April 5-7, 2023
We had an early morning in Cape Town to make sure we were all packed and ready to go for our flight from Cape Town to Maun International, the airport where we got the small charter flight to land at the strip close to Chief’s Camp. Nine of us were on this trip and we were a very compatible group! Chief’s Camp is in the world renowned Moremi Game Reserve. Chief’s Island is one of the many islands created by the seasonal flood waters of the Okavango Delta and is well known for the finest game viewing in Southern Africa.
Our guides, Sky and Chief, picked us up at the air strip in the safari vehicles and drove us the 25 minutes to the camp. We started seeing some animals right away!
The impalas are everywhere and are food for lots of the other animals. Our only ostrich sighting was here.
Once at the camp, we were met with many staff members who all greeted us. We had a drink and a snack, got our orientation and were taken to our rooms. Each room is a separate cabin and they were very luxurious. Each had both an inside and outside shower, a huge tub, a small outside pool and a porch overlooking game lands. Our room number 5 had its own internet access but it wasn’t too good and I had no time to post anything anyway. Here are some pictures.
The main pool and surrounding deck.
At 4:30 we met our guide, Chief, and set out on our first game drive. The animals rest in the heat of the day, so the game drives are always in the early morning and late afternoon.
We were in Toyota safari vehicles. 5 in one vehicle and we had 4 in ours. Dianne and Jim were our travel companions.
What can I say except that the first day was already magical. We saw so many animals, up close! We knew from our previous safari that the animals only see the vehicle and are not threatened by it, but that we shouldn’t stand up, shout or otherwise let them know that there is something unexpected about the vehicle that could alarm them.
I am going to share probably way too many pictures, but I just can’t help myself!
This is Chief with an elephant skull.
The cape buffalo is one of the most dangerous animals.
We spotted four female lions and stopped to watch them for a while.
Even the guides call the warthogs “Pumba”!
Near sunset, we met the other group and stopped for “sundowners”, drinks and snacks. Chief had asked us when we arrived what drinks we liked, and he had everything we asked for and more.
Safari sunsets are wonderful! Both groups celebrate together.
We came back to camp and freshened up for dinner. We were not allowed to walk anywhere after dark since the property is not fenced in and any wild animals could be there at any time. We needed to call someone when we went to and from dinner, but it was already light in the mornings.
We had dinner outside near the fire pit and we had a local group of singers and dancers who entertained us. All drinks and food are included here, and our rooms were stocked with more alcohol then we could have had in weeks! And the food is delicious with many selections. I had no problem with not eating meat, the vegetable dishes were just wonderful.
After dinner, we got to sleep by 10 since we have a 5 AM wake-up call.
The next morning, we spotted these giraffes under the full morning moon, right near the camp. There were 7 of them out there.
On Thursday, we had breakfast, followed by a morning game drive, with a coffee break in the bush. Again, so many wonderful sightings of animals and Chief provided us with descriptions and answered our many questions. A bonus was seeing the male lions – we spotted something moving, and Chief followed the motion. We watched them for quite a while. The guides are very dependent on the tracks they see and can pretty much determine where the animals might be headed, but in the thick of the bush it is more tricky. The vehicles can go everywhere – even in water.
Here are some of our sightings. They have more than 500 species of birds here too, but most were too quick for my photo abilities. I did capture ostrich, Egyptian geese, herons, ibis, egrets and storks.
They do your laundry every day. Here are two staff members heading to the laundry, and here is how it comes back to your room.
We stopped for our coffee break and resumed our game drive.
We returned for lunch and had some leisure time.
In the afternoon, I cooled off in our own individual pool, and we were entertained by baboons, monkeys and mongoose just off of our deck. Later, two baboons came to our pool and even took a drink.
Our afternoon game drive was just as wonderful with many sightings of animals. One thing we found out was that the rhinos we expected to see here were targeted by poachers during Covid when there were no guests or game drives. They are hunted for their horns and the numbers were drastically reduced. So they moved the rest of the to a sanctuary to have them breed and increase the numbers when hopefully they will be brought back to this area. Norm had been waiting for the elephants, and we saw lots of them.
We again had our sundowners and another beautiful sunset, then returned to the camp for drinks and dinner. This time we had drinks around the firepit and dinner on the open air deck.
We had another fairly early night because we had another 5 AM wake up so we could have breakfast and another game drive before departing on a small charter plane to Kasane airport and our next safari camp, Chobe Chilwero.
WOW. Just wow. Makes me want to return.