A Travellerspoint blog

Day 14

Zimbabwe and Botswana

semi-overcast 80 °F
View Russ and Beth go on safari on Weimerrv's travel map.

Today was a relatively easy day, no early rise. We got up and had breakfast. We heard from someone in our group that the “ breakfast brigade” had to chase monkeys out of the pool. We bid farewell to Victoria Falls Safari Lodge around 11 and headed for Botswana. Botswana is a very stable country to the west of Zimbabwe and shares part of the Chobe River with Namibia. Botswana is the beef capital of Africa so they take hoof and mouth disease very seriously. Each of us had to walk through “disinfectant” that supposedly would kill any bacteria....we are dubious. The border crossing was otherwise uneventful and quick, not so much for some of the trucks lined up there. We are staying at the Chobe Marine Lodge for our last two nights in Africa.....heavy sigh! After checking in and lunch we boarded a boat for a animal sighting cruise on the Chobe River. After pulling away from the dock we saw a beautiful Flamboyant Tree with orange flowers all over it. I really wanted to see a Cape Buffalo and boy did we see buffalo, before the cruise was over we probably saw more than 100. I mistakenly wrote earlier in the blog that the African big 5 are: elephant, lion, rhino, giraffe and Cape buffalo...I was wrong. Giraffe doesn’t belong on the list and leopard does. So we have seen 4 of the big 5 so far with only 1 more day to hopefully see at least one leopard. We saw several crocodiles (one really large one), one was guarding a nest. Mama crocs can manipulate the sex of the babies by raising or lowering the temperature of the nest, a higher temp produces males, lower females. We saw a bunch of hippos in the water and several on land...the males are huge and mark their territory by spraying dung using their tail and also urinating. A group of hippos is called a pod and a hippo yawn is a threat display, Beth got several pictures of those. Hippo and Cape buffalo kill more humans than any other animal in Africa. There were many impala, eland and red lechwe (a type of antelope) We saw several types of birds, Gray heron, great egrets, cattle egrets, African fish eagle, African jacana or Jesus bird - because it looks like it is walking on water and African darter. No pictures of elephants today but we could see some walking down to the river as we were heading back to the dock. Tomorrow is our last Safari day, Beth wants to see more elephants!

Posted by Weimerrv 11:32 Archived in Botswana

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