I love hearing the roar of a lion. When you’re close, you can feel your ribs vibrate with the sound…
At Chobe Game Lodge we offer riverboat safaris as well as 4×4 game drives and, because we’re the only camp located inside Chobe National Park, we have the chance to see wildlife before anyone else arrives.
For morning game drives, we set off at around 5.30am, stopping for coffee and biscuits in the bush halfway through, and in the afternoon we leave at 3.30pm before returning to the lodge for sundowners. We go deep into the national park, which is home to the largest population of elephants in Africa – around 120,000! We often see large herds of elephants as well as lions, buffaloes, wildebeest, giraffes, antelopes and, if we’re lucky, the occasional leopard lazing in the trees.
Lechwe flats is my favourite game viewing area – you can see lots of these reddish antelopes gathering around the water – and I love hearing the roar of a lion. When you’re close, you can feel your ribs vibrate with the sound. The landscapes are amazing too; you can see the beautiful Chobe River with views across to Namibia as you cross the dry, dusty plains.
Then on the riverboat safaris, we head out in the afternoon in small pontoons, which are all electric and solar-powered. We glide silently along the Chobe, heading west away from the other boats, so we are usually the only boat in the area.
We normally spot crocodiles and hippos in the water as well as elephants and other animals on the riverbank. There are lots of birds too, including fish eagles hunting from the river. I’ve had so many memorable sightings, like watching a whole herd of elephants with babies swim across the river to the Namibian side with their trunks held up like snorkels. But I especially enjoy watching the baboons – it’s fascinating to see how these families behave, and guests love watching the young ones play (although you have to be careful they don’t jump onto the boat and eat the snacks!)
After a couple of hours, we stop for sundowners in a big open area beside the river, where animals come to drink. We serve snacks like cheese, nuts and biltong with wines, beers and spirits and watch the sun set over the river, which is always spectacular – all deep reds and oranges, reflecting on the water below.
I love connecting with nature on these trips while talking to people from all over the world and hearing their stories. My mother and grandmother were farmers in the Okavango Delta who taught me to live with animals peacefully, so sharing that with guests while showing them our beautiful country brings pleasure to my heart.
Your journey will start with one of our UK team – someone like James, who's travelled extensively in Botswana. They’ll shape your ideas into the trip of a lifetime. But they won't do it alone. They'll draw on the expertise of our contacts on the ground, connecting you to the people who'll make your holiday one you'll always remember - the rangers who'll ensure you'll spot the best wildlife in Chobe, the village chiefs who'll give you an insight into local life and the helicopter pilots who can land you on an island in the Delta never visited by humans before.
Freephone an expert 01306 744 656