I took a two day, one night camping trip to Chobe from Livingstone, Zambia with Kalahari Tours, booked at Jollyboys Backpackers. The tour started with a transfer from Livingstone to the cross border ferry at Kazungula. We were picked up by the operator after crossing the Zambezi aboard a small boat. A short drive to their office where payments were made and snacks served. Then a walk to the dock and a small boat transfer to a larger ship for a Chobe River cruise. Crocodile, hippo, buffalo, elephant and various antelope species were seen on the cruise before returning to shore to begin our game drive.
Very shortly after entering the National Park we saw our first lion, a single male, along the highway. A small crowd had already started to gather so we asked our driver not to stop. He was somewhat surprised but happy we made the request. This simple choice put us separate from the crowds for the rest of the day and right after turning off the payment we came upon a male and female lion which we had to ourselves! We continued north to the river plain and drove west along the flats. The afternoon and evening were rich in game spotting. Along with more of those we saw earlier on the cruise we encountered many lion, giraffe and a leopard relaxing on a tree devoid of any foliage to block the view. We then retired to camp for a hearty meal(wine included) and time around a fire. Visitors to camp included two honey badger, several scorpions and more antelope.
Morning brought an early game drive, snacks on the drive and a return to camp for brunch. We hit the mother lode on the morning game drive! We came upon a pride of eight female(we thought, later video review showed that there were at least 2 young males) lions laying about. Soon after stopping one female stood and let out a low woof. The others rose, stretched and spread into a line. The line slowly started working their way to the edge of the bluff overlooking the flats along the river. I could see through breaks in the brush that we were above a small herd of buffalo looking up towards us and the lion. The lion sprung up, and raced down the hill. We had to reposition ourselves and drop off the bluff. By the time we arrived on the flat(seconds) the lions had separated one from the herd and were working on bring it down as the rest of the herd ran off. One lion had went in low on the right front leg, another hit high left rear and the buffalo tripped and fell on the lion on the right! As the pride moved in the herd rallied and returned. We did not know if the one would be saved? A single bull moved forward and four lions jumped away before the bull turned and started off. A second bull then lowered it's head and charged right up to his fallen member. This time seven lions jumped back and away, if the herd came forward she would be saved. Unfortunately for her the herd then turned around and walked off leaving her to her fate. We soon learned that she was in fact a female as one lion pulled her fetus free from her body. We watched for awhile and then as other vehicles started arriving we left the area.
A bit later we came across a group of elephant in the water at the edge of the river. We watched in amazement and amusement as a single warthog came along spooking the big girls out of the water. The little warthog then strutted by the group as they tightened their grouping and stamped their feet in agitation! More driving, more lion and then a return to the camp area for brunch. Then off on another drive seeing even more wildlife and a return to the site of the morning battle. In a span of seven hours the pride had virtually consumed the entire carcass leaving only the bones that they were working on licking totally clean.
In the rather late afternoon we left the park and returned to the ferry for our return to Livingstone. The trip lasted approximately thirty six hours and had an amazing amount of activities, animals and drama, all aspects of the tour were wonderful, the Kalahari Tours people, the food, the camp.
NOTE: My apologies to Kalahari Tours, in my Chobe National Park review I misidentified the tour operator and TA does not provide for editing reviews.
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