Day 296 (27th June) – Chobe National Park

5 07 2011

It was an inhumanly early and cold start on the back of an open top safari truck. All wrapped up in layers of clothes, thermals, blankets and some sleeping bags we set off in complete darkness. Nothing can be worth this… I took refuge under a blanket only to pop my head out for brief glimpses of a dark and cold Africa. We were soon entering Chobe National Park proper and soon rewarded with a large group of noisy hippos wallowing in the mud on the banks of the Zambezi River.

Like in Etosha National Park we saw plenty of antelope which are getting a bit common now – kind of like spotting sheep in Wales or iPhones. We did however see a sable antelope which was very exciting! I guess you had to be there.

A little further on was what has to be your quintessential safari sighting; a leopard in a tree. This adolescent male leopard had caught himself an impala and was planning on spending the next couple of days lazing in the tree feasting on his catch -the equivalent of doing a huge Waitrose shop and spending the weekend on the sofa in front of the telly.

By now the sun was steadily climbing in the sky and we were feeling much warmer. We also saw some mighty large and impressive cape buffalo – weighing in at 800kg; built like Mike Tyson on steroids and having an ultra aggressive personality to match. Our guide, an ex-hunter said if you fail to make a kill shot on a cape buffalo and instead wound it the cape buffalo is the only animal that will circle around you and attack. Fortunately we were just watching these impressive relatives to the Asian water buffalo. The spotting of these guys meant we had completed the ‘big five’, Lion, Leopard, Elephant, Rhino and Buffalo.

To round off a great day we went on an afternoon game cruise along the Chobe River seeing much of the same wildlife plus a few new ones like crocodiles, warthog and waterbuck. We were again spoilt with a gorgeous blood red sun slowly setting over the far banks of the Chobe River.

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