Wednesday, July 7, 2010

African Odyssee: Northern Botswana

A shy elephnat passes our camp in the last light of day near the Okavango Delta, Botswana.


The roads of northern Botswana can have a detrimental effect on your vehicle.

The Hog deep in the bush at Bone Camp (splintered femur mandatory).

Is is a landing strip? A road? Our mystery path traversing northern Botswana.

Livingston, Zambia, near Victoria Falls was, I believe, was the place I entered some of my journal. We have been traversing the areas that make up the KAZA International Peace Park. Our car battery died about three days ago, so we have been scouring the countryside we have been passing through for camps that allow us to give the hog a small push. It has made for slightly stressful but interesting times, and for about three days, we saw no one, not a 4x4, not a plane. No Cellphones, no internet. Nothing. I would love to give all the details of this place but I suggest to find a place that yourself, it makes it much more satisfying. We may have bent a few rules, and passed a few do not enter signs, but for sure I never saw them.

So now we are near Maun, in Botswana, and the Okavango Delta scatters light across the ceiling the of the airy Audi Camp bar, where I managed to pick up some Wi-Fi access. We have camped with crazy-looking and acting honey badgers (Badger Camp) lions sounding off in the distance while we cook dinner, (Lion Camp), and once got tenderly passed by a considerate elephant, who left his dropping, but no other sound as he passed in the night.

Moremi National Park and the Okavango Delta is flooded, delightfully so, and outside its border we watched shy creatures sip water at forest water holes. The animals are all scattered crazily in the distant areas of the delta by the biggest floods in fifty years. The delta is swollen, ripe with rain and from dozens of miles it's scent wafts upon the desert winds.

I will put together a small section of my journal when we get back to Johannesburg in the next week. Today we are leaving our wired comfortable pit-stop and heading into the pans of the Makadikadi. It will be wet. How wet and how far we can drive will mostly depend on nerve and the state of the flood, because when the Okavango is wet like this, it spills over into the pans, and turns them into a tropical paradise of long flat lakes filled with zebras and flamingos, but treacherous to 4x4 vehicle travel.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Jeff, I lost a journal back in the 80's near Victoria Falls. Did you happen to find one? It was in one of my favorite bags, so it would be nice to get that back, too. :) Great to see your blog and couldn't suppress a smile when you mentioned the looooooong trip to Maun. I have a photo somewhere that shows a few volunteers after a long ride in the back of a lorry from Nata to Maun. We are covered head to foot with dust and look pathetic. But no matter how pathetic we looked, those are some of the best memories. Safe travels, and enjoy. Peace, Anita M