Tuesday, June 10th, 2014

5am came way too early.  It was great to sleep in a real room for the first time in 9 days but I miss falling asleep hearing the hippos, frogs and crickets.  I don’t miss the waking up to the cold weather.  I make my way to where I had drinks last night for coffee.  It’s not too cold this morning only requiring a long sleeve shirt.  I get help up the steep walkway by the upper eating area. Our game drive vehicle is a Toyota Land Cruiser.  I get in the land cruiser the same as I did yesterday.  RB is our game driver.  She’s been a guide for 4 years.  We only have 8 people on the drive today.  Two people got on the wrong vehicle.  We leave at 6am.  It’s still dark requiring the headlights to be turned on.  It’s dark for the first hour and difficult to see animals or take pictures.  We do see a group of impalas.  We stop by the Chobe River for sunrise.  On the river bank is a flock of white faced ducks.

DSCN5744 white faced ducks

RB gets a call of a leopard kill last night were the leopard has dragged the impala up a tree.  It’s very impressive that a leopard can drag a dead impala 10 feet up a tree.  We see a few baboons, what I think is a brubru, cape glossy starling and lilac breasted roller.  We head back down to the Chobe River where a small group of buffalo are drinking.  On the way back to the lodge we see a fish eagle, marabou stork, puku and black backed jackal.

leopard kill baboon DSCN5755 cape glossy starling lilac breasted roller

DSCN5767 fish eagle marabou stork DSCN5788

We arrive at the lodge at 9am.  Breakfast is at the riverside boma, where dinner was last night.  I get help from Lexy down the steep walkway and deck to the eating area.  I eat breakfast with Oana.  Lydia went to sleep until the boat game drive at 10:30am.  Oana leaves and I spend about 30 minutes continuing my talk with James from yesterday on my website.  I have decided not to do the boat drives on Wednesday or Thursday.  James suggests doing an extended game drive on one of those days.  He will join me and maybe John, the environmentalist/game drive coordinator.  I get help from James and Lexy to the boat, same as yesterday.  There are only 7 people on the boat today.  We start the ride seeing a water monitor lizard and huge 14 foot crocodile.  Birds are very prevalent around the river.  We see greater white egret, grey heron, african darters with sacred ibis, woodland kingfisher, giant kingfisher and african hairy hawk.  Before returning for lunch there’s a group of hippos sunning and a small crocodile in the foreground.

DSCN5815 crocodile great white egret grey heron DSCN5831 woodland kingfisher giant kingfisher ??????????????????????????????? DSCN5853 DSCN5860 DSCN5856

I’m helped off the boat by Phillip, Lebo and RB.  Phillip and Lebo help me up the walkway, grass hill to the pool and down the deck to lunch by the river.  I’m getting very aggravated relying on people to get me places around the lodge.  I have lunch with Lydia and Oana.  They are leaving tomorrow for Victoria Falls.  The afternoon game drive will be their last.  I should see them Friday or Saturday in Victoria Falls; we are staying at the same hotel.  James joins us while we are talking after lunch.  He looked at my website during the boat safari and likes my site.  He would like to take a picture of me on safari to post.  I get pushed up to my room by Sima to work on photos during the afternoon break.  I skip the afternoon tea/coffee partly because it’s on the deck again.  The afternoon drive leaves at 3:35pm.  The two people from the morning drive that got on the wrong vehicle are on the game drive with us, making it 10 people on this drive.  We start off seeing impalas, buffalo, giraffe, wildebeest and black backed jackal.  We have a close encounter with an elephant, much closer than this photo.  One elephant came within 2 feet of the back of the vehicle.  We drive back down to the river to see a crocodile that has caught a catfish with a fish eagle close by hoping for some scraps.

??????????????????????????????? DSCN5874 DSCN5873 DSCN5879

RB gets a call of a group of lioness and cubs.  They are all lying in the grass relaxing.  The cubs are very difficult to see and I can’t get a photo.  We spend over one hour watching hoping they will get up and move around.

DSCN5888 DSCN5893 DSCN5895

We need to start heading back at 6pm because the park closes at 6:30pm.  There are park rangers that patrol the park.  We return at 6:26pm then I go to my room to get cleaned up for dinner.  I have drinks in the lounge by the upper dining area where dinner is tonight.  Very happy dinner is upstairs tonight.  The view is much better at the riverside boma but that requires help being pushed up the deck ramp and walkway.  I am alone for dinner tonight.  Lydia and Oana have their own table and server not in the dining area.  Chobe Game Lodge has private dinners for guests that are staying their last night.  BK is my server and with the World Cup starting in two days we talk about futbol.  I am joined by Nico during dinner; we also discuss the upcoming World Cup.  John, who may join James and me on the extended game drive, joins Nico and me for desert.  Lydia and Oana stop to say goodbye before going to bed.  I have a few glasses of wine talking futbol with Nico and several servers before heading to bed.

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