Safari: Chobe Day 2

Posted by barb on Nov 19, 2016 in Pictures, Recreation, Travels |

Our second day started early, with a wake-up call around 5AM, light breakfast in the lodge, and then off in the safari truck. After Mike signed us into the park, we didn’t have to go far to find some wildlife.

We spied a hyena patrolling the road. They know that animals get killed by vehicles, so they check out the roads first thing in the morning.

Hyena

Oh, but then this happened.

Morning traffic

And we had to wait for some formidable traffic.

Morning elephants

Rule number one of finding wildlife is to go to the last place you saw something, so we started our morning checking out the site where the lions were eating the buffalo the previous evening. No lions, but another buffalo carcass and some scavengers.

Vultures

I can’t really enumerate everywhere we drove and everything we saw after that, but we did go back toward the river, then drove various roads through the park.

We found zebras…
Crossing zebras

…giraffes…
Giraffe against the sky

…and water buffalo.
Buffalo

Andrew even spied a leopard tortoise, and had Mike stop so we could grab some pictures.
Leopard tortise

We also spied a few baby impalas. Apparently they all give birth around the same time, just after the first rains. (Or, at least, they have some bit of control over when they drop their babies, but if the rains come too late, they start coming anyway.)
Mama and baby impala

We also found this lion.
Bloody lion

She was coming from a kill near the river, but over a rise where we couldn’t see. There was a small group of lions, resting after they had eaten. We saw some vultures moving in toward the carcass, and one of the lions went back out to chase them away. However, the second time the vultures moved in, there was also a tourist boat near the shore, which scared the lions away. We suspect the carcass succumbed to the scavengers after that.
Vicious

At the same time, there was a herd of antelope keeping a close eye on the lions. They stayed out on the plains, Mike explained, because the impalas best defense against the lions is their speed. In amongst the trees and brush, the lions had the advantage.
Alert impala

After we drove off from the lions, we started to find elephants.

Near the river they were drinking and bathing.
Splash!

And then taking dirt baths.
Dirt bath

Back up on the bank, we found a baby.
Nursing baby

We needed to get to town for a boat ride, but as we were heading that direction, we found another group of elephants. This one just off the road.
Elephants in the brush

They turned toward the road, and one came very close to the truck.
Trunk!

She took a few quick steps toward the truck – it was heart stopping (and I saw Mike grab toward the keys in the ignition, ready to get us out if necessary). When she stopped, she was no more than 15 feet away, and she and I looked into each other’s eyes…or that’s what it felt like. I took exactly one picture, then put the camera down to take in the moment.

Seeing her soul

From there, we made our way through Kasane and to the boat for our cruise along the Chobe River.
River cruise

On the boat, we found a water buffalo – very close-up.

Hello buffalo!

We also passed an elephant carcass (stinky!) with some small crocodiles trying their best to get at the meat. One curious thing, though, was that the carcass was missing it’s face.

Down the river from the carcass, we spied a group of crocodiles going after something. We guessed a buffalo carcass first…

Crocodiles eating a trunk

… but as we got closer, we realized it was the elephant’s trunk. Our guide later wondered if the wildlife enforcement had taken the tusks to keep them from being a trophy for someone. Thus, freeing the trunk for the crocodiles.

Crocodiles eating a trunk

We watched them eat for a while – it was fascinating. Eventually, one of the crocs tried taking off with the trunk. The others were hot on his tail, though. We continued on down the river.

Taking off with the trunk

The boat ride was the first time we got to see hippos out of the water. And we saw a lot of them!

Hippos on the island

After our boat ride, we made another quick pass through Chobe park, and spied a herd (or tower?) of giraffes.

Hello giraffe!

Herd of giraffes

Then it was back to the lodge for dinner and bed.

Andrew and our guide in the lodge

Placesetting

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