Botswana - Ihaha - Chobe

May 18, 2011 - Livingstone, Zambia

 

Our last stop in Chobe was Ihaha – another disappointing facility with bad ablutions and poorly planned sites. Lucky for us we managed to get a bigger site so that we could more comfortably fit. Buffalo roamed this camp at night and on the last night elephant too! By day we had kudu and impala along with our most unwelcome visitors..... the baboons and vervets. The vervets pulled in early every morning keeping Karl and Petra very busy with their water pistol and catty! Karl became an excellent shot!

This last stop in Chobe was very good in terms of game and the roads were a great improvement.  “It’s like a zoo” we had been told and we were not disappointed! We saw everything in great number except zebra and the cats.  A new sighting was the few sable we saw, beautiful animals and the large herds of buffalo and elephant. We had one really magic moment that could not be caught on camera as the sun was right in our faces.  On one sunset drive there was an open patch of ground filled with elephants and giraffe licking at the dirt – beautiful!  It was a good time of the year to go as we got to see lots of baby elephants, buffalo and young giraffe. Of course the baboons were prolific with very cute babies but they were absolute monsters!

George and I had our first experience of a baboon invasion! Karl and Petra had packed up a couple of nights early fed up with the poor facilities and monkeys so we were alone. We returned after a game drive into Kasane and back. On entering camp we could see that our caravan roof had collapsed on one side and there was a baboon sitting on top.....it was absolute mayhem! This troop of baboons had really done thorough job of ransacking our camp. We had left one cooler box with cereal outside under a 20kg water can thinking it would be enough to deter monkeys and baboons...... a big mistake! Our kitchen pulls out of the caravan and they had torn down the crockery rack and thrown every plate, cup and bowl around the camp. They had got into the cooler box turned it upside down and inside out and eaten everything that could be eaten trying very hard to bite through cans and bottles. There was a large container of whole-wheat flour which they had taken up onto the kitchen top to eat, it was pasted in every crack falling into the kitchen cupboard below. They tore off the kitchen taps and left excrement everywhere, what an unbelievable mess! They had also torn the rubber sealing ring around the caravan roof down and had tried to break in. They even tried to eat the charcoal and left it scattered everywhere. The next morning George and I awoke to the thud of a returning baboon on our roof. We chased a couple of baboons around camp that were still carrying around our cereal containers, they guarded their stash zealously! George and I cleaned up everything and though it was an unpleasant mess with things to be fixed it was quite an experience to laugh about. I guess you never quite understand another’s paranoia about baboons until you have had your own ransacking experience!

We finished off in Chobe with a boat cruise, that was wonderful, we saw so much game coming down to the water to drink.  A highlight was to see elephants swimming out into deep water to eat on the juicy stuff! Chobe was wonderful, full of animals but also full of organised game drives or boat cruises so it became a bit like rush hour at times!

We leave behind us in Botswana a plethora of experiences, triumphant that our caravan made it out! Thank you Steve!!! He spent sometime at Aliboats fishing out their scrap aluminium and did a fine job of welding and reinforcing the caravan for the next leg of the journey. This was the second time that Steve had come to the rescue! Steve, another handyman of note, had also supervised caravan repairs in Maun while we were in Kwetsani. George was also busy attending  to the landy problems – nothing serious, just new worrisome and bothersome noises after all that crazy rattling and shaking!

 

 


