Page 32 - Discover Botswana 23rd Edition 2023
P. 32

Iwill always remember the first time I visited Chobe National Park. We arrived in the late afternoon after a long drive. I caught my first glimpse of the majestic Chobe River at sunset, heard the echoing calls of a pair of African fish eagles - and the long journey was forgotten. I was in awe!
Today, I am feeling the deep satisfaction of seeing the same reaction on my guests’ faces as I take them out on the Chobe
River for the first time.
I consider myself extremely privileged to live and work in an
environment of such natural beauty as this. There is no greater place than the Chobe River to teach guests all about wildlife photography, due to the sheer abundance and diversity of mammals and birdlife concentrated on the floodplains of this unique ecosystem.
The Chobe National Park is the third largest national park in Botswana, and encompasses ecologically diverse habitats such as woodlands, swamps, marshes and floodplains over an area of approximately 11.700 square km.
The park’s northern boundary is the Chobe riverfront, well known for its unparalleled elephant population. It’s not uncommon to see hundreds of these majestic creatures in one afternoon. Approaching by boat offers the opportunity to photograph them from very low angles, thus amplifying their size and stature even more!
The elephants of the Chobe tend to be very calm, allowing for close and personal encounters. A highlight is to see a whole herd splashing across the river, then indulging in the rather entertaining mud bath and dusting rituals. There is never a dull moment when photographing elephants, and even if after many visits to Chobe there is always new behaviour to observe.
  Previous pages: Two male Hippopotamus fight for territory on the Chobe floodplains. These fights occur more frequently and become more bloody in the dry season as the Chobe River recedes.
Above: An African Skimmer glides gracefully over the mirror like waters of the Chobe River. A slightly extended lower bill is the unusual technique they use to catch small fish.
Right: The Chobe River is famous for Elephants frequently crossing the river. Here a bull Elephant makes its way back from the floodplains to mainland Botswana just after the sun has set with the burst of evening colours reflecting perfectly in the water.

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