Published: November 15th 2010August 6th 2010
Maun is on the outskirts of the Okavango Delta and is our base for our Mokoro trip. We spend one night in the camp, round our famous camp fire before waving farewell to the truck and Tony for a night away in the wilderness. Luckily Sammy comes with us, as we are now like 5yr old children and are incapable of anything on our own. We pack a 4WD truck with our tents, cooking equipment, food and day packs and drive an hour to the delta. We have one Mokoro, dug out canoe, between 2 people, and then there are extras to take the tents, food and equipment. The polers arrange a sleeping mat per person in the mokoro so it's almost like a lounger. We are then steered through the rushes, along the delta, almost at water level. It's very peaceful except for the huge number of spiders and rushes in the face. We're very lucky and see some elephants and zebra on the journey, we are expecting scenery not wildlife. After an hour the polers pick an island and we get out and set up camp. We stick close together as we're all a bit scared of the game
roaming about, and we also want to be close to the camp fire.
The afternoon is free for swimming and mokoro riding, but I just nap, we've been on the go for days so I need a rest. In the afternoon we go on a bush walk with a poler, we first ride to one of the other islands, we only see a couple of springbok and some zebra but we get some good explanations of the land anyway. We also get another confirmation that no-one smokes elephant dung for health benefits... We rub ourselves in sage though as it's a natural mosquito repellent.
The evening is potjie which has been simmering for a few hours, amazing cooking by Sammy again, we would starve without him. Then the polers sing and dance for us. We lay by the water and watch shooting stars for a while, but are told to come back, we keep forgetting the danger around us. A commotion occurs later on as we have a hole dug in the bushes as a toilet, mainly used by the girls of the group. While Leanne is venturing out to the loo, there are noises in the bushes and an
elephant is seen wandering about, now we understand why we were told to go in pairs!! Even later, once all but a couple of us have gone to bed, more elephants walk around the camp site, luckily I'm dead to the world so don't panic at all.
We have another bush walk in the morning on our island, this time we see elephants quite close up. And once we get back to camp there are lots of them along the water's edge. Another great cooked breakfast waiting for us, then time to pack up to slowly float back to the 4WD waiting for us.
9 people have opted for the scenic flight over the delta and one more is needed to fill the plane, so I succumb to peer pressure and agree. It's $65 for 45mins which isn't too bad. It's a 7 seater plane and all seats are window seats... The aerial view really shows the delta at its best, it can clearly been seen where the water takes over the land in random paths. The pilot is a nutter Swede and gives us a real ride, we switch from side to side with the wings perpendicular to the
ground, then a few changes in altitude to really put our stomachs in our mouths. Still amazing views though and lots of game. We see a heard of over 30 elephants and plenty of buffalo, zebra, antelope, hippos and giraffes. Definitely money well spent.
Another crazy night around the camp fire with chinese whispers and many drunks falling off their chairs. Somehow I sleep through the racket of piggy trying to back flip off the toilet wall, which ended with her flat on her back after hitting the corrugated tin toilet door.
There are more photos below