Chief's Camp, Okavango Delta, Botswana, Wednesday, April 28, 2010
OK, now as I sit here and write this, there is a huge elephant outside the window of our bungalow! Holy cow! He (or she) is just browsing along on the foliage here near the path. If we want to go out with an elephant around, we need to call an escort; otherwise we could walk alone during the day.
We had a very early wake-up knock (6:00 AM) for the early game drive after breakfast where we saw many giraffe and elephants, especially "Stan the Man" an elephant who hangs out around the camp - wow, is he big!. We ended the morning game drive at the airstrip, which is being sandbagged to avoid the rising water, where we were flown to Chief's Camp on Chief's Island. On the short drive in, we spotted a lion and lioness who were thinking about mating. She was not quite ready and told the male to "knock it off" for now, and they both went back to sleep under their tree. It was amazing, and they were both gorgeous, with a huge mane on the male.
Chief's Camp is even better then Stanley's, if that is possible. The units are more permanent-looking, each with a veranda looking out on a grassy plain which is now quite water-covered. After a good lunch, we settled in and all met for high tea at 3:00, with a game drive afterwards. This game drive was spectacular, with a large herd (about a dozen) elephants which we followed and viewed from the jeep. What was really amazing was watching two of the elephants mating! The male has to be careful not to crush the female - he can weight about 10 tons. Let me just say that these elephants are super-sized in EVERY way you can imagine. Kind of mind-boggling. We never did find any lions this time, but we stopped for sundowners and saw a great sunset and were again surrounded by a herd of elephants who walked by quite close.
Dinner was terrific and we went to bed only to be awakened by a noisy hippo outside our room in the water. He sloshed around for hours making a lot of noise eating.