BOTSWANA: Chobe Photo Safari August 2015

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Just got back from a photo safari with the wife and friends. I'll sort thru all the photos and start posting a few per day. Departing out of Lagos, Nigeria on a red-eye flight at 10:30pm, we arrived in Joburg at 5:30am on a Saturday morning. We spent the night at the airport hotel, City Lodge, and it was pretty good. Good breakfast, clean, modern and quiet rooms. Dinner menu a little light, but other than that, no issues.

Friends from Houston arrived late on Saturday. Sunday, we flew to Kasane, Botswana. Nice little airport and very little hassle. A new terminal is under construction and should make it a very nice place. The Chobe Game Lodge (http://www.chobegamelodge.co.bw/ ) met us at the airport and in about 30 minutes we were at the lodge. Amazing place, located inside the national park, right on the banks of the Chobe River. We settled in for our 3 night stay, to be followed by 3 nights at Livingstone, Zambia to see Vic Falls.

Photos and comments to follow.

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BRICKBURN

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Look forward to it
 

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Lots of animals. Way overpopulated with elephants. Was there in May. Looking forward to the pics. Bruce
 

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Just got back from a photo safari with the wife and friends. I'll sort thru all the photos and start posting a few per day. Departing out of Lagos, Nigeria on a red-eye flight at 10:30pm, we arrived in Joburg at 5:30am on a Saturday morning. We spent the night at the airport hotel, City Lodge, and it was pretty good. Good breakfast, clean, modern and quiet rooms. Dinner menu a little light, but other than that, no issues.

Friends from Houston arrived late on Saturday. Sunday, we flew to Kasane, Botswana. Nice little airport and very little hassle. A new terminal is under construction and should make it a very nice place. The Chobe Game Lodge (http://www.chobegamelodge.co.bw/ ) met us at the airport and in about 30 minutes we were at the lodge. Amazing place, located inside the national park, right on the banks of the Chobe River. We settled in for our 3 night stay, to be followed by 3 nights at Livingstone, Zambia to see Vic Falls.

Photos and comments to follow.


Looking forward to the photos and info.

Lots of animals. Way overpopulated with elephants. Was there in May. Looking forward to the pics. Bruce

Bruce,

You need to start a thread too.;)
 

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Sunday, Aug 16: After a slight flight delay out of Joburg, we arrived at Kasane. A guide and truck from the Chobe Game Lodge met us at the airport and transported us the short distance to the lodge. The reasons to stay at Chobe Game Lodge is it is located in the National Park, it's a very nice, relaxing lodge and you'll see lots of wildlife. Chobe National Park is 11,700 sq km or about 4500 sq miles. In 3 days of touring, we only scratched a fraction of the area. I'm guessing we toured an area of maybe 30 sq miles. The park is known for elephants and did not disappoint. We saw 4 of the Big 5, with rhino being the only no-show. We were in the extreme northern part of the park, o n the banks of the Chobe River. The river runs basically west to east and Botswana is south of the river and the Caprivi Strip of Namibia is north of the river. The Chobe River flows a few miles east of Kasane and flows into the Zambezi River. This is where Botswana, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe all come together. During Feb-May, the "backflow" from the Zambezi River occurs, covering the Chobe floodplain with high water.

Today's photos are of the lodge. Really nice architecture that blends in to the surroundings. The lodge has loads of open air sitting areas to relax, enjoy a drink or just do nothing. A very laid back atmosphere, with excellent dining and service.
Tomorrow, I'll start posting animal photos............promise........:A Callme:
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vancewalker007

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Looks like the hard life o_O Hope you had a great hunting experience. I am working on loads for a new 375 Ruger. I'm really interested if you are using this caliber and how it performs and what bullets you are using.
 

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Still on our arrival day, Sunday, Aug 16, we took an afternoon boat excursion on the Chobe River. A pontoon boat, with a nice canopy cover from the intense sun, ice chest with an assortment of adult beverages and a good assortment of snacks made for an enjoyable afternoon. Saw lots of Implala, elephants, cros, hippos and birds. The weather was perfect.

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bluey

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looks like a great place to chillax for a couple of days ........

now about the animal photos , ...........
looking foreward to them ...................
 

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Day 2, Monday, Aug 17

Wake up call at 0500. Coffee, tea and hot muffins are served on the veranda at 0530. Mount up in the tour vehicles (Toyota Land Cruisers, of course). See elephants everywhere! Chobe has an estimated 60,000 elephants on 4500 sq miles, or 13.3 elephants per square mile. That's one elephant per 48 acres. Seems a bit out of balance to me.
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While we saw lots of elephants, I can't say that we saw any huge elephants.


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This photo is taken from one of the viewing or sun decks at Chobe Game Lodge. This is looking due east, towards the town of Kasane. Note the broad flood plain. We the water is up (Feb-April) this is all wet.
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A good view of how the land on the Botswana side of the Chobe River gains some elevation and actually has some rolling hills further south.


