I am a native in this world And think in it as a native thinks

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Chobe National Park

After lunch, we split into three groups for our first game drive in Chobe National Park. This is Lucky, the wonderful guide and driver I would have for the next three days.

This park is much more open than the game reserve in Victoria Falls. There, thick bush crowded right against the roads, and we marveled at how the drivers could figure out where they were going; all of the roads looked exactly the same to me.

In Chobe, there seemed to be a lot more grassland, with the frequent stark silhouettes of dead trees. I asked Lucky about them; there were so many I thought maybe it was some strange African species that had just gone leafless for the winter, but he confirmed that they were dead all right, and explained why: elephants. They love to rub against trees, and eventually they rub away all the bark and the tree dies.

The greenery around the bottoms of the dead trees is the highly versatile woolly caper bush. Knobs of it punctuate the grasslands, sometimes growing so tall they look like fuzzy spineless trees.

Mostly it's a climber. It twines around some of the dead trees like reborn foliage, and bursts like treetops from termite mounds.

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