Our first morning at the Chobe Safari Lodge is fantastic. We spend it reading, relaxing, drinking coffee and not cleaning out a refrigerator. This is the first day we don’t have to pack up our camp or drive our truck at all. Instead, we spend a lot of our time dealing with animals that have decided to use our campsite as their second home.
Warthogs are no longer difficult to photograph, because there’s a group of them that, after head-butting me in the leg to try and get me to drop my bread (I might have egged them on), decide to nap in our camp.
We also have a baboon problem. Returning to our camp after a morning at the main lodge, we discover that baboons have gotten inside of our truck where the back window is missing, pulled out our shower system and put it on top of one of the tents on top of our truck. When we catch them, there are at least 6 or 7 baboons crawling, jumping and/or hanging from our car and tents.
At the lodge, we discover that we can hire a guided safari game drive into this section of Chobe. Since we still want to explore Chobe, but can’t justify driving back into the park after the two days we’ve had, we book a game drive with a safari guide for the afternoon.
It turns out to be a good decision—the best part of the day is stopping to watch a herd of elephants cross the Chobe River, which separates Botswana and Namibia. We learn that the alpha female elephant leads the pack to find the best place to cross. Then, the elephants will go through the water, using their trunks as snorkels when it gets too deep. The mothers hold the babies and push them through the water. It is fascinating to watch.
There are lots of baby elephants—the youngest we see is only 3 months old, and tiny (for an elephant). We also see crocodiles, a family of mongoose, giraffes, monitors, impalas, and even witness a tussle between an elephant and a baboon. The guided drive is very different than the drives we’ve done on our own, and it is so nice to be driven around, to be able to ask questions of our guides and not to have to make any decisions or push our truck through sand.
The afternoon is so fun that we decide to stay another night at Chobe Safari Lodge and book a guided drive for early the next morning, knowing it will be our final game drive in Botswana. After that, it’s on to Zambia. We spend the evening back around our campfire, where we’re scolded again for being too loud. It’s only 7:30pm. I think they’re just scared of young people.