After spending some great days in Livingstone, we met up with our group again and headed toward the border with Botswana. We got the Zambian exit stamp and had to go on a small ferry to cross the Zambezi river which divides the two countries. The ferry clearly had seen better days, but the ride only took a few minutes and we made it to the other side just fine.
From the border it was a short drive to Chobe National Park. We stayed at Thebe River Camp, right next to the Zambezi river, which was secured from wildlife by an electrical fence. During the day we could see some hippos on the far side of the river, but at night was when they would leave the water to eat. It was no surprise that we were woken by some loud hippo noises in the middle of the night. When we looked out of our tent we could see a hippo only about five meters from us, eating away the grass on the other side of the fence.
We spent the next morning relaxing at the camp before we headed out on a boat safari through Chobe National Park. We got picked up by a safari car and were driven to the boat. When we got to the dock, we could see another overland truck coming in, and to our pleasant surprise it was the truck that two friends we made in Livingstone were on and they ended up being on the same safari boat as us.
The boat was pretty big, with camping chairs to sit on and a lot of space to move around. After a few minutes we had spotted some hippos in the shallower waters and we could see a couple of huge elephants in the distance on the shore. Right as we wanted to move on, a big elephant came running down the hill toward the river, so we spent some time watching it. We moved on along the river and spotted a few big crocodiles resting on the shoreline. Suddenly a huge hippo appeared out of the water, really close to our boat. We stopped to get some pictures of it, the hippo didn’t seem too happy about our presence and glanced aggressively at us while baring its teeth. Now I could really see why hippos are known to be the most dangerous animals in Africa.
After the hippo waded off we spotted some more elephants, crocodiles, and buffalos. About three hours later the sun started to set, so the boat was slowly heading back to the dock. Luckily, just as the sun was about to set we saw a group of elephants in the water, which made a perfect ending to an amazing day.
At our last night in the camp we were woken again, this time by three elephants that were eating the leaves of some trees on the other side of the fence. We thought that was pretty amazing, not yet knowing that at the next campsite we would come even closer to wild elephants, without being in a car or separated by a fence. Read about our incredible experience at the Elephant Sands camp here!