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This guy was showing off for the camera.


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The baby elephants were cute and numerous.

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Photo shows another one of tour trucks from Chobe Game Lodge. This was a waterhole about 3 miles inland from the river. There was a borehole (water well) that had a solar powered, electric submersible pump. Note how the truck is honoring the "No Entry" sign.

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A quite disturbing scene.........when will elephants learn to read? :whistle:

It was quite interesting to watch the various groups of elephants take turns at the watering hole. There was a distinct way the groups sort of queued up. Must come from the British influence from the early colonial days.

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Located only about a mile from the lodge, we came across a dead, young elephant. According to our tour guide, they typically die from anthrax. This one was fresh, because it didn't smell too bad. We thought this would be a good place to re-visit over the course of the next few days. We spotted two other dead elephants in the area and smelled a fourth one. Predators were going to eat well and the tourist might get quite a sight.

Just to give you something to keep you interested, check out the coming attractions: More cats on Monday.
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375 Ruger Fan

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Day 3, Tues, Aug 18.

Up at 0500 and repeat the process from the prior day. Coffee and hot muffins at 0530, on the road by 0600. Tour the park until about 0830 and then back to the lodge for a full breakfast. Late morning, we had the option at boating the river, tour by truck or do nothing. On Monday, we did the boat tour and Tuesday we opted for more tour via truck. It's all good, as we saw animals everywhere.

We saw lots of lions and that what I'll focus on today. Lots of lions, but did not see a big male with a full mane. To be honest, I was a bit uncomfortable at times we were viewing the lions. They were close.........very close. We were in an open truck and the tour guide had no weapon. If a lion decided to attack, there was no apparent back up plan. I like having back up plans and a back up to the back up in a dangerous game situation.

Take a look at the lions:

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Look close and count them: 10 lions. 4 in the upper left, 3 close and 3 more in the upper right.

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Pretty cool photo with 3 amigos on the prowl.

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One of these lions must be related to Cecil..........

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This gives you an idea of what it looks like, sitting in an open truck, and lions coming straight at you. At this point on a hunt, the safety would be off, but on the photo safari, I wondering if I should throw the camera first or the binoculars. Luckily, I didn't have to make that choice.


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The dead elephant was really stinking up the place and the lions were having a tough time getting through the protective wrapping. One lion seemed to be making progress by going through the eye socket.

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Leopard photos on Tuesday
Buffalo on Wednesday
Kudu, Sable, Tsessebe and birds on Thursday
 

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Leopard photos today............just saw one of these guys. Initially saw him/her on the same dead elephant, attempting to make a Happy Meal out to the trunk.

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Buffalo on Wednesday
Kudu, Sable, Tsessebe and birds on Thursday
 

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375 Ruger Fan

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Dagga boys are on tap today. I hunted for 10 days in Zimbabwe back in May and the buffs would get a whiff of scent and take off. The buffs in Chobe, like most of the other animals, are oblivious to the tourist. They just ignore them. I'm guessing that anti-hunters that go on these types of tours think the animal behavior they see is normal and there can't be much to hunting. The animal behavior might be normal for a park or a zoo, but sadly it's not the real, wild Africa.

Most of these photos were taken right on the banks of the Chobe River. The ones that look like a Kansas wheat field are looking across the river onto the Namibia side, part of the Caprivi Strip.


Enjoy the pics. Kudu, Sable, Tsessebe and birds on Thursday. Maybe a hyena or two.
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This guy would look go over my fireplace


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Dagga Boys playing in the dagga



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Kansas wheat field or Caprivi Strip?

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The one in the middle caught my attention


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Substantial looking boss on this guy


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375 Ruger Fan

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Last day for Chobe National Park photos: Today, a little mix of everything. The Kudu and Sable really made me cry. Why can't I see critters like these when I'm on a hunt!

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Am I dreaming!

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20 yards, broadside and only armed with a camera. One day, one of these will hopefully find a way to my trophy room.

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And here we meet the Sable family.............

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We saw plenty of hyenas too, but never in action on a meal.

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"Eco-tourism" sure does leave a big footprint! All the roads in the park were deeply rutted.

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This is a photo that can have many, many captions. Feel free to make up your own.

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Monkey pretending to be an eagle

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Eagle being an eagle


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Roan..........only saw a few of these, but still impressive.



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Tsessebe....very interesting colors. The fastest antelope in Africa.
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Tsessebe, Impala and a Sable.

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Giraffe doing the splits

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Jackal........this guy was calling and calling, but nothing came in.

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THE END

Hope you like the summary of Chobe National Park and Chobe Game Lodge. A great place to spend 2 or 3 nights and see a lot of wildlife.
 

BRICKBURN

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Thanks for the tour. Much appreciated.
One of those pictures of the Elephants looks like they are a near plague.

I know this feeling. Shade, any shade.

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