Botswana

Overlanding in Africa: Part 4 – the Okavango Delta to Chobe National Park

After our relaxing time in the Okavango Delta we had another long drive from Maun to Kasane in order to reach our campsite by late afternoon. After a good nights sleep we went on a river cruise in the morning for around 3 hours where we finally got to see a Hippo (many many Hippos actually!) up close. They are quite funny to look at – big grey/brown boulders floating along the river or sunbaking on the islands! 

 

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A Hippopotamus standing in the shallows

We also saw plenty of birds, a few species of antelope (including a Red Lechwe), a few water monitors and lots of crocodiles – we got so close to the crocodiles that if I put my hand over the edge of the boat I would have touched them!

 

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A large crocodile on the riverbank – no camera zoom needed!

After our river cruise we headed back to camp to pack up all of our things and get them ready to take to our next campsite – an open camp inside Chobe National Park! We put our tents, sleeping bags and sleeping mats in a pile and kept our day packs and cameras with us… I left mine on a table away from the pile of sleeping equipment yet somebody must have moved it and it ended up going to camp without me! I was so angry because it meant I didn’t have my camera for the afternoon game drive – it ended up being the most amazing game drive as well 🙁

The first thing we saw after entering the park was a pack of wild dogs – I thought that was just amazing because they are quite rare to see. Harnas also has a wild dog project aimed on increasing the population of these dogs in Namibia so to see them in the wild was really cool!

 

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Wild dogs down by the riverfront

We also saw a lioness and her lion cub which was absolutely amazing! Our guide was telling us how the lioness looks sleepy because she is a new mother (so naturally I started looking in the bushes for cubs) and next thing I know I spot a cub emerging from the bushes 10m away from her!

 

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A little lion cub!

Of course we also saw some Giraffes…

 

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Some baboons…

 

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As well as warthogs, vultures, red lechwe, impala, kudu, oryx, springbok, sea eagles, hippos, mongoose, plenty of birds and many others! One extremely cool thing that happened was being completely surrounded by a herd of elephants! We were driving along when we saw an elephant standing behind a bush so we stopped to try and take photos. Next thing we know we see another one and another and another! We ended up having an entire herd of elephants (including lots of babies!) walking around us with some stopping to look and some continuing their walk – the babies were very cute and playful! It really was just incredible.

 

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A baby elephant!

I mentioned above that we saw plenty of birds on our game drive including vultures, sea eagles and a red breasted roller (the coolest birds!). In order to attract females, the male flies up as high as he can then precedes to fly back down whilst rolling around in different patterns to try and impress the ladies! I thought it was a very cool way of getting attention!

 

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A male red breasted roller

After seeing all these amazing animals we arrived at camp just in time for dinner. All our tents were already set up so all we had to do was find our sleeping mats and bags (and my day pack and camera!) and sit down for some dinner. We were joined on this part of the trip by the ATC group that were coming down from Nairobi which was good as it was nice to meet some other people for a change!

The following day we did another game drive in the morning (which I did have my camera for!) however we didn’t see as many amazing things as the day before. We saw lions again (although from a great distance) as well as wild dogs, vultures, birds and a few other animals which was still really cool! After making it back to our base camp in Kasane we decided to go over to the bar area and relax. We also found a cute little bush baby living in the roof of our campsite cooking area! The fact that we were going to Victoria Falls the next day made everyone a bit sad as it mean’t that our trip was nearly over – however Victoria Falls was also going to be a lot of fun!

 

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Our campsite bush baby!

**Please note that most of the pictures included in this post are not my own (due to me not having my camera for the first game drive…). They were taken by Hazel Arnold or Lia Beveridge – both very good photographers as you can see! :)**

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