Forget Game Drives, In Chobe There is Water and Boats

© Chobe's safari speciality is safari by boat

By Leigh Kemp

Highlights of a Safari in Chobe

  • The largest concentration of elephants can be found on the floodplains in the dry season
  • Game viewing from land and from the water provides a unique perspective
  • Wildlife, and in particular elephants, can often be seen swimming in or crossing the river
  • The gathering of large herds from the interior

Hippo and Wild Dogs

At Hippo Bend I found seven Wild Dogs on a Puku kill. They were very close to the water and there were several Hippos close by. One sub-adult Hippo kept on coming out of the water and the dogs would chase it back. This behaviour continued for some time until the dogs moved off.

Screaming and Death on the African Plains

'I heard elephants trumpeting in the direction of the river so drove to get a look. The herd of buffalo were moving off the floodplain and behind them four elephant were trumpeting and chasing something behind the buffalo herd. The buffalo were kicking up much dust which made a dramatic picture in the sunrise.

Behind the herd a young buffalo calf was lagging, obviously hurt or sick. The others were leaving it behind and as the last of the herd were crossing the road, a big male lion ran out of the bushes and stopped on the floodplain.

It heard the cry of the young calf and headed in that direction. Whilst looking for the calf, another male lion came out the bushes. The first male found the calf and quickly killed it and then dragged the kill to the second male and they started eating. Vultures were very quick to arrive on the scene.

Ancient Dust of Africa

During the dry season the dust kicked up by the huge herds of buffalo can be seen from a great distance away and it can hang in the air for a long time after the herd has passed by. The early mornings and evenings are when this occurs; kicked up by herds sometimes 1000 strong as they move onto the night time safety of the floodplain and then move off in the morning.

The sunrises and sunsets through the dust are spectacular, with the sun coming up or setting as a huge red ball, a classic image of Chobe.

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