We made our way to Senyati Safari Lodge near the town of Kasane looking forward to some amazing trips in and around the Chobe National Park, a long drive is an understatement and the only thing I can really say put me off about Botswana was the amount of cattle, donkeys and goats on the roads, this is luckily replaced by Elephant, Lion and Buffalo as soon as you pass Nata.
Upon arrival at Senyati you immediately know you have come to the right place it is like the theme song from "The Lion King" starts playing in your head automatically, booking on hearsay, I am always a little skeptic about the perception created by the stories you have been told and the danger of utter disappointment is always in the back of your head. Well this was all but the case, Senyati is a nature lovers paradise, excellent facilities, great camping sites, chalets and a bar with a view like no other in the world.
Built on stilts the bar overlooks a man made waterhole with small "spring" in the middle, every day hundreds of elephant come down to the waterhole to quench their thirst all of them vying for a spot to get to the cold fresh water coming from the centre of the waterhole. There is a underground bunker that leads to the edge of the waterhole giving you the opportunity to see these wild animal up close and personal and of course make your camera work overtime.
|Elephant bull at the Senyati waterhole.|
Enjoy a lunch at the famous "The old House" restaurant or a quick snack and a beer at "The Coffee Buzz" both restaurants offer a wide range of local cuisine and excellent service. Dinner at Chobe Safari Lodge offers you an amazing buffet with a range of dishes with an amazing view overlooking the mighty Chobe River.
|Boat cruise on the Chobe river.|
The boat trips brings you up close and personal with nature, elephants cool off from the Africa sun within touching distance from you, hippos and crocodiles almost litter the water and bird life that an enthusiast will cherish forever with rare species like the African Skimmer that is only found on this small stretch of the Chobe river.
|Elephants enjoying a swim in the Chobe.|
To access the park you would need a 4x4 vehicle as the roads are mainly two track sand roads, pack a picnic basket or take your gas braai "BBQ" and make a breakfast at the Serondela Picnic Site located next to the Chobe river.
Make sure to take your camera and binoculars as there are some amazing photo opportunities to be had, I would recommend a digital SLR with a 300mm Lens or bigger, good quality Tri-Pod, wide angle lens and a lot of patience. As a very passionate wildlife photographer I can without a doubt say that the Chobe had more photo opportunities in a day than any other place I have ever been in Africa. The amount of game around the river coupled with the incredible scenery makes it any wildlife photographers dream, you never know what is around the next corner and photo opportunities are endless.
|My first decent Tiiger for the trip.|
If you prefer to keep your feet on the ground and like a change of scenery try your hand at some tiger fishing, these fish are pound for pound one of the strongest freshwater fish I have ever caught. Book a fishing trip with one of the many guides in Kasane or go the more daring route and fish from the bank.
Fishing from the bank is not recommended because of the large population of Nile Crocodiles in the river. I believe the Chobe around Kasane is still one of the most under rated tiger fishing spots in Botswana.
I would highly recommend a visit to Chobe and Kasane, it is a true paradise for any nature lover, wildlife photographer or adventurer.