Chobe National Park has the highest concentration of elephants in Africa. Because they love water, one of the best ways to see them is on a Chobe River boat cruise. Best of all, if you stay at Chobe Game Lodge you can experience the river and its wildlife on a whisper-quiet electric boat.
Chobe Game Lodge was built in the 1970s by Southern Sun and is now part of Desert & Delta Safaris. The décor has a Moorish flavour, awash with arches, multi-coloured sofas, patterned rugs and heavy wooden chests. Our room had exotic inlaid tables, a sitting room and a small patio with a view of gardens kept lush using recycled grey water. Another point scored for the environment.
Our guide Gobe Motshidisi was one of a team of 16 female guides, part of the lodge’s commitment to gender equality and empowerment. The man they report to, environmentalist John Aves, told me they’re good communicators and their lack of testosterone means they’re usually more careful with their equipment than many a macho male guide.
Gobe took us closer to the elephants we’d seen from the boardwalk when we arrived. Some were bathing or drinking, others eating grass on an island in the river. She explained how elephants make channels and dig for minerals in the soil at the edge of the island, changing their environment.
Then drama erupted back on the island. A bull elephant was chasing a cow, trumpeting his desire and trying to mount her. She wanted nothing to do with him and splashed through the water in her rush to the mainland. Undeterred, he followed and they disappeared into the bushes where we could still hear him complaining.
This was classic Africa, Prozac for the soul, a reminder of how necessary nature is to make us feel connected and fully alive.
Note: I was a guest of Chobe Game Lodge and Desert & Delta Safaris for two nights, but the opinions are mine.
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