Published: October 6th 2009October 6th 2009
We motored up a channel directly from Backpackers. This branch could have been part of the Boro River system.
Up the creek without a paddle
Where yesterday was all about land with a little water, today was all about water with a little land. Power boat for 3/4 hour to reach a local village in the Okavango Delta followed by 2 hours of mokoro (dug-out canoe) through reeds of the delta powered by a 6 metre pole manned by a local mokoro poler. At one point on the way, we broke out into a deep channel and Kayla asked our poler if hippos were around. He said yes, but mostly in the evenings. We could clearly see the sandy bottom of the channel where hippo feet had trod many times, which was just a bit disconcerting since we have heard horror stories of careless mokoro polers endangering the lives of their passengers by approaching a hippo just a bit too close. In any case, we didn't see one today, which suited us just fine, considering the skinny little dugout we were in, just a finger length away from water level.
This was a pleasant laid back trip. There were 7 tourists and 4 mokoro and a very hot sunny day, once again over 40 degrees (100 F). We
saw lots of local birds - topped by the lilac breasted roller - Botswana's national bird - beautiful blue body and wings and tail with a black stripe in the tail - matching the Botswana national flag.
We ate lunch at a small river side camp and then walked for 30 minutes to see three Baobob trees - sadly scarred by elephants. It was too hot to hike any further which was a good thing as there was lots of evidence of large game, elephant bread loafs and giraffe bones and two wart hogs running away. Kayla was a bit nervous about our poler's on-land expertise. He seemed a bit too nonchalant about all the acacia copses we passed and didn't check to see what might be lying in the shade within before we approached. Nerve-racking to say the least, and we had been warned about this in the guide books. It was clear that his expertise was poling on the water, and not in avoiding large game.
The heat provided a opportunity to sleep for our guide and Kayla read her iPaq book in the shade of a fig tree. Then two hours return trip by mokoro
Baby croc basking in the sun
This one was about a metre long. Still a baby.
down stream on the main channel (not the same route coming out - reeds and swamp).
We waited for about an hour on the shore for the power boat pick-up. We were well and truly ready for a cold drink by that time. Water bottles heated by the sun just didn't do the trick. Our power boat guide opened his cooler and handed out water and beer on ice and then motored us on home by 5 PM. Did we mention the crocodile basking in the sun - and Richard has it on video.
There are more photos below