Camping and Game Drives in Chobe National Park, Botswana
After a few days of relaxation in Zimbabwe and some much needed pool time after volunteering for two weeks, came Botswana. The border crossing took a long time because of 3/4 of our group being screened for Ebola since they came down from Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Tanzania etc. before having arrived in Zimbabwe. Still, despite the boiling heat it was good to know these countries are trying to be careful. A walk through some water stuff to prevent foot and mouth disease, then we were in Botswana!
The truck pulled up near a river filled with crocodiles, we quickly put up our tents and headed for the pool to cool down (can’t believe our luck of two places with pools in a row). Little did we know those first few rain drops that started to fall would lead to a massive storm. After a few minutes in the pool with the rain and thunder going, the lighting began. It was about this time a few of us jumped out and within moments the others followed. We spent a good hour or two huddled up at the reception (of the 4 star lodge) in our swimsuits as it bucketed down with rain, thunder and lightning. I’m learning when it rains in Africa, it REALLY rains.
As dinner time neared and the rain looked like it was starting to ease, we started our way back in bits. As I walked quickly I realised it was still coming down thick and fast. I opted to stop at the shower block before camp for a warm shower… then the power went out. Always fun finding your clothes in the dark in the shower that may or may not have creepy crawlies in it.
With the wind and rain the bugs stayed away for that night at least. We were proper camping now.
Next morning was our first game drive in Chobe National Park. The national park changes landscapes quite frequently, from barren land with dead trees in amazing shapes to impress, to greens and blues of trees by the river, then there were reds and browns of sand and dirt. We saw a lot of birds, water buffalo, impalas and hippos.
Later that afternoon after another dip into the swimming pool we headed out for a boat safari heading down the Chobe river to see more hippos munching on grass and swimming, even some posing for the cameras. Crocodiles were abundant stretched out in the sun as were impalas, waterbucks and baboons.
That night as I walked to the tent I saw what I thought was a snake trail. Guess what? I didn’t freak out. I just figured it would have been on its way and long gone. I went to my tent to read my kindle before bedtime not giving it another thought. Later people outside my tent were joking about a snake and laughing etc and I figured someone saw the trail and was joking around. This morning I saw the reality in someone’s photo. It was a brown snake about 2 meters long – not poisonous, but too long for my liking. It was hanging around between the tent I shared and the tent next to me. Good thing I didn’t see it!
Now we’re off to the Okavango Delta to canoe down and camp in proper bush for two nights because of some recent visa issues the tour guide, driver and cook have with Namibia. Yes it will be hot. Yes there will be bugs. Yes I will need a torch as there will be ‘other things’ too. There will not be wifi (running joke in the truck, of asking if everywhere has wifi before we arrive no matter how ridicules it sounds), there will not be toilets (although I’m getting pretty good at bush toilets already today as I write this on the truck during our 600km drive), no there will not be showers. Yes everyone will get dirty and stink. Sounds like fun right?