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3 Nights in Kasane: Hungry, Hungry Hippos

I was travelling around Namibia and Botswana with two girls I met in Windhoek, Céline and Louise. One of our first stops was a three night stay in Kasane, just across the Namibian border in the north-east of Botswana.

I’d never heard of the place before we decided to travel there but it was in a perfect location for other sights we wanted to visit and it’s such a beautiful area. The border crossing alone was one of the most stunning I’ve seen. As we entered Botswana we drove straight through the Chobe National Park and saw plenty of wildlife. We found a place to stay right next to the Chobe River; Chobe Safari Lodge. It was one of the nicest places I stayed during my three months in Africa. Just as we were checking in we were treated to a beautiful, red African sunset over the river. We knew we were in the right place.

The site had a bar and restaurant next to the river complete with a swimming pool. The lodges around the pool area were much too expensive for us but the campsite was perfect. Featuring the nicest camp toilets I’ve ever seen and its own wildlife – including warning signs for the local hippos and crocodiles. We set up the tents, struggling with the sudden increase in humidity and spent the evening relaxing with a beer by the pool.

A couple of beers and a great view over the Chobe River for breakfast
Relaxing the first night (top) and then (below) the perfect spot for breakfast

The next morning I stuck my head out of the tent just as a warthog trundled passed. I forget when that wasn’t normal. We had our breakfast in a little hut looking out over the river. I was gutted I still hadn’t seen either a hippo or a crocodile at this point, but I had to admit the view was incredible. Across the river we could see Namibia. The area was so green and peaceful.

We headed into town to get some food and Botswana Pula (the currency) before a bit more relaxing by the pool, mingling with the clean, rich folks. The main activity we wanted to do in Kasane was a river cruise. Ideally for sunset. The wildlife and scenery in this area is the main reason people visit and we made sure to experience it for ourselves.

Warthog by the swimming pool
The pool was so nice even the local warthogs hung out there

We did some research and found booking the cruise through our accommodation was the cheapest option. After taking our seats on the top deck almost immediately we began to see the wide range of animals that lived there. Plenty of different bird species and then a small herd of elephants. One was unfortunately being eaten by a large group of crocodiles having died a few days earlier.

With crocodiles safely ticked off my personal African wildlife to-see-list, next up were the hippos. They’re a difficult animal to spot, spending most of their time underwater and only allowing the odd glimpse of their ears, nose or eyes. This in itself is strange given hippos are neither good swimmers nor can they see very well underwater. But the longer the river cruise went the more we saw. Including one hippo startled by the approaching boat and granting us a full body shot.

Views around the campsite in Kasane
Hippos and crocodiles were a big highlight of the area and came with plenty of warnings on the campsite

The rest of the cruise involved an array of the amazing wildlife. Groups of dozing hippos, crocodiles, elephants, buffalo, antelope and many bird types. The cruise finished with another typically stunning sunset. A perfect end to our stay in Kasane.

Sunset over the Chobe River

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  1. Beatrice Chappan

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