12 Comments

Sinclair & Carol:
May 18, 2011
We hi again. Now you do have some semi-decent roads to go along, our guess is that you haven't seen your last of baboons. It is wonderful to see such concentrations of wildlife. Carol in KZN for her Gold Club conference with PGP. She was awarded best Agent with highest %/deal commission for the region.
Will be holding homegroup solo tomorrow. Will mention your adventures.
Love & blessings
Sinclair
macsinafrica:
May 19, 2011
Hi guys, Good to catch up on your travels at long last - we're loving all your entries. We're on our last day in Washington D.C. - never walked so much in all my life. We had no idea that the museums etc. around here were so incredible - just mind boggling amount of information. Mum has survived all the running around - having an unending supply of snacks has sustained her!!!! We'll be home on Sunday - looking forward to chatting on Skype. Love Claire
brigitte parfitt:
May 19, 2011
I am so glad that I still get reports which means that you are still in one piece. What did you say when you found your camp invaded and violated by the vervets?? I am sure that you were too shy to put it in writing!!!
We got the family here from Australia, Natalie came yesterday and Iain will come today. We'll have a great post-graduation ceremony as well as celebrating Roy's 74th on Saturday. Pop in for a glass of champus if the roads are clear...
Take good care and continue to be looked after.
Lots of love, Brigitte
Liza:
May 20, 2011
I just LOVED the piece on the baboons!!! They are really worse than the most naughty kids I've ever experienced!!! Ha-HA!! Must have been a job to clean that up.
I walked into Gizelle the other day. She had her little boy on her hip and looked so beautiful! She really enjoys him very much, but also wants to try and finish her M this year.
Love
Liza
anne:
May 20, 2011
Shoeee - what an experience! Glad you out of there in one piece.
All ok here in CT - winter starting to set in.
Voting day on Wed went without undue hitches - seems as if the DA has taken CT again. Overall report that the ANC has lost support in general through people abstaining to express their discontent rather than voting for opposition parties.
I have had some drama with my back - slipped disc betw L4 and 5 - may need surgery!
All the best you two - have fun and be safe.
love Anne
Ellie:
May 20, 2011
The baboon invasion sounds scary. Hopefully you will not be targeted again!
Andre B:
May 23, 2011
HI Guys, so exciting to hear about your travels. Glad to hear you are all safe and healthy. I will give the baboons a call and ask them to leave you alone. I know the head honcho there. Have fun
philip:
May 24, 2011
Hallo George and Alice,
You are really in a beautiful part of Africa and the animals also look in very good condition.
I would ecpect with all the rain that fell throughout your travels that the vegetation would also be very lush.
Well winter is officially here. Rather cold in the mornings and late afternoons. I need to wear two pairs of shorts now to stay warm. The days have also become shorter and we have had some very welcome rain over the last two days.
Work has started to pick up somewhat and I pray that this will be the end of the quiet two years we have been going through.
The small group is still going as strong as ever and we have some visitors from time to time.
By the way, were you notified that Carol's dad, Bob, passed away on Sunday. There will be a memorial service at CGC on Friday at 2pm.
Otherwise no new skinder. I am still trying to behave. Don't know why.
Please keep me in your prayers. I have somehow hurt my right shoulder and it does not want to ease. went to see Malcolm Taylor last night but still sore. He says I should give the treatment some time to take effect.
I tell you, getting old is not for sissy's.
Has Cliffie perhaps contacted you yet ? I did give him you blog details.

Drive carefully and look after youselves.
Much love and warm regards.
pauline:
May 26, 2011
Hi Guys
What a funny experience with the baboons I didnt know they could cause such damage! It sounds like you have seen a lot of animals on the way-wow! Thinking of you both, enjoy yourselves xxxx
philip:
June 1, 2011
Good nmorning you two wonderful people. It's been long time, no hear. I miss not hearing from you. So I will have a quick chat.
Keeping well but not experiencing all the excitement that you are going through.
Cliffie should be here within the next month or so. Looking forward to seeing the old stick again. If you are in contact with him, remember his birthday is on 4 June.
Well I have decided to go on the Pollsmoor Prison Prayer Walk which is held on the first Thursday of every month. I am led to believe it is an experience and will report back next time.
Have a happy day. GOD bless and warm regards.
philip:
June 10, 2011
Hi guys and dolls. You have been very quiet lately. No news. Are you ok. Let us know as we worry when we don't hear from you.
Winter is formally hear and we had some good rains.
There have been a few floods and some rivers have broken their banks. This mainly happened in the Barrydale and Swellendam areas.
I have some friends in Herbertsdale a few kilometres from Mossel Bay and the river ran window deep through their restaurant.
Enjoy and lots of love.
Carol Klumper:
June 10, 2011
Hi there strangers....not heard from u guys for some time....let us know u are all okay and what you been up to....miss your news..
Carol
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