Travel Website Logo
Travel Journal
Dan Walker’s Travel Website
Travel Photos

Travel Journal

Live the adventures of Dan Walker's travels through reading his travel journal. The travel journals are listed below in descending order of date. To search the travel journals, use the keyword search at the bottom of the page.

Journal Entry:

Monday, November 12, 2018 01:44:16

Africa SW 2018: 8 Kasane, Botswana to Chobe Princess houseboat

Friday, November 9, 2018

The day was off to a boring start – we had to check out of the room by 10 AM, so waited in the lobby using internet until out 12:45 pickup time. By 1:10 I called the company, and they said don't worry, they were running behind. Once picked up we were driven to Botswana immigration to leave the country, and to a small boat to get us to Impala Island, where a 300 meter hike up hill got us to Namibian Immigration for entry.

Back at the boat we were taken to the Chobe Princess houseboat where we met the only other passengers, a couple from the English Midlands. For the first time we are not travelling with Germans, although there are quite a few here. It is amazing having a whole luxury boat for only 2 couples. They had to wait 2 hours for us to arrive, while sat around all morning. Nor far away, at the other end of Impala Island, the Chobe River merges with the Zambezi River and heads for Victoria Falls.

Evi from South African Tourism is determined we will have the best celebrated anniversary ever – our cabin had another complimentary bottle of bubbly in an ice bucket. I was all for tucking into it, but the ladies decided it had to wait for the exact day, so it was put into cold storage. Evi had arranged the best cabin on the boat – it has a large, well equipped air conditioned bedroom across the bow where there is a private patio with chairs and table. The bathroom is well done with a full sized shower.

After cruising up the river while enjoying a 3 course lunch with complementary wines and a short nap we climbed into one of the tenders for a game viewing trip. There were dozens and dozens of elephants along the river putting on a great show of bathing, playing with each other in the water, submerging themselves and shooting water from their trunks. One male tried mating with a female but was firmly rejected, then he was joined by another male who was having the same problem. Most of the herd left at this point, leaving only baboons to receive his frustration. He would bellow and take off after the baboons, who of course were faster and more maneuverable. After quite a time of this he joined the other male in the river where they play-fought with each other. It was a great show. During the performance we were served beer (or water), a staple in all the boats. All alcoholic drinks are included in the price.

Back on board we had happy hour and a three course dinner. The food was good but I'm getting to the point where my body just can't handle all the three course meals.

Saturday, November 10, 2018

This morning Marilynn took off in one of the tenders with a guide to go fishing. We soon got a call from them saying they saw lions, so our guide immediately headed for the location in the other tender. We saw a pride of females with cubs as they crossed clear patches between bushes. Once we got the hang of it we would be ready at the next clearing. There was a gathering of safari vehicles doing the same thing, but the view from the water was better.

Marilynn managed to catch one fish that got away. They had to go all the way back to Impala Island where we cleared immigration as fishing is not allowed in the park area. At lunch had what would be our normal view of a large number of elephants. During the afternoon game cruise the people from the UK, who are birders, got some good bird shots, and we had a look at some hippopotamus including one with a baby. On the way back we spotted two giraffe in the distance.

Sunday, November 11, 2018

Today is our 40th anniversary, and we were awakened by the bellow of an elephant. After breakfast the four of us went out on a game sighting trip, which in addition to the elephant families that come to the river every day, there we lots of baboons and three giraffe. The large herd of Cape Buffalo were on their normal island and we spotted a couple of new bird species. On the way back I thought we had hit a log as there was a tremendous crash that knocked the engine out of the water. It turned out to be a hippopotamus. It seemed the prop was still OK and the engine serviceable, but I'll bet the hippo had one heck of a headache!

For the afternoon run the Brits took one boat and we took another – Marilynn was determined to get a photo of a hippopotamus with it's mouth full open. We founds a couple of groups of hippos who proved very uncooperative, but finally one gave a huge, wide mouth yawn – and then did it a second time before going back to being docile. That is a false impression, as hippopotamus are considered to be the most dangerous animal in the world, killing over 500 people per year in Africa.

Our final stopping point was close to the elephant herds near our houseboat, where a number of hippo were in the water. Two young ones were play fighting, coming at each other with wide open mouths. Marilynn got some amazing photos, so the day was declared a success. Back at the boat we had drinks and the other bottle of champagne that Evi and Dylan sent for us with dinner. More drinks followed and it was a fun night with our new English friends.

Tomorrow we must face the grueling three day trek home and reality.