Sunday, April 20, 2008

‘On Assignment in Africa’ – an update from the Original 2AFRIKA, INC.’s Director of Operations, Dominik M. Zakrzewski

SUNDAY, APRIL 20, 2008

The Botswana skies are unending. It is day 2 of my stay here at Chobe Safari Lodge just outside of the world-famous Chobe National Park and I truly feel like I’m in Eden. Chobe National Park is situated in northern Botswana in close proximity to the Savuti and Moremi Game Reserves as well as the Okavango Delta. There are many Safari Lodges in the area but I am staying at Chobe Safari Lodge as it is a 2AFRIKA, INC. appointed property.

Staying just outside of the Chobe National Park permits you access to the Caprivi Strip of Namibia which enables you to walk through a Namibian village as well as have full day access into Victoria Falls. If you wish, you can pop into Livingstone town (Zambia) as well as Victoria Falls town (Zimbabwe) but I highly doubt that you would want to leave this paradise. There’s a marketplace right alongside the Lodge named ‘Choppies’. You really do experience rural Africa here whereas when you stay in Chobe National Park itself, you’re confined to the parameters of the National Park.

People here are genuinely friendly, not just because they are employed and trained in the hospitality industry. Where ever you may wander, people greet you with a warm ‘Hello’, not because you’re a tourist. Everyone who passes one another in a car on the road also waves. This is a remarkably friendly Country.

All activities at Chobe Safari Lodge, when reserved via a 2AFRIKA, INC. package, are included. Most game drives or boat cruises take about 3-hours. You have the middle of the day and evenings to yourself. I’m sitting on the deck right now, overlooking the Chobe River typing away. I’ve developed a healthy, strong tan. I feel like I’m glowing, I don’t feel like I got a tan that you associate with the tropics. Almost like this land has branded me, painting my skin with a warm copper tone. While within the vicinity of the lodge you’re pretty much bug free, when you’re on a Safari Game Viewing Drive it can become pretty pesky. We highly recommend Malaria medication for extra precaution and a very strong bug lotion or spray (I bought pre-soaked clothing with 30% DEET).

The game drives here are fantastic. I was up at 4:45am to shower and get ready for my drive that I was supposed to report for an hour later at reception. It’s cold in the morning. Jeans, t-shirt and a sweater weren’t enough. I should have worn a long sleeved shirt under my sweater. Even a blanket would be nice. The drive from the lodge into Chobe National Park takes approximately 7-minutes. To summarize my experience, the free-roaming game unravels before you like a play as you penetrate deeper into the National Park. As the warm glow of sunrise approaches, one by one from smaller to larger, the animals awake greet you and a new African day.

We saw impala everywhere followed by a few hippos who grunted as we passed by. Wild dogs blocked one of our roads and we saw two immense herds of water buffalo. A few crocodiles popped their heads out of the water - I’ve noticed that the afternoon is better for seeing crocodiles basking in the sun as well as the multitudes of elephant that come to the river to drink. We saw kudu as well as large family of baboons which laboriously tore a tree apart. We saw plenty of giraffes but what topped it off for us was a pride of young lions - 10 feet away from me!

Seeing the Animal Kingdom in its natural state (none of them were placed within the park - it’s the Wildlife Services that built the lodges around the park before it became proclaimed a National Park) was beautiful. No zoos; nothing artificial. Actually this should be the slogan for Africa - No Preservatives! On a side note, I am seeing the DEET clothes working; a few mosquitoes just flew by me and didn’t stop - under normal conditions I would’ve been eaten alive.

For further information on this informational Blog post or any other Safari in the Original 2AFRIKA Collection, visit us on the web at

The Original 2AFRIKA, INC. remains committed to Corporate Social Responsibility in Tourism.

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