Hippos and waterfalls
Trip Start Sep 26, 2010
44Trip End Jun 10, 2011
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Chobe is known for two things: elephants and hippos. Traveling in a boat gives you a fantastic vantage point from which to appreciate these and other animals. We didn't have to travel far before we encountered a crocodile, a water buffalo drinking, a bunch of baboons playing by the water, and a giraffe drinking (which is a sight that always makes me smile)
The hippos were ubiquitous as well, although their behavioral repitiore was mostly limited to glaring at us or yawning. They are very aggressive and apparently territorial, or moody, as one charged the boat when we drifted too close. You could see his eyes, ears and nostrils above the water line, and then he snorted, lifted his great head, dove under water and came torpedoing at us. He moved with alarming speed given his enormous bulk, but luckily the speedboat was faster. "Always one hand on the throttle when you are near these animals", our captain said as we slowed again after putting a safe distance between us and the miffed hippo. We were all too happy to be away as we realized that the hippo would have been a close match for our aluminum pontoon boat.
Following our wonderful afternoon in Chobe, we headed off to Livingstone, Zambia
From Zambia, we flew to South Africa, and from there we proceeded onto Qatar, a tiny country in the Middle East. In the time that it took Jeremy to use the restroom, I managed to get into a conversation with a Middle Eastern man which turned very nasty as soon as he learned that I was from the US. He launched into a diatribe about how all of the Middle East's woes are due to American foreign policy. It was a very interesting insight into how some countries feel about the US (Africans, by the way, like people from the US).
From Qatar we flew to Kathmandu, Nepal. Of the many long travel days we've had, this one is still the most impressive. We had breakfast in Botswana, lunch in Zambia, dinner in South Africa, breakfast in Qatar, and then dinner in Nepal. By the time we got to Nepal we were exhausted, but we were also thrilled to be in a new country on a new continent.