Botswana
Chobe District

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    • Day12

      Tiefer im Chobe

      September 14 in Botswana ⋅ 🌙 24 °C

      Von der Chobe Riverfront führt uns der Weg weiter südöstlich in den Park hinein. Die erste Nacht verbringen wir im Thobolos Bush Camp. Der Platz war eher spärlich, dafür überraschte uns pünktlich zum Sonnenuntergang eine riesige Herde Büffel die zeitgleich mit einer grossen Herde Elefanten am Wasserloch vor unserem Platz eintraf. Während dem Abendessen konnten wir sogar weiter Elefanten beobachten am beleuchteten Wasserloch.
      Am nächsten Tag gings noch weiter hinein in den Chobe NP über sehr holprige Sandstrecken zum Savuti Camp. Diese Strecke war leider etwas zu holprig, sodass sich unsere Kühlbox unbemerkt öffnete und wir ein mittleres Joghurt-Salatsauce-Früchte-Eier Mix Massaker erleben und reinigen mussten.
      Savuti selbst war dann auch eher enttäuschend. Obwohl der Platz über 100.- kostet war er weder schön noch haben wir viele Tiere gesehen - von der Löwin die wir auf der Hinfahrt antrafen abgesehen.
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    • Day15

      All-day Safari: Chobe National Park

      August 18 in Botswana ⋅ ⛅ 90 °F

      On most days, we would set out for a morning game drive around 7am until around 11am, then take an afternoon/evening drive beginning around 3:30 or 4pm. But because Chobe is so big, and because we have to be out of the park by 6:30pm, we maximized our allowable time today, going out for 8-9 hours straight (with stops for morning tea and lunch).

      Today we spent a lot more time near the river’s edge, watching storks (yellow-billed, Maribou and open-beaked), herons, great numbers of white pelicans, and so many more of the animals we’ve seen before, but never get tired of seeing. We got to observe more of how the elephant herd protects its young, circling around them as they walk, and making sure they are nearby adults at all times.

      Our lunchtime picnic was somewhat disturbed by mischievous vervet monkeys who stole from people’s plates if they weren’t watching carefully.

      We are fascinated by Baobab trees, which are unique looking and have an edible fruit. Some 500 years ago, before elephants were as prolific as they are now, large baobabs were everywhere. But now, the juvenile trees are munched down before they can grow to full-size.

      In the late afternoon, Ban (guide) gave a talk on Botswana’s policy around poachers. In the 1990s, Botswana’s rhino population had dwindled to 19 animals due to poaching of the animals for their horn. As we’ve mentioned before, poaching is a hugely organized (and well-armed) business.

      At that time, the 19 were sent to a sanctuary to breed, and in 2001 Botswana game wardens introduced 34 rhinos into the wild and monitored them with chips in their horns. But before long, they began losing rhinos and wardens. So in 2013, the government introduced a policy of shoot-to-kill; poachers get one warning and if they don’t surrender, they are shot. The rhino population increased to over 500 in the wild. In 2018, the new president suspended the policy due to conflicts with neighboring countries. Botswana has lost 92 rhinos since then. It’s a dilemma—should they protect the animals (and their tourism industry), or pay more attention to human rights?
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