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Savute Elephant Camp, Chobe

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Day 8: Yesterday was our last day at Eagle Island.  At 7:15 am we left for our second helicopter ride.  That is a great way to really observe the animals.  We saw many different spices and it was great to see the fish eagle from above.  After that we did a drive but Eagle Island is really a place for the water animals.  We did see a very large dazzle of zebras and some of the smaller mammals.

For the evening game drive we took the boat again and watched the hippos play and a couple even chased the boat. Once again the sunset from the Fish Eagle Bar was fantastic and we lingered until the last ray was gone.  Then we were off to dinner and another night around the fire.

We were leaving at 10:00 am this morning so we decided not to do a water game drive and just spent a leisurely time saying goodbye to the great staff at Eagle.  We were treated so well that it was hard to leave but we also were eager for a new adventure.

John buckled me into the smallest plane I have ever flown in and we were off.

As we were driving into camp we saw many zebras and some elephants.  As I am writing this I am watching two elephants feeding just across the river in front of our patio.  It is really fun to watch them eat and then go into the water to cool off.  There is also a dazzle of zebras off in the distance.  We have not been here long and if this is a example of the view we are going to get from the patio we will indeed be very lucky.

Once again we are in the luxury suite.  What lucky girls we are!!!  Here and at Eagle Island they even put a bottle of the wine I like in the room. 

From what we have observed Orient Express is an excellently run company and they want to insure that the guests have a wonderful experience.  We know that each Camp Manager has called ahead to tell them about us and our likes.  We have really been treated like "Queens" and we love it.

We are shortly heading off to tea which will be followed by a game drive.  We are hoping to see the leopard, buffalo and many other things.

Day 9: Off again this morning on a drive but we saw mostly the same animals.  We were able to add kudus to our list.  Because the land is so green and there is so much water the animals are very hard to find.  We also saw a wild dog chasing an impala.  They were moving very fast so we do not know who the victor was.

When we arrived back in camp we were told to go freshen up for a special treat.  We were loaded in the jeeps and taken to a lovely spot on the river where once again we found a picturesque setting by the river and tables set for lunch.  It was wonderful to enjoy a delicious lunch in the bush.

We will be heading out for another game drive shortly.  Who knows what awaits us in the bush this afternoon???

Day 10: The evening before we left Savaute  we were very lucky on the evening drive. We ran across 6 large male lions relaxing under the trees.  It is always amazing that they do not respond to the people who are gathered around observing every twitch they make.  There were 7 safari vehicles parked around them and they just pretended that they were all alone snuggled up in their private lair.

After marveling at their magnificence we were off chasing leopards, really never expecting to see one, but Mighty, our eagle eyed guide spotted one napping in a tree and as we observed we found that there were two, mother and child.  It was very exciting to watch them move around in the branches of the trees and especially interesting to watch Jr. trying to get Momma awake to go have some fun.  Now, having see 3 of the big 5 we felt we could leave Botswana. The buffalo eluded us and there are no rhino in Botswana.

We were feted once again to a dinner on our patio and it was another perfect ending to a perfect stay. 

The next morning we were picked up by our small puddle jumper to be transferred to Maun to take a "real" plane to Jo'Berg.

An few observations about Botswana.  We flew pretty close to the ground over a lot of the country.  It is small, about the size of Texas.  It is not very populated. Occasionally we would see a small village in the middle of nowhere.  The houses in the village are often some sticks held together by the mud from the termite mounds as it dries very hard and there are millions of termite mounds. The roofs are made from a long grass that seems to work fine. There are few roads and the one that goes from all the camps, about 150 miles, to Maun is a dirt road.  It is heavily rutted and in the rainy season is one mud hole after another.

The people seem to be very lovely and kind.  They learn English and the national language in school and their tribal language at home.  There are 20 some different tribal languages.  It was a contradiction to us to see people in the camps speaking perfect English and to know that they came from a small village of mud huts without running water in the homes.  Most of the villages do not have a school and the children have to go away to boarding school.   Education is a requirement.  Botswana is a democracy and the people we meet spoke well of the government and their country.

We arrived back in Jo'Berg at the beautiful Westcliff Hotel late so we had supper and prepared to leave at 6:30 AM the next morning to catch the Blue Train to Cape Town.

Until the Blue Train we have had very spacious accommodations so we had to acclimate ourselves to barely being able to pass each other.  Our compliments to the designer who managed to make such a small place rather comfortable.  I love the rocking of the train and had my best night's sleep.  The service was very elegant with linen and silver.  The food was just OK.

It was a great experience and we meet four other couples on their way to meet our ship.  We stopped at the Kimberly Diamond Mines, owned by DeBeers.  Make no mistake that they are still controlling the price of diamonds.

A couple of days earlier a gold enlay only had come off my tooth and I was in need of a dentist to replace it.  The train manager was kind enough to arrange for me to see a dentist  so I got off the train and went to a dentist right there in the train station.  That made me a happy girl as my tongue had really gotten irritated.  Even though it was a very small office without a lot of fancy equipment the young dentist and his assistant seemed very competent and for a charge equaling $40 US I was good as new.

Our tour conductor Jack met and waited on me to get the tooth fixed and we were off to the Cape Grace Hotel on the waterfront of Cape Town.

Belmond Savute Elephant Lodge- Jen Mitchell Travel Clients Receive:

$100 food and beverage credit

Continental breakfast 

Upgrade based on availability at time of arrival

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