Botswana - an appetizer
Trip Start Feb 09, 2009
93Trip End Dec 02, 2009
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After breakfast back at camp we set off towards Francistown (2nd largest city in Botswana). It was here that we first noticed a few marks on Cesca's neck - we assumed at this stage they were mosquito bites.A short drive today through Botswana to Elephant Sands. The landscape out of the window was flat, arid and sandy in comparison to northern SA where we had just come from. Elephants Sands is so named due to the water hole in front of the bar where animals often come down to drink in the late afternoon. We parked ourselves up in expectation of a visit, watching the Weaver birds go about there daily business of improving their homes. After dinner we all jumped in two Land Rovers to have a 'free' night game drive. only about 2km's from the camp the front Landy broke down. It took at least 20mins for the drivers to get it started again, it was pitch black and we were in lion country sitting in landovers that weren't going!. At one stage it looked like we were going to have to hike back on foot. On resumption we cruised around looking for animals, but spent most of our time doing bush aerobics avoiding thorn trees from scratching our eyes out. There was nothing to see -thankfully we didn't pay for it! But we did hear some wild dogs...Sarah R somehow fell asleep on the way back. The unusual thing about this was her crazy bendy neck. Everytime we went over a bump (and there were many) her head bobbled up and down and around at some ridiculous angles hittling people both sides of her on the shoulders. It was only when we got back onto the flat ground of the camp that she woke up right as rain!
Feb 23rd - Elephant Sands to Kasane
After a late night the last thing we wanted was an early morning start but that is exactly what we got as we set off for a game walk at 5.30am. Unfortunaly the guide that was suppose to take us had tooth ache - so his 2 side kicks and Blessed took us instead. We managed to track down a giraffe and some Zebra but unfortunately didn't track any elephant like we were all hoping for. It was just nice to get out and do some excercise after sitting in a truck! The Mosi bites on Cescas neck had turned into what the nurses (Sarah & Sarah) thought was a fungus caused by the Anti Malaria tablets that take away all the good bacteria in your body,so they did their nursy thing on it! After breakfast we headed for Kaskane, but we got a few km's down the road and finally there were ELEPHANTS drinking at a water hole. We parked up fp a while watching them splash around squirting each other, drinking and reapplying their dirt coats. Our next campsite was at Kasane in northern Botswana, we arrived in the early afternoon so had some free time. We had been organised and bought supplies of beer, nacho chips and salsa ingredients in Kaskane town and tried to go to the Chemist to get something for 'Frank' Cesca had named the fungus on her neck 'Frank' a boy because he was annoying and irratating - but you could put up with him being around! We spent the afternoon consuming the Beer & Nahoes next to the river. It was at this impromtu picnic that Alex had a small wardrobe malfunction much to the embaressment of his wife Clare. For dinner, Blessed worked some magic on the brai (African BBQ) and we had wurst, chops and salad.
Feb 24th - Kasane (Botswana) to Livingstone (Zambia)
Another short drive today as we exited Botswana, entered Zambia and drove to Livingstone. The border crossing was a little bit more dramatic than the previous one into Botswana as we had to cross the Zambezi/Chobe river. We got up especially early so that we could be the first to the ferry as it only holds two trucks at a time. As we were tourists, we had prioroty over the commercial trucks and jumped to the head of the queue. another Acacia truck arrived slightly after us much to our delight as we assumed we would be first. We were amazed at the long queue of commercial trucks at the border as it was massive, apparantely some truckies spend 2-3 weeks waiting there turn to go across. On the other side of the river there was a patch of approx 400m to the passport hut, both Acacia trucks tried to outsprint each other to it as it meant a longer wait for the losing team. The ferry barely made it across to the other side before a few people jumped out to make the sprint disregarding crocs in the river, Zambian hawkers selling stuff and other trucks waiting their turn to go back into Botswana. After passprt control I met a Zambian hawker who offered me some Zimbabwean currency. Thinking of my mate Jamie back in NZ I purchased some classics including the biggest note in Africa, the Zimbabwean 100 Trillion! In Livingstone we entertained ourselves watching little monkeys steal people's washing off clothes lines and take it away. We were just happy it was not our pants that were now proudly sat onto of a tree in the campsite! Later we attended a presentation of activities we could do around Livingstone and ended up booking a white water rafting trip combined with a booze cruise for the next day. Then we had to go meet our new tour leader for the next 19 day leg of our journey. Wendy (or big W as I came to call her), did not redeem herself to us with her officious manner... she did not cater for picky eaters! we found ourselves missing the old truck and its ocupants already even though technically we hadn't yet left them. We headed back to our orginal group who had made us dinner while we were away and promptly started to tell them what we thought the new truck was going to be like! They all felt for us and Alex had come up with a nickname for the guide 'Schultz' - one of Hitler's forgotten generals! The 6 of us (Alex, Clare & Sarah's x2) had become good friends in the last 6 days and had sped up our friendships as we only had 2 days left together!