Water-based Game Viewing and Photographic Safaris
Situated in the heart of the Chobe region with access to river frontage of the Chobe National Park, the lodge offers water-based game drives by tender boat, allowing guests to experience the enormous diversity and concentration of wildlife up close.
Game viewing on the Chobe River is at its best from March to November when the weather is drier and the animals are more mobile as they search for food and water. Summer and spring also offer unique opportunities though, as you watch the landscape burst into life after the first rains of the season. Catch sight of huge herds of elephant as they swim across the water, as well as buffalo, lion, crocodile, lechwe, puku, giraffe, zebra, sable, kudu and the occasional leopard as they gather to quench their thirst at watering holes. Besides animal life, you’ll also see a huge variety of birdlife and plant life as you listen to the sounds of a hippos grunting and breathe in the sweet smell of African grass.
The Chobe is known as a photographer’s paradise and for good reason. The soft early morning light and the sunsets at dusk, combined with striking animal behaviour, make for dramatic and unusual photo opportunities.
With over 450 species, a mix of terrains and a dramatic African backdrop, the Chobe River is the perfect setting for a highly rewarding birdwatching safari. Birding season starts in September, when the first migrants arrive, boosting the bird population sometimes by 20% compared to the winter months. From December through to March, birdlife on the Chobe is extremely busy and the colourful breeding plumage on display is an extraordinary sight.
Experienced birders and even eager amateurs will delight in spotting distinct birds such as African skimmers, rock pratincoles and the African finfoot, either through their binoculars or with the naked eye. Having access to your own knowledgeable guide and tender boat lets you spend many hours on your birding safari also viewing cattle egrets, fish eagles, open-billed storks, lesser-striped swallows, pied kingfishers and the striking carmine bee-eater. The slow drift of the tender boat means that you won’t disturb the peaceful silence and can also get up close to the birds and observe their fascinating behaviour.
One of the best ways to learn more about a country is to experience its culture. A village tour will take you by tender boat to a local Namibian village called Ijambwe, situated on the floodplains of the East Caprivi. Meet village elders and locals and gain a greater understanding of how the inhabitants of this 100-year old village live, including their daily challenges and traditions.
The men of the village either fish to provide meals for their families, while the women and younger children perform the chores and produce handmade crafts. Pick up a woven basket, beaded jewellery or a carved wooden animal as a memento from your trip – sales of these crafts empower village inhabitants by helping them earn a living. If you want to give the children of the village gifts, bring along school stationery, books or clothing – all will be highly appreciated. Finally, enjoy a display of traditional dancing and singing at the end and join in the fun!
Guests can also go on a walking tour to a 2000-year-old baobab tree where you’ll learn more about the medicinal and spiritual value of Impalila Island’s flora. For more adventurous guests, if you have the inclination to climb the tree, you’ll be rewarded with a bird’s-eye view of the meeting place of two rivers and four countries.