Safari: Chobe Day 1

Posted by barb on Nov 18, 2016 in Pictures, Recreation, Travels |

As was going to become custom, when we arrived at Chobe Elephant Camp, we were greeted with a house drink (non alcoholic) and a safety briefing in the main lodge. While hanging out in the lodge, Andrew and I were looking over the river and plains, wondering whether we were seeing cattle and livestock or what. The camp manager comes over, looks over our shoulders and says, “oh, those are zebras.” Of course. We were looking at a herd of zebras.

Zebras on the plains

We got settled in our cabin, had tea, and then were taken off for our first game drive. For us, this was the first game drive ever – we were looking forward to what we might see, but trying to temper our expectations. We might see nothing – this is nature, afterall. Nature can be giving and nurturing, or, well, not.

Mike would be our guide for our entire stay. We got in the truck. It was just me, Andrew, and one other guest (who was only staying one night). We stopped briefly, just outside the camp, for a truck safety briefing. Essentially, the animals are used to seeing safari trucks, and the perceive them as a giant, weird, single thing with too many eyes. And they mostly ignore the strange beast. However, if you start to individualize yourself from the truck by standing up, leaning out, or even getting out of the truck, the animals will recognize you as human and a possible threat. Depending on the animal and their mood, it could cause them to run away or to attack. So, don’t do any of those things!

Then we started on our way. But we didn’t get very far before running into a group of elephants, complete with a silly baby! We stayed and watched for a little while before moving along.

Curly trunk

Youngsters crossing

Silly baby elephant

We arrived at the national park, where Mike stopped and signed us in.

Chobe National Park gate sign

And we were on our way into the park!

We were soon introduced to the..ahem…well-manicured roads and an “African massage” – or the wonderful side-to-side rocking from those beautiful roads.

Safari roads

We made our way to the river, where we were treated to herds of impala and zebras. Andrew and I took loads of pictures – it was our first “close-up” for most of these animals in the wild.

Impala at the water

Zebras

Running zebras

We moved on from the open plain, but stopped again when our guide spotted a tiny baby baboon. It was the first time I learned that even the guides are impressed by the wildlife – and when they are impressed by something, you know you are seeing something special.

Mike thought the baby was maybe just a day or two old. We watched him climb around his mama for a while.

Newborn baboon

Climbing mama

Next we found a group of giraffes. I think I squealed when we first saw them – so much for staying quiet around the wildlife!

Giraffes

Finally, somehow Mike found some sleeping lions.

Napping lion

When they make a kill, the lions will gorge themselves, nap not too far away, then return to the carcass to gorge some more. We chose to do our “sun-downer” in the truck and wait to see if the lions would get up and return to their downed water buffalo. The gamble paid off, and before too long, one of the young lions got up.

Stretch!

After pestering her mom, she decided to go to the carcass by herself. She didn’t need anyone else to pull the carcass over.

Strong cub!

Then the other young lion joined her, and finally the two grown ups.

Snacking

We stayed until we needed to speed out of the park before closing.

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