Chobe calling…

Chobe calling…

This is one of those articles where the pictures paint a thousand words… Enjoy!

A lion doing lion things… i.e. nothing!

Whilst there are many available definitions of a “Biodiversity hotspot”, they are basically biogeographic regions that contain high levels of species diversity, some endemic species (i.e. not found anywhere else) and a significant number of threatened or endangered species. Chobe National Park qualifies – particularly the sections around the river front…

The buffalo graze on the islands in the late afternoon, relatively safe from lions…

The Chobe River is the northern boundary of both the Chobe National Park and Botswana. The Kwando River has its headwaters in Angola, from where it flows southeast across Namibia’s Caprivi Strip, forming a boundary between Namibia and Botswana. After entering Botswana, it undergoes a dramatic 90-degree change in course at the point where it meets a major fault line, and the Kwando River becomes the Linyanti. At Parakurungu it becomes the Itenge and only near Ngoma Gate does it become the Chobe River. From the point where the Chobe abruptly bends, the Magwegqana or Selinda spillway links the Delta to the Chobe. The Chobe River eventually flows into the Zambezi near Kazungula.

Elephants returning from their long walk and heading towards the water – it’s really hard on the calves…

In the late afternoons, the golden light plays on the surrounding environment, and the river forms a startling blue ribbon winding its way along the edge of the Chobe National Park. Add the iconic call of the Fish Eagle and it has to be one of my favourite spots on earth. Talking of birds, the Chobe National Park is a birding mecca, with over 450 birds recorded (some accounts put the number at over 560).

These little ones are always up to something…

A drive along the expansive floodplains on a crisp June morning reveals so much game that sometimes you need to pinch yourself to make sure you’re not in some surreal dream. The concentrations of mammals and birds along the river are phenomenal and draw huge numbers of visitors to this region. Afternoons are the time to enjoy a cruise on the river. You are able to get up close to elephants, buffalo, crocs and numerous bird species. This year there wasn’t enough rain, and the area is dry and bare – and this is only the beginning of winter with rains not expected again until late October. The Chobe River is thus low, which is fortunate for us, allowing unlimited access to the lower road along the river (which, in wetter years, would now be flooded).

Fish Eagle with a fish in its talons… Not a great angle to photograph, but a very interesting sighting!

This road is currently like an elephant highway. In the evenings they head off to search for food as the riverbank areas are completely decimated due to the large populations They return from where they’ve been feeding when it gets warm (around 10am in the winter months) and enjoy the river – often swimming across to the islands where there is still grazing. In the evenings they return to the banks and head off again in search of food supplies. As harsh as it is for these wonderful creatures, it makes for incredible viewing opportunities. There are many calves in the herds at the moment, and one can sit for hours watching their antics.

Just chilling…

I look forward to sharing more “missives from the frontline” in Kasane on the Chobe River in the weeks to come, liberally scattered amongst the usual content…

Jacqui Ikin & the Cross Country Team

Share this post

Start typing and press Enter to search

Shopping Cart