March 29, 2016 | By Donna Evans
Chobe National Park in Botswana is known throughout the world as a premier viewing arena for elephants. This park has nearly 200,000 elephants and in our couple of days visiting I am sure we saw at least 50,000 of these entertaining and wonderful animals. They love the water and each other; we could have spent hours watching herd after herd head to the water’s edge for a swim, a drink, a mud bath or just the opportunity to play with one another.
Of course, there are huge numbers of animal varieties from the snakes and lizards to the giraffes and many antelope varieties that call Chobe their home. As you drive through you will watch baboons cavorting and teasing, zebras, wildebeests and impalas grazing and warthogs ever alert and anxious to get as far away from you as possible. Of course, there are many other species of wildlife, all equally interesting and unique.
We stayed at the beautiful Ngoma Lodge, managed by Judy and Pete, on the edge of the park. The rooms (horizontally arranged to view the watering hole, the river, and then Namibia beyond) were spacious and offered stunning views from their perch on top of a large embankment. Though the cottages were beautifully appointed to include all the necessities and many extras, including both indoor and outdoor showers and the outstanding service and food offered by the local staff, the highlight was the animal viewing from our room and the lodge’s lounge area with its multi-tiered deck and pool. We had splendid viewing of hyenas, giraffes, zebras and numerous birds and other wildlife while sitting under the umbrella on our patio and from the huge windows in our cottage. As animals came and went, we watched the interactions (or lack of them), the natural behavior, and the enjoyment they expressed when they played and romped in the water. We could have stayed at the lodge all day and would have seen an ever-changing parade of wildlife head to the watering hole for a bath or a drink.
Africa truly offers uniqueness, and Botswana is no exception. Wildlife viewing offers a different and exceptional experience each time you encounter a single animal or numerous species. There is always a surprise and it never disappoints or gets old.
If you are interested in visiting Victoria Falls, a natural addition would be Chobe National Park for amazing wildlife of all kinds, especially elephants. I highly recommend the well-appointed and very hospitable Ngoma Lodge.