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Chobe River in Africa
Our next flight was a bit longer, an hour and twenty minutes to Kasane, an actual airport. Our other stops at the camps saw us landing on airstrips in the bush. We were met by Ali, our new guide, from Sanctuary Chobe Chilwero. We were now deep in the wilderness of Botswana, overlooking the magnificent Chobe River, close to the northern border that meets with neighboring Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe. Botswana is one of the world's most sparsely populated countries, and some seventy percent is covered by the Kalahari Desert. Chobe National Park is certainly not in the desert; it has the highest density of trees in the entire country. The river, a tributary of the Zambezi, is the only permanently available source of water for the park's large population of mammals. The park is one of the few areas in Africa where visitors are almost guaranteed sights of elephants swimming in or crossing the river, and the floodplain is the only place in southern Africa where the puku antelope can be seen. Our first drive here, which included a boat excursion on the Chobe, came in the afternoon, giving us more magnificent views of the animals in their natural habitat.