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twaffle

I feel that I'm going to have to read all the recent trip reports all over again to get all the photos matched with the locations. So much great work.

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Well, keep in mind that we had only one afternoon (kind of) and the next morning in Livingstone. I knew that Zambezi river would be full and the falls would be difficult to observe this time of the ye

Chobe river boat safari, Chobe NP, Botswana. May 27, 2014     Elephants turned to golden color by the light of the setting sun:                                    

Chobe river afternoon boat safari. Chobe NP, Botswana. May 28, 2014     Next we saw one of the most beautiful sightings on this trip - Ellies swimming and playing in Chobe river:          

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FlyTraveler

We got to cruise Chobe with you! So much to see enjoy on that river cruise, and your weather and light were perfect!

 

Wait until I get to the "golden hour" :) Although Chobe NP (the part next to Kasane) is very busy and really a mass market destination, a boat safari on Chobe river is a real delight (unlike a drive in the NP, but more on that subject later). I can not think of something else so nice for so little money. You just need to cope with some really noisy general holiday goers type boat-mates (sometimes - one out of two cruises for us). :)

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FlyTraveler

I feel that I'm going to have to read all the recent trip reports all over again to get all the photos matched with the locations. So much great work.

 

There are so many great reports running at the moment or finished recently, I am having a hard time following them and posting my installments in the same time, will go back to all of them for more details. Actually I always go back to the nice reports, regardless of how old they are, to enjoy the story and the photos.

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Marks

Mesmerizing land(water?)scapes and wildlife. I am enjoying this continuation of your adventure very much.

 

Quite the statue of David!

 

 

This may be the only thread where you could be talking about two separate statues! :P

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FlyTraveler

Chobe river boat safari, Chobe NP, Botswana. May 27, 2014

 

 

Continuing with our first boat trip on Chobe river.

 

 

There were several bull elephants grazing right in the middle of the river:


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FlyTraveler

Chobe river boat safari, Chobe NP, Botswana. May 27, 2014

 

 

The sun started to go down and we entered "the golden hour".

 

 

Chobe river landscapes, some with baboons in the foreground:


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Impala gets into the frame:

 

 

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Baboons with a fish eagle in the background:


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Here a croc joins the baboons:

 

 

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Just the croc:


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Another boat:

 

 

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The Namibian bank of Chobe river:

 

 

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The Botswana bank:

 

 

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My first Chobe river sunset photo:

 

 

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FlyTraveler

Chobe river boat safari, Chobe NP, Botswana. May 27, 2014

 

 

Elephants turned to golden color by the light of the setting sun:


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FlyTraveler

Chobe river boat safari, Chobe NP, Botswana. May 27, 2014

 

 

Our guide / boat captain Sox:


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Photos of our first sunset in Chobe NP:


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madaboutcheetah

Oh Wow - awesome!!! Love this report and on my list is a trip to Chobe for the Boat trip.

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FlyTraveler

Oh Wow - awesome!!! Love this report and on my list is a trip to Chobe for the Boat trip.

 

Thanks Hari! A boat trip on Chobe river is both budget conscious and enjoyable :)

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michael-ibk

The boattrip really appears to be most delightful, very much enjoying this. And regretting that I didn´t include Chobe in my trip this March, definitely something to do for next time!

 

I´m a bit surprised that you apparently didn´t see that much on game drives, all people I met in camps who had been to Chobe were raving about the incredible game density. But I guess you´ll get to that in greater detail soon. :)

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Marks

Very nice color and light. That golden hour really is something. Any tips for capturing the sunset on the water like that?

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FlyTraveler

Very nice color and light. That golden hour really is something. Any tips for capturing the sunset on the water like that?

 

Thanks @@Marks! With so many great photographers around I feel a bit strange giving tips :) I would use different degrees of overexposure when shooting directly towards the setting sun and on top of that I shoot RAW (in my case NEF) images, so I can have more freedom in post processing.

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FlyTraveler

The boattrip really appears to be most delightful, very much enjoying this. And regretting that I didn´t include Chobe in my trip this March, definitely something to do for next time!

 

I´m a bit surprised that you apparently didn´t see that much on game drives, all people I met in camps who had been to Chobe were raving about the incredible game density. But I guess you´ll get to that in greater detail soon. :)

 

Thanks @@michael-ibk! I am reading in details the TR about your recent trip to Botswana and I believe that you have visited a lot more interesting places than Chobe river, but still, you are right - seeing it on top of the other camps and reserves wouldn't hurt. :)

 

It wasn't like we didn't see wildlife during the game drives in the park. I just didn't like the huge concentration of vehicles, especially early in the morning - waiting in a line at the gate and then all vehicles drive in a convoy for the first 30-40 minutes before they disperse around the park. I will get into this in more detail in my next post. And still - when I am thinking now - we saw more animals during the afternoon boat cruises than during the morning game drives (2 cruises and 2 drives total).

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FlyTraveler

Morning game drive in Chobe NP, Botswana. May 28, 2014

 

 

As I mentioned in my reply to @@michael-ibk, I would not rate very high the game drives in Chobe NP, at least in the part of the park right next to Kasane. If I compare them to the game drives we have done so far (Selenkey, Ol Kinyei, Naboisho conservancies, Masai Mara, Amboseli, Lake Nakuru, Lake Bogoria in Kenya; Motswari and Elephant Plains in S. Africa), these were perhaps the least interesting with the least competent guide. We had the same person subbing for the regular guide on the boat trip and I was not extremely pleased to find out that he was the regular guide for the vehicle safaris. He would do just general talk, every once in a while pointing out how many languages he spoke, and to back up these statements he would exclaim "Elephante" every time we saw an elephant (despite of the fact that there weren't any Italians on the boat or in the vehicle).

