baobab tree next to a sandy road, with the beautiful African sky above.
W, trying to clean his hands after repairing some of the damage done by a broken bottle of grated beetroot…

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!)

Camped at Muchenje. Since the campsite is fenced, there was no need for our accommodations to huddle together for safety.

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.

Late afternoon view from our camping spot over the floodplain of the Chobe River, looking towards Namibia

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.

Quick breakfast (fried eggs, what else?) while we chased away vervet monkeys and finished packing.

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.

Giraffe family by the roadside
Slightly curious zebras

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.

A lot of very noisy birds (a Grey Heron and a flock of African Sacred Ibis) drew our attention to something going on. We were lucky to spot this Southern African Wildcat, who was outnumbered and beat a hasty retreat.
Photographer at work again.
Not the best quality picture (difficult to capture a dark bird against a light background) but it is always a treat to see an African Fish Eagle and to hear its distinctive call. It’s the national bird of Zambia and of Namibia, but appears to be welcome in Botswana too.
Buffalo checking us out while an egret (probably a Great Egret) is checking out his intended lunch.

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!

Arriving back on Zambian soil. The rooftent on top of the Prado is just visible between the two trucks.

3 thoughts on “… and back into Chobe!

  1. I love your blog.. very nice colors & theme. Did you make this website yourself or did you hire someone to do it for you? Plz answer back as I’m looking to construct my own blog and would like to know where u got this from. many thanks

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    1. I’m just using WordPress and a standard (free) template provided, just looked through what was available free, selected one. I also have another website (for my professional life) and there is a consultant rebuilding that, also with WordPress.

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