Friday, October 24, 2014

Muchenje Game Lodge at Chobe National Park, Botswana

Zebra, Waterbuck, and Impala grazing together
View from our deck
Baobab Tree
I haven’t been as regular as I’d hoped  in keeping up with this blog. We are in Johannesburg now and headed off to our next stop at SpionKop where we will spend the next five days. We had a fabulous time at Muchenje with Robert and Joy as our hosts and David as our guide. Robert and Joy had great stories to tell about knowing Jane Goodall and Dion Fossey. They are also good friends with Peter Allison who wrote the marvelous book, Walk Don’t Run, about his adventures as a game guide. Since we have all read his books, it was a real treat to learn more about him.

We ate lunch with the Elephants our first day
Then waited for them to cross the road on our way back to camp
Of course, the real treat at Chobe is the animals. The park is about 11,000 square km. It was set aside in the 1930s and became Botswana’s first national park in 1968. Botswana has the largest number of elephants of any nation; over 70,000 of them live in Chobe along with lions, leopards and thousands of different species of antelope. It may be hard to believe, but by our fourth day we would drive through a herd of 100 elephants without stopping as we were in search of other animals or birds.
She is wishing that those zebra hadn't seen them

Just resting in the middle of the day

We saw 29 lions. This was the only male.
The camp sits at the top of a slope overlooking the Chobe River so we awoke each morning to a view of the expanse of Africa and its animals. Since the river is the border Botswana and Namibia, we were also able to watch Namibian fishermen working their nets. Zebra, waterbuck and vast numbers of birds usually had made it across the river to graze enhancing the view.

Tough times for the baboons as they wait for the rain.
The short neck leads to adaptive behavior.  They are not praying.
We saw one elusive leopard - a first for Rintas and Briggs.
The Chobe bushbuck is the only one with spots. This was a very rare sighting.
Slender Mongoose
Banded Mongoose
An unusual scene of a buffalo in the water feeding.
Spotted hyena at dusk
A beautiful Waterbuck

Rather than write more, I am just going to show some of the better pictures. Enjoy.

African Fish Eagle
Tawny Eagle
African Jacana - also known as the Jesus bird as it seems to walk on water over the lily pads
Brown-headed Tchagra
Crimson-breasted Bee-eater
Blue Waxbill
Kori Bustard - Botswana's National Bird
Lilac-breasted roller - runner up for the title of national bird
Marabou stork - one of the "Ugly Five"
Yellow-billed Stork
Sunsets here are absolutely amazing.

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