Safari 2018 #14 Savute Safari Lodge CHobe National Park Botswana

by david on July 15, 2019

We climbed aboard the safari trucks and were handed cold bottled water.  It tasted wonderful. We waved goodbye to the folks still on the plane as they rolled down the runway and to their destinations.

The drive to the lodge was only about 15 minutes and the combination of the cool water and breeze of the open truck made things seem cool enough.  The moment we stopped, however, things felt very hot very quickly. We were met with cool washcloths and even cooler drinks. The clean face, neck and hands were pretty nice, but the cool liquid washing the dust off on my tonsils beat it hands down.  That drink went down so well, I decided to have another one while we were waiting for orientation.

Orientation was the basic schedule of meals, game drives, when the power was on, etc.  There were two fairly important differences here from previous orientation talks. The first was a lone and mostly grouchy hippo currently residing in the small waterhole at the entrance to the lodge. Number two, we were not allowed outside our rooms after dark unless we were escorted by a staff member.  The reason the number one disclaimer was there is evidentially the hippo did not want to move back with the rest of the pod when the rains stopped and the floodwaters receded. Due to his self-inflicted exile he was lonely, grouchy and stuck until the next rainy season and resulting floods.  The reason for number two was we were inside the national park and there were wild animals everywhere. There was a stout electric fence completely surrounding the resort, but trees were pushed over by elephants or the elephants ‘just plain old walked through it’ on occasion. In other words, we couldn’t count on the resort being critter-free 100% of the time.  In fact, this was the second lodge where we encountered this rule. It was not too much of an inconvenience, as long as you planned ahead. It did strike me as somewhat ironic that our escorts were only armed with flashlights. I guess they were supposed to run slower than we were, but that is about all they could do. Later during our stay, I actually met another guest that was knocked down by an elephant he did not see during a previous stay.  He was uninjured but a little shaken up. It could have gone the other way very quickly. I promised Janice I would abide by the rules.


Link to lodge

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