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Bec & Simon

Chobe to Hwange

ZIMBABWE | Thursday, 3 December 2009 | Views [703]

LEOPARD!!! After a month of scanning every tree branch in southern Africa, we finally found one in Hwange, Zimbabwe sitting by the road!

LEOPARD!!! After a month of scanning every tree branch in southern Africa, we finally found one in Hwange, Zimbabwe sitting by the road!

The whole truck fiasco had a happy ending for us. Not only did we get to keep Linda, Francis (also a driver/tour guide), and their truck for the rest of our tour, ATC felt so bad about the whole thing, that they gave us all a free overnight stay inside Chobe National Park (which was a very expensive optional activity). Before heading into the national park to take advantage of our freebie, we spent a night camped out on the Chobe River. In the evening Simon and I went for a walk with our guide and a couple of others along the river bank to go hippo hunting. We almost literally ran into a hippor and her babies and had to back off very quickly. Apparently hippos are incredibly dangerous and kill people all the time - a charcteristic not at all conveyed in  books like 'There's a Hippopotamus on my Roof Eating Cake'!

We went on a morning cruise along the Chobe River and where we saw loads of hippos, crocodiles and a massive herd of elephants playing around in the water! We followed this up with game driving and our overnight campout in Chobe. We saw more lions, antelope, baboons, buffalo, giraffes, jackals, hippos and about a gazillion elephants (yes a gazillion - I counted). We were in an open air jeep-like vehicle, which was awesome, the elephants walked right up close to the trucks! Simon was a little shattered, though because we never saw a leopard to make up the Big 5, although, we were told that they aren't seen very often.

Then finally, without any more truck shenanigans, we made it to Victoria Falls! We finished our tour the following day, but spent the next few days camping and hanging out with the tour group and eating at Vic Falls best restaurants - the Chicken Inn, the Pizza Inn and the Creamy Inn! Simon and I checked out the Falls, which were very beautiful and very impressive, especially considering that the water is actaully low at the moment. I can only imagine what it's like during high season! The rest of our time was spent relaxing at the bar, swimming and shopping at the local markets. 

After we said goodbye to our tour group (which was kind of sad, we got pretty close after three weeks stuck with each other!), Simon and I, and Geir, another guy from our tour went on a three day tour into Zimbabwe. We stayed in Hwange National Park and did a fair bit of game driving, and we finally spotted our leopard!!! I'm glad we did too, they're pretty impressive creatures! We also visited the painted dog sanctuary and a local school and community. I really enjoyed the visit to the school and the community. It was a bit of an eye opener. 

Tags: chobe, hwange, leopard, victoria falls

 

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