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Botswana 2022/23: Pangolin Hotel Chobe

Botswana 2022/23: Pangolin Hotel Chobe

Pangolin Hotel pride themselves on offering the most unique and exclusive wildlife experiences in the Chobe National Park. They have specially designed boats and vehicles operated by some of the best guides in the region. Every drive and cruise is hosted by a field guide and a photographic host to help you get amazing photographs. No camera? No problem. Free camera rental is included during your stay. The Chobe National Park is arguably one of the best year round game viewing and wildlife photography destinations in Southern Africa. The park boundary is a mere 200m from the hotel affording us quick and easy access on for game drives and signature river cruises. Don't hesitate - just book with them!

🙂 Crocodiles! Crocodiles! Crocodiles! Young croc hunting a lechwe in the river beside our photography boat AND massive ancient 100year old croc feeding on a deceased elephant and chasing away other crocs. Hippo showtime! Amazing Pangolin Hotel for photographic safaris!

🙁 Nothing negative to report!

Saturday 7 January 2023 – Sunday 8 January 2023: Pangolin Hotel, Chobe 35C

First of all have to share the Latest Sightings page where Caitlyn had fused her Cannon footage with Lucy’s iPhone footage of the young croc hunting the lechwe with her excellent narration in the text.

We had decided to spend our last night in luxury at the Pangolin Hotel in Chobe – we are so pleased that we made this choice!

Please click on this link to read the blog written by Caitlyn and published by Latest Sightings:

Watch the video footage!

We left Ihaha and exited via the Chobe gate and drove the short distance to the centrally located Pangolin Hotel in Kasane. We had decided to splash out on the last night so that we could repack and sort ourselves out in readiness for our flight back the next day. BushLore met us there and we handed the vehicles over. We were welcomed by Dan and team and checked in. The hotel is a small four star establishment overlooking the Caprivi Floodplains. Its unique selling point is that they specialise in photography as is evidenced by the amazing wildlife photographs adorning the walls reflecting the talent of their guides.

We enjoyed a quick lunch that they had specially prepared for us and then we relaxed by the eco pool – there are no chemicals so the whole swimming pool is regulated by the algae which makes it very slippery when you enter – as Nick and I both discovered when we slipped on our bottoms! Very relaxing…

The rooms were comfortable and spacious with a little patio.

At 16h00 we headed off on our boat safari on the short trip to the river front and transported by a mini van. The boats are excellently equipped with 360C swivel chairs and camera mounts. We had a great skipper called Charles and our guide, Dennis was also excellent and gave very helpful tips to improve our photography. We thoroughly enjoyed watching the hippos displaying … the boys were getting frisky and showing off to the ladies (that is the hippos, of course)!! I will add photos from our cameras later – these are all iPhone. Paul shoots with Canon R3 and 200-400 lens, I shoot with R5 and 500 lens and Caits with 7D Mark 2 with a 100-400 lens. So we did not need to hire cameras or lenses from Pangolin – they provide all guests with a Nikon D7000 camera and Sigma 120-400 or 150-500 lens. Guides will also provide training to anyone who is new to photography. Each camera comes with a 4GB memory card which clients may take home with them.

The Caprivi floodplains abound with wildlife … so many photographic opportunities as you glide past on the water … amazing …

The quadripoint, also known as the “four corners of Africa” is where four countries meet at the eastern end of the Caprivi Strip – Botswana, Namibia, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. The Caprivi Strip was a colonial fabrication initiated by German controlled South West Africa (now Namibia) and has been renamed the Zambezi Region in a step to eliminate names of colonial administrators from Namibia’s maps. It has an interesting history: Caprivi was named after Leo von Caprivi a German Chancellor, who negotiated the land with the United Kingdom in the 1890 exchange for Zanzibar. The Caprivi Strip bared witness to continual military activity and multiple attacks on enemy territory by diverse armed forces using the Strip as an ideal corridor to access other territories. The Caprivi Strip also drew attention as Botswana and Namibia had a longstanding dispute over the strip’s southern boundary. The Botswana government considered it an inbuilt part of the Chobe National Park, whereas the Namibian government, and other inhabitants of the Caprivi Strip on the eastern end, retained that not only was the island a part of the old German-British agreement, but that generations of inhabitants had habituated it for seasonal grazing, reed gathering and even as a burial site. In December 1999, the International Court of Justice declared that the main channel, and therefore the international boundary, set to the north of the island, hence making the island part of Botswana. A Botswana Flag in the middle of the river now bears testimony to this legislation.

This evening was all about the hippos! The collective noun for hippos is: a Bloat – most appropriate!! They certainly put on a great show for us!

We spent a bit of time with a troupe of relaxed baboons who were grooming each other and getting ready for a good nights sleep – such a peaceful scene… we could have watched forever..

The sunset was simply out of this world – we were mesmerised! I will let the photos do the talking!

The elephant next to the lodge silhouetted in the sunset was amazing and just captures the essence of this marvellous place … We arrived back and enjoyed drink around the boma followed by an excellent meal: the beetroot soup in particular was delicious! It was a full moon which was as spectacular to watch rising as to watch the the sun setting!

We were up at 05h30 the next morning for coffee and headed back to our boat. Another magnificent adventure was about to unfold!

Dawn is as beautiful on the river as the sunset… Our first was spot were waterbuck with a new addition to the family – adorable.

It was to be the day of the Crocodile! They were everywhere! Interesting fact: Male crocs have shorter, stumpier snouts than females whose are longer and pointier as can be seen in the pics below. We stopped to photograph a congregation of crocs all resting on a sandy beach. This is the collective noun when they are on land…if they are in the water they are referred to as: a float of crocodiles!

Suddenly we had a torrential downpour and we all needed a wee stop – we managed to find a sandy beach without crocs! But then we saw the croc on the other side of the boat!

Watching the crocs was so fascinating – they inflate themselves and raise their tails to make themselves look bigger and imposing to threaten the boat so that we would move away…

Next up was the most exciting crocodile sighting we have ever had. Caitlyn posted the video she had filmed on her Canon fused with footage from Lucy’s phone (She took a photo while filming which caused the canon video footage to jump – lesson learned!). and it went viral … it was a once in a lifetime sighting – just amazing to behold. There were two male lechwe on the island in the river and the one chased the other off – he made a big splash as he jumped into the river and we could see the croc in hot pursuit – he had a significant distance to swim to cross the river – we had no idea that crocs could swim that fast! The croc caught up with him and took his chance while we held our breaths – you can hear my anguished cry on the video clip, “Noooo!!” Had he been a bigger croc or managed to grab hold of the lechwe’s leg it would have been a different outcome! What an experience – absolutely fantastic!

Our adrenaline was still pumping and we did not think it could get any better BUT then we discovered a croc feeding on a deceased elephant (may have died of anthrax)!! This croc was over 100 years old!! He submerged and went right into the belly of the elephant and you could see from the movement that he was doing the death roll to remove a piece of flesh. He then threw his head back once out of the water and glugged down the meat – just AMAZING!!

Several crocodiles were waiting in the wings and tried to join the party but he charged them and chased them off!

We headed back in a state of elation – everyone talking at the top of their voices sharing their excitement – what a ay to end such a magnificent trip! Thank you Pangolin ! We enjoyed a hearty breakfast before being transferred the short trip to the airport. We took off with heavy hearts … BUT plans for the next trip back to Botswana were already being formulated!

Go to: Botswana

Go Back to: Ihaha

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