We left Livingstone, Zambia and took a ferry across to Botswana. From there we headed to Kasane, which is the nearest entry point into Chobe National Park. When we turned up at the gate, they asked us if we had a 4×4 as it was 7km to the lodge. We had to laugh, considering the 75km off-road we did at Mana Pools in Zimbabwe. Without any difficulty we made our way to the lodge, and even took in some kudu and hippos along the way.
Upon arriving we were shuffled onto a skimmer boat safari– looking at water monitors, baby crocodiles and miscellaneous birds in the water. We also observed chacma baboons, warthogs, elephants and impalas all enjoying the same watering hole. It was interesting to see the interaction between the animals–an elephant flapping its ears, stomping and trumpeting in response to the pesky baboons, the warthogs completely ignoring the situation, and the often-frightened impalas waiting their turn to drink from the water. A few minutes later, several families of elephants emerged from the bush to cool down from the heat of the afternoon sun.
As we continued on our way, we could see lightning in the distance. It was brilliant, and some bursts of lightning not only lit up the sky, but looked like it was bursting into fire itself. Rather than head back to the safari lodge, our guide continued on our way. The flash storm caught up to us; the rain coming down in sheets, creating waves in the once still river waters. The rocking of the boat from the wind forced us to beach the boat. Once our guide, Kelly tied down the boat, she ran up a hill and we thought she was abandoning us, but then we realized she “popped a squat” behind a bush. We all had quite a laugh about that! We waited on the boat for the rain to pass– we couldn’t drive the boat for fear of tipping, and we couldn’t walk for fear of the animals. Finally after 45 minutes, a safari vehicle showed up to rescue us. All 13 of us hopped on to the truck completely drenched and shivering. It was also kind of funny, as we all had those orange life jackets on sitting in the truck.