|Posted on July 23, 2014 at 11:50 AM|
To continue our story in Botswana, after coming from Kgalagadi, we found our way to MAUN which is fairly large town, being the main gate way to the Okavango Delta.
The Okavango is a lovely place where you usually quietly cruise down the delta rivers in a wooden mokoro. (small narrow boat, very low sides and cut out of a tree trunk). Well actually your don’t ‘cruise’ there is normally a person standing at the end of the boat with a long stick, ‘pole’, who is pushing the pole into the ground and moving you along. (obviously not too deep in many parts, but also deep enough for the many hippos and crocs that live in these waters).
We have been to the delta twice before and chose not to camp on one of the islands this time,~ we thought we might just visit Moremi for a day or two. Moremi is one of their best parks on the island for seeing wild game. As it happened, we met Norman Curry and his son Greig in the Sedia hotel & campsite we were staying at. A great couple of blokes who we instantly liked. So, it was agreed that the next day, these two giant size men (height only + reputation) where going to squeeze into our land rover and spend a full day on safari with us into Moremi. (Land Rovers are not renowned for their spaciousness, or leg room, especially considering we also have a fridge in the back seat area.) so it was good that we could stand through the top hatches;
Before we had even entered the park itself Norman spotted an large Leopard resting on the side of the road. We stopped for photos thru the top hatch and the leopard quietly got up and walked away into the bush, pausing for a moment to get a thorn out of his paw. In the park, we came across the carcass of a small giraffe that the lions had brought down a few days earlier… now it was left to the jackals and vultures. Elephants stopped our way for a while as we had to wait for the herd to cross the road to a safe distance before we could continue, then we were stopped by the water. If you know your way around the delta, it is possible to drive through some of these areas,… but when you don’t know that area or how far or deep the water goes for… it’s best not to go there. So heading back in the other direction, we finally found the 3rd Bridge. These bridges are only Mopani logs sitting on a framework, most of them are either just above or covered in the water. The 3rd bridge was the longest and deepest of all and the logs move as you cross them. Once across, we made our way to where a male lion was resting after eating way too much hippo that he had killed and was also laying decomposing on the other side of the road way. The lion had eaten so much that he barely opened his eyes, and we all wondered if he was not sick…. But no, he was just his own worst enemy. It was only when drove up close to the side of him and was standing through the top hatch, much higher than he was, that he actually opened his eyes up… more in surprise I think… but then went back to sleep.
Next stop on our journey was PLANET BOABAB. This is not game park and we were only going to do a night stop over, but….. we loved the place so much, we stayed the extra night. This is a must visit destination if ever you come to Botswana. From the time you book in at their reception desk, your mind is fascinated by the interesting way this place has been put together. In the bar / lounge area there are old black and white pictures from years gone past, photos of black singers or models on the beach, posters from old old films, … it was amazing. The bar itself curved around on itself and the seating was all cow hide. You must look at the photos to appreciate. The other great thing about this place, is the fact that it is set among big baobab trees, some of which are lit up at night. If only these trees could talk, they would have so many stories to tell. The pool during the day is beautifully set out, but at night, with the reflection of the baobab trees, it is even more wondrous.
Back once again to ELEPHANT SANDS…. The camp site we stayed at earlier. Once again, the elephants did not let us down. There is something special about being so close to these magnificent animals. At this place, the elephants rule and have complete access to most of the camp. (they would have trouble getting to the swimming pool). While here, I was using this stage to learn and practise some ‘night time photography’. I haven’t had much luck in the past and didn’t bother to learn it, but now was a good time to start. As it happened, we met some other wonderful people, Pete and Heather and their 2 children. Now Pete knows a bit about night photography and was happy to get me started and leave me with some good tips. (just what you need when you are starting out… someone to hold your hand and show you thru the first steps…. Thanks Pete)!! And Thanks to you too Nathan who also got me started via text messages as we drove along in the car.
It is amazing how the right people seem to turn up at the right time. As we drove off the main road into this place, we noticed a new noise under the car.. upon inspection we found we had lost a bottom rubber from one of our shocks…. Minutes later, while Bob is under the car, in rolls 2 land rovers with 2 very helpful guys who come over to see what our problem was. I tell you, I can’t explain enough how helpful & friendly these South African people have been to us. If we were to stop at everyone’s place that has invited us… we wouldn’t get to see anything else of South Africa. It’s amazing…. Thanks to everyone who we have met on the way… even those who gave us cake when we stopped for lunch on the side of the road.!!!
Back at Elephant sands…In the 3 weeks that we were gone, they had erected about 8 new tents here,… all on wooden poles & solid flooring and all with full ensuite. Lovely. It was interesting to see the elephants walk around and check out these new structures that were not there a few weeks ago. Elephants don't miss a thing!!!
Categories: Botswana May 2014