Botswana Time.. and Namibia
Day 114: Wednesday, Sep 13: Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe to Botswana
Today we waited around for Ash. The day before he was involved in a plane crash in a 1940’s biplane called a Tiger Moth (I flew in one of these in Australia). Upon takeoff, the engine cut out and instead of heading straight for some trees, he banked right, missed the trees, but clipped the wing on the ground and turned the plane into a tin can. Both Ash and the pilot walked away (well, not literally, sounds like both blacked out and woke up in the ambulance, but both were released the next day). Ash has cuts and bruises on his leg, a slight concussion and 2 very black eyes. He’s already in good spirits and will be getting an MRI when we get to South Africa. Turns out thats their second crash in 3 months and are currently shut down (which is fine cause they have no planes left).
Once Ash got back, we headed into Botswana. We were supposed to do a game drive in Chobe Park, but due to our arrival time we just chilled out.
Day 115: Thursday, Sep 14: Chobe, Botswana to Okavango River, Botswana
Today was a long drive day that took us through parts of Namibia. We got to the campsite at the Okavnago River and had some beers, calling it an early night.
Day 116: Friday, Sept 15: Okavango Delta
We got up early and onto some speed boats that took us down the Okavango River. Basically swamp on both sides, we saw many a large crocodile as we sped past. We got to the delta and swapped our Speed boats for Mokoros, dug out canoes. The mokoros took us through the swampy delta to our campsite for the day. A really nice campsite, our tents were put along the banks, righr where hippos hang out (we never saw them here, but did hear them at night). We relaxed for a few hours and then took a hike on the island in the delta. We saw some elephants in the distance. After the hike, we got back in the canoes and they took us out to watch the sunset.
Day 117: Saturday, Sept 16: Okavango Delta
An early start, we took a 90 min canoe ride through the delta to another island. We stopped and watched some hippos play. Once on the island we took a 2 hour hike, unfortunately, we didn’t see much of anything (plenty of elephant poop) except for a few zebras and impalas. Oh well, it was good exercize if anything. The canoe ride back took us through more swampland, we had some lunch and headed back to the speedboats, where we saw more crocs and almost ran over a hippo.
Day 118: Sunday, Sept 17: Okavango Delta to Namibia
Back ot Namibia, we stopped to buy dinners and then headed to Hobas Meteorite, the largest in the world. A full day of driving took us to this absolute shithole surrounding a big rock. Oops, there was no way we were going to camp here. So we headed for another hour to another town (can’t remember the name) and found a beautiful campground. Dinner was served and another successful border crossing accomplished.
Day 119: Monday, Sept 18: Etosha, Namibia
Today we headed into Etosha National Park. Etosha is a large dry lake bed (think Mohave desert) surrounded by grasslands. Within the grasslands are springs that have created natural (and manmade) waterholes for the animals. Because it is a rather dry area the animals must come for their water. This means all you have to do is drive up to a watering hole and wait.
After we set up camp, we relaxed a little and some warthogs came to check us out. Also, I played cricket for the first time in my life. We then headed into the park to check out the wildlife. Zebras and Wildebeests are abundant, but even more surprising are the number of giraffes. I haven’t seen this many giraffes on my whole trip. There are a lot of jackels as well. We saw a couple of rhino in the distance as we were headed out but had to call it a night because the park closes at sundown.
After dinner we walked to the local watering hole that they light up at night. Unfortunately, not much turned up but birds and bats.
Day 120: Tuesday, September 19: Etosha
We got an early start to do a morning game drive. Unfortunately, not much was to be seen this morning. After breakfast, we packed our tents and drove through the park. Stopping half way for lunch, we watched antelope drink while we ate. Through to the other end of the park we set up camp again.
This evening we headed over to another lit watering hole. This one was different. A couple of elephants, a black rhino and a few giraffes were all drinking while people were crowded around them. They left, but just an hour of patience brought plenty of life back. 3 Elephants, 4 rhinos, a couple of hyenas and a few giraffes all decided it was drinking time. I went to bed happy and with a great few pictures.