This the fourth of a five part travel series across the south of Africa. Six family members traveled to four countries over ten days: Capetown (Part I) and Sabi Sands Game Reserve (Part II) in South Africa, Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe (Part III), Chobe National Park (Part IV), and Johannesburg, South Africa (Part V).
We took a one-day drive across the border from Zimbabwe into Botswana to visit Chobe National Park, known for its high density of wildlife, especially elephants. I had specifically asked to visit Botswana on this trip as the country is known for its support of wildlife photographers. To reduce poaching and support the economy, the country has chosen to promote photography based tours. It's working!
Our tour was quick, only one day, and given that we had to go through immigration into and out of Botswana the tour itself was only a few hours. We took a jeep ride, flying through the dust, miles and miles across the park in search of animals. We then boarded a shallow bottomed boat and cruised along the river to watch the birds, water buffaloes, and hippos.
Below are a sampling of the very few images from our day's tour. Unfortunately, the animals seemed to be hiding that day. As noted, the park is known for elephants and there were piles and piles of fresh elephant dung. But not an elephant was seen until the very end of the day. Hard to believe these guys could actually hide, but they did.
There were a couple of special sightings. The first was hippos out of the water. Our guides in Sabi Sands in South Africa had rarely ever seen them out of the water. Here, in Chobe, they were out of the water munching on the aptly named "hippo grass" which had grown dense enough to support their immense weight.
The second sighting was a group of giraffes. We'd seen giraffes before, sure. But we'd never seen them run! And within a few feet of our jeep! Kudos to Steve for being quick enough to capture this footage.
Trivia question - what do you call a group of giraffes?
Answer: A tower
So long Botswana!