Chobe Chilwero, Botswana

April 7 – 9, 2023

After our morning game drive at Chief’s Camp, Chief and Sky helped us get our bags to the safari vehicles and on our Mack Air charter to Kasane Airport for our next adventure at Chobe Chilwero.  This camp is named for its panoramic views over the Chobe River, islands and floodplain.


We met our guides at the airstrip and they drove us to the camp.  Our guides were Innocent (for our vehicle) and Leonard for the other vehicle.  Both were great and as knowledgeable as the ones we already miss. We had a drink and short orientation and our bags were taken to our rooms.  These rooms were also wonderful – no individual small pools or outdoor shower, but otherwise almost the same.  We had a nice front deck.  One of the differences is that this camp is fenced so almost all the animals you see from your deck or the main building are outside the fence.  We still need to be escorted to our rooms after dark, though, just in case there is an unexpected visitor.

We arrived in time for lunch and to our surprise, it was “make your own pizza day”.  We each got a pizza pan with a thin crust already on it, they added the sauce and there were at least 10 different toppings to choose from. They were cooked in the wood fired pizza  oven – it only took about 5 minutes for each – and it was a delicious start to our stay here.IMG_5883~photoIMG_5884~photo

After lunch we were able to unpack and rest before our afternoon game drive.  We had quite a show of baboons, monkeys and mongoose right outside of our room.

Our afternoon game drive took us to the river.  We enter the Chobe reserve through the gates, and in this reserve, the vehicles must stay on the rough roads.  Once outside the reserve, we can go off road.  We also must leave the reserve by 6 PM.  Chief’s camp had no restrictions and most of our exploration was off road.

Right away we noticed the different terrain – this area is very much more hilly with more trees and far fewer termite mounds.  We also saw fewer animals here than at Chief’s camp.

Here are some of the sightings near the river.


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We did have our sundowners here in the bush, and returned to the lodge where we had an amazing group of native performers while we had pre-dinner drinks.  There were many more people at this camp – probably due to the fact it was Easter weekend. There were groups of young people and some families with children.  These performers got many of the group up and dancing.


After dinner (again, delicious), we headed back for a good night’s sleep.

We had breakfast, then headed out on the game drive.  Another difference here was lots of vehicles coming in from Zimbabwe for safaris.

Here are some of the day’s sightings.


I can imagine that none of the readers of this blog will know what this object is… none of us knew until Innocent told us.  I will give the answer at the end!


This is a dung beetle – it rolls balls of dung along the road! 


Elephant dung is food for baboons.  The baboons and impala sort of protect each  other – baboons warn impalas when danger is near.  There are also bird calls that the guides use to tell when predators like lions are near.  We were in search of the elusive leopard, but we didn’t find any at either camp. Giraffes and some of the other animals are often seen with birds on them – the birds pick off the insects.

We returned for lunch and rest.  Internet service here was practically non existent – better in the main building, but not great at all. Just as well because we are mostly free of the disturbing news of the world!

We had another afternoon adventure – it was a boat trip on the river.  We had our own private boat and had our sundowners on the river.  What a spectacular adventure seeing elephants swimming and going back across the water to land and seeing hippos for the first time.

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There were many boats on the river, but the area is so big, it never felt crowded.

We got back to the lodge and had cocktails and dinner. After dinner, we got some confusing messages from the camp manager – we were told that our planned 11:50 departure to get to Kasane airport (which is only a 10 minute drive away) was changed to 9:30 and would be instead be picked up and taken to Livingston airport which is in Zambia.  Then she said it was in Zimbabwe (it is in Zambia) – so some people were getting pretty concerned about the change which would include buying a Zimbabwe visa at the border, how long it would take, etc.  To me, it didn’t make much sense since there were other groups of Oceania passengers on overland trips, some to Victoria Falls which is right near that airport while Kasane is so close.   Maybe they got us confused with another group?  And no one could get on the wifi to find out anything about the airport, etc. Later we got the word that we were indeed leaving from Kasane at 11:50 AM so we would have time for a morning game drive and an early lunch before leaving for the airport.

So it was a time to pack (including our newly laundered clothes) and get a restful sleep.

After breakfast, we had a game drive and a coffee stop. Dianne and Phil stayed back at camp.  The guides had gotten the word that there was a pride of lions in the area so we tried to track them  Innocent saw many prints and we went many places both inside and outside of the reserve, but could not find them.  We never found the elusive leopard either.  But the 5 days were simply magical.  Anyone would love this experience.

We left Kasane airport without a hitch at just after 2 PM – after going through immigration – since we were flying from Botswana into Johannesburg in South Africa and then on to Durban where we will meet our home away from home, the Oceania Insignia. 

And the picture?  It is a porcupine quill.  Did you identify it??

This entry was posted in Africa, April, Excursions, Food, World Cruise #4. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Chobe Chilwero, Botswana

  1. Hilary says:

    I did….I get the prize….is it a trip to the safari park???
    What an amazing trip you are having and all those amazing animals. Just wonderful. X


  2. Violet Archer says:

    Always a great experience in the Chobe camps. When we were there many years ago, Namibia was fighting for ownership of that little Island in the Zambesi River where the Elephants wade across to graze each day. (There’s nothing on that Island anyway). Never heard the end of it.
    Glad you folks made this Safari trip which otherwise meant you’d have to sail pass all the ports in South Africa after Cape Town which had little of interest to offer until you get to Durban.


  3. Mary Lynn Devlin says:

    Dear Pat and Norm, I have refrained from commenting on your posts because my replies would get boring — they would each simply say, “WOW!” But I am choosing this post to pause and say that I am blown away by your experiences, stories, and incredible pictures. I am always anxiously awaiting your next post as though I am taking the cruise with you. It is heartwarming that you two are once again having the trip of a lifetime and so enjoying your world travels. Thank you so much for taking us along and sharing each minute with us!! Hugs to you both!


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