Chobe National Park – Savuti Camp
Chobe National Park is located in northern Botswana. This is the part of Africa where most of all African elephants live. According to estimates, about 100,000 of Botswana’s approximately 130,000 elephants live in this area. It was the perfect opportunity for us to visit this park before we started our course. We were geographically close by, and we still had eight days of free time.
Most visitors start at the famous Chobe River Front. They drive via the Savuti region to Moremi Game Reserve and visit the Okavango Delta. This was not an option for us, as we did not know what the weather would be like. Would we be able to manage this route well to arrive in time for our course in the Tuli Block? The Tuli Block is at the other end of Botswana.
We started in Savuti – we didn’t want to miss this highlight – and drove back to the Chobe River Front where we spent two nights.
Savuti offers a lot of variety. There is a drivable riverbed, an open area, rocky hills and Bushveld. The variety of the landscape provides a home for many animals with different habitat requirements. Therefore, the likelihood of numerous sightings in Savuti is very high.
Has anyone seen any animals here?
We had zero encounters in 2.5 days time. This is of course not correct and quite superficial. We saw birds, antelopes, an elephant carcass and vultures as well as jackals. The ‘zero’ refers to elephants (that are alive), lions, leopards, cheetahs or buffaloes. It seems as if these species did not exist. We heard the lions at night and that’s it.
The drivers/guides from the resident lodges stopped when we met each other on the roads and asked us where the lions were. Everyone was desperate, and we had not had the experience of guides communicating with self-drivers frequently before.
Admittedly, there are nicer things than driving through landscapes for 2.5 days and feeling a registering frustration but in the end everything is perfect! We are just not in a Zoo and there are no guarantees for anything. Not even in regions like Savuti and that is very reassuring despite the experience. If you move in the ‘real’ nature, you never know what you get.
The sightings fail
The eagle at the end was fine, as far as we could see. It just corresponds wonderfully to our experience. We had one or two big thunderstorms, each lasting up to two hours, every night. The water masses that pelted down on us were enormous.
To welcome the new year in the middle of nowhere was a good experience for us. Guido was a bit pensive due to the sudden death of his father in the summer. He was glad that New Year’s Eve went quietly this year. We sat in the pouring rain under our (waterproof) awning, had a good meal and a white wine and drank some more sparkling wine.
We slept through 12:.00 a.m. and got up at 05.00 a.m. on New Year’s morning and welcomed the new year bright and early. Also, from the bottom of our hearts, thank you very much for all the messages and wishes!
We were pleased about each one – even if we can not answer all due to the limited and rather slow internet availability!