Oh Africa...

You've done it again! Stolen my heart I mean.

  Male lion in Chobe National Park, Botswana

Male lion in Chobe National Park, Botswana

My trip to Botswana last month was incredible, magical, ridiculously amazing. Honestly there are no words to describe just how great it really was. Botswana is a very special African country, one of the few that has banned all forms of hunting (locals aren't even allowed to fish!), has a shoot-to-kill policy for poachers which has in turn pretty much eradicated all commercial poaching, has an awesome un-corrupt government who value their people, the land and its wildlife - and all this is evident when you go there and experience their tourism industry. The people are BEAUTIFUL - so much real kindness, their hospitality amazing, and the main attraction, the wildlife, well its everywhere. Lions and leopards and ellies, oh my!

  Stunning sisters relaxing after a buffalo kill/feed in Chobe National Park

Stunning sisters relaxing after a buffalo kill/feed in Chobe National Park

We visited two key areas in Botswana - Chobe, the elephant capital of the world, and Khwai which is located on the edge of the famous Okavango Delta is a truly wild, untouched paradise. In Chobe we stayed at Bakwena Lodge, a beautiful eco lodge right on the Chobe River, and in Khwai we stayed at Sango Safari Camp, an old school style camp with only 6 beautiful safari tents that were situated directly across from the Khwai River (we had hippos directly in front of our tent the whole time) and Moremi Game Reserve. Botswana truly captured our hearts and souls and we cannot wait to go back! We met amazing people, both from Botswana and other tourists, and as I said the wildlife viewing was second to none. Below is a list of the animals we saw each day.

Chobe National Park

Day 1:

Afternoon boat cruise - hippos, crocodiles, elephants, baboons, monitor lizard, fish eagle and countless other birds

Day 2: morning game drive in Chobe National Park - wild dog kill (we actually saw the kill!), wild dog v brown hyena fight, giraffe fight, lionesses stalking antelope, vervet monkey stealing biscuits from us, baboons, hippos, so many elephants, birds 

Day 2: arvo game drive - eles (including male in musth), hippos, giraffe, birds

Day 3: morning game drive - lions on buffalo kill, jackals, leopard, eles, hippos, baboons, vervet monkey, giraffes. birds

Day 3: arvo game drive - hippos, lions, elephants, giraffe, baboons, more birds

Day 4: Day drip to Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe (saw ele and giraffe on the way)

Day 5: Morning game drive - jackals, wild dogs, zebras, honey badger, buffaloes, eles crossing the road, biiiiiiirds

Day 5: Arvo game drive - zebras, giraffe, jackals, baboons, a very close encounter with elephants (see video here), hippos, lions, and of course birds

Day 6: Morning village walk meeting the locals

Okavango Delta (Khwai Concession and Moremi Game Reserve)

Day 6: arvo game drive - eles, zebras, lilac breasted roller, eagle owl, heaps of other birds, lechwe, hippos

Day 7: morning game drive - eles, zebras, giraffe, wild dogs, baboons, sh*t load of birds

Day 7: arvo game drive - eles, giraffe, lions, wild dog, wildcat, birds of course

Day 8: morning game drive - eles, zebras, roller, bateleur eagle, birds, wild dogs eating kudu then back at their den with male lion intruder!! 

Day 8: arvo game drive - eles, zebras, kudu, waterbuck, impala, roller and other birds birds birds lol (ok just assume we see birds on every drive because of course we do and there are SOOOOO many different types everywhere)

Day 8: night - an elephant visited our tent in the middle of the night for an hour, eating from the tree above and rubbing against the canvas - he was so close I could hear him chew and swallow! And lions roaring :)

Day 9: morning game drive - warthogs, giraffe, lions, leopard in a tree!!, eles 

Day 9: arvo game drive - same leopard from this morning stalking and hunting (unsuccessfully) some lechwe, lions, eles 

Day 9: night - ele visit at our tent again

Day 10: morning game drive - giraffes, eles, lions, leopard from yesterday's 13 year old mother, hippos, zebras

Day 10: arvo game drive - giraffe, birds, crocs, hippos

Day 11: morning game drive - giraffes including baby, eles, wild dogs, hippos, baboons, steenbok 

Day 11 - leave the bush (I cried) and spend the night in Maun

Day 12 - the long haul home made only slightly better with a shopping spree at all the cool African shops in Johannesburg airport

Click here for more photos and below is a video my husband made - we had so much footage and saw so much but he did an awesome job showing just how magical it was in 3 and a half minutes. Botswana, WE LOVE YOU!