Botswana was only a transit stop for us at this point. We had decided to first travel to Zimbabwe for a month and then explore Zambia. Since we had to pass through Botswana to get to Zimbabwe, we decided to get off in Kasane to pay another visit to the Chobe River Front. This time we were eager to explore the park from the water side. Kasane was packed. Lodges with campsite in Kasane were fully booked and so we remembered the Big 5 Lodge, about 10 km out of town. We drove there and were able to get a spot. We booked two nights so that we could go shopping in peace on the day of arrival, get a SIM card with data volume and last but not least take care of a place on a boat.
Boat Cruise booked
The owner of the lodge was very nice and the same evening we got the message that there would be a trip the next afternoon. So we were there. The next morning we drove by car to the Chobe River Front, the permit was valid for the whole day and was also necessary for the boat, and to our surprise the sightings kept within limits. Fighting impalas, an impala chasing a jackal, a herd of buffalo and some elephants standing in the shade. Last but not least, we heard of a pride of lions at an elephant carcass. When we got there, there were 8 lions lying full under two trees and it stank quite badly. The carcass was not fresh. Since this scenario didn’t make any nice pictures, we don’t show any. Sleeping lions are not that exciting.
less is more
In the afternoon, ten of us, two Germans from Germany, two Germans from Chur, Switzerland, four South Africans and us, drove in to Kasane and boarded our boat. The boat was very spacious, it was a double-decker and there was no one there except the ten of us. The South Africans moved to the upper deck and everything was settled. Joe, our captain shared his knowledge with us and was more than accommodating. We totally got our money’s worth and can recommend this experience. From the water side, the park shows another face. The hustle and bustle there is of course just as high as in the park itself, but we could ignore that well. On our boat it was relaxed and we all agreed to stay in one place for a longer time.
Great sightings on the Boat Cruise
Besides the elephant sightings, Guido was blown away when he noticed that he could photograph a Fisheagle in the middle of screaming. The eagle threw its head back and in the middle of the scream managed to get this photo. African Skimmer we had not seen before either and we were still lucky to be able to observe a pair with offspring. Time flew by and we were very excited. The booking was a complete success and happily we drove back to the camp that evening. The next morning we left for Pandamatenga, a border town about 100 km south of Kasane. Almost midway between Kasane and Pandamatenga is the Chobe Forest Camp. The camp opened in 2019 and was recommended to us. We rested there for three days and watched the elephants at the local waterhole. Well rested, we can thus start our Zimbabwe adventure. Botswana we visit longer in the coming rainy season, when the tourist crowds have retreated.