On safari seeing an elephant in the middle of the road

Chobe National Park – Botswana Africa

We wake up in Victoria Falls and it’s New Years eve 😊 so I turn the speaker on and play Africa by Toto. The moment it starts to play, the rain starts to pour! Ha ha #blessed.

Get our briefing on how to put up and down our tents, then we pack everything up and load it on the truck. Time to start our truck safari! First destination – Chobe National Park!!!

ATC truck

We crossed the border from Zimbabwe to Botswana. At the border crossing we had to take all our shoes and dip the soles into this muddy water. Apparently the muddy water had some chemicals in it to prevent the spreading of foot and mouth disease.

None the less we were on the road again to our next camp site. Everyone was in good spirits as it was NYE.

Once we arrive at the gate, we drove out into the Chobe national park..

This is it! This is what we came to Africa for. I was super excited to see all the animals. It was the best way to end 2018. Within two minutes of driving we saw a leopard tortoise charging towards our car ha ha ha. Then a hawk on top of a dead tree.

Hawk in Chobe national park

So many impala everywhere. You can tell the impalas by the M shape on their butt. It’s like the fast food symbol for lions 😊

At 4 pm Botswana time, it was our Brisbane New Years! So we had our own count down in the back of the Ute. HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

It was such an amazing view of the open plains. Hippos in the water, birds in the air, impala grazing. It was just as I pictured.

Chobe national park
Hippos Chobe national park

I was super hyped to see my favourite animal.. the mighty elephant!! But as we drove around all I saw was the remains of dead elephants. I counted about 10 elephant skulls as we drove around 😐 We turned a corner and headed back to the plains and the moment we got to the plains BOOM. There he was. The King of Africa!

Lion Chobe national park

Having a nap with a full belly about five meters from us.

Now I always pictured you couldn’t get close to any of these animals in the wild. But as long as you don’t put any limbs out of the vehicle or make loud noises, the animals just see the vehicle as one big object and it doesn’t bother them. It was amazing to be so close to them. Just behind the lion was the pride and some cubs.

Pack of Lioness Chobe national park

At our bathroom stop this huge baboon runs out of the bushes and climbs the tree right in front of us.

We load back into the Ute and about five minutes later we turn a corner right into a herd of ELEPHANTS!!

Elephants Chobe national park

This is it! I have always wanted to see an African elephant in the wild. There was a baby elephant right in the middle of the road, it was so rad to see! There was this black elephant scratching himself on a rock and others eating in the bushes.

We drive a bit further and all of a sudden we hear the loud trumpet of a mother elephant as she runs out of the bushes and charges towards our car.

Elephant stand off Chobe national park

Holy shit this was an intense moment. I have watched a lot of YouTube videos of the elephants rolling over the vehicles so I was hoping this wouldn’t happen. She stood right in front of the car staring us down. Everyone was dead silent.

She waited for her baby to cross the road then she slowly moved away. Always keeping an eye on us.

It was so rad. I got the full elephant experience I always wanted. They are so big in real life. When they charge at your car, life slows down for that brief moment. What a way to start the new year!

Check out this quick video from the encounter 🙂

The sun was starting to set so we headed to our camp site in the Chobe national park. Not far from our camp site we saw a herd of giraffes crossing the road.

Chobe national park bush camp

We arrived to our camp site and all our tents were already set up and dinner was just about ready.

Bush camp Chobe national park

After dinner they gave us a briefing about what to do in case of a wild animal enters our camp site. As there is no fencing around so a lion could just walk on in during the night. The safest place to be is inside your tent. If you need to leave your tent to go to the toilet make sure you shine your torch around and check for eye reflections. Blueish colour reflection is normally a vegetarian animal and up higher. Yellowish is down lower and most likely a predator. Do not have any food in your tent or leave any food out side. Keep your shoes inside your tent as Jackles are known to steal them ha ha.

We were all a bit nervous after hearing all this but hey we are in Africa and what are the chances right? … When your time is up your time is up. Plus it was new years eve.. so we get our duty free liquor out and start the celebrations 😊

We celebrated the Goa NYE count down as some people wanted to crash out early. I started mixing my drinks from whisky, beer, amaruela, rum and vodka. Which was a good idea at the time. We were all talking and having a laugh when our guide said shhhhhhh. We could hear a herd of elephants walking past our camp site. How cool is that?!

We had the camp fire going and our esky was not far from it. I opened it up and grabbed a beer then all of a sudden my feet felt like they were on fire! I look down and I was standing right on top of a black ant nest.

Ha ha. I brushed them off and put some ice on my feet to try and stop the sting. At this point the mixing of different drinks started to take effect. It was about 11 pm and my stomach started to turn. There was no way I was going to make it to see the African NYE through. Mid conversation apparently I just walked away. I went behind my tent and had a power spew then snuck into bed to pass out.

Looking back on it, having a spew right behind my tent was not the best idea to do out here. But I had no option and luckily it didn’t attract any animals to my knowledge…

The following morning we all were up at sunrise to pack up our tents

Some of us still drunk from the night before 😊

We load back into the Ute to head out of the park and about 300 m from our camp site we come across this giraffe just nibbling on some leaves. The hangover disappeared straight away with excitement.

There were giraffes everywhere!!

Giraffe Chobe national park

A water buffalo skull was in the field and the giraffes were licking it. I though that was weird that giraffes kill water buffalo and feed off their bones. But apparently they just lick bones to get the salt out of them.

We near the exit of the national park so we stop for a squad photo in the Ute.

Crew shot Chobe national park

WOW! What a way to end 2018 and start 2019. This will be a NYE I will never forget.

Also check out the other African adventure blogs here 👇 🙂

Table Mountain

A day trip to Robben Island

Highlanders Wine Farm

Gariep River Canoeing

Fish River Canyon

Canon Roadhouse, Namibia

Dune 45, Sossusvlei Namibia

Solitaire, Namibia

Quad bike riding in Swakopmund

Spitzkoppe mountains Namibia

Waterholes, West Etosha National Park

Etosha National Park Namibia

Etosha Night Safari

Ghanzi Bushmen

Flight over the Okavango Delta

Okavango Delta, Botswana

Chobe River Cruise

Chobe National Park – Botswana Africa.

Victoria Falls – Zimbabwe

Cape Town – South Africa