Hidden Paradise – Chobe Safaris
If you are passionate about elephants, then Chobe National Park would be your Garden of Eden. A very close friend, Guillaume, is a French wildlife photographer who specializes in photographing elephants.
the wet season
Every year Guillaume arrives in Botswana when migrating elephants roam the Chobe National Park, from the rivers to the pans, which during the rainy season fill with rain. It is during this season that not only herds of elephants flock to this area, but also wildlife photographers in great profusion. The number of herds of elephants that can be seen is a miracle of nature and he had never seen so many before! There are an estimated 120,000 elephants in the Chobe National Park, the highest concentration in the world today.
Sunsets in Botswana are always beautiful, with brilliant colors of orange, yellow and pink in the sky that contrast with the beauty of the land. I was going to be in the Chobe National Park for two weeks, join Guillaume for his month-long stay, and catch up and relax during my annual vacation.
Elephant Valley Lodge
During our stay we were booked into the Elephant Valley Lodge which is about a half hour drive from Chobe National Park. I found it quite amusing that in the hostel there is a tent built in front of a water hole, aptly named “Discovery Channel”. Watering holes offer all kinds of wonderful entertainment when animals, especially elephants, come to quench their thirst.
On our first day we took a relaxing boat cruise on the Chobe River. This gives you the chance to enjoy a different view of Botswana’s wildlife as you travel down the river. We saw quite a few hippos which is pretty scary considering they can flip the canoe we were in without much difficulty. Hippos are well known for their short tempers, but so far there haven’t been many attacks on any canoes that our guide can remember.
On our safaris Guillaume had very good photo opportunities. We did see four of the Big Five – buffalo, elephant, lion and leopard – but unfortunately not the rhino. Although there are rhinos in Chobe, it is very rare to see one. We also had the rare fortune to see Sable antelope. Sable antelopes are quite large with a shaggy mane and ringed horns that can grow over five feet in males.
The rest of my stay was enjoyed with more game drives and we even had the pleasure of a night game drive, bird watching, the occasional fishing and a walking safari. On our walking safari I came back with cuts and bruises, which I’d like to say wasn’t my fault, but in all honesty, if you don’t watch where you’re walking, you’ll most likely trip over something and come close. to mother earth than you would like. Guillaume was the perfect gentleman and he helped me up without laughing, but I couldn’t help but burst out laughing as he sat me up straight.
A Chobe safari is definitely one I would add to my itinerary when planning a next vacation. Botswana is definitely one of my favorite African countries and your chances of seeing the Big Five are much higher, especially during migration season when animals flock to this beautiful part of the world.