Africa Day Nine: Botswana: A Cruise On The Chobe River And Lots And Lots Of Elephants
Well if you like elephants, you should enjoy this post. We again had an early start, and I had a few moments to catch the setting moon from the observation deck while I had a quick cup of coffee before breakfast was served.
After a nice breakfast, I loved the freshly made pancakes, we were off to a new country Botswana, and the Chobe National Park. We again drove through the arid and leafless landscape, awaiting the Spring rains to change it back into lush forest.
In Botswana we passed long lines of large commercial trucks waiting to take a ferry to Zambia. Some of the truckers were waiting for three days to use the ferry. We learned this was because of the high tolls the Zimbabwe government charges for truck traffic. We also learned that there is a bridge under construction which will allow the trucks to cross into Zambia and avoid the tolls. Here is a link to some photographs from our ride to Botswana. https://keepyoureyespeeled.net/africa-october-2016/nggallery/africa-october-2016/Botswana-Chobe-River-sand-park-drive-October-17-2016-
The Chobe flows into the Zambezi River a few miles downstream from the lodge and serves as the border between Botswana and Namibia. There are large parks preserving wildlife on both sides of the border and some of the largest concentrations of wildlife in Africa our found in these parks. We soon learned this firsthand.
As we set out on the blue waters of the Chobe River our first encounters with the native wildlife were the mainly the many beautiful and exotic species of birds that live here such as this, I believe, African darter or snake bird.
They did not take kindly to other eagles, not sure of this species, moving in on their fishing territory. We watched the tow eagles engaging in a sparring match and I believe the fish eagle won. Here is a link to some of the birds we saw on the river cruise. https://keepyoureyespeeled.net/africa-october-2016/nggallery/africa-october-2016/Botswana-Chobe-River-cruise-birds-October-17-2016-
And we go to witness the efforts of this amorous male in pursuing a female who sure looked like she was playing hard to get. We watched him chase here so some distance until he finally caught up to her. Here is a link to some more of the wildlife we encountered on our river cruise.https://keepyoureyespeeled.net/africa-october-2016/nggallery/africa-october-2016/Botswana-Chobe-River-cruise-wildlife-October-16-2016-
I have seen these magnificent animals in the wild before, on the plains of Tanzania and Kenya, and I have loved them ever since. To see them live in the wild, from birth to death, enjoying each day as they forage for food, taught me that no animal should live in the confines of a zoo. They, like humans, were born to live free. And this opinion was further re-enforced seeing these elephants enjoying life on the Chobe River.
We were able to get very close to them and we were able to observe their interactions. Here is one of many videos I uploaded to my YouTune channel. Feel free to watch them all. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Emp8N0bq8Gc
One group decided to swim across the river. Unfortunately another boat blocked their route but the eventually made it across. Our captain reported the captain of this boat since these elephants may not take the effort to cross the river if they are prevented from making it. Once the elephants made it to the other side, they actually crossed into another country Namibia, they enjoyed playing in the mud and dirt.
As we made our way back to the Chobe Safari Lodge I was amazed by the number of elephants along the shores of the river. I was thankful I had the opportunity to watch them in there natural environment but so wish i could have spent much more time in this wonderful place. Hopefully. I will return again someday. Here is a link to some more photographs of the elephants of the Chobe River. https://keepyoureyespeeled.net/africa-october-2016/nggallery/africa-october-2016/Botswana-Chobe-River-cruise-elephants-October-17-2016