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Published: August 18th 2019
Today was amazing. Our first day of Safari. Seeing beautiful animals up close and quite personal.
First I’ll give a quick rundown of Shabbat and early this morning. Friday we went rafting. We were all wiped out when we returned and some took a nap while others prepared Shabbat. We had a lovely and very entertaining dinner where we rehashed everything about the rafting trip over and over. It was quite animated and lots of fun. Shabbat morning was our one “sleep in” day and most of us took advantage of it. It was a relaxed sleepy day. In the afternoon we went in search of a lodge near a waterhole where you can have coffee at the cafe and watch the animals come to drink. It wasn’t much to go by but being that the village of Victoria Falls isn’t very large, we managed to find the right place after about half an hour and it was well worth it. The view is gorgeous and it’s actually very close to where we’re staying. So, we decided that the next morning (today) we’d get up early before our safari trip and go have coffee by the waterhole. Which we did. But
before getting there, the rafting company dropped off the disc on key with pictures and videos of our rafting trip, on Saturday night and during dinner we watched it. Wow! I can’t believe we did that and how much fun it was. I’ll try to add some pics from it later on.
So, this morning, we got up early and walked back to the lodge with the waterhole coming across some monkeys, warthogs and antelope along the way. The lodge, Victoria Falls Safari lodge, is a five star lodge and it’s gorgeous. It’s hard to remember how poor the country is when you’re in a place like that. But that’s a whole different discussion.
We drank our coffee on the terrace of the cafe. Watched the animals through our binoculars and had an enjoyable 30 mins before running back for our minibus ride to Chobe, Botswana.
Passing through the border was painless and quick (we heard it might not be). We had the correct visa, the Kova visa. A couple of interesting observations; the car went through a big puddle which was there on purpose to disinfect the wheels of the cars. And we needed to walk through water,
as well, to disinfect our shoes from passing bacteria into Botswana. Another observation, Africans speak English very well, andmany of them know a few words in Hebrew. At least the ones involved in tourism.
The small part of Botswana that we saw is very poor. Villages with small buildings (they look like bungalows), Laundry drying outside and children playing outside barefoot. Little booths are on the side of the road, car wash, shoe repair, hair cut. They do have a KFC though, figure that.
The first part of our Safari was a three hour guided drive in an open Jeep. It is not for the faint hearted and I’m not talking about the animals being so close. I’m talking about the bumps, it’s like a crazy roller coaster. But the animals. Wow wow wow. We opened up with a large elephant eating breakfast a few feet away from us. It was incredible. Such magnificent, gentle, fascinating creatures. She had beautiful gentle eyes with long lashes and one of her tusks was broken. We watched her in awe until she moved on to be with the rest of her pack.
We saw elephants, giraffes, impalas, kudus, Cape buffalo and many types
of birds. We didn’t see any cats; lions, cheetahs or leopards. They were all beautiful, from the smallest bird to the tallest giraffe.
Later on we took a two hour guided river tour. Our guide, Edgar, was very knowledgeable about the different birds we saw. We saw black herons, hornbills and fisher king eagles (I think that’s the name). We got close to hippos, and crocodiles. And again, we saw a whole show of a family of elephants taking a mud bath. A papa, mamas and babies. So so cute. We could’ve watched for hours.
Traveling around the Chobe River we ended up passing over to Namibia waters for a short time. Three countries in one day.
I will share a bunch of pics I took on my phone but the real gems are those that Adam took with the camera. I’ll hopefully upload some of those at a later date.
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