After we took our helicopter tour of Victoria Falls, we promptly headed toward Namibia. We actually had to drive through the tip of Botswana and them hop in a boat to get to our destination in Namibia. We stayed at the Inchingo Lodge on Impalila Island, Botswana. I wish I had gotten better pictures of our lodge, because it was amazing. The main dinning hall was completely open with only a roof. It sat literally feet off of the Chobe River (which feeds into the Zambezie). All of our little tents were off in there own secluded area also right off the Chobe River. You could here it's rapids all night long. They were technically tents, but really fancy tents with bathrooms and a straw roof for extra covering. We stayed two nights at the Inchingo Lodge.
Our first afternoon there, the girls went game viewing while the guys fished. Up the river, was actually a game reserve (and actually in Botswana) so we got to see TONS of wildlife really close! The first afternoon there I saw a whole group of about 20 elephants all line up and cross the Chobe River. They all connected, trunk to tail (babies included) and when it was deep enough for them to be completely submerged, they stuck their trunk up out of the water to breathe. It was one of the coolest things I have ever seen. We also got to see hippo, crocodile, cape buffalo and giraffe.
The next day, was full of Tiger fishing on the Chobe River. They get their name from their 'tiger' stripes and their really sharp teeth. I was ecstatic that I caught two! Although, they were fairly small, I only wanted to get to say that I did, indeed, catch a Tiger Fish.
I LOVED spending the day on the river fishing for one of the top sporting fish in the world. I almost felt like a tomboy :) However, I would be lying if I said I wasn't a bit weary being out on the Chobe. Of course, the waters were overflowing with crocs, but that is not really what made me so nervous. You see, these waters are also OVERFLOWING with hippos! Hippos are very dangerous and actually kill more people in Arica every year than any other animal! Hippos are also very aggressive and territorial. If we were to accidentally get to close to their little nest in the water, it is very likely that they would come up under our boat, tip it over and kill us. No exaggeration. Our fishing guide said he knew where all the hippos lived and that as long as we didn't get by their homes or in too shallow of water we would be fine. Felix, our fishing guide, has been guiding in this area for almost 10 years. He said the only incident he has ever encountered was that while out fishing with a client, a hippo swam up to the boat, bit the side of the boat, and tried to flip the boat. If he thought this was any comfort to me, he was sadly, mistaken!
The next day, half of us stayed at the lodge to do more fishing (most of the guys) while the rest of us took on another challenge. The Historic Baobab Tree! Baobab trees are called the Tree of Life because they provide living essentials to the natives of Africa. These trees are amazingly gigantic and live hundreds and sometimes thousands of years. The Baobab we visited is famous for several reasons. Not only is it 2,000 years old, but it was also served as a lookout post for the military many years ago. If you climb to a certain height, you can see where the Zambezi River and Chobe Rivers feed together and you can also see where the corners of four countries meet: Botswana, Zambia, Zimbabwe & Namibia. Of course, to do this you have to climb VERY, VERY high! In fact, this has become such a tradition that there are actually metal stakes to help you climb. However, because this tree is so tall, therefore very dangerous to climb, they spaced out the lower stakes a great deal to keep children from climbing!
I was so excited and was fully prepared to climb to the top...until I got there. This tree was HUGE and I was a like a little bug standing next to it. It was rather difficult climbing the first 4-5 stakes because you are already so high and it is really tricky hanging on and trying to manuer these stakes that are insane lengths apart. I went half way up. That is all. Half way up there is a fork in the tree and I couldn't get a good enough grip on the tree to keep going. I knew if I fell I would either die or end up in some African 'hospital' in the middle of nowhere, thousands of miles away from home. However, I can now say I did climb it....not all the way to the top, but I certainly climbed it... and feared for my life while doing so :)
Impalila Island was amazing and I loved our adventures there! From having to boat there, to fishing with the hippos and ending it on a high note with the famous Baobab Tree! Wonderful memories!