The Chobe, 16-18th March

We’re still in the Caprivi, visiting Chobe on the Namibian side, at Camp Chobe. It is just 4  kms east of Ngoma Bridge border.
We drove towards Ngoma. A good tar road all the way with wonderful little villages.

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Camp Chobe

Arrived at signpost for Chobe Lodge and took the dirt road – but gave up!  Little anxious about all the water. Phoned Max and he came to lead us in on an alternate route.
OMG what a road!!! Started by going via the  back of the border control offices,  police etc. We then went UNDER Ngoma bridge in the most godawful black water mud. We continued along the bank of the river, slid around like crazy and Solveig just held on and prayed!!! Max, of course, drives like crazy!! 

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Lodge and Chalets

Shaken, we arrived at main camp and met the other staff. What nice people. We needed a drink! or two!!
Later after more drinks, off to our campsite (back same way) with setting sun in our eyes. After one mad slide we decided to stop right there and then and camped between two chalets on the river bank. Beautiful sunset!! Compensation?? Most definitely. Went to sleep with nature’s choir of frogs crickets and an occasional lion roar. Oh wow who could ask for more?

The following day we moved down to the official campsite. Good move, slid a bit but Ians getting good at off road. 

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Our campsite

Lovely shady spot with trees, scullery and great ablutions overlooking river. Wonder if we can change our toilets and shower at home to overlook the harbour?? The only missing perfection was absence of electricity (damn we do need it for the food and ice – the auxilliary battery prefers to be charged daily when running a fridge, freezer and everything else).

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African Openbill

Great just to chill and take in our amazing surroundings and being entertained by African Openbill (Stork), pied kingfishers, blacksmith lapwing (plovers), African Jacanas,

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Squaco Heron

herons and many more different bird species.

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Max at the helm

Max arrived in the afternoon by boat to take us up to the Main Lodge from where the river cruise starts. A bunch of rather unhappy Germans (they had come through on normal route – Max said the water would have gone over our bonnet). Guess the Germans did not really enjoy that. The route we took was bad enough.  In fact really scary!!

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Graceful flight

Anyway, the river cruise was a real highlight, just beautiful and great with Max pointing out all the different birds,

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Egret at takeoff

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African Jacana nest

And nests amoungst the lilies

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And the waterlilies!!! 

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White Breasted Cormorants

The cloudscapes, sun setting and birds perching and flying off en masse

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Cape Buffalo and Red-billed Oxpecker

and a few animals on the Botswana side was a sight to behold. Two hours of magic!! Thank you Max!!!

Had dinner at Lodge with Max and just chatted and chattered. Such a great dude!! Well done Janne and Johan! Had drinks in a boma around a fire and were entertained by kitchen staff singing beautifully.  Met a guy from WWF (rather arrogant) but knowledgeable and interesting.
Max took us back to camp by boat – had to be very careful of nets in the dark that were placed across the river by locals.

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Chobe fishermen

They also fished from Mokoros.  
Max showed us a fence around a little village which had lots of tins strung on it. This is an alarm system, if elephants come through, it makes a noise and warns the people, they come out and crack whips,
scaring the ellies away. Not quite an electric fence!!!!

All to soon we had to say our goodbyes and were off to Katima Mulilo for our last night in Namibia. We proudly managed the terrible road out without Max leading the way.
In Katima We did some shopping and exchanged our Namdollars for Kwachas then kept on bumping into Max and Shaun shopping for the lodge, a few more hugs and goodbyes later, then to  our camp at the Protea Zambezi lodge.
All we wish for is that all the countries we encounter are as friendly and courteous as Namibia has been.
The next day we had a pleasant surprise at the Zambian border control . Two years ago we had been ripped off by the officials housed in old caravans there. This time brand new airconditioned border control offices and smiling officials handled us efficiently and courteously. Yeah!!