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Wednesday, 6th March. While our guides were not licensed for Botswanan wildlife trips, there was nothing to stop them explaining things if we took established boat rides from Chobe Safari Lodge within the Chobe National Park. So at 9 a.m. we set off for the first of two boats rides today – in which we saw lots of elephants! On the whole, to begin with, we kept to the south bank of the Chobe River.

Facing north. Darter and reed cormorants.
This little fellow, a wire-tailed swallow, hitched a ride for a short while.
Red bishop. So striking.
Brown-throated weaver
Giant kingfisher
Nile crocodile, not very big, only about 5 feet (1.5 metres) long…

When we saw elephants, I took enormous numbers of photographs and videos. Just a very few are here.

Play fighting
This big bull isolated himself to his own mud bank, very near to us.
The eyes have it.
Not threatening nor hassling, just cooling I think.
I had this taken just to prove that I was really there. I’m still on the boat!

We continued on our way, to a ‘lovely’ muddy area.

Glossy ibis
Two glossy ibises
We had pulled in, nudging the bank. The local guide had to draw this to my attention – right under my nose. Squacco heron.
The Flanders and Swann song is, I believe, about hippopotamuses. Clearly elephants like mud too.
As do Buffalos (or Buffaloes – take your pick)

We started wending our way back, mainly along the northern bank of the river now.

These impala were on the far southern bank.

White-crowned lapwing
There’s a water monitor in there

The we became aware of lots, and lots, and lots of elephant lining the southern bank.

On the northern bank was already this leader, presumably the matriarch of at least some of them. She summoned them over.

And they came. The elephants here are well-known for swimming across the river.
Just as mum holds her trunk out of the water, so does her tiny baby, keeping very close to her right ‘hip’.
Still there
Presumably those that crossed were all of the same family.
And after a good wallow for some, they continued on their way.

As did we, ready for our lunch.