After having amazing time in the inlands of Okavango Delta, we took the minibus to the tiny town of Kasane, which is right next to the park. Travelling with a backpack and our tent, always following lonely planet’s recommendations, we were lucky enough to find an amazing place to stay, Chobe Safari Lodge.
Chobe Safari Lodge is situated on the banks of the Chobe River and shares a border with Chobe National Park. The lodge itself was super luxurious but we just had our small space to pitch our tent amongst the riverine forest close to the Chobe River!
Nothing can beat the stunning views from this beautiful place. You can either chill at the bar, or enjoy your food at the restaurant, or just walk around, you can see hippos and crocodiles having a swim in the river or elephants, buffalos and other beautiful animals in the other side.
The time had come. Our first safari experience would become true. The best time to spot the animals is either early in the morning or late in the evening, when is not very hot. So, around 6am, we started from the hotel dressed in earthy colours, all excited, with our cameras ready for action! It was about 6.30am when the sun started to rise behind the hills and the landscape got a beautiful mix of colours.
The main geographical features of the park are lush floodplains, dense woodland, rocky outcrops and riverine forest. Chobe is of course synonymous with elephants. Herds are found all over the park, so they were the first animals we spotted.
Not much later, a cape buffalo was moving towards our jeep with not the best intentions, and two beautiful giraffes were busy playing with each other! The safari seemed very promising from the beginning and you could hear the non stop clicks from the cameras!
As we continued further, the driver, who had lots of experience, spotted lots of playful impalas, antelopes and kudu, curious baboons, fast caracals, opportunistic hyenas, the bad tempered warthogs, and lots of beautiful birds, that I could not recognize the species!
To be honest, as most of the people, when you hear the word safari, the first thing that comes in your mind is lions, tigers and generally the big cats. I mean of course elephants, hippos, impalas, etc are so beautiful, but the feeling of seeing a big cat from a close view is what makes the whole thing so fascinating!
Suddenly the driver very calmly said : ‘’Yes, my friends, today you are very lucky, you will see lions.. And not just one, but many’’!! Before we realized what he had just said, a beautiful male lion and 5 more young also male appeared just 20 meters away from our 4×4! So many different feelings changed within seconds until we smiled and ended up starring at the beauty of the nature. These are some of the moments that you will never forget. It was the best epilogue of the safari and of course the highlight!
On our way back to the hotel, even outside of the park, we saw decades of elephants on our left and right side, but it was not a big surprise anymore! All of a sudden, the driver stopped and we saw two elephants crossed the road 5 meters in front of us! Wow, what a day!
Before it got dark, we were back in our tent next to the Zambezi river, preparing our dinner (2 huge steaks on the barbeque) and getting ready to watch one more amazing sunset after an adventurous day! Definitely the best reward we could get from Mother Nature :)