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Published: March 25th 2013
Today we traveled from Maun to Chobe National Park. We were supposed to get in early but we encountered a flat on the way, which probably took way longer than it should have to fix but there are just somethings that you cannot control. Needless to say, this hiccup costs us a sunset cruise on the Chobe River (it was made up the following day). So we drove for assistance. While we waited for them to fix the flat a few of us played cards. I learned a new game. I am still deciding if it was made up by the Aussie's or if it was a real game.
Amanda from Austrailia-complained, complained, complained. Complained about it being too hot. Complained about getting a flat. Complained about it taking long. Complained about being hungry. Complained about not enough snacks inbetween meals. Complained. I finally asked her if there was anything nice she had to say about anything on any given day. Her tent mate (another Aussie named Amy...we called her older Amy) stated to me, later, that Amanda just broke up with her boyfriend, things are up in the air, etc...yada yada yada. I did not care, she was on vacation...be positive!!
road that eventually took us into Chobe National Park was nicknamed "Elephant highway". Literally Elephants walked across the paved highway as if they were our native deer. But elephants are gentle giants and pretty harmless, just be careful driving. On this highway I managed to snap one of the two road signs. It was an elephant crossing sign. The other sign was a warthog which I did not get. And later in the trip I saw a "warning painted wild dog" sign.
We arrived at the campsite late, at about 5pm. Well after the sunset cruise but our guide managed to speak with the local guides. Instead of an ALL day safari ride on a 4wd, we did a 3ish hour cruise in the AM and right from there did the safari drive in Chobe National Park from 1-7pm.
During the cruise in the AM we were delighted to see Crocodiles (according to the Aussie's "the Aussie Croc can take down the African Croc anyday and that the African Croc are sissies"), African Fish Eagle, Monitor Lizards, Hippos in the water, Elephants on the shore, Elephants in the water playing, Kingfisher, Bee-Eaters, African Anhinga, and Egyptan Geese, among others. While we were
on the boat, two birds kept flying onto the boat into a flap in the front. They must have had their nest there. They followed us until we made it back to dock.
After leaving the boat, we boarded the 4WD and drove into Chobe National Park. Elephants galore!! :-) Giraffes, Hippos, Buffalo, African Jackal, etc. During our ride, I am one that can only keep quiet for so long. Yvette (Aussie) is a Zoologist. She works with Hippos so she wanted to see them. We made a point to see them. And see more of them. And more and more and more. Than while we were driving, she saw a Kudo. She asked the driver to stop but he either did not hear or wanted to see the giraffes. Well she complained and complained. I am sitting infront of her and her husband. Time goes by and we see another Kudo (part of the Impala family but bigger), well she said stop and I yelled stop for her as well. Of course the animals do not like loud voices but I did not want to hear her complain. By the time the driver backed up the vehicle, the Kudo took
off. And there we are again, she complained and complained. Finally I stood up and asked everyone in the vehicle if anyone had any earplugs? Yvette said "is that sarcism??" Nope I said, I'm just tired of hearing the bitching. So not only do I make that point but then I try to solve the situation and ask the driver "how do you want us to get your attention to stop if we want you to stop?" She probably did not like me BUT it stopped her bitching. Needless to say we had a chance to see Kudo and more Kudo.
At the end of the drive, we went to our campsite within Chobe National Park. We reviewed the rules again:
• do not leave food out
• after everyone goes to bed, do not leave your tent
• do not use your flashlight in your tent for a long period of time
• if you hear something outside your tent do not turn on your light, do not yell, do not get out of your tent to see
• if you have to use the loo, be sure to check outside your tent. If there are eyes staring back at you, probably not a good time to go. And when
in doubt, go behind your tent.
I was feeling ill at this time. I think I had too much sunlight. I was having the chills, nausea, just feeling blah. So I turned in for the night, drank water, took some Motrin. Then I was out like a light. Boy was I out evidently. Supposedly there were elephants walking thru the camp...I did not hear them. Supposedly a lion was roaring...I did not hear it. I evidently snored that night.
The following morning. I was feeling much better. Revived. On our way out of the National Park we tracked down the lioness. Unfortunately my three batteries for my Nikon ran out so I resorted to my backup camera. Takes decent photos sometimes but I did not get a good one of the lioness. Just when looking for them, when they are laying flat in the bush, high grass...they are basically invisible.
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