(Another contribution from guest blogger Ruth Binney)
If you’ve ever wanted to see a herd of elephants walk down to the water to drink, cool down and play, watch crocodiles and monitor lizards basking or see more than 25 different species of birds all in the space of a few hours then the place to be is in Chobe National Park in Botswana.
The one day safari from Chanters Lodge begins with a drive to the border on the Zambezi, the only place in the world where four countries meet (Zambia, Botswana, Namibia and Zimbabwe), There you quickly realize that the speed boat organized to take you across the river is luxury indeed, On both sides there are lines of trucks a mile or so long waiting to be carried, one at a time, by the three ferries that ply the water, At worst, we learned, it can take more than a week in the queue.
Our party – myself, Richard on a rare day off and his wife Ireen and Henry aged 7 – were transported the short distance to Chobe Safari Lodge for the first and most spectacular part of the day, a 2 1/2 hour boat trip along the river Chobe. What an experience! Botswana’s bird spectacularly on display, best of all being the malachite kingfisher (pictured, lilac breated roller (Botswana’s national bird, fish eagles, maribou storks and lappet faced vultures. Plus the elephants with mothers protecting their young between their legs and many hippos in family groups. A game drive through the park followed lunch, when Henry excelled himself spotting a tortoise and mongoose – neighbours to the many elephants, wart hogs and giraffes.
Altogether an excellently organized day thanks to Bushtracks and their informative guides and our driver Chris who sped us through the form filling needed to cross the borders back and forth. Another outing not to be missed from Chanters and a thrilling day for Henry too!