Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Day 6

Trip notes 9 June - Slept in until 7!!!  Brekky was nice.  Said goodbyes to GC staff.  Flew to Chobe today via Khwai and Kmara.  Took about 2 hours.  Parts of the flight were rough.  9-seater plane. Two bush landings, fertilized a tree.

I never thought I would be so happy about sleeping in until 7 while on vacation.  Our flight to the next camp was around 9.30, so we didn't get a chance to do any excursions that morning.  We had a very nice breakfast and said our good-byes to the staff.

Then it was time to get back in the bush plane.  The pictures below are from the flight.  You can see the airstrip, a view of the delta from the air, and the plane we flew in.  We had two stops between us and Chobe Lodge; one to drop off a couple at Khwai and the other to pick up a couple at Kmara.  The couple that we picked up just happened to be Australian!  We came across more Aussies than Americans on this trip.

The airstrip at Gunn's Camp
A view of the delta

C & Me outside our plane

Arrived Chobe around noon. Checked in with the world, everyone still there. Only 2 e-mails for me; 200+ for SAM.  C & I went shopping at the grocery store. Bought cereal, milk, snacks for the road trip to Livingstone. 90 pula for the groceries. (US$10) Man in front of us could not pay for his groceries, so C gave him her change. (abt 10 pula)

Returned to CSL for boat ride. More touristy than Gunn's but still nice. Loud Aussies on the boat with us. Saw hippos, elephants, impalas and crocs. Got a good pic of two hippos yawning. SAM got some other good shots. 

Chobe Lodge is the main lodge where the tourists go, so it was much bigger and better appointed than the other places we had stayed.  Having modern conveniences was nice but we were only there for one night so I tried to pretend they weren't there.  We booked a 3-hour sunset cruise and got some good pictures of more animals.  I call this the "Yawning Animal Brigade".  Crocs yawn to regulate body temperature and hippos yawn to establish dominance.  You learn something new every day!

Then we saw two elephants up on a hill from the river.  One elephant was no longer alive and the second elephant was keeping guard to chase away scavengers.  It was fairly graphic and it was then I discovered that I much prefer my circle of life in Disney form.

We got to see some more elephants along the river bank, and from the angle of SAM's picture, they looked like Siamese elephants.

Yawning yawning hippo!
Yawning croc
Siamese elephants?
Sunset on the river

My dad would be disappointed in me if I didn't take this opportunity to mention a skit from Mama's Family in which Tim Conway forgot his lines and improvised a skit about seeing Siamese elephants at the circus.  If you've never seen it, it's a hoot!  (skip to the 0:50 mark to forward through the first round of audience laughter)

Then we went back to our room for some wine and then enjoyed a buffet dinner.  The buffet had a lot of local delicacies and different types of game meat.  We ate a traditional lamb roast, as well as some kudu and warthog.  (Yes, we really did eat Tuna Kata this time.) Both were gamey (obviously) but the experience was good.

During dinner we were treated to a show put on by a couple dozen dancers in traditional attire.  I managed to get some of the audio on my iPod but no pictures since we didn't take our camera to dinner.

It was an early night because we knew the next morning would be an early start.  We booked a game drive starting at 6am.  But more on that tomorrow PLUS the most interesting border crossing I have ever done!

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