Down in the Delta on a shaky mokoro

Trip Start Sep 15, 2012
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61
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Trip End May 01, 2013


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Flag of Botswana  ,
Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Woke up at 6am ready for the Delta pick up, took down our tent and packed the safari vehicles with our camping gear and headed to the mokoro boat (canoe style river transport) push off.

Vik and I were eyeing up a wider, more stable looking vessel to carry us safely into the Delta and had eagerly placed a few items in the boat, unfortunately we were asked to remove these while we were given a talk.....talk finished, mokoro polers introduced themselves to any given pair of passengers and Paula and I were approached by 'Magneto', a very slim young man with a wide smile but not so wide boat - gutted!

We were guided with our backpacks towards an old, thin, short looking mokoro, it was as though someone had looked at the width of us both and the height of Vikki and decided to play a joke on us. Fuming, Vikki made her way through the muddy launch point and stepped into the mokoro and shuffled towards the two broken plastic seats, I followed and we both sat with our legs wrapped around all of our gear as the trainee poler navigated through waterways supposedly rife with crocodiles, water pythons and poisonous spiders!

We sailed very unsteadily into the Delta, dodging spikey reeds with Vik trying not to scream as the dug out boat listed right to left, the rim of the boat just inches from going under. The poler did his best to keep things calm, but he was part of the problem! Rocking the boat, vibrating his pole and telling us to sit centrally even though the boat had a significant tilt to the right.

Eventually we made it to camp - by this point Vikki had kept herself sane by making all three of us large daisy chain necklaces from the water lilies, we leapt onto the shore with a sigh of relief looking like we'd just arrived in Hawaii.

Our camp was small to say the least but once we pitched our tents we had the opportunity to count the many departures from what we had been sold; not all the bags arrived; we had no grill to cook on; no spade to dig a latrine; our guides not only neglected to sing and dance for us, but they didn't even want to engage with us; and the local women on the trip in particular looked at us with absolute hatred. They used our pans, cutlery, stools, dominated the fire, stared a lot and tried to assert some sort of authority, and for all this fun and privilege we paid $145 per person.

So, as it happened, we sat in camp from 10.30am until 4.30pm with nothing to do but question why we were here and how the hell we ended up paying so much for so little (safari was scheduled for 5.00pm to avoid the daytime temperatures so we asked for it to be brought forward as it was overcast). When we eventually went on the walk we saw almost nothing; an elephant skeleton; a lion ant (sounds very grand but it's just a big ant that eats other ants); two zebra; the crowning glory described by our guide as 'domestic buffalo' (aka cows!); and lots and lots of dung!!

When our guide, Papillion, asked us to teach him about astronomy we were aghast. Stacey simply stated 'I hate space...' whilst the rest of us tried to explain the solar system - this followed a 20 minute lecture by him on a small salt flat - about salt...anybody, salt?!

Vikki ended the torture by asking if we could return to camp as both she and Stacey were on cook group - something to be slightly thankful for, for once!

After dinner we pretty much hit the sack as it was dark, with very little to do and an early start in the morning. The rhino that careered through our camp in the dead of night was perhaps the most friendly and welcoming Delta dweller we had encountered so far...!
 
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Comments

annewardell
annewardell on

Oh...sounds like a poo trip - ask for your money back! Loving Vikki's daisy-chain efforts though! xxxx

Sue on

Oh dear, how shite. I do like the water lily necklaces though...

Waddle on

Get the size of that wish-bone.....watch out for big chickens !

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