Gretchen’s Trip Report – part 2

June 8, 2011  By: Africa Adventure Consultants
The next destination in my journey was Chobe National Park in Botswana. You can fly into either Kasane (Botswana), Livingstone (Zambia) or Victoria Falls (Zimbabwe) to get to Chobe. Flights to Livingstone and Victoria Falls tend to be more economical than to Kasane.

I flew into Livingstone and was greeted then transported to Chobe via the Kazangula border crossing. This is a river crossing; you are dropped by one guide and vehicle on one side and met by another guide and vehicle on the other. I love African border crossings (though I don’t think that’s a universal feeling amongst all travelers). They are most often very busy and some level of commerce is always present, as well as people, vehicles and animals. They are always interesting to pass through, and Kazangula just popped to the top of my list of favorites.

After being met on the Botswana side, we finished the border crossing and made the short transfer to Sanctuary’s Chobe Chilwero Lodge. The lodge is perched on top of a bluff overlooking the Chobe river. It’s very luxurious and intimate, with only 15 guest cottages. Each cottage is spacious with both indoor and outdoor showers, freestanding bathtub, luxurious bedding and a sitting area. Because of its location, it also has power for little luxuries like an in room mini-fridge (no wait for a cool beer on a hot afternoon!) and air-conditioning. In keeping with little luxuries, there is a private garden out back with seating and relaxing hammock, as well as seating out front overlooking the Chobe river.

There is a pool on the grounds for those hot days when you need a cool dip. The main area is airy, spacious and comfortable, with lots of indoor and outdoor seating; afternoon tea on the lawn is particularly lovely. There is wi-fi and cell phone reception if you must, or if you want to post a quick email home to let everyone know you arrived and that everything is wonderful, there’s a guest computer available for use. The connection speeds are tolerable, but it’s not broadband. There’s a nice curio shop with all sorts of interesting things to take home to your family and a few supplies like batteries and such in case you forgot yours.

The food is exceptional – this was the case at all of Sanctuary’s camps and lodges. Breakfast is a buffet followed by cooked options if you wish. Lunch is a buffet as well, with wonderful light choices, including a variety of healthy options. Dinner is plated and multi course. Additionally, you have a choice of entrees, and of course any dietary restrictions can be accommodated. When you travel, let us know in advance if there is anything you can’t or don’t wish to eat so we can make your wishes known early. At Chobe Chilwero, you have the option of dining inside or out, though barring terrible weather, I find dining outside in Africa to be wonderful and special any time of day.

Activities at the camp include game drives in Chobe National Park and sundowner cruises on the river. If you find either of these strenuous or just want to treat yourself, Chobe Chilwero has an amazing full service spa offering everything from couple’s treatments for your romantic trip, body treatments, hydrotherapy and more. Book your treatment in the tree house for an extra special experience. I can attest to the credentials of the spa staff; I was lucky enough to have an absolutely amazing massage during my stay.

While you’re waiting for the next report, don’t forget to keep an eye on our Facebook page for trip photos, more trip report information and links to You Tube videos from our travels!

Next up: game drives and sundowner cruises in Chobe National Park – living the safari life!

Photos courtesy Gretchen Healey

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