After spending two nights in Khwai Community Camp we couldn’t wait to spend some more time in the bush. We headed towards the Southern entrance gate of Chobe National Park to stay in Savuti Camp. This turned out to be quite a challenge. When we were here last time it was extremely dry and we could take the Savuti Marsh Road. This time we had to take ‘Sand Ridge’ road: 40 kilometers of deep sand without seeing any animals. The road was so small that when there was oncoming traffic you or the other car had to bang the car onto the side of the road. One time this almost resulted in another car hitting the back of ours…
A different campsite
After 40 kilometers shaking and bouncing over the sandy road we arrived at the first waterholes and saw some animals. We then forgot the bad road immediately when we saw elephants breaking yet another tree and zebra’s eating happily on the plains. We arrived at our Savuti campsite a bit later. We kind of freaked out a bit when we were there last time since an elephant decided to go for our tent when we were asleep. Luckily we got another spot this time (which doesn’t say anything at all of course).
The difference between the dry and rainy season can’t become any more clear than around Savuti. In the dry season we saw several lions near one of the two pans that still contained water, the ‘Pump Pan’. Now we could hardly see the ‘Pump Pan’ because it was almost overgrown with small plants. After a pretty late afternoon game drive we decided to call it a day and return to camp. Just before we reached our campsite we saw another elephant eating on our site. This time it was a gentle and kind creature. He was eating away happily while we were pitching our tent.
The Savuti Lions
We did write another article about the Savuti lions. They are known for their capability to attack an elephant (!) when there is no other prey around. When we were enjoying our cup of coffee in the middle of the park a game ranger told us that lions were seen near ‘Jackal Island’. With our hot coffee in the car we drove in this direction and were lucky. Eight of them were hanging out in the shade of one of the few trees in the area.
Back to Moremi National Park
A couple of kilometers through beautiful African Savanna further, and seeing countless Cape Vultures bathing in a pool and resting on a dead tree, it was time to go back to Moremi National Park. This meant another 40 kilometers on that same sandy road and 50 kilometers on a road full of potholes. Just before we arrived at Khwai North Gate (the entrance to Moremi) we had to cross a river since the bridge was damaged. Jolene took off here flip flops and measured the depth of the river with a piece of dashboard from another car. A bit later we decided it was ‘doable’ and we were at the other side.
The last kilometers Botswaanse Bush
That night, which was our last in the bush of Botswana, we slept at the Khwai North Gate camp. A hyena visited us during our dinner. When we wanted to go to bed an elephant stood at a distance of only three meters from our tent! We thought it would be a good idea to get in our car to wait until he left.
A good nine hours later we were well rested and ready for the last part of our trip through Moremi. On the seventh day here we did get into trouble. After going through the 500th pothole and driving over even more branches we got a flat tire. We hadn’t seen anyone that morning although we were driving for about three hours. When we got all our gear out of the car to replace the tire another car arrived. This German couple was following a group of African Wild Dogs which apparently just passed by while we were busy with the car! It then turned out that Rob was a car mechanic back in Germany, how lucky can one be?! Within 15 minutes the tires was replaced and we could continue. A week in the bush is definitely one of the best things you can do.