Visions of Botswana: On Safari Along Africa’s Chobe River [Gallery]

Few bucketlist experiences are more iconic than taking an African safari. But adventure travelers are no longer confined to a tedious four-hour stretch in a Land Rover to explore the African Savanna. A variety of travel providers now guide travelers by hot air balloon, kayak, on foot or, as we were fortunate to experience, luxury riverboat cruise.

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We set sail (so to speak) down Africa’s Chobe River for a unique, once-in-a-lifetime safari experience aboard the Zambezi Queen. It’s home to one of the densest wildlife populations on the continent, in particular more than 120,000 wild African elephants.

Here we present a small sampling of photos that perfectly capture our time cruising the Okavango Delta and through Chobe National Park …

The Zambezi Queen Anchored in the Calm Waters of Botswana's Chobe River

The Zambezi Queen sits in the calm waters of Botswana's Chobe River

A Lone Bird Sings for Me Aboard the Zambezi Queen

Lone bird sings from the Zambezi Queen

The “big get” (pun intended) in the Okavanga Delta region is the 120,000+ wild African elephants. If you can’t spot them here, you can’t spot them anywhere …

Two Elephant Bulls Sparring on the Bank of the Chobe River

Two male elephants Sparring on the Bank of the Chobe River, Botswana, Africa

Elephant + Moon Along the Chobe River

Elephant and Moon Along the Chobe River, Botswana

Elephant “Snorkeling” the Waters of the Chobe River

Elephant Snorkeling in the Water of the Chobe River, Botswana

Elephants Along the Bank of the Chobe River

Elephants Along the bank of the Chobe River, Botswana

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“Dumbo” Elephant Attempts (Unsuccessfully) to Fly Away

dumbo-elephant-chobe-river-botswana-africa

An Elephant Mother + Calf Along the Chobe River

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Although there’s an awful lot more going on in and along the banks of the Chobe River than just elephants …

Baboon Mother Watches Over Her Young

Baboon Mother with Young Baboons Along the Bank of the Chobe River, Botswana

Hippos Waiting to Strike in the Chobe River

Hippos waiting to strike in the Chobe River, Botswana

Day Lillies Wide Open in the Afternoon Sun of the Chobe River

Day lillies open in the afternoon sun of the Chobe River, Botswana

African Fish Eagle Waits Patiently for Prey Along the Chobe River

African Fish Eagle waiting in a tree along the Chobe River, Botswana

Boat Along the Bank of the Chobe River

Boat along the bank of the Chobe River, Botswana

Warthog Scavenges for Food on the Bank of the Chobe River

Warthog on the bank of the Chobe River, Botswana

Kudu Females Grazing Along the Chobe River

Kudu females along the Chobe River, Botswana

A Lilac-breasted Roller Stares at Me Quizzically

Lilac-breasted roller in Chobe National Park, Botswana

Our Small Skiff Explores the Chobe River

Small skiff explores the Chobe River in Botswana, Africa

It’s Not Just About the ‘Big 5’ … Two Butterflies Along the Chobe River

Closeup of butterflies along the Chobe River, Botswana

White-fronted Bee-eaters Along the Chobe River

White-fronted bee-eaters along the Chobe River in Botswana, Africa

Birds Along the Chobe River

Birds along the Chobe River in Botswana

An Alligator Attempts to Keep Cool in the Harsh African Sun

Closeup of an alligator keeping cool on the Chobe River, Botswana

Natural Decay Along the Chobe River

Natural decay along the Chobe River, Botswana

Laundry Day on the Chobe River

Laundry Day on the Chobe River, Botswana

And there’s even more to see once you step off the water and inside Botswana’s Chobe National Park …

Elephant Crossing in Chobe National Park, Botswana

Elephant Crossing in Chobe National Park, Botswana

Bird Launches from a Tree in Chobe National Park

Bird launching from tree in Chobe National Park, Botswana

Bow-legged Giraffe Bending Down in Chobe National Park

Bow-legged giraffe bending down in Chobe National Park, Botswana

Sleepy Baby Elephant in Chobe National Park

Sleepy baby elephant in Chobe National Park, Botswana

Male Kudu Bending for a Drink in Chobe National Park

Male kudu bending to drink in Chobe National Park, Botswana

Giraffe Standing Tall in Chobe National Park

Giraffe standing tall in Chobe National Park, Botswana

… and at the end of the day, some of the most spectacular sunsets we’ve ever seen …

Sunset from the Zambezi Queen on the Chobe River, Botswana

Silhouettes at Sunset Aboard the Zambezi Queen, Chobe River, Botswana, Africa

All photos © Mike Richard.

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