Today we once again had a choice. We were heading to Chobe National Park which is about 6-7 hours away and there is the chance of an optional game drive if we want to during the afternoon. However, included in the tour is a sunset cruise on Chobe River which is within the park and therefore many of the parks animals can be seen on the banks.
Chobe itself is supposed to be one of the better national parks in Africa and is very popular with tourists. However, we had already been to Etosha and the Delta and Adam and I will be going to a number of other parks on the second half our tour. Chobe is not a cheap park to visit!
We decided against the game drive, as did the rest of the group, and this meant that we could have a lie in and take our time getting there! Result!!!
Once again there isn't too much to say about the journey. We are learning by now that all of Africa is beautiful and there just aren't enough adjectives to describe it! We are still in Southern Africa and most of the area itself is very green and flat but high trees mean you cannot see much further than the edge of the road.
Arriving at camp we set up our tents and had a quick nap before Siziba called us all to get ready for our river cruise. The clear sunny afternoon was suddenly looking pretty ominous though so we all grabbed raincoats and prepared to get wet!
A quick journey down the road, one which we could probably have walked, and we were at the jetty. Just as we were scrambling out of Sonny the heavens opened and we all legged it onto the boat. Not that it offered much protection as it was really just a large floating jetty with an engine. There was a roof of sorts but its open on all sides and the heavy horizontal rain was just blowing straight in. We moved our chairs to the centre to avoid the worst of it and then sat and waited for the accommodated group who would be joining us. They were running late as they had decided to go on the afternoon's game drive! It seems we missed a treat!
Just after we set off downriver the rain subsided and it turned into quite a pleasant evening. We had all been encouraged to bring beer and cider with us and had gone so far as to take the cooler from Sonny to keep our drinks cool. I think the other group was quite envious of our foresight!
There were a few other boats on the river, most of which are apparently large floating holiday homes. They were huge and very grand!
Floating down stream it was a while before we saw anything but what started as just one or two buck soon became a whole variety of animals all in one relatively small area. We saw a whole family of baboons and got some interesting pictures (and video's in Cristina's case) of them making baby baboons - HAHA ! We also saw crocs, buffalo, hippo's both in the water and out and a huge elephant standing on the bank right above us. He was so close you could almost touch him and extremely beautiful!
I got a really cool picture of a Fish Eagle in flight which is nice because Vincent's surname actually means Fish Eagle in his native tongue. All tribesmen have surnames that make reference to an animal.
I also got quite a number of sneaky pics of the group which we all had a laugh about later. Some were quite amusing although I've been nice and deleted any that may be embarrassing.
The purpose of the cruise was to see the sunset as well as the animals but we arrived back at the jetty before dark and to be honest I think the sun would have set behind the trees anyway. Not to mention the fact it was starting to rain again. Following the rain from earlier the track down to the river had become very muddy and Siziba had some difficulty turning Sonny around as he was slipping and sliding all over the place.
Solveig and I jumped in the front of the truck for a different view on the way back seeing as Vincent was still at camp making dinner and it was quite funny watching Siziba struggle to avoid a very drunk man who was stumbling in front of us down the road.
Tonight is the last night most of us will be together. Tomorrow we cross into Zimbabwe and arrive at Victoria Falls where most of the group's tour will end. In the morning though we will be leaving behind Peter and Renata because Renata can't enter Zimbabwe on her Czech Republic passport and she has to cross into Zambia first. From there she can walk through the border and spend 1 day in the town of Victoria Falls but no longer so hopefully we'll see them walking around the town.
There is a thunder storm raging outside now and earlier this evening we heard what is quite possibly the loudest thunder clap ever! Peter commented that in all his years of travelling, the loudest thunder he has ever heard was in Victoria Falls! And here he is again!