Duniart – Photography and Blog by Toine IJsseldijk

Chobe National Park

Namibia & Botswana, June – July 2018

Day 16 – Jul 4: Kongola – Chobe National Park – Kasane

We arrived at Chobe National Park’s Ngoma Gate at lunch time and after a quick bite we did a game drive along the Chobe river, before continuing to Kasane.
In Kasane we had pre-booked a private sunset river cruise on the Chobe river, which turned out fantastic value and with probably one of the best guides on the river. It was immediately clear that he was very senior and extremely knowledgeable and often other guides would keep an eye on us and our sightings. He also had a clear own itinerary and route, ignoring all other boats who seemed to like herding around the same sightings.
We camped at the Big 5 Chobe Lodge, on the shore of the Chobe River; it was the least attractive camping site of our entire trip, but we knew that in advance. My preferred camping was fully booked a year in advance…

Day 17 – Jul 5: Kasane – Victoria Falls – Kasane

Today we went on a pre-booked day-trip to the Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe. The border crossing took probably close to 2 hours, mainly due to understaffed border control; completely ridiculous. But of course, absolutely worth it, as we got to see one of the greatest attractions in Africa and one of the most spectacular waterfalls in the world, the Victoria Falls.
We were there during the dry season, meaning that the waterfall was at its largest: the rain water that falls during the rainy season in the mountains from Angola takes about 6 months to flow all the way to the waterfalls.
We were back at the Chobe Lodge early afternoon, where we spend the afternoon shopping for our 8 day off-road crossing through the Chobe National Park, Savuti, Khwai and then Moremi, to Maun. The evening was spend relaxed at the Lodge’s river side restaurant, just out of reach of the crocodiles.

Day 18 – Jul 6: Kasane – Savuti, Chobe National Park

We did an early morning game drive into the Chobe National Park. As soon as we arrived at the river front it became clear why they like to reduce the number of safari vehicles in that area. The sun had just come up when suddenly all jeeps were racing to the same spot; we followed, and it turned out a young leopard was sitting hidden in the bush. With at least 30 jeeps trying to get into a very small area to have a look. There was no ethics, no rules, a free-for-all and the most aggressive drivers I’ve ever seen. This was not for us, so we quickly left… To only come across another traffic jam of jeeps surrounding a few lions.
No, this part of the Chobe National Park definitely needs some better management. The park is large enough and other areas certainly have enough wildlife as well.
Happily leaving the park we were on our way for our highly anticipated 8 days off-road trip to Maun, first via the tar road to Kachikau, but from there on off-road. We soon entered Botswana’s real wilderness, driving through the infamous thick sand to the area called SAVUTI and our highly anticipated wilderness campsite.
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