There is a sliver of Africa where four countries almost converge: Zambia, Zimbabwe, Namibia and Botswana. The Chobe River is one of the many separation points between Botswana and Namibia and it’s also where I experienced one of my favorite wildlife adventures of all time. The boat I called home for a few days is permanently moored in the middle of a vast river system of wetlands and river grasses. The marshland is rich in wildlife; hippos, birds of all kinds, Cape Buffalo and hundreds of elephants converge on this one spot. The elephants were perhaps the most impressive, in size as well as sheer numbers.
While boating along the river one day the driver shushed us, cut the engine and pointed to the riverbank. There on the shore were two young elephants walking with great purpose towards the water. I had never thought about whether or not elephants could swim , but I soon got my answer. They plunged into the river without fear and began to swim with zeal and power to the coveted river island. They also didn’t seem to care about us as they came within a few feet of our boat. Watching these majestic animals ford the river and then emerge with a great splash was extraordinary. It’s one of the travel moments that makes you feel both alive and incredibly thankful.
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Chobe and Victoria Falls
Of course, the elephants of Chobe bathing in the river are an incredulous experience. Watching them bathe and interact with each other is priceless. If you have time I would also suggest visiting nearby Victoria Falls, one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World with countless breath taking experiences from canoeing with elephants, swimming in Devil's Pool, hiking the Batoka Gorge of the Falls and of course letting the mist of the Falls settle on your skin whilst marveling at the sheets of water rushing down. Fortunately during my visit booked through Adventure To Africa we were aware of all these options and had a most amazing experience.