I had a short week at work from March 22-24 because both Monday and Friday were holidays. I thought with an extra day off the staff would be energized for the week, but I was wrong. Perhaps they were just trying to get through the days until they had a 4 day weekend. I know I was.
I wanted to spend the long weekend at Vic Falls in Zimbabwe, but it was not possible to take the rental truck into Zim so then I thought of staying in Livingstone, Zambia which is right on the border of Botswana, Namibia, and Zimbabwe, but after checking the rental agreement, I could not take the rental car into Zambia either. I’m not positive about the exact reason for these rules, but I think it has to do with trying to import the car illegally or trying to sell it for spare parts. Anyway, after hours of searching different options, including having a tour company drive me to Vic Falls (too expensive since I was just one person), I finally decided to drive back to Kasane, Botswana and stay there then take a day trip to Vic Falls with a more local tour agency.
On Friday morning I slept in then headed out for a new adventure. When I got to the Ngoma bridge at the Namibia/Botswana border, I was amazed at how much had changed in less than a week: the river was much higher now and was flowing throughout the channel instead of just in a few rivulets. I saw a herd of elephants on the far side of the river bank, drinking and splashing around. I will never get tired of seeing these amazing animals.
After going through immigration on both sides (and having to go back because the woman on the Namibia side failed to actually stamp my passport), I entered Chobe National Park again. Within a few minutes of driving I saw a lone bull elephant on the side of the road, seemingly there to greet me. I stopped for a few photos before driving on. In just a short way I saw two greater kudu on the edge of the woods as well. Luck was with me today!
Most of the photos are too large to upload here, so you can find an album here: Kasane 25 March 2016.
I had to stay at a different place than the week before because a lot of accommodation was booked for the holiday weekend, so I decided to spend one night at a place on the edge of town called Kubu lodge, then treat myself to two nights at the Chobe Safari Lodge, which is very upscale and posh.
When I got to Kubu I was pleasantly surprised with the facilities. I had my own cottage on stilts right near the water. Although it did not have A/C, it had a wonderful king bed with canopy and bed net and a deck with chairs to enjoy the view. I declined the river cruise that the lodge had that afternoon and decided to check out a wildlife sanctuary along the river. This new park opened just a year ago and had a 2 km walking path along the river where you could look out. I saw a few warthogs taking a mud bath and signs warning me about crocs and hippos but the river is pretty swift in the area and I didn’t see any other wildlife, except for a few birds. The park contains a very small hill which I climbed for a slightly elevated view of the area. The hill is probably less than 50 feet high but I got slightly winded hiking to the top since I’m now so used to extreme flatness. I also tried exploring the traditional building they had on site but they were occupied by a bunch of baboons and I was not willing to risk a close encounter with their sharp fangs in order to see the buildings up close.
After a few hours I returned to Kubu Lodge and walked their nature paths, looking for some animals. I had seen a bushbuck on the property earlier and was hoping to see more, but all I saw (or rather heard) was flies. The flies were relentless and made the walk sort of miserable, but I finished nonetheless.
For dinner I decided to try the fixed menu at the lodge instead of driving into town at dark. It was one of the best decisions I have made in a long time! Dinner was amazing. It was a four course meal with carrot ginger lemongrass soup, mushroom souffle, your choice of entree (I got the fish), and dessert (pecan pie or chocolate cake). Each course was exquisite and presented well. The portions were a good size and I was very full and happy at the end of the night.