The line looks endless as we queue up at the border.
“Here, hand me your passports,” says one of our transport staff.
We hand them over, and she disappears for a brief time. Reappearing, she hands back our passports, freshly stamped.
“Okay, let’s go, follow me,” she instructs, and without fuss, we are in the country of Botswana.
A few days later, I converse with a couple who did Chobe with a different tour company. They lament that they waited in line at the Botswana border for two hours to get their passports stamped. I’m not sure what magic Kalahari Tours worked, but I’m happy that we did Chobe with them.
Once the drive and border crossings are complete, we are dropped off at one of the loveliest coffee shops I’ve seen. I have major fantasies about writing amongst the flowers and lizards.
As part of the tour, we are invited to enjoy coffee, tea, pancakes, and an assortment of fruit and pastries.
Our group is scheduled for the morning boat tour. The dock is located behind the coffee shop, so after a short journey down a path, we are ready to board the boat.
A cooler filled with cold drinks is available, and there is a small on board bathroom.
It’s a hot day, but there is a nice, cooling breeze, created by the boat’s movement.
Our boat is large enough, that we are able to walk around, so we can move to whatever side of the boat has the best wildlife view.
We see elephants, hippos, cape buffalo, impalas….just hanging out in the wild. Being a huge lover of wildlife, I am amazed! We take A LOT of pictures.
Our boat docks at a fancy hotel. The hotel’s restaurant is a chaotic hub of activity. It is clearly the place where most of the tours stop for lunch. The buffet line is crazy. There are so many people, the restaurant has a difficult time replenishing the trays of food.
The food is good, but nothing spectacular, except for the ice cream. I need to keep a lookout for future chances to taste poppy seed ice cream.
Lunch consumed, we board a safari truck for the afternoon.
The safari trucks are extremely bouncy. We make sure our seat belts are extra tight so we don’t bounce out.
On top of being friendly and knowledgeable, our driver has a great eye. He desperately tries to spot a cat for us, but it seems they are not out today.
We still get to see lots of cool stuff. I especially love the plethora of baby elephants.
The truck stops at a scenic area so we can stretch our legs. The driver pulls out a cooler, and cold drinks are passed around. Every staff person whether at our hotel or on one of the tours, was a prophet of hydration.
We are about to exit the park, when our driver gets a call that there are zebras out and about. Since we didn’t see zebras during our ride, the driver turns around and takes us to the zebras. It is a super nice thing for him to do. What a fantastic finale to our day.
With our wildlife watching concluded, we transfer to a van for our ride back to Zimbabwe. The borders are less crowded and we are stamped out of Botswana and into Zimbabwe is no time.
The van is filled with the silence of a long, satisfying day.
Visiting Chobe National Park in Botswana wasn’t part of our original itinerary. I wasn’t sure if we had enough time to use up an entire day, but we shuffled things around, and I am so glad we did. There is really nothing like the awe you feel as a happy little elephant looks you in the eye, or hearing the sound of hippos snorting.
If you are planning to visit Victoria Falls, and like us, haven’t done a full on safari yet in their travels, I highly recommend fitting a day in Chobe into your itinerary.
Extra note: I have a post that includes visa information, if you want to figure out what you will need to go between Zimbabwe and Botswana.
If you are looking for a fun travel group to join, check out WeekendWanderlust