Gareth and I spent the first three days of our African Adventure 2011 holiday at the lovely Chobe Safari Lodge situated on the banks of the Chobe river in Botswana. We had a River Room at ground level and could watch small animals play on the grass outside while lying in bed, the blue waters of the river sparkling in the background. When we were first shown to the room, we were somewhat perturbed by the twin beds, but it didn’t take long for either of us to realise that separate beds meant lots of space – a luxury our queen bed at home doesn’t always allow. Although it sometimes seemed like the Chobe river was as busy as an intercity highway, we grew accustomed to the sounds of speedboats zipping past and paid them little attention.
We spent the larger part of our days relaxing by the pool, although a brief dip after a dusty game drive proved the waters yet too cold to swim in. If you’re up early you might be lucky enough to grab an unused lounger, but if not, there are many tables and chairs scattered along the deck and bar area from which you can watch the boats on the river. We saw elephants feeding in the long grass just across the way from where we were sitting every day, while monkeys played in the treetops above us.
Breakfast and dinner are served in the lapa, from where you still have a view of the river, and one of the friendly waiters takes you on a tour of the dining area the first time you come for a meal. Our holidays are usually spent camping or in self-catering accommodation, so whenever we stay in a hotel, I always look forward to breakfast (well, all meals, to be honest, but breakfast in particular). At home, my morning meal is usually limited to cereal, so when I get the chance to have something different, I go all out. The Lodge definitely didn’t disappoint! Fresh fruit, eggs, bacon, toast, sausages, mushrooms, muffins, croissants, scones – these are the stuff my gastronomic dreams are made of. Dinner was just as spectacular, and while Gareth raved about the stir-fry made on demand, I tried out such delicacies as warthog pie, ostrich steak and freshly caught fish. Oh, and don’t forget their homemade watermelon sorbet – it’s delicious!
There really isn’t all that much to do at the Lodge itself, but if you’re not content spending the day basking in the sun and waiting for the animals to come to you, the Lodge offers various excursions. We went on a morning game drive in the Chobe National Park, an afternoon game cruise on the Chobe river and a dinner boat cruise. My next few posts will have some photos from the first two activities, but the dinner boat cruise was really just a meal on a boat in the middle of the night. It was too dark to see anything besides the lights from hotels along the riverbank, and the food was pretty much the same as that served at the hotel, so I wouldn’t particularly recommend it. The game cruise, however, was definitely worth it.
We had a good time at the Chobe Safari Lodge, and I can recommend it to anyone spending a couple of days in the area. Bring a good book, your binoculars and some suntan lotion and you’ll have a wonderful time.
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