Moremi campsite as we’re about to leave.

Leaving our Moremi campsite we first swung by Paradise Pools but all was quiet there and we drove on in a slightly north easterly direction to our first stretch your legs stop. It was a bit of an odd stop with stark trees in a shallow body of water. Later, when I looked at our GPS track, I saw that we were close to the meandering Khwai river banks.

Stretching our legs near the Khwai river.
Clouds indicate that the rainy season is around the corner.
Rickety hide at the Hippo Pool.
Hippos were far away and well hidden.

Now it got interesting. On the map above we’re the faint blue line driving from left to right At the two males caption we sight two big males ambling through the grass. DT drives off the road to get a better view and we get pretty close to them. He then tells us that the males are following a female and drives back to the road, and around, and then off the road through the grass. We had no idea what he was up to but we stopped where the Female arrow is and lo and behold she comes right by and passes in front of our truck. Thank you DT for your excellent judgement to intercept them half a mile away.

First male that we spotted.
Female sauntering by, she has to turn to her left to get around our truck.
The two males that are following her.

Next day was Friday the 21st and we left camp and headed back to the Khwai River bridge to get onto the north side of the river.

“Self Drive” crossing the Khwai bridge.
In need of some repair.
Mababe Gate – South entrance to Chobe.

We crossed into Chobe park at the Mababe gate and a ways down the road the vegetation suddenly changes. We drive out of the Mopani Trees and this expanse of savanna grasslands opens up on our right. Way in the savanna distance we can see a large herd of buffalo, no photo’s but we know they’re out there.

Mopani Trees on the left and savanna on the right.
Meet a Bushways safari traveling from north to south and we stop for a chat.

Now the shade becomes very sparse and we, like the elephants, crowd under a small grove of trees for a lunch break.

Any shade is precious.
Lunch break.

Our next stop is going to be Savuti, also known as Savuti Channel or Savuti Marsh, which is fed by a very unpredictable water source along a fault channel to the north-west, the Linyanti River. To me the place is hot & dry but we do find a herd of elephants watering at an almost dried up hole.

Elephants watering.
Not much to choose from.

We spend one night here and then keep moving north-east towards the Chobe River.

Baobab Tree.
Scrounging for moisture laden grass roots.
The Kudu has a majestic look.
Impala drinking at the waters edge – always a danger zone.
This was one time DT told us to “hang on” as he picked up momentum to get us up the other side..
Fish Eagle.
Young Kudu.

Now we reached a paved road which is both a luxury and an indication that  civilization is near. The village is Kachikau and there is a craft / bottle store where we stop to refresh and inflate the tires for the paved road.

The story is that Rose & Inger had gone into the store for some drinks and I wandered in afterwards. I asked Rose what she was drinking and she replied “water” which the lady knew all too well was not the case and she thought this was absolutely hilarious.

We’re now close to the Chobe River where the park gets it name from. The river is also the border between Botswana and Namibi’s Caprivi Strip. The area is more busy because of the proximity of lodges and day trippers coming in from Kasane & Vic Falls. None the less we find plenty of lions and other interesting game to watch. Late in the afternoon a pride is getting restless and they take off along the rivers upper bank in search of activity.

Lions on the move.
Come on, lets go!
Cruising the banks of the Chobe with Namibia beyond that.

The whole trip so far we have not seen any leopard and DT was under pressure to find one. He is on the radio to his fellow guides and comes up with a sighting so off we go.

Our lone leopard.
Colorful cat.
Hippos in the river.

Look at the following photos. First we spot a Sable, a rather rare spotting, near the bank of the river. We drive on and find the resident pride of lions resting in the shade on our left with some open ground on the right before you get to the waters edge.

We’re watching the lions and all of a sudden some are up and alert – just look at their eyes. We swing to our right to see what they’re looking at and it’s the Sable that has wandered obliviously into their view but too far away for the lions to mount an attack.

Then the Sable goes down into a depression and out of sight. Three of the females start moving towards the depression and get right to the edge before the Sable, in the nick of time, sees them and takes off for her life. She gets away because she can outrun the lions but it was really a close call for her.

Sable, oblivious of the lions nearby.
The lions spot the Sable.
Just waiting for the signal to go.
They’re in full attack mode.
The Sable’s lucky day.

Last day we pack up, do a game drive to make sure all is in order and then head into Kasane and the border with Zimbabwe where the hotel will pick us up and we will soon have hot showers, luxurious dinning and a real bed after days in the bush.

Driving down from our campsite towards the river in the background.
One last swing past the lions crashed out on the river banks.
Thanks to everyone – it was a truly once in a lifetime experience.
Categories Trips