← Robin and Robert at the beginning of their journey
This trip report chronicles a twelve-day, self-drive journey through the Moremi Game Reserve and Chobe National Park in Botswana in August 2008 by two Canadians, Robin and Robert. The self-drive is followed by two days on the Chobe River in a houseboat. The report is written by Robin and credit for the photos must go to Robert.
The report begins with our itinerary, which is accompanied by a map of Botswana on which our route is highlighted.
The itinerary is followed by a list of trip highlights, where I have inserted a few appropriate photos. Note that you may enlarge the photos by clicking on them.
Following the highlights, there is a day to day journal, which is accompanied by many more photos.
After much reading and online research, we drew up an itinerary and then contacted Safari Drive ( http://www.safaridrive.com
), specialist African operators based in the UK, who had been recommended in the Bradt Guide. ( http://www.bradtguides.com
) Safari Drive shared their expertise and offered advice, provided us with a fully equipped Land Rover, looked after our campsite and lodge bookings, arranged all land transfers and generally made things a whole lot easier. Bradt’s recommendation was well founded we discovered.
This Botswana segment of our six-week journey through southern Africa was preceded by four weeks in South Africa and Namibia. We flew into Cape Town from Calgary via Heathrow and self-drove through the Karoo to Upington and Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park. From there we drove to Fish River Canyon and Aus, and then on to Sossusvlei. After the dunes, we drove through the Namib Desert to Swakopmund and then on to Windhoek. From Windhoek, we drove into Botswana.
You may view the trip report and photos from South Africa and Namibia at: http://bert-and-bin.smugmug.com/gallery/7172232_XrT3Y/1/461053054_KcDbR
13 August 2008 Hilltop House, Windhoek, Namibia http://www.thehilltophouse.com
14 August Tautona Lodge, Ghanzi, Botswana
15 August Motsentsela Tree Lodge, Maun, Botswana, http://www.motsentselatreelodge.com
16 – 18 August South Gate Campsite, Nxai Pan National Park, Botswana
19-20 August Third Bridge Campsite, Moremi Game Reserve, Botswana
21-23 August North Gate Campsite, Moremi Game reserve, Botswana
24 August Savuti Campsite, Chobe National Park, Botswana
25-27 August Ihaha Campsite, Chobe National Park, Botswana
28-29 August Ichobezi Mukwae, Namibia, http://www.ichobezi.co.za
30 August Stanley Safari Lodge, Livingstone, Zambia, http://www.stanleysafaris.com
← Sunset over the Chobe River
The roof-top tent - we loved our roof-top perch and felt completely safe despite night-time visits from elephants, hippos, spotted hyena, a honey badger, lions and buffalos.
The people of Botswana and their unfailing friendliness.
Watching the giraffe necking as we ate breakfast one morning →
The elephant visit at Third Bridge campsite on our first night in the reserve - our favourite encounter of the whole trip.
The giraffe necking.
The elephant stampede near Third Bridge at dawn.
Crossing the border from Botswana to Zambia - a whole new experience!
← Three male lions in the Moremi Game Reserve
Cruising the Chobe River on the houseboat Ichobezi Mukwae - paradise after five weeks of traveling through South Africa, Namibia, Moremi and Chobe on rough, dusty roads.
The little bee-eaters.
One of many elephant encounters →
The hyena digging through our fire pit at Third Bridge Campsite.
The success of the slingshot – thank you Luangwablondes.
The many encounters with elephants.
The game drive on the Chobe River with Matthias at sunrise - 39 species of birds and 11 species of mammals.
← Our first major water crossing
The freedom of self-drive - we loved being able to take our time and stop where we wanted, when we wanted and for as long as we wanted.
The solitude and skies of Nxai Pan National park.
The honey badger visit.
Watching the giraffes as they struggled to chew up the sausages →
The cemetery at Kachikau.
Breakfast with the lions, breakfast with the bee-eaters, breakfast with the giraffes, breakfast with the lilac-breasted rollers…so many wonderful ways to start the day.
The giraffes eating the sausages! No, we were not feeding the wildlife!
← The Chobe Waterfront
Our first view of the Chobe River and its floodplain - thousands of zebras and impalas.
The leopard encounter at Nxai Pan.
Being lulled to sleep by the grunting and snorting of hippos, the roaring of lions, the whooping of hyenas, the singing and drumming from Khwai Village…
Sunrise on the Chobe River →
The sound of the fish eagles!
The view across the Chobe River and its floodplain to Namibia from Ihaha Campsite.
The visit to Injambwe.
The company of Harold and Marion at Nxai Pan, Karin and Tobias in Moremi and Chobe, and Bruce and Sheila, Mike and Isobel, Betts and Wilfred, Diane and Denis, and Matthias and Cheston on the Ichobezi.