Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Wednesday, August 6th, Chobe Safari Lodge, Botswana


Today was our last day in an African Game Park.  And it could not have been better.

Tour guides pray for a day like today.  Game drivers seldom have days like today.  Travelers think today is normal, and tell stories about the day forever.  Let's just say we got very lucky, after lots of people working for Kiboko performed at the highest level.

Let's set the stage.  At 5:45am, we showed up at the front food of the Chobe Safari Lodge.  Kiboko Tours was just one of a number of tour operators who had booked guests at the Lodge.  It's got 120 rooms, and most of those in them were going on a morning game ride for the next three hours.   In the dark, we were assigned our land rovers, and it was lucky that all but one of our friends got into our rover.  We were also lucky that we got the driver who had arranged all of the rover assignments, and was in charge of the drive.

Where the luck paid off at 6pm was in his ability to go beyond the normal racing to key spots where animals were usually found, and his jockeying for position when we spotted something.  Game isn't easy to find, especially in the early morning when part of them is coming to the water holes, and others of them are trying to interrupt those who are coming to get a drink.  It's dusty, and cold, and windy, and he's not driving slowly, and the roads are deep dirt.  

Within the first 30 minutes we had found a leopard and her enthusiastic cub, and once again had to move on not because she evaded us, but because we wanted to find some more animals.  She was perfectly content to let us watch her keeping a close eye on him.
In the next three hours, we found a mother cheetah and two youngsters, fish eagles, sable antelope, giraffes, kudus, buffalo, elephants, a dozens of unique birds.

Back at the lodge by 9:30am, we had the rest of the morning and early afternoon to relax and enjoy the lodge and our gorgeous rooms.  Another great restaurant lunch, a better experience with wifi, and a short mid-day game hunt around the lodge (a Monitor Lizard was the the one thing new).
At 3:00pm, we all boarded a river cruiser to ply the Chobe River and islands in search of everything which found safety in, near, and above its cool waters.  That's just about everything on land, and even more in water.

Finishing the day with a scrumptious meal, and a birthday celebration for our friend Jill, we're all headed for bed.  Tomorrow, we head for Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe.  Thankfully, we get to sleep in, and don't leave until 9am.

To see all of the many photos taken today, click on Wednesday, August 6th, Chobe Safari Lodge, Botswana.

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