April 24th, 2018 ♥♥♥
Botswana Chobe River Safari

Our first safari & foray into the wild….and we didn’t get eaten. Yay!

DAY 1: Cruising the Chobe River

Stay: Chobe Safari Lodge 

Botswana Chobe River Safari

After 2 quick flights, and only 4 total hours of travel, me and the handsome birthday boy (my husband, Dave) landed in Kasane, Botswana! Botswana is one of the few countries that border South Africa. Upon landing, you can feel the humidity wrap you like a scarf. It’s hot, quiet and the moment you step off the plane it feels like time has stopped.

The immediate surroundings were as green as can be and as we approached our lodge in Chobe River, a typical tropical storm descended upon us.  We knew it was the wet season in Botswana, and as much as we love a good tropic storm, we hoped to avoid it as animals tend to hide when it rains. But since you can’t fight with mother nature (trust me, I’ve tried many times), you just go with it. Thankfully, right after we settled in, it stopped raining and we began our adventure with our very first boat safari!

Botswana Chobe River Safari

Our boat complete with a bar and bartender.

Botswana Chobe River Safari

Our first sighting was this mean guy…he’s my enemy. I have nightmares about him. And ps: being on malaria pills only makes nightmares worse!

Botswana Chobe River Safari

Our second sighting was two elephants crossing the Chobe River and it was pure magic.

Botswana Chobe River Safari

They were rubbing themselves with mud because thats their sunscreen. Isn’t that genius?

Safari in Botswana Chobe River

Dave looking very National Geographic.

Botswana Chobe River Safari

Botswana is so green and the sky was spectacular after the rainstorm.

DAY 2: First Safari “Game Drive”

Stay: Chobe Safari Lodge 

Botswana Chobe River Safari

If you’re not an early riser, you may have to change that before going on safari! Game drives begin at the crack of dawn. But, it’s lovely.  It’s peaceful, quiet, a slight chill in the air as you bundle up in your scarf and head out into the wild. This time we were especially bundled up because it had rained all night. Nevertheless, the weather Gods were on our side, and it cleared once again as we drove out to Chobe National Park.

Safari in Botswana Chobe River

Even the dead trees are picturesque!

Botswana Chobe River Safari

Impalas everywhere. You almost get bored of them after a few hours if you can believe it!

Botswana Chobe River Safari

A jackal.

Botswana Chobe River Safari

Buffalo: did you know they’re the most dangerous of all the animals in the park? More than lions! I gave him a strong look back though.

Botswana Chobe River Safari

Mr. Baboon. Super confident and chic.

Botswana Chobe River Safari

Mama and baby. Isn’t this the sweetest? No matter how many different kinds of animals we see, I keep thinking about these baboons. They’re so human like.

First Safari in Botswana Chobe River

Coffee in the Bush. Heaven. End of story.

First Safari in Botswana Chobe River

Cheers!

So while it was amazing to experience our first game drive, the rain did in fact make the animals hide. Our guide reminded us all we cannot control mother nature. What I thought would disappoint me, (not seeing as many animals as normal) ended up being the most exciting part of game drives. We understood now that every drive is completely different. You have no idea what you’re going to see, or what animal you’re going to meet. I’m not much of a nature girl but I found this exhilarating!

In between game drives, time is spent very leisurely. Enjoy a book while looking onto the river ,or go for a swim in the lodge’s pool (you sit so much on safari it’s nice to get your body moving). We lounged, had lunch, and enjoyed the beautiful Botswana scenery. And at 3pm, our next game drive began!

Botswana Chobe River Safari

Lunch at lodge: as fresh as you can get.

Botswana Chobe River Safari

Here we go! I told the other two people who were riding with us that I had a good feeling about this drive.

Botswana Chobe River Safari

And then I saw him again. With his mouth open too. See next video to watch him move. They’re so quiet and sneaky.

Safari in Botswana Chobe River

We ran into this lone elephant. Elephants are a matriarchal society so if you see one alone, it’s most likely a male.

First Safari in Botswana Chobe River
Botswana Chobe River Safari

Lion! Or Lioness rather. It was so exciting hearing the guides with walkie talkies all communicating with each other as the tracker tracked this one. We couldn’t get too close but if you zoom in you can see she’s pregnant.

