Thursday, March 15, 2012

In Elephant Backcountry

There are very few things I enjoy more on my travels than going on a game safari in Africa. Come to think of it, there are few things I enjoy more in life than that. You never know what you are going to see or happen on a game viewing activity so it is a different experience every time. The Chobe National Park in northwest Botswana was one of the game reserves that I visited during my Cape to Vic camping trip. It  has one of the largest concentrations of game in Africa with an estimated 50,000 elephants, perhaps the highest elephant population of Africa. Damage caused by the high numbers of elephants is rife and apparent in some areas. We stayed in a nearby campsite and visited the park twice that day - once on a vehicle in the early afternoon and again in the late afternoon for a Chobe River sunset cruise. The first visit was on a big truck (not the usual 4X4) modified for game viewing and the tall vehicle was ideal here since it took us almost face to face level with adult elephants which I thought really enhanced the experience.

elephants' paradise - scene by the chobe river
The late afternoon river cruise was even more rewarding than our earlier visit. The spacious slow ferry was able to cruise so close to the river bank where wildlife was in abundance. I also noticed that there was plentiful of bird life along the banks and I even got my first sighting of the majestic African Fish Eagle. Further from the river bank, there were scatter groups of hippos, one of the most dangerous animals in Africa. And of course, many more elephants were spotted in the water and along the river bank. What made the cruise so special and memorable was that it brought us insanely near the action - like for a while, we were barely a few meters from two adult elephants feeding in the water. The sun began to set as we turned back to the way of the jetty. So this great day at the Chobe National Park was capped by yet another beautiful African sun set...

family of warthogs

chobe river
elephants' paradise 

great view from the truck
this old bull stood in our way so our driver had to drive off the track around it 
ferry cruise on the chobe river
interesting how part of this tree 'reach out' to the river
the majestic african fish eagle
abundance of bird life by the river bank
more 'river leaning' trees

nice butt

the most intriguing tree i saw in chobe
hungry hungry hippos

grazing buffaloes
more kudus
baboons or i like to call them 'bad boys'
sun down over the chobe river

1 comment:

  1. game viewing is extraordinary and elephants are very intelligent, beautiful animals, it would be a magical moment to be so close to these elephants in the wild, what an amazing adventure! gorgeous photos, love them all...from the majestic eagle to nice butt of hippo to standing tall giraffe..i really enjoyed reading this and it is one adventure i would like to experience, too! thanks for the lovely post :)


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