botswanaWednesday morning arrived and we were off with our new tour group to Botswana. We arrived at the ferry crossing fairly early and were soon arriving at our destination, Kasane.

The camping ground was pretty cool – with a bar over the water, a pool at the adjoining hotel and a short walk to the town, we were nicely placed for the next few days. We weren’t at all worried about the warning signs about crocs and hippos approaching the camp. But while we had lunch, it wasn’t crocs or hippos saying hello, it was warthogs that were playing chasy around us! It was quite entertaining!

We settled into camp and then took a walk into town. We did some basic shopping and on the way back, we stopped into a lovely hotel to have a drink along the Zambezi River. We walked back to our camp in time to watch a beautiful sunset over the river while watching crocs, elephants and kingfishers along the river.

The next morning, we were up far too early for a game drive. Although we considered it ‘unsuccessful’, we still saw 3 lion cubs, a large male lion, 2 jackals playing and lots of birds and bucks. So in all fairness, it was quite a good morning! I think it was that we were all keen to see a leopard… and it was soooo freezing in the 4wd that had no windows, windscreen or roof.

botswana2I didn’t feel well at all, so I slept all morning and afternoon until our evening game cruise along the Zambezi River. I’m so glad I was feeling up to the cruise, because it was so cool! Watching the wildlife from the river is fantastic! We saw loads of elephants including an elephant crossing the river, crocs sunning themselves on the bank, baby crocs on rocks, a monitor lizard, giraffes drinking (doing the splits hehe), hippos playing (and spreading their poo into the water with their tail aka marking their territory) and loads of birds. The sunset just topped off the cruise as we made our way back to camp.

The next morning we drove a long way around to Maun for an overnight transit stop. Although we were only here for a day, it was the most awesome place to shower! They were roasting hot, with loads of room inside and if you looked up when under the water you saw a clear sky full of stars – absolutely magical.

At about 10pm that night, we heard a familiar voice shout out ‘SHUTUP’! It was Robin who had heard some nearby group of Germans singing Happy Birthday for the 50th time and was a bit tired of it! We had a giggle and drifted off to sleep.

Our next destination was the Okavango Delta where we had 3 nights away from the truck. We packed everything into garbage bags and onto 4wd’s. We then spent the next 45 minutes dodging tree branches as the 4wd’s navigated deep sand to get us to our base camp. The place was beautiful with the bar looking out over the delta with a nice deck, bar and hot showers.

Morning came and we set out on jet boats for our island adventure. 45 minutes later and we met our mokoro polers who loaded us and our gear into mokoros then set off for a 2 hour journey to the island where we would set up camp. It was so peaceful in the mokoros! Water lilies, birdlife and the sound of hippos laughing entertained us as we glided through the water.

When we got to our camp spot, we set up our tents, had some lunch then went on a walk over the island. We spotted 2 elephants, many birds and heard loads of hippos. After about an hour and a half, we returned to camp, jumped in the mokoros and went hippo watching. We got to a clear part of a stream to watch one hippo get a bit hypo as he did an awesome twist/dive into the water – spectacular :) We moved around the clearing to see another few. Mainly they were just laughing at us… It sounds so much like Count Dracula from Sesame Street, so we had a good giggle.

After hearing about Rebecca doing a mad dash from the toilet after hearing something behind her, we played some 500 before calling it a night. Normally I’d been waking up all night when wild camping, but I was so tired I didn’t wake until morning when I heard some thuds and what I thought was tree branches breaking. It was just George getting breaky ready though!

We had another walk on a different island that morning where we were mock charged by an elephant! Our guide had taken us past him, but he decided to wander in the samne direction and when we got too close, he pretended to charge us to scare us away. I was so excited! Others weren’t – which was funny :) But we saw loads of birds and enjoyed the walk before setting off back to camp. We packed up, thanked our poler, Rich, and retraced our steps back to base camp to have a nice long, hot shower.

We suckered a whole heap of people into learning how to play 500 and they were addicted, so we stayed up late (a whopping 10.10pm) playing before calling it a night.

Next day we were up for a short drive across the border into Namibia.

One Response to “Botswana”
  1. Violeta says:

    Phill, I can so picture u laughing at the charging Elephant….what an amazing experience ur guys are having. Moments like that are priceless