Trip Start Mar 20, 2012
30Trip End Oct 16, 2013
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Our first stop was Chobe National Park where we were given an option of a game cruise or drive. We chose to huddle in the back of a safari truck that shipped us to the park. It didn’t take long to realize that this place has elephant galore. Chobe is home to over 60000 of these prehistoric looking animals. Where other countries are complaining about dwindling numbers, Botswana has too many
Next on the agenda was the town of Maun which is pronounced maa-oon in the local lingual, where we stayed the night. We awoke to a freezing cold morning and scurried around loading equipment and supplies into trailers because we were off to The Delta. The Okavango Delta is the biggest inland delta in the world spanning 16000-sq-km. The Okavango River cruises down from Angola, across the Caprivi Strip of Namibia and into Botswana where is spits into a maze of lagoons, islands and water ways that eventually meet their fate in Kalahari Desert where what doesn’t get swallowed up the desert sands gets sucked up by the thirsty sun. Our gear was squashed with us into mokoro’s (traditional dugout canoe) and a poler (person with a pole who tells the boat where to go) pushed us away from shore and started skillfully directing the boat between the reeds. At first the slightest wobble brings images of capsizing into the cold water flashing through your head, but you soon realize the canoes are reasonably stable. We lay back in our seats and absorbed the beautiful surroundings and peacefulness of the Delta. At one point with the warm sun streaming down on me I started nodding off
For those who were keen, a short lesson was given and then we got to put our own hands to being the accelerator and steering of a mokoro. There were a few close calls, but we managed to stay out of the water as we discovered there is a bit of skill involved in driving one of these boats. With the sun on its way out of business our polers took us for cruise on the gentle waters. The flat liquid beneath us showed off brilliant reflections of the reeds, lilies and trees that call the delta home. With the fiery red and orange of the setting sun taking over the sky this was a magical experience. We were treated to an assortment of local songs by our polers around the fire as we made ourselves comfortable in our last night on our island.
Heading back to Maun some of our fellow travellers opted for a scenic flight over the Delta to see its true glory. A buffet was on offer for dinner back in town which my insides appreciated. We glanced up at Botswana’s incredibly starry sky for the last time before packing into our tent. In the morning the truck whisked us towards the Namibian Boarder, but not before we went through a couple more shoe dips.