Gameless Game Drive in Chobe!

Trip Start Dec 16, 2005
Trip End Jun 12, 2006

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Sunday, April 23, 2006

Chobe is meant to be one of the best game parks in the whole of Africa. We left our campsite at 5:45 and were in the park for just after 6am.

The safari was very lame compared to Tanzania and the elephants and hippos that the park is famous for were none existent! The driver/guide wasn't up to much either. I asked him what the primates we could see were and he replied monkeys! He wasn't even correct on that generalization either as they turned out to be baboons.

We did see a sable, my first sighting in Africa, and a very impressive animal it was. Other animals included lots of impala, buffalo, banded mongoose, cylinder mongoose, baboons, crocs and tree squirrel. Birds included ground hornbill, red billed hornbill, fish eagle, martial eagle, whistler geese, Egyptians geese, blacksmith plover, sand grouse and the same lilac breasted roller we saw all over the Ngorongoro Crater.

Took a trip to an Internet cafe and the supermarket in late morning. I have to say the Spar supermarket was as well stocked as many in the US or UK. We managed to persuade Patrick to stay for the afternoon so we could do a sunset boat safari that evening and then have a full days drive to Maun the next day. He wanted to start that afternoon and do it over 2 days which seemed like a bit of a waste of our time to me.

The boat trip was great and I think everyone was chuffed we ended up staying to do it. What I've loved about all the boat trips I've done so far is they give you plenty of time to view the wildlife and things never seemed rushed or cramped. Boat trips also seem to produce lots of sightings and the ability to get close to animals, the sparse vegetation here also helped.

On this trip we saw hippos, crocs, elephants, buffalo, baboons, my first kudu, impalas and a fantastic water monitor walking along the shore.

There was the usual array of water birds. Cormorants, pied kingfisher, swifts and eagles.

Great food on the trip so far, I've been pretty impressed - it's certainly exceeded expectations. Tasty sausage for dinner. Breakfast had been coffee, cereal, scrambled egg and toast. Any weight I've lost on the trip so far will surely be put back on at this rate by the time I get to Cape Town!

Hygene also seems a high priority. Before serving, preparing or eating you have to wash your hands in 3 bowls. #1 soap and water. #2 detol. #3 rinse water. The same system, with the addition of a pre-scrub, also existed for the washing up the pots and pans.

Now on to the important stuff. Tried 2 Botswana beers that evening. Lt. Louis and Hansa. What a load of crap. No offense to Bud drinkers, but this stuff really did taste like Bud! I'll be sticking to Windhoek in future. Still I managed a few beers during the course of the evening. A sign of things to come maybe!

We had to listen to once of Patricks stimulating talks again that evening. This time it was on the Okavango Delta, our next destination. Every sentence ended with 'blah, blah, blah' or 'etc' where he would pronounce each letter one at a time E. T. C. I don't know how many more of these little talks I can take.
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