We visited a few different waterholes and pans in the park but most were dry. At a different spot along the river we came across a lot of crocodiles but they would dive into the water as soon as they heard us approach so we seldom saw them up close. Once they felt safe in the slack moving water, their nostrils and foreheads would float upward from the glassy surface, looking as much like piles of mud and rocks as a live animal.. It turns out we ARE indeed the only tourists in the park because there is a drought and the facilities are almost out of water so they aren’t taking reservations. They let us in because we were already driving out the road and I guess they didn’t want to miss out on making a hundred bucks or so. Also, there isn’t as much wildlife with the low water, that is easy to see because the rivers are so low that all the blinds, which are situated just above the high-water mark, are pretty far from the low water. We opted to go our own way and skip the blinds. We felt pretty confident this morning that we wouldn’t run into any rangers. We walked around and had a good time, always on the lookout for crocs or hippos. We saw hippo tracks but never could get within a mile of them. There aren’t any signs in this game park telling us to stay in our vehicles, though that is probably their policy, but hippos and crocs are the only dangerous critters in this park (no lions, buffalo, or elephant) so we felt pretty safe. Yes, hippos are the most dangerous but they are most dangerous at night, when they come on land, and you can hear them from a long ways off. Normally, guided game walks are offered but since the park is semi-closed there were no guides available, so we took a walk on our own.
We left shortly after noon. Back on the tar road we drove all afternoon to make it to the town closest to the Botswana boarder. However, the town turned out to be a bottle store (liquor store) and gas station so we drove on. The last and final town before the boarder was smaller still but it seems a few creative farmers in the area have noticed the need for lodging just short of the border so they’ve established a few B & B’s or safari camps. We stopped at the first one we came to, and settled in for the night, opting to camp on the lawn since the deluxe safari lodges were too expenses. Bob rigged up some mosquito nets in a clever way and we had baked beans for dinner, just as the sun set.