Trip Start Nov 07, 2006
23Trip End Jun 2007
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We notice many animals are sucking the ground and our guide explains they are sucking the salt from the earth.
On the banks of the river elephants gallivant along, playing with each other, taking mud baths, and drinking for the water's edge.
I stare down into the water, lily flowers are seemingly strung together in horizontal fashion, attached to river reeds and plants leaving a natureza too beautiful to describe fully in words.
As we get off the boat, we can't stop thinking of lunch, hungry from the morning trip. We pile into safari vehicles and as we leave the edge our thoughts of food seem to vanish as we look around, as far as the eye can see giraffes are peeking their heads out of the trees, eating leaves from tall branch or spreading their stilt like legs far enough apart so they can bend their head down and nibble from the ground.
When we arrive tents are being set up and lunch made as we now have become mad with hunger...if you all know me personally I can't function without food and soon become incoherent trying to make small talk with others on the trip. We have a couple girls who just graduated from undergrad, full of ambition, one doing an internship in cape town working with refugees. A Japanese girl who works for UNDP in Windhoek, Namibia just on vacation. And a North San Diego County older couple who are visiting their daughter and her husband...they are maybe 35, both met backpacking, had been working in corporate jobs and took over a year to travel around South America, Africa and Asia. While on their trip they volunteered for a couple weeks in an orphanage in South Africa. When they returned to "normal" life they found they were changed by what they saw and decided to work for a year, save up money and come back to Africa. They are now volunteering for a year, managing the orphanage in Port Elizabeth, South Africa. It's so interesting to travel here because everyone you meet has a fascinating story of how to live life just a bit differently.
After lunch we head off on an afternoon game drive, starting by the banks of the marshy river, the sun is making the surface sparkle, sending jewels of light off in all directions. We first come across some elephants hanging out by the banks, getting so close you could almost touch them. Then we head up into the bush, passing monkey, baboons enjoying the afternoon.
Heading to another part of the river, a troop of elephants is just crossing the banks, we watch as the adults, only go in half way, but the babies are completely engulfed in the water.
As the sun begins to set, reds and purples light up the African sky; knobby trees stand as if in a painting set against this landscape and animals are backlight by the setting sun.
As we head back to camp the colors of the sky have taken on different hughes, so beautiful I don't have words for it, we drive by the banks of the river and when we get back to camp are alive with conversation. We eat dinner cooked over small stove and sit around the campfire. I start talking to one of the guides who has worked all over Botswana doing safaris, the life he has lead is one I can never imagine, an incredible opportunity to work and live so close to the animals
That night we often wake up to sounds of hippos, hyenas and a lion. In the morning as we take a drive, we spot lion tracks only feet from camp, a hyena bounds past us into the bush, talking to others, vultures cluster in groups in the top of a tree and we strain to make out if there is a kill. As drive back mongoose and baboons, monkeys, giraffes, elephants and buffalo dot the landscape and you almost want to scream let me stay here just one more minute, because the truth is there is nothing like it, nothing so beautiful.