Botswana – Arrival at the Chobe Safari Lodge.

We have now left our hotel at The Victoria Falls and are travelling to Botswana, where we will be staying at the Chobe Safari Lodge.  After a 70 km coach journey we arrived at the Kazungula Ferry crossing of the Zambezi river.  This ferry is incredibly busy, with a continuous stream of vehicles to be carried across.  Luckily, we do not need to rely on the ferry.  Instead we cross, in batches, in a small motorboat which can be seen in the next two photos, carrying all our luggage and a few of our tour party.

It’s worth saying that four countries almost meet at a point in the middle of the Zambezi.  Our border crossing from Zambia to Botswana is here, but from the middle of the river it is also possible to see the Caprivi Strip of Namibia as well as Zimbabwe.

Zambezi Crossing 1
Zambezi Crossing 2

The next ferry from Botswana to Zambia can be seen loading on the opposite bank.

Zambezi Crossing 3
Dugout Canoe

There were quite a few of these dugout canoes being paddled around close to the crossing point.

The Zambezi Shore

This is the Zambia side of the river.  We are still waiting for the boat to come back for us.

The Ferry

Here comes the well loaded ferry, with a reception of dugout canoes also seen in the next few pictures.

The Ferry 2
Dugout on the Zambezi
The Ferry
Botswana Shore

At last we have been collected and are approaching the Botswana shore, where we can see our bus and luggage trailer.  It took us a while to get across, quite a while including border formalities, but spare a thought for the other vehicles and lorries trying to cross on the ferry.  On our return journey, we discovered that the queue for the ferry could be so long that it would take several days, maybe a week even, to get across.  The drivers would sleep with their trucks while they waited.

Waterfront Mall

We are now arriving at Kasane and our Lodge is just around to the left of this intersection.  What you see ahead of you is a Botswana style ‘out of town’ shopping mall, the centre of which is Choppies Supermarket.  In truth, there wasn’t much else there apart from a money exchange.  The town of Kasane is off to the right and within walking distance.

View from our room

Having arrived at the Chobe Safari Lodge, we just had time for a quick photo of the grounds from our balcony, before meeting the rest of the group at the river for our first ‘river safari’.  The river is just behind the trees and some older accommodation bungalows that are mixed in with them.

The Dining Room

This is a view of the dining area, taken on our way to the boat.

The remainder of our holiday will be based here at the Chobe River, with frequent game drives and waterborne river safaris.  Our time during a day in the Okavango Delta will also be included.  From now on, therefore, this story will include a fair few wildlife pictures, so if you are interested in these please come back soon.  It is going to be fun.

A link to the start of this story can be found here.

Zambia – Elephant Back Safari

This is the final post from Zambia before we set off for Botswana.

Dee and I had the opportunity to go on an Elephant Back Safari.  The decision to go was not made lightly.  Firstly, I always thought that African Elephants were big, dangerous, wild animals, and although baby elephants were rather sweet, their mums and dads would probably kill you if you went anywhere near them.  I knew that Indian Elephants were often domesticated working animals, and that they could be ridden, but I wasn’t so sure about the african animals.

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Zambia – More Zambezi Sun Hotel

This is just a short post from the morning of our last full day in Zambia, with a few more pictures from the grounds of the Zambezi Sun Hotel.

There are several of these ponds around the grounds.  This one was just behind our room and I was quite taken by the reflections in these two photos.

Water Lily

This is one of the gardeners working on removing weed from another pond.  He was using the dugout canoe like a ‘wheelbarrow’, but before he could start work he needed to bail out the water.


The next few photographs are of Lesser Masked Weaver Birds.  The male birds were all busy building nests in the hope of attracting a female.  Females choose their mate based on which male has produced the best nest.  I’m not quite sure how they keep the eggs in with a socking great hole in the bottom.

Lesser Masked Weaver
Lesser Masked Weaver
Lesser Masked Weaver
Lesser Masked Weaver
Lesser Masked Weaver

It was on this spot that our fellow guest, mentioned in an earlier post, had been standing when he was surprised by a crocodile emerging from the water.  He told us the story when we were on the way back from this morning’s walk, so presumably the crocodile had been in the pool whilst we were standing here.

Veined Swallotail - Graphium leonidas

Veined Swallowtail Butterfly

Zambezi Sun Grounds

This rather pretty lake within the grounds has a crocodile sculpture on the island.  Maybe there are some real ones in here as well.



Mother and Child

Vervet monkey mother and child.

Monkey Creche

Vervet monkey mother and baby club.

The Gardeners

The gardeners were still working.  I wonder whether they get ‘danger money’ for tidying the crocodile infested pools?

We are off on an Elephant Safari this afternoon.  Please come back soon to see a few more photographs from Zambia.  The first post in this series can be found here.

Zambia – Zambezi Sunset Cruise

Whilst in Zambia, and included in our holiday, was a Sunset Cruise on the Zambezi river.  This took place at the end of our second day at the Victoria Falls.

At the appointed hour, we all trooped down to the landing stage to embark on our ‘cruise boat’.  With no idea of which way the boat would be pointing when the sun went down, we settled for trying to find some seats by a rail on the upper deck.  Then we sat back and enjoyed the included Gin and Tonics.

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Zambia – Victoria Falls

When travelling to Africa, one of the first questions that needs to be answered is when should you go.  Dee and I particularly like the wildlife viewing, so choosing the best time for spotting animals is a priority.  This normally means going during the ‘dry season’ because then the animals will be at the waterholes and rivers.  This was the basis for choosing October for this trip, and we will get to the wildlife eventually, I promise.

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Zambia – Zambezi Sun

During our stay in Zambia, we were staying at the Zambezi Sun Hotel.  Sadly, this hotel was the poor relation to the 5 star Royal Livingstone next door.  Never mind, we were only here for 3 nights and the hotel was comfortable enough.

There were armed guards stationed around the outside dining areas, but these ‘armed guards’ were armed only with catapults, and were there to keep the rather cheeky Vervet Monkeys from stealing food from the guests.  These little devils would sit in strategic positions, waiting for guests to take their eyes off their food, then they would pounce.  This was a serious problem at breakfast, where they had a particular taste for muffins, probably because they were easy to grab.  It was quite amusing to watch, as long as it was not your breakfast.  There were many Vervet Monkeys living in the hotel grounds and generally they were no problem, but it was important to keep your room doors and windows closed, otherwise they could be a little ‘light fingered’.

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Zambia and Botswana – In the Footsteps of Livingstone

Dee and I went on a holiday to Zambia and Botswana in October 2008, a holiday which the tour operator grandly called “In the Footsteps of Livingstone”.  It was hard to believe that this trip could possibly do justice to the experiences of this famous explorer and indeed I am sure that this was the case.  Dr Livingstone must have experienced many trials and tribulations preparing for his travels though, and one problem that we had was the tour operator screwing up the booking of this holiday, and having to shorten it by a day because they didn’t book the return flight properly.  On this trip they led us, and most of our travel companions, a ‘merry dance’ during the weeks before we were to depart.  Thankfully though, they now seem to have overcome these problems, and recently our holiday arrangements with them have been better managed.

Regardless of these problems, this holiday was the best travel experience that we had ever had up until then, and it still ranks right at the top.

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