 

It was also pretty obvious that he wouldn't stop for general game or/and smaller birds so I faced the dilemma to scream "stop" and take the chance of looking like a demanding picky as***le in the eyes of the other people in the vehicle or to miss some photo and observation opportunities. I went for the first option and was asked by a lady (for a second time in Chobe) if I was a biologist (it was very funny since I knew almost nothing about birds and very little about mammals). I would assume that the guide was fine for most of the clientele and if we wanted more, we should have hired a private vehicle and guide.

 

Vehicle concentration was very high, especially at the beginning of the drive when we had at least 20 vehicle driving in a convoy style for the first 30-40 minutes before gradually dispersing around the park.

 

 

First sunrise in Chobe NP (for us):


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Male impala during the golden hour:


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Cape buffalo bull:


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Monitor lizard:

 

 

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Vultures and marabou storks feasting on a carcass next to the river bank:


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Chobe river landscape:


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michael-ibk

A pity about the guide. Sorry you didn´t enjoy this as much as probably expected, but your pics still are superb. All very vibrant, full of energy somehow. :)

 

 

 

Vehicle concentration was very high, especially at the beginning of the drive when we had at least 20 vehicle driving in a convoy style for the first 30-40 minutes before gradually dispersing around the park.

 

Sounds very much like an Indian safari. I´ve never researched Chobe, are there other places to stay with different entrance gates than in Kasane? (I know there´s one lodge inside the park which is pretty expensive however.)

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Marks

@@FlyTraveler Thanks. I haven't spent much time on sunset photos but am interested in experimenting in the future. Your photos speak for themselves, so you shouldn't feel underqualified to give suggestions!

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graceland

Just catching up with this report Fly and it is stunning. Love the aerial shots and of course the ellies in the river. Chobe was our first ever game drive and so I remember it well. Being on the water and seeing all the game, plus the herds of elies swimming across at sunset is forever in my mind and heart. That is what brought us back to Africa the second time....and of course the obsession never stopped.

 

We stayed at Chobe Chilwero, and the guides know to get you up and out fast - no need for breakfast (we took it along) and into the park where we saw NO other vehicles for quite a while. I actually thought he had taken us somewhere else after hearing about all the crowds and seeing none. :wacko:

It was a delightful two days.

 

Not taken with Vic Falls, but your photos showed much more than I saw!

 

...and I think very highly of Safari Specialists. They do pride themselves on accommodating all budgets and are extremely responsive. I try to send folks to them whenever I hear "Botswana". I met Nandine while in Maun, along with Erica Wilson, the owner.

 

Wonderful safari youall had!

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FlyTraveler

Love the aerial shots and of course the ellies in the river. Chobe was our first ever game drive and so I remember it well. Being on the water and seeing all the game, plus the herds of elies swimming across at sunset is forever in my mind and heart. That is what brought us back to Africa the second time....and of course the obsession never stopped.

 

 

...and I think very highly of Safari Specialists. They do pride themselves on accommodating all budgets and are extremely responsive. I try to send folks to them whenever I hear "Botswana". I met Nandine while in Maun, along with Erica Wilson, the owner.

 

 

 

Hi @@graceland, thanks for the good words! I remember you writing to me about the ellies swimming in the Chobe river right before we left for this trip. I got some truly adorable photos, but you should bare with me until I get to the second boat safari on the next day.

 

Safari Specialists are great, unfortunately Nadine was out of town both times when we were in Maun. Gabba from the office came to the airport to take our big hard suitcase (they kept it in the office and she came back to the airport to bring it to us when we were leaving after our safari). They are all very, very professional and Nadine, of course, was our star. We run into Gabba again at Sango Camp, she was there on educational with other agents, we had some more talks there and apparently it turned out that the company is a lot bigger than I thought (20-30+ staff). The other interesting thing was that the management at the camps would say that we were booked by Safari Destination, perhaps they are either part of this company or are known under this name to safari operators.

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FlyTraveler

Morning game drive in Chobe NP, Botswana. May 28, 2014

 

 

Some birds I photographed during this game drive, there is a lilac-breasted roller in the middle and a starling on the right, forgive my ignorance, I do not know the other birds, I am sure that most of you will be able to ID them:

 

 

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Flock of Egyptian geese:


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The geese on the ground:


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TonyQ

@@FlyTraveler

Some great photos here the golden hour truly is golden

I will also experiment with sunset/sunrise shots after seeing your pictures. Mine have always been rubbish upto now!

I am very much enjoying the report

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FlyTraveler

@@FlyTraveler

Some great photos here the golden hour truly is golden

I will also experiment with sunset/sunrise shots after seeing your pictures. Mine have always been rubbish upto now!

I am very much enjoying the report

 

Thanks @@TonyQ! Honestly I don't remember your sunset/sunrise photos, but I remember many wildlife and scenery shots of yours that I enjoy very much...

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FlyTraveler

Morning game drive in Chobe NP, Botswana. May 28, 2014

 

 

On with the morning game drive. Some impala photos (again):


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FlyTraveler

Morning game drive in Chobe NP, Botswana. May 28, 2014

 

 

Continuing with the game drive in Chobe NP. Next we stopped to observe some baboons (I like watching baboons, because they are always busy doing something):


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FlyTraveler

Morning game drive in Chobe NP, Botswana. May 28, 2014

 

 

After the baboons, the guide found a pride of lions (lionesses with sub-adults), here I could feel the limitations of both not being able to drive off road in the park and the focal length of my lens (70-300 mm.)

 

 

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African fish eagle posing for us:

 

 

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"I wish I were a wolf..."

 

 

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