Botswana: Chobe National Park

ImageDays spent: 4

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Come here if you want to:

  • See African Wildlife: Elephants, Buffalo, and Giraffe in LARGE QUANTITIES
  • Be on the Water:  Really great river boat safaris with excellent animal sightings

ImageChobe Nat’l Park Game Drives: Game drives in Botswana were really different than in South Africa. There were animals EVERYWHERE. Although we were in a National Park and had to stick to the roads, we were able to see animals in large quantities. You wont see rhinos here since rhinos have been heavily poached and are just starting to migrate back into the north-west area of Botswana, but you will see TONS of Elephants, Giraffes, Monkeys, and Buffalo. We started creating drinking games for every 50 giraffes we would see! I wouldn’t say one type of safari was better than the other, but they were very different experiences and I am glad we got to do both. There is something neat about tracking the animals and finding them (like we did in S. Africa), but it was also nice not having to search for an hour without a siting in Botswana. We saw less of a variety, but it was fascinating to see the animals in large group settings and how they interacted with each other. The Chobe River runs through the National Park and is a great place to see wildlife. Since July is one of the drier months in Botswana, this area is the major water source for the animals. We spent every afternoon safari drive on the river in a boat. It was a great way to get close to the animals and enjoy a relaxing end to the day.
ImageHow we got there (From Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe):

  • Drive from Victoria Falls Hotel to the Zimbabwe/Botswana Border= 1.5 Hours
  • Transfer car and drive from border to Chobe Chilwero= 25 minutes

ImageAccommodations: Sanctuary Chobe Chilwero Lodge http://www.sanctuaryretreats.com/botswana-lodges-chobe-chilwero. Rating: A-
Really beautiful, all-inclusive lodge located right outside of Chobe National Park. There are only 15 “chalets” so it was very private. It had a little more of a commercial feel than the lodge we stayed in Sabi Sabi, S. Africa, but still provided world-class accommodations and service.  We had a fantastic ranger that took us out for 4.5 hours at a time for our game drives. He was extremely knowledgeable and always came equipped with drinks and great snacks for us (bull tongue jerky, samosas, handpicked seasoned macadamia nuts) so I was an extra big fan of him. The last night that we stayed there, they put on a FABULOUS show with a traditional dance team. I grew up dancing professionally and competitively my whole life so there isn’t much that really blows my mind when it comes to dance, but THIS GROUP BLEW MY MIND. The men did one dance in perfect unison smacking their shins on some type of hyde that was wrapped around their legs. The best way that i could describe it was Swan Lake’s Four Swans meets River Dance, meets traditional tribal dancing. Awesome stuff.
ImageClimate:  July (Winter), Mid 40’s n the morning and at night, mid 70’s during the day
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Food: The food was excellent during the lunches and dinner, although, like I said in S. Africa, there was TONS of red meat. I had to go on a 3-Day Raw food juice cleanse when I returned back in the states to have my stomach feeling normal again.
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Glad I brought:
Hair scarf/Headband
Neutral colored clothing
Wide-brimmed hat
Sunglass neck strap
Wrist or neck dangle for your iPhone
Extra memory cards and batteries
Binoculars
Layers of clothing
Bug Spray, Bug Lotion, and/or Bug Bands
Extra unwanted clothing or shoes (Since this was the last stop, I donated all the shoes that I wore on the trip in Botswana)

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