As today is our last day in Botswana perhaps it is appropriate for me to give those new to it some sort of nutshell self-drive guide. Whether travelling through Africa from the south or north, leaving out Botswana is an option. Can I take the liberty of advising that you should not miss it under any circumstances. The Okavango Delta is unique and would be akin to missing out on Serengeti perhaps. This green oasis in the Kalahari sands is unique. The Kalahari semi-desert itself is very attractive especially to those from greener climes.
CHOBE NATIONAL PARK.
The Chobe NP was proclaimed in 1968. It is 11,700km2 in size, which is the second largest national park in Botswana. It is situated in the far north-east of Botswana, bordered to the north by the Chobe River. For practical purposes as far as visits are concerned one is looking at 3 regions. The Savuti area to the south, Linyanti in the north west and the Chobe River (Serondela) area in the northeast. There are public camp grounds at Savuti, Linyanti and Ihaha.
At last I have managed to update the blog and download some pics. The internet connection at the Lodge is slow and I still have some of my better high resolution photos to process and post.
Even those of us regularly doused in wilderness experiences cannot manage to stay away from lions when they are about, no matter how matter of fact you may pretend to be about this apex predator, right top of the pyramid. Why is it that Africa, with its many woes, is blessed with the most wonderful animals on earth? And that by a long margin! So there we were at 7am watching the lion pride still tucking into, jealously guarding and ripping into the elephant carcass. The male was having his fill and once replete the lionesses had their turn. They ate from the same spot he had torn open.
Savute – option of the airstrip road soon after camp – Goha Gate and temporarily exit Chobe NP – Chobe Forest Reserve – through the small villages of Katichau, Kavimba, Mabele and finally Muchenye, all strung along the last bit of the route.
Dedicated to Sarah: “People become really quite remarkable when they start thinking that they can do things. When they believe in themselves they have the first secret of success.” Norman Vincent Peale.
Happy birthday Sarah. It is our first-borns birthday today and we will contact her by sat. phone later today as she is in Hong Kong and China on business. She is the glue holding the family together!
Good nights sleep, awoken by a single lion roaring from about 400m away across the Savuti Channel. In the morning there were hyena tracks but we had packed everything away in the vehicle in anticipation. We set off on our game drive just before 7AM as we were quite correctly anticipating a change of luck. We first crossed the metal bridge to inspect the area on the far side of the Savuti Channel to see if we could locate the source of the roars. Next we unsuccessfully searched Leopard Rock for the leopard and cubs.
Xakanaxa Public Campsite – Moremi North Gate (and Khwai Public Campsite) – Mababe Depression and communal lands – Mababe Gate, entrance to Chobe National Park – Savuti Public Campsite.
Times taken and distances covered:
Xakanaxa to North Gate: 1hr 45min 48km
North Gate to Mababe Gate: 1hr 25min 46km
Mababe Gate to Savuti: 1hr 55min 66km
TOTAL TIME XAKANAXA TO SAVUTI about 5hrs.