Africa Blog

The Ride to Half a Million Miles

Hippos and Elephants

  In the Caprivi Strip is where I was told that I would see the Africa that most people think of with the jungle, heavy flowing rivers and the wild life.

   I stopped at a lodge on the Okavango river where I was told I could see hippos.  Booking a tour for the afternoon our guide got us going in the small canoe.  I was hoping to see at least one or two wild hippos as our guide paddled up river we could hear the hippos.  To the untrained eye its hard to find these large animals as they spend most of their time under water.  We rowed along the banks and shallows of the river until finally the guide spotted one then two.  You had to look hard to identify their eyes popping out of the water.  We couldn't get to close because may of the females had calves and it is well known that the hippos are very aggressive.   As we came around a bend we spotted about 15 to 20 hippos leaving a nesting island and rushing into the river.  Its one thing to see them in the zoo but its just amazing to spot them in the wild.

   Now that I knew what the hippos sounded like I could hear them all night long.  

    The strangest thing about this area was that I was told that it would be warm here and it was not, in fact sleeping in a grass hut with an "out door" shower was cold.  I temperatures  did drop to near freezing here.

   The next day I rode to another camp for a morning "safari" much like Etosha, it would be a ride with a guide looking for wild life like lions, oryx, and elephants. Yes it was cold this morning.   We didn't have much luck with spotting lions,  we were about 15 mins to late.   We did see an elephant and what was interesting about this one was watching him grab a large tree and just shaking it to make the seeds fall off.  So much force to rattle these tress.  Then as the seeds fall off, watching a Kudu come around and try to grab some of the seeds and being chased off by the elephant.