Botswana Chobe River Safari

Seeing a giraffe in real life is breathtaking. They are just elegant, lovely animals.

Botswana Chobe River Safari

DAY 3: Day Trip to Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe 

Stay: Chobe Safari Lodge 

Victoria Falls Zimbabwe

We woke up early again, but this time, it was to catch the tour bus that was taking us to Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe, known as the worlds largest waterfall. Crossing the border from Botswana is usually very easy, but it was Easter weekend so it was mayhem (tip for anyone going: go on a weekday on a non-holiday week).

After about a 2.5 hour adventure crossing into Zimbabwe, we arrived. To do the falls properly, you should walk along the scenic points they have so wonderfully created. There’s 16 all together. We began at point 1 and were immediately amazed! The strength of the falls rushing down truly catches you off guard. It’s gorgeous, stunning, and terrifying all at the same time. How did mother nature create this?! How is this possible?

Victoria Falls Zimbabwe Victoria Falls Zimbabwe
Lookout Cafe, Zimbabwe

Lookout Cafe, Zimbabwe. We needed these warm coffees after since we got soaked!

Lookout Cafe, Zimbabwe

So soaked that we had to go to the gift shop and buy these African style clothes to wear the rest of the day!

Victoria Falls Hotel Zimbabwe

Victoria Falls Hotel. Love all the colonial style.

Victoria Falls Hotel Zimbabwe

From Victoria Falls Hotel looking to the Falls.

DAY 4: Chobe River to Okavango Delta

Stay: Pom Pom Camp

Okavango Delta Botswana Safari

After a leisurely morning enjoying breakfast on the thatch roof deck of our lodge, we said goodbye to Chobe River and headed to the airstrip for our next stop- the Okavango Delta! Okavango Delta is one of the worlds largest inland deltas. It was once voted as one of the Seven Natural Wonders of Africa. And it does not disappoint!

Safari in Botswana Okavango Delta

Mandatory photoshoot before our 1 hour flight in the tiniest plane ever!

Okavango Delta Botswana Safari

Our sweet and very capable pilot. He was amazing!

Okavango Delta Botswana Safari

View of the Delta while flying.

First Safari Okavango Delta Botswana

Just landed in Okavango! About to head to our lodge.

Okavango Delta Botswana Safari

Entrance of  Pom Pom Camp– my photos don’t do this place justice! It’s in the middle of nowhere. No neighbors, we were picked up in a jeep by our guide, and whisked off to this magical oasis.

First Safari Okavango Delta Botswana

View from our room. Most of the year the water comes right up to the balcony. But since it hadn’t rained yet, we got to see so many animals right out side our room!

Safari in Botswana Okavango Delta

Main Living Room ofPom Pom Camp. Also pictured, our new retired friend who lives half the year in Cape Town, and the other half in Sweden with his wife.

Okavango Delta Botswana Safari

Hungry Hungry Hippos.

Okavango Delta Botswana Safari

Spotting this leopard was the most exciting sight of the entire trip. We don’t know how our guide saw her.  This is how well trained and knowledgable they are. The leopard is pretty rare for the area we were in . Such a beautiful and powerful creature.

Okavango Delta Botswana Safari

Our friend captured this!

First Safari Okavango Delta Botswana

Ended the game drive at sunset with sundowners. A sunset bush tradition we came to really enjoy.

DAY 5: A Final Game Drive and a Flight Home

Stay: Pom Pom Camp

First Safari Okavango Delta Botswana

Last morning in Botswana. They woke us up with coffee in our room and then we got to watch the sun rise from our deck.

First Safari Okavango Delta Botswana

First sighting: Kudu’s!

Okavango Delta Botswana Safari

Who do? You do? Kudu!! They’re so funny.

Okavango Delta Botswana Safari

A family of giraffes came to say goodbye. They must have known how much I’d miss them!

Okavango Delta Botswana Safari

Breakfast time. Watch the next video to see them play fight. So sweet.

We left Botswana with our hearts full, and eyes in wonder. How do we live on such a beautiful planet? How does this place exist? Our entire trip felt like we were in untouched land, the true wild wild west. The early morning drives, coffees in the bush, gasping in shock at seeing animals so close to you….it was incredible. We will never forget our first safari experience ever. Hope you all get to do one too!

 

*Safari Booked via Michelle at Thornbush Safaris. 

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