Wildlife Galore!

Trip Start Jul 26, 2012
Trip End Aug 22, 2012

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Chobe National Park

Flag of Botswana  ,
Tuesday, July 31, 2012

We arrived at our hotel in Chobe at 2.40pm and were told at check-in that the river cruise we were booked on was leaving in 15 minutes. So it was a quick dash but it was worth it.  So much wildlife there!  Elephants, water buffalo, hippos, crocodiles, impalas, baboons, giraffes, heaps of different birds and countless other animals.  Countless mongoose, monkeys and warthogs right outside our back door.  We've never seen so much wildlife in one place before.  And the sunset there was just magical.  We did two early morning game drives, again heaps of the same animals plus a full grown male lion walking parallel to our vehicle and heading to cross in front of us.  On the other side was a lioness waiting for him.  That was a real treat.  We toyed with not going on the second sunset cruise, coz what’s the likelihood of seeing anything different?  We went and are so glad we did.  We saw a herd of elephants swimming across the river to get to the landbank in the middle, masses of giraffes and an  angry hippo chased after our boat!  Fortunately our skipper got us away from him just in time before he made contact.  It was pretty exciting though!

The second game drive we were a bit more prepared for the cold mornings with our thermals on under our clothes and beanies and gloves. Much more comfortable.  Still had the blankets over us in the vehicle though.  We were stared down by a large bull elephant stomping his feet and flapping his ears at us.  That was a bit unnerving given he was only a few metres from us.  Two minutes from the exit, our driver spotted a female leopard slinking along the edge of the track, stalking some kudu on the other side of the road.  We watched her for 25 minutes as she slunk onto the road and lay flat on the road in the shadows waiting for the kudu to come closer.  A mother kudu and her baby were heading to the road to cross.  The mother crossed within five metres of the leopard and once the mother was across the baby started to cross.  All of us in the vehicle were holding our breath as we were certain the leopard was going to pounce on it.  It didn't!  The baby kudu got across the road without incident.  Then the mother spotted the leopard, gave an almighty bleat and the baby jumped into the bushes into safety.  The leopard gave up and crossed the road to where there were more kudu and starting to stalk them.  By this time, we were almost 30 minutes late for our return to the hotel and our pickup to take us back to Victoria Falls airport!  Fortunately the driver waited for us and we held him up further so we could have a quick breakfast before the onward trip. 
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