Camping in Botswana

June 26, 2016

Today we got back to Zambia after spending the weekend camping in Chobe National Park in Botswana. We left Zambia early Saturday morning and spent the day in the park on safari. We started on a boat and went along the Chobe River for about two hours and saw crocodiles, hippos and elephants. After the river safari we stopped for lunch and then got into our jeep and headed into the actual park for our first game drive. On our first drive we saw zebras, elephants, baboons and giraffes. Two of the baboons we came across decided to put on a little show for us that was not exactly suitable for children, I’ll just leave it at that.

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The sun was about to set so we needed to get to camp but our safari guide wanted us to see the sun set over the river so we sped through the park to get there in time. It basically felt like the Indiana Jones ride but instead of a fake giant snake there might be an actual one somewhere nearby. We made it for the sunset and we were lucky enough to to pass by two female lions (there’s only about 30 lions in the park) as we were riding back to camp with the sun setting behind us.

Now might seem like a good point in the story for us to head to our campsite, eat a nice dinner by the campfire and go to bed right? Well that’s not exactly what happened; our race to see the sunset didn’t sit well with our jeep and it caused a bolt to come loose, and the jeep’s suspension was shot which meant our jeep couldn’t go much faster than about 5 mph. Need I remind you that the sun was setting and we had just passed two female lions (female lions are the hunters in the pride and do their hunting primarily after dark) and we were driving slower than you would in a school parking lot? Needless to say, we were a little nervous. We sat in the jeep as the sun disappeared and waited for another jeep to come along and pick us up, we couldn’t even call for help because around the same time that we drove by the lions the cell service cut out.

Eventually another jeep came by and picked us up and brought us to our campsite where we had dinner by the campfire. While we were eating dinner we could hear a few lions walking past our campsite on their way to the river for their hunt. While we were sleeping some people even heard the lions roar nearby. We even woke up this morning to find lion and elephant tracks going through our campsite.

If that wasn’t enough adventure, we had two more game drives this morning before heading back “home” to Zambia. On our last two game drives we saw two more lions that might have been jealous of the show the baboons gave us yesterday because they put on a very similar show, twice. We also saw more elephants, hippos, crocodiles and giraffes.

Channeling my inner Harrison Ford.

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