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Jochen

Great pics so far!

 

Just thought I'd share some info on how to avoid the busy east section of the park (near Kasane). What you can do is;

 

- Stay at any of the camps on the east side of the park, near where the ta roads crosses the border. Like; Muchenje Safari Lodge, Baobab Camp, Ngoma Safari Lodge etc.

 

- Go for Chobe Tented Camp ("Chobe under Canvas"), the only option IN the (western part of the) reserve itself, near the river. Couldn't find a web page, but travel agencies have got pages. Like; http://safaritalk.net/topic/12873-victoria-falls-chobe-np-moremi-gr-jao-and-khwai-concessions/page-3

 

- Book a safari with a private guide, and he will book one of the HATAB private campsites for you. We did this with Ewan Masson in 2008. Elephants came through our camp (to/from the river) regularly, and we saw only a few other self-drivers and a vehicle or two from the lodges near the west gate. Ewan can still book you a boat trip in Kasane, just like any other lodge. But the difference is the boat will not take you back to town when the trip is over; they will drop you off in the park at one of the pick nick spots. Your guide will wait for you there and you can immediately continue with a game drive (so you lose no more time driving around in Kasane).

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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

Thanks @@Jochen, your post is really useful for future visitors to this part of Chobe NP! This is the best way to enjoy the place, I was trying to keep the budget as low as possible, though (we had 10 days in Cape Town, Timbavati and Sabi Sand in South Africa + 2 days in Livingstone before Kasane + another 6 days in Botswana after that on the same trip with relatively limited budget). In Kasane we spent about $160 p.p. p.n. (lodging, park fees, morning game drive and afternoon boat trip included).

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Jochen

Hey @@FlyTraveler,

 

That is true; none of the options I gave is quite as cheap as the options near and in Kasane.

Except perhaps Ewan Masson, but only if you go with 2 or 3 couples.

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FlyTraveler

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

 

 

 

Some more Southern hornbills (this time red-billed):


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Southern giraffe in the bush:


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Than we saw a lion (most likely a lioness) about 50 meters from the giraffe, looking at it. I've never heard about lions hunting giraffe in this part of the park, but I don't know very much about wildlife in general, so just waited to see if more lions will appear (a lone lion / lioness would never attempt an attack on a giraffe):

 

 

 

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No other lions appeared and the giraffe looked like it was aware of the lion's presence:


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Well, my dream to witness lions - giraffe interaction did not materialize... hopefully on the next trip to Ruaha...

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FlyTraveler

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

 

 

The last sighting on this game drive was a quite close encounter with a giant:


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I hardly managed to fit this one into the frame (at 70 mm on a full frame sensor), didn't have a second body with a wide angle lens on this trip:

 

 

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Overall, although we had some interesting sightings, this wasn't the best game drive in our lives, so both I and my wife were looking forward to the afternoon boat safari, which was truly delightful.

 

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FlyTraveler

Chobe river afternoon boat safari. Chobe NP, Botswana. May 28, 2014

 

 

Our second boat trip on Chobe river was conducted by the regular guide of The Old House, a girl named Terry - a sweetheart and a knowledgeable safari guide. There were also a real boat captain and a steward (more guests on the boat this time, less noise, though).

 

We went through the usual drill with the paperwork with the passport numbers for the NP authorities. I forgot to get the numbers again, so marked some random digits, it worked the previous two times when we entered the park.

 

During the short ride to the park entrance, we passed several riverfront lodges, the biggest of them being Chobe River Lodge.

 

 

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The first sightings in the park this time were birds, the guide would point them out with the correct names and the captain would appropriately stop the boat.

 

 

Black-shouldered kite with a prey in a tree:

 

 

 

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FlyTraveler

Chobe river afternoon boat safari. Chobe NP, Botswana. May 28, 2014

 

 

Continuing with more birds. Please, feel free to correct me if I have marked wrong names of the birds.

 

 

African reed cormorant:

 

 

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Pied kingfisher:


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FlyTraveler

Chobe river afternoon boat safari. Chobe NP, Botswana. May 28, 2014

 

 

Lilac-breasted roller:

 

 

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White-fronted bee-eater:

 

 

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Jochen

 

This image brings back good memories. That bar is a place the managers of Elephant Valley Lodge go to a lot, if they want to relax. Had a great chat with them there, about working in eco-tourism.

 

By the way; underneath that platform, a cobra gives birth to her young every year (alas, I forgot what species exactly).

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Peter Connan

Nice big rat the kite caught!

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FlyTraveler

Chobe river afternoon boat safari. Chobe NP, Botswana. May 28, 2014

 

 

Ellies on the bank of Chobe river:


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Another one from the album "The Intimate Life of the Wild Animals", notice the shadow from the dropping dung on the left leg:


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madaboutcheetah

Hahaha - that is too funny!!!

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Marks

The baboon on the previous page has a very long face; what a great model!

 

Another one from the album "The Intimate Life of the Wild Animals", notice the shadow from the dropping dung on the left leg:

 

 

Haha, love it. The collection grows.

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FlyTraveler

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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madaboutcheetah

That's what I want to do - the river cruise to see exactly such scenes!!! Incredible.......

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FlyTraveler

Chobe river afternoon boat safari. Chobe NP, Botswana. May 28, 2014

 

 

As @@madaboutcheetah mentioned in the post above, the scene with the ellies swimming and playing in the river was too nice to miss any photo opportunities:


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TonyQ

@@FlyTraveler

Great pictures of the elephants playing in the water - beautiful!

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FlyTraveler

Chobe river afternoon boat safari. Chobe NP, Botswana. May 28, 2014

 

 

More photos of swimming ellies:

 

 

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Marks

It looks like they are having a ball!

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FlyTraveler

Chobe river afternoon boat safari. Chobe NP, Botswana. May 28, 2014

 

 

Last photos of the swimming ellies:

 

 

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It's time for a dust bath:

 

 

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FlyTraveler

Chobe river afternoon boat safari. Chobe NP, Botswana. May 28, 2014

 

 

After the swimming ellies we spotted an African fish eagle:


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Cape buffalo bull chased by an elephant:

 

 

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FlyTraveler

Chobe river afternoon boat safari. Chobe NP, Botswana. May 28, 2014

 

 

Great white egret (or is it?). Sorry, photos are not very sharp:

 

 

 

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michael-ibk

 

 

Great white egret (or is it?).

 

I´m pretty sure that´s a Little Egret (Egretta Garzetta). The yellow feet are characteristic.

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FlyTraveler

 

Great white egret (or is it?).

 

I´m pretty sure that´s a Little Egret (Egretta Garzetta). The yellow feet are characteristic.

 

 

Thanks @@michael-ibk! It is too late to edit my post, but at least I will know what the bird is.

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graceland

Beautiful Little Egret.

 

If I were an elie I'd want to live on the Chobe river. They have blast!

My first sightings were there. Awesome

You had a terrific safari!

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