Morning Drive – Chobe Nat’l Park, Botswana

5:30 wakeup call.

6 a.m. – Breakfast – full breakfast with hot and cold items available – eggs, bacon, porridge, fruit, cheese, yogurt, toast, etc.

Since there were not a lot of guests this morning, just us and a group of 4, we had our own guide, KG, and a private vehicle.

Game drives in Chobe National Park are restricted to the roads only and no night drives. Guests, however, are not required to have a guide and can drive their own vehicle.

After checking in at the park entrance, the vehicle with the other guests heads in one direction and us in another.

Wild Dogs

Early on we come across a lone wild dog that got separated from the pack. We follow him a while and watch him call to his siblings.

We then get a call from the other vehicle saying they found the pack at a kill near the river. We race there in time to see the dogs, at a distance.

A jackal and a few vultures move in fighting over the remaining scraps.

The pack leave the kill moments later and head off to look for the lost brother. Conveniently they run along the road, with four safari vehicles following them. They stop from time to time to call and listen. Soon, they find their brother. Greeting each other enthusiastically, the lost brother begs for food. The newly fed siblings in turn regurgitate, and he gobbles up the mess. The process is repeated with each sibling he encounters.

Buffalo and Lions

We get a call that there is a herd of buffalo heading for a pride of lions. We see the cloud of dust in the distance as KG drives as fast as he can. We reach the spot, passing the buffalo as they make their way through the bushes. 4 or 5 other vehicles are already there including 2 self-guided vehicles.

The group, a female, young male, and 3 cubs are part of a larger pride. The adults protect the cubs from the passing buffalo. A buffalo will trample a cub or provoke an adult on purpose. We reposition the vehicle several times as the lions move through the bushes. The vehicles cooperate fairly well ensuring that all the guests and visitors to the park get a view of the lions.

There are some tense moments with buffalo snorting and the lions responding with a roar but no skirmish.

After the buffalo had passed, the lions walked between the vehicles down to the river for a drink and then back to the shade of the bushes.

We head further down the road along the river and stop to watch the buffalo pass. Soon we spot the rest of the lion pride hiding in the bushes, watching and waiting for an opportunity as the herd of buffalo passes in the distance.


Stop for lunch at a spot with picnic tables and bathroom facilities. Pasta salad, greens, sausages, tuna, cheese, bread, all nicely done.

A few more minor sightings as we head out of the park and into Kasane for the afternoon activity, a Chobe River boat ride.

August 31, 2016

For links to all the posts in this series see the Botswana/Zimbabwe page.