DAY 5: Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe to Chobe National Park, Botswana
This morning we were able to take our time getting up, packing, and having breakfast. Yesterday about 20 tents had been set up near us to accommodate a crowd coming in for the president’s visit to Victoria Falls. I’m glad we’re leaving before they arrive! We left just before 11am, stopping at the front office to pay and once again in town to buy ice. When we stopped for ice, a man selling Zimbabwe currency walked up. Tiago went out to bargain an several other guys showed up out of nowhere! I gave Diego a dollar to go out and buy me two bills. He was haggling and being very funny. We drove for less than an hour to the border. Annicka from my game drive the day before was at the border as well! We stopped for a passport check to see if we’d been to any countries that have Ebola, then went to the Botswana side. We got through easy peasy and had to rinse our shoes in a pesticide to help reduce the spread of hand foot and mouth disease. Then we drove 15 minutes to town, stopped for snacks, then five minutes to the campsite.
We’ve been camping the whole time, but they’ve typically been set up when we arrive. This time we had to pitch our own tents (which I was dreading) but it was actually much easier than expected. We had sandwiches for lunch, and then we all went on a game drive in Chobe National Park!
It was about an 8km drive in an open vehicle to the park. There were several other vehicles there as well also driving in the park. We saw elephants with babies, giraffes, zebras, A TON of impala, buffalo, hippos out of the water, wild dogs, some cool birds, and a koodoo (large antelope).
We drove back to camp and had dinner. While we were a the grocery store I thought to buy marshmallows and I’m so glad I did! We had a camp fire and after dinner we all sat around, roasting marshmallows. Eleanor and I loved it! (the two North Americans) and everyone else I think liked it as well.
I went to bed pretty early but the others stayed up, making the fire bigger until it was HUGE and taking turns jumping over it. Wild.
DAY 6: Chobe National Park to Itumela Camp, Botswana
Today was a long driving day. We woke up early, had some breakfast, packed up our tents, and left at 7:30am. We had 700km to drive from Chobe National Park in Northern Botswana to Itumela Camp in the south.
As we drove we saw elephants on the side of the road, we had to stop once to let two elephants cross in the road in front of us. There was a stop where we had to unpack all or shoes and clean then in what they called ‘soda’, (I’m guessing some sort of pesticide) to combat hand foot and mouth disease.
I slept most of the way. After a few stops for food, gas, and bathroom breaks, we arrived at our camp at about 5:30pm. We have been camping this whole time, but since I had quite a bit of Botswana money (Pula) left, I decided to upgrade to a proper room. The luxury! My Favourite part was having more than one pillow! We had dinner together, and I called it a night very early!