Leaving Maun, I opted to drive north via Chobe National Park. I had a few more days spare on my visa and wanted to explore the Kasane Region, well famed for its wildlife sightings. Having spent a night in Kasane whilst traversing north to south a few weeks back, I knew it would be busy, but hoped for the best. The ‘Savuti channel’ is a geological phenomenon. Even a few years back, after record floods in this region, this water channel stayed dry. As in other years, when floods waters weren’t so high, the ‘Savuti channel’ gathers water. Experts believe that tectonic earth movement is the cause for this channel to fill up with water or not. It has been dry for a few years now.
Other permanent waterholes still hold large numbers off hippos.
This family enjoyed a sunbath in the middle of the day.
Things got just a little bit heated.
Avoiding elephants is simply impossible on this stretch. Numerous times, small herds or families gathered close to the track.
The bright light and white sands are ideal for black and white shadow photos when looking towards the suns.
On other occasions, it provides detailed facial expressions.
This young bull was standing very close to the road,
rotating his head and body perfectly within the rays spectrum.
I really do like the complexion on these photos. From a very detailed lining to dark black shadows, into a greyish and white area.
Even the bright white sunny area appears to be endless.
There is a white spot on the corner of his eye, which looks unusual, but again, adds to the whole picture.
He appeared to be modeling in front of my lens.
Photos from all angles, just fantastic.
I guess, he was just happy munching on dry grass,
before he eventually and carefully crossed the tarmac.
The rest of the gang followed shortly after.
Driving this outback red soft sand track, I realised early, that I won’t make it to Kasane today.
I opted to camp in between Baobab and Acacia trees, well off the beaten track.
The fire was blazing, as a crackling sound came from the nearby bushes. It was clearly heard as the wind dropped completely. The sound of the fire was the only noise. It really is an exciting and overwhelming sound in the middle of nowhere on a pitch black night. Every now and then, I could hear that rumbling sounds of an elephant. They passed me in peaceful motion.
The northern corner off ‘Chobe National Park’, along the Chobe River, was plentiful with a few things. The birdlife was incredibly abundant and playful, that even I was smitten.
Impalas were seen almost anywhere, and then there are elephants of course.
This brings in tourists by the hundreds and makes peaceful wildlife watching impossible on the afternoon sunset tour.
At some stage, there were 6 Safari vehicles in front of me, and another 6 behind. Cutting off animals tracks and my views with the OM-D, driving way to close to the animals. Just like a fashion store on summer sales, courtesy had gone out the window. One asked me to pull him out of the soft sand, as others didn’t care or had recovery tools. No cats had been spotted that day, that would have created a rush-hour jam. Hippos seemed rather calm and relaxed around humans. This little family did their usual pop up and down again, in a very small pond.
A fair size Kudu herd wasn’t intimidated by Zimba.
Crossing in front of us with a trendy fur style.
Another had other issues.
Surrounded by pestering flies, which attracted a flock of birds. Gotta keep your cool.
Giraffes were spotted by the riverbank was the word around.
It looks rather painful bending their whole weight on their front legs. But what is a giraffe to do?
With lots of open space and accompanied by other grazers, it was a safe option to drink.
Others even kept an eye out while the other was drinking. They most likely experienced some unwanted drinking guests.
It was even too hot for Monkey business for these baboons. Their facial expressions say it all.
This Vervet Monkey mom was looking for something more specific.
Elephants showed up in masses late afternoon.
As so many times before, they are drawn to the cooling waters this time of day.
Walking this small path in between waters, appeared like a catwalk.
Looking straight into the sun,
Black and white was again my preferred photo setting.
There were plenty of youngsters in this herd, which looked cute as usual.
None actually enjoyed a bath in the waters though, which was unusual on a hot day like this.
My guess is that the increasing amount of arriving Safari vehicles got them too nervous for a cooling swim.
Quite frankly, I really wasn’t impressed with some drivers attitude towards others and most importantly, towards the elephants. No business like show business.
Rather reserved, some adults kept on looking towards the vehicle parade. Little ones were kept very close and appeared rather anxious. Shame really.
Two bulls were up for a trunk tussle. I couldn’t get any good photos due to the safari convoy.
Some elephants crossed the waters later afternoon,
I was enjoying the sun sinking lower and lower and took some good photos.
Another stunning sunset over the Chobe River.