Chobe: Afternoon Game Drive

On our Botswana safari, after the Chobe River cruise, we left the town of Kasane and headed back to Chobe National Park. As we turned on to the highway back to Chobe, this elephant was eating grass next to the road, acting as an advertisement for the park entrance 4 km away. Where does the 8,000 pound elephant eat? Where ever she wants to!

elephant at A33 highway to Chobe
elephant at A33 highway to Chobe

This elephant roaming the highway outside the park reminds me of a letter to the editor of a local newspaper, complaining that the deer are crossing the road where no deer crossing signs are posted, endangering drivers.

Back in the park, a tree of roosting storks next to the Chobe River.

roosting storks
roosting storks

We saw a double rainbow, formed by sunlight reflecting twice through raindrops.

double rainbow
double rainbow

And a rainbow over this impala herd.

male impala, harem, and rainbow
male impala, harem, and rainbow

A pair of red lechwe,

red lechwe
red lechwe

While we were enjoying the antics of dung beetles, the driver of our other truck radioed to tell us about lions. We sped off. We found a pride of contented lions.

lion pride by Chobe River
lion pride by Chobe River
lioness licking cub
lioness licking cub
lioness yawning
lioness yawning

Folks in the other truck have photos of lion cubs with red around their mouths, but we arrived too late to see this.

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Fight for a Dung Ball

After our cruise on Botswana’s Chobe River, a highlight of the afternoon game drive was these two dung beetles fighting for a dung ball bigger than either of them.

Dung beetles form and bury dung balls for food for themselves and for their young. A dung beetle can form and roll a dung ball up to ten times its weight.

In this video, an industrious dung beetle rolls away its dung ball, when a second beetle tries to steal it. They fight for the dung ball — serious stuff for a dung beetle.

Chobe River: Buffalo, Crocs, and Hippo

On our Botswana safari, after driving along the Chobe River in the morning, we took a river cruise in the afternoon. From the water we saw more animals than from land, and we were able to approach closer. Here are some larger animals from our cruise.

This cape buffalo wading in the river seemed calmer than ones we encountered on land.

cape buffalo in river
cape buffalo wading in the Chobe River

The Nile crocodile can grow to 6 meters. This crocodile was lounging on the river bank, posing for tourists in the passing boats.

Nile crocodile
Nile crocodile

This crocodile also let our boat approach. This photo was taken with a 400 mm lens, without cropping. The head nearly filled the frame.

Nile crocodile head
Nile crocodile head shot

This crocodile showed us its teeth.

crocodile showing us its teeth
crocodile showing us its teeth

This hippo lounged in the river, providing a resting spot for storks.

storks on hippo
storks on hippo

Chobe River: Nile monitor

On our Botswana safari, after driving along the Chobe River in the morning, we took a cruise on the river in the afternoon. From the water we saw more animals than from land, and we were able to approach closer. During the morning game drive, we saw glimpses of a large lizard rushing away, but we saw the Nile monitor much better during our cruise.

This Nile monitor is walking along the shore, smelling with its extended tongue. The Nile monitor runs fast, climbs trees, and swims.

Nile monitor smelling
Nile monitor smelling

In the following sequence, a Nile monitor is digging in the soft sand, perhaps looking for crocodile eggs.

Nile monitor looking up
Nile monitor looking up
monitor smelling
monitor smelling
Nile monitor digging
Nile monitor digging
monitor looking around again
monitor looking around again

Chobe River: Birds

On our Botswana safari, after driving along the Chobe River in the morning, we took a cruise on the river in the afternoon. From the water we saw more animals than from land, and we were able to approach closer. Here are the birds from our river cruise.

This bee eater (it eats bees) is gorgeous!

white-fronted bee eater
white-fronted bee eater

The African darter and reed cormorant both dive for fish. They sun themselves frequently to dry off between dives. The feathers of the African darter don’t contain oil, so the feathers get waterlogged if they aren’t dried off often. The African darter is also called a snakebird because the head and neck looks like a snake when it swims.

African darter and reed cormorant
African darter and reed cormorant

A pair of water thick-knees walk along the shore.

spotted thick-knee
spotted thick-knee

With its long legs and toes, the African jacana walks on floating lily pads. We also saw them in the Okavango Delta.

African jacana
African jacana

Serondella – Drive Along the Chobe River

On our Botswana safari, we drove along the Chobe River on our first morning in Serondella area of the Chobe National Park. In April we saw a lot of wildlife along the river. Later in the dry season, the animals increase near the river as the surrounding land dries up and the game migrates to the waters of the Chobe River.

In the first light of dawn, these hippos have sunlight reflecting from their ears.

hippo ears in the Chobe River
hippo ears in the Chobe River

Seeking wildlife, we drove on a dirt road covered by the river. See the crocodiles in the river waiting for thirsty animals to drink in the morning.

crocodiles in river
crocodiles in river

And, of course, the obligatory African fish eagle and a lilac-breasted roller.

African fish eagle
African fish eagle
lilac-breasted roller
lilac-breasted roller

Giraffes are vulnerable when they bend over to lick salt or drink.

giraffe licking salt
giraffe licking salt

A large pod of hippos in the Chobe River.

hippos in the Chobe River
hippos in the Chobe River

Game Drive to Serondella

On our Botswana safari, the next day we moved to another part of Chobe National Park, the Serondella area. Compared to the Savuti Channel, the Serondella area is closer to the Chobe River, with more elephants.

Yet another African fish eagle. We like fish eagles, which are similar to the American bald eagle.

African fish eagle
African fish eagle

Dwarf mongooses sunning themselves in the morning.

dwarf mongoose
dwarf mongoose

In the still waters of the early morning, the reflection of a tree with yellow-billed storks.

tree of yellow-billed storks
tree of yellow-billed storks

We visited a site with drawing of African animals, where our guide told us about the native San people and some of their customs.

200 years old
eland, elephant, gemsbok
200-year-old
 drawings of eland, elephant, gemsbok

A black-backed jackal approaching a large, bleached bone as big as the jackal.

black-backed jackal
black-backed jackal

The bushbuck is a mediums-sized antelope with sharp horns.

bushbuck
male bushbuck

In the afternoon we saw the Chobe River. A grey heron and sacred ibis.

grey heron, African sacred ibis
grey heron, African sacred ibis

The Chobe River is quite wide. Below, an elephant feeding on water plants.

elephant in Chobe River
elephant in Chobe River

The river provides water and supports much wildlife.

warthog
warthog

The cape buffalo has never been domesticated and kills or gores over 200 people a year. This cape buffalo looks quite stern. We quickly moved on.

cape buffalo
cape buffalo

Baboons are cute and fun to watch, especially the babies. Babies can hang on for a ride below or sit on top.

baby baboon holding on to ears
baby baboon holding on to ears
baby baboon clinging on below
baby baboon clinging on below

We encountered this elephant at sunset and kept rolling back to camp. This elephant approached us as we drove by, which is unusual.

ornery elephant
ornery elephant