Tuesday 27 May 2014

Francois Ghanem - Chobe Experience

Finally settled into a routine at Chobe.  Game drives were nice.  We did not see all the Big 5 here.  "Just" ellies and buffalos.  We saw the most adorable baby ellie nursing.  We saw many giraffes along the way and at one point a "journey" of 8 giraffes together - so graceful to watch.  We saw dung beetles industriously doing what they do best along the way too.
Most magnificent, however,  was the time we spent on the Chobe river.  The river plain was still "flooded". So we got to see many birds and beautiful water lilies.  We saw crocs and ellies in the water eating and bathing.  We observed a lot of ellies at the shoreline drinking and hanging out on shore and water's edge.
And how about the hippos we wanted to see "smiling" or " yawning"?  We saw plenty of hippos mostly in water in various depths - and a few smiled at us and we have the quintesential photos of hippos smilling with mouths wide agape! 
We saw a sad sight of a scratched up hippo on shore tending to its wounds - which resulted from a fight with another male.  We also came across a hippo "couple". Well we only saw the male - as the female was submerged in the water as the couple was " busy".
That's it for the animals.  To end our Chobe river experience was a spectacular sunset with the requisite river, a tree and a setting flaming orange sun!  Simply magnificient!!!

How about some personal thoughts on our experience?  Here we go....
Our game drives were small in size - on one we had just three of us.  The river cruises we took were on smaller boats 10 passengers on one and just us two on another.  The smaller boats allow for closer access to spots which is really great.  However, after a few hours they are not the most comfortable.  Myself - I'd choose closer access to the animals others may opt for a bigger boat where one can walk around and may be more conducive to enjoying a sundowner or two.

About the morning drives - when we stopped for coffee, tea and rusks we did so in a spot with 8  or 9 game drive vehicles and 50 or 60 people milling around.  We admit that we were spoiled by the more personal experience we enjoyed at the Sabie Sands area game drives.
We ventured into Kasane for a short while and found it safe and hassle free without any one trying to sell us anything.

Chobe was a very nice place to experience and we really enjoyed it.  
On to Namibia.

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