Safari: Crossing into Botswana

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

For the most part, I’m not going to chronicle our transfers – after crossing into Botswana, our transfers were nearly all the same. However, getting from Zambia/Waterberry Lodge to Botswana/Chobe Elephant Camp was quite an adventure involving a van, a boat, and a couple safari trucks.

Our journey started in a van from Waterberry Lodge. We drove for about 45 minutes or so until we saw an imposing line of semi-trucks along the side of the road.

Approach to the Zambia/Botswana crossing

Our driver said that the line of trucks extended to the border river crossing, over a mile away. The river did not have a bridge crossing it, instead the trucks needed to wait for one of the available ferries. On a great day, there would apparently be three ferries running, but usually one or two were broken down. Often the drivers would need to wait a week to cross the river. In fact, a small economy had been built around this spot, with folks selling produce and necessary items to the truckers.

Kazungula Ferry

We approached the river crossing, and our driver passed us and our luggage on to a small boat to cross the river. From the boat, we could get a good look at the bridge that was being built. We were told that the existing bridge was constructed to help in building the final, public-worthy bridge. I wonder what will come of those little economies that have arisen once the bridge is completed.

Kazungula Bridge

From there, we met up with another driver who would be taking us to meet with the Chobe Elephant camp representative. The driver shepherded us through the Botswana border crossing – even coming into the customs house to move us into the correct line. From there, we walked toward where the truck was parked; however, before officially crossing into Botswana, we had to step into a pan of water.

From there, we hopped into the truck (easier said than done, especially in an orthopedic boot – but I got used to it by the end of our trip).

Botswana 50 logo

This driver took us to the airport in Kasane, which is a common meeting point for exchanging safari tourists. We had to wait for about 10-15 minutes, but then a guide from Chobe Elephant Camp arrived to collect us.

Elephant crossing

From there, we drove through Chobe National Park – getting a taste for what we might see on our game drives later in our visit….

Baboons crossing the road

Baby baboon clinging to mom

Roan antelope crossing the road

… including elephants!

Curled trunk

Elephants by the side of the road

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