Happiness is…

The convoy left in the morning for Chobe and beyond. Glad I joined on, though dusty, the roads were quite sandy in sections. Nice to have 7 vehicles in front of me to compact and pave the way. The 200 KM drive took several hours going through Mababe until settling in Muchenje. I honked my adieu to the Joburg contingency and headed to my campsite along the Chobe River just outside Chobe National Park.

Nice little camp site with wait for it free Wifi, quick yes I’m still alive to those in charge of sending in the guard and I settle in. Clean ablution blocks with OMG hot water. I never thought I’d miss hot showers as much as I do but being clean in hot water is epic! Quick talk with Bronwen the manager (she does an awesome job) and purchase of boerwurst for my braai. That’s right, I’m getting the hang of it. The boerwurst was amazing and lasted for almost 4 meals. The lamb the next night was just as good with a much craved for, potato. I don’t often crave potatoes but driving from Khwai to Chobe we passed many potato bushes that smell like fresh made mashed/smashed potatoes. Could be why all I wanted was a baked potato when I got to camp, lol!

The Ngoma entrance for Chobe park was just a few minutes away and the next day I planned on taking a day trip. Why I ever think I can just go for a few hours on a self drive I don’t know. Over 8 hours later I amble back to camp, as the sunset, to plan my drive to Kasane just up the way a bit the following day. I drove the river route and refueled at Kasane and re-entered at Sedudu gate. The park was full of the usual suspects plus lions on a cape buffalo kill. Or rather tired male lions doing what they do best, sleep and their counterparts as well. Two brave young boys calling on the other end of the park and a few surprises like Sable and Puku. And of course more southern ground hornbills. I know they are endangered and rare but man I’ve seen my share. Can I swap for a leopard?! Kasane is this months treat a B&B, The Old House. Right on the Chobe with great wifi and restaurant and a real bed. Springbok gets a much needed rest and new rear light. Looks much better intact! 2 weeks worth of laundry hand washed and strewn about the room to dry. Photo reviewing and blogging marathon commences to update all of you lovely people.

Instead of doing another self drive today I spoiled myself and Springbok and took a decently priced 3 hour game drive. It was nice not having to watch the road and just look about. So nice in fact it finally dawned on me I’ve been here before. 3 years ago after a medical mission in Mwandi, Zambia. We entered the Sedudu gate every time we did a game drive for those 2 days. Granted it was the wet season (February) and everything looks completely different. Not sure if I would have realized it if I kept driving around myself. More southern ground hornbills and lions. Then a beautiful sunset boat ride along the Chobe with river crossing elephants, birds, hippos and distant lions calling all with a marvelous sunset.  Had no idea elephants can swim from about 2 months of age. Snorkel up and go. What a way to end my time in Botswana. Tomorrow I cross over to Zimbabwe and head for Victoria Falls for a quick stop before going to Hwange National Park. Can’t wait!

Rock Python in a tree. Too bad I spotted him a little to late to get his head.
Two male lions before the flop back to sleep.
Sable Antelope
Puku, only found here in Chobe. Like a smaller version of a Red Lechwe.
Kudu showing of his good side.
Kori Bustard mating ritual. He’s so fluffy!
Egyptian Geese in a tree.
Comb duck (back) and Whitefaced duck (brown in front)
African Spoonbill
Squacco Heron.
African Openbill
Yellowbilled stork
No idea. A bird! Update: Wattled Crane
Grooming time at the baboon troupe.
Baboon security system
Elephants crossing the Chobe. Can you see the wee little trunks in between the adults. So tiny!
Safe on the island
What a view.



4 thoughts on “Happiness is…

  1. Jenny Jogal July 6, 2016 / 01:50

    Amazing photographs! This looks so much more fun than call nights in the PICU.


  2. Laurie July 24, 2016 / 12:14

    Jana, I work with your brother and he introduced me to your wonderful blog. What an amazing adventure you are having. You write very well and in just a few lines I get a real sense of your wonderment and joy as well as your frustration. The parts I like best are when you express your pride in yourself for accepting and completing a challenge. I look forward to reading more. Laurie (Victoria BC)


  3. Laurie September 13, 2016 / 15:16

    so wonderful to catch up with you again. The adventure continues and I am grateful to be able to travel with you through your writings. So lucky that you saw those vultures and took the initiative to follow them! Sitting at my work desk reading about the lion pride and then, wow, babies, I just about leapt from my seat (don’t tell the boss. lol). How wonderful to share that moment. I can’t help but worry about the brother with the horrible injury and to wonder if he survived?
    The Gorilla pictures were beautiful especially the one of the Silverback taken from behind so that you can see his magnificent back.
    Avoid the bandits and the bikes and keep yourself and springbok safe.


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