Blogs from Botswana, Africa

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Africa » Botswana » North-West » Okavango Delta March 7th 2014

This place is special... frightening, humbling, magnificently beautiful... the Okavango On March 1st, we arrived in Maun, the access point for excursions into the Okavango Delta, a maze of waterways and islands in northwest Botswana. This area, along with other parts of Botswana, is home to some of the highest concentrations of wildlife in all of Africa. Joining us for this stop were Daniel and Gustav, two of my classmates who themselves are stationed in Mozambique for their thesis work. The primary goal for this leg of our journey would be a mokoro camping safari. The mokoros are small hollowed out canoes, controlled by a poler who stands at the back of the boat and uses a long wooden pole to navigate the boat through the winding, reed-filled delta, primarily using narrow channels in the reeds ... read more
This group of young elephants came down for a drink and we watched them for quite a while from just a few feet away in our small boat
A mokoro point of view
There were 17 in this tower

Africa » Botswana » South-East » Gaborone February 24th 2014

Dumêlarra (greetings in Setswana) and welcome to Botswana! Besides the semi-arid climate, parts of Gaborone, Botswana's small capital city, could be Western European in terms of its development. It’s a unique place in Africa and a big part of the academic motivation for traveling here. Botswana had been an extremely poor country prior to the discovery of diamonds (3rdpoorest country in the world at the time of their independence), but has since sustained high GDP growth rates for more than 30 years and is one of the wealthiest countries in Africa. Within economic development research, there is a well-known pattern that resource rich countries have generally struggled to utilize this wealth to develop the country, often getting funneled to few powerful individuals and often leading to extreme inequality, instability and conflict. The notable exceptions to this ... read more
Meet New Years - the Mokolodi Mascot
Photo Credit to Phil
Zebras at the Gabs Game Reserve

Africa » Botswana January 6th 2014

5.01. 18:22 nach 12 Stunden Fahrt sind wir nun endlich in unserer Campsite in Livingstone angekommen. Der ursprüngliche Plan nach Zimbabwe zu fahren wurde verworfen, nachdem der Reiseführer davon strikt mit Unheil verheissenden Begriffen wie "Kriminalität" und "Raub" davon abgeraten hat. Alternativ wurde die Route Maun- Kasane gewählt. Da es aber die letzten Tage nur geschüttet hat riet uns unser Nachbarscamper (Namibianaer) davon ab "you can't pass the rivers and even if you could you would need 3 days for 300 "k"!" - Also blieb anstatt der 300km "offroad" nur noch Alternative die 729km parallel zur zwischen Botswana und Zimbabwe verlaufenden Grenze zurückzulegen. Also wünschten wir den neu gewonnenen namibischen Freunden eine gute Nacht, stellten den Wecker auf halb 6 und zogen uns in unser Domizil zurück. Der die ganze Nacht erbarmungslos auf unser Zelt trommelnde ... read more

Africa » Botswana October 20th 2013

Once again I am afraid it is a rather long blog as we do not get many chances to link up to the internet so this one covers all our travels around Botswana. It was so much quicker getting out of Namibia than it was to get in and within 20 minutes we were entering Botswana, another new country and people. Botswana is bordered by South Africa to the south and southeast, Namibia to the west and north, and Zimbabwe to the northeast. Its border with Zambia to the north near Kazungula, Zambia is poorly defined but at most is a few hundred meters long which should make for an interesting crossing later in our trip. It is landlocked and extends 1100 km from north to south and 960 km from east to west making it ... read more
Hunting in the bush
Fire Making
Us with the Tribe

Africa » Botswana » North-West » Maun October 4th 2013

Back on the road again and back to Africa again, this time further south than previously. Another whistle-stop tour encompassing some of the highlights (to me at least) of South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe and Mozambique. The main aim of this trip was to tick 3 things off my bucket list, swimming with Manta Rays (and hopefully whale sharks), going on safari to the Okavango Delta in Botswana and to go Cage Diving with Great White Sharks, the rest of the trip is a bit of an adventure getting between these places. I could have taken the easy route and caught flights, but the cost would have been extortionate ( there are very few bargain air routes in southern Africa) and it would be too easy, the other option would be to go on Overland Tour, but ... read more
In the mokoro
Mokoro
Zebra

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Africa » Botswana » Kgalagadi » Kalahari Desert August 29th 2013

Any journey starts with lots of careful planning and when one is about to venture into the wilds of Africa there is an added intensity especially when it comes to camping.And so,many breakfast meetings were arranged with Bruce and Megan Birkett to plan for this onslaught into some special corners of this wonderful place called Southern Africa.The Birketts are veterans of bush camping whilst the Elliotts are relative novices but acquiring some impressive camping toys and gadgets with each trip.For this trip our acquisitions included a brand new Howling Moon tent and Stargazer tent annexe.Susan very thrilled with the annexe which will,according to her,ensure that no wild animal latches onto her backside whilst changing at dusk or dawn.The other new camping essential is a new National Luna 51lt fridge/freezer which will keep grub frozen and,importantly,beer and ... read more
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Africa » Botswana » Kgalagadi » Kalahari Desert August 29th 2013

Our lives are touched by many highlights and one of them has to be exploring a new wilderness area.Having cleared all of the immigration formalities at the McCarthy’s Rest border post,which must rank as the World’s least busiest,we headed further west through a bit of parched rural Botswana to Tshabong.Not much there apart from a typically dusty little town in the middle of nowhere leaving one wondering what prompted it’s being there in the first place.Importantly this is where a sign pointing left got the pulse moving a little quicker.Kgalagadi Frontier Park has come about as a result of the amalgamation of large chunks of the Kalahari on both the South African and Botswanan borders and incredibly now spans almost 900,000 sq km’s.That’s big! The road leading to the entry gate became increasingly sandy and necessitated ... read more
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Africa » Botswana » North-West » Moremi Game Reserve August 8th 2013

Botswana, ‘The Land of firsts’. To elaborate slightly, it is in Botswana that for the first time in my life I have knowingly got out of a car and walked towards a pack of feeding lions, the first time I have woken up in the night with an Elephant less than six feet from my bed, and, perhaps more interestingly, it is the first country for which I can say perfectly accurately that I have had a beard for the entire time I was there. Wow, you are thinking, amazing, he’s got a beard! Now the decision to grow the beard didn’t come lightly, nowhere near as frivolously as I have just told you about it, but I thought I’d drop it in casually, mainly because I have had time to come to terms with it. ... read more
Old Bridge Wet Table
Buffalo Crossing
Mike Wanders

Africa » Botswana » North-West » Chobe National Park July 30th 2013

Safari Safari is an adventure like no other. I surprised myself as to how much I loved it! I've never claimed to be an animal lover or a wildlife fanatic, but there was something about safari that changed me. Seeing animals in the wild, and learning about their behaviours was educational, and inspiring at the same time. We began our trip from Livingstone in Zambia, and were driven to the border of Zambia where the Zambezi and Chobe rivers converge, and where four countries meet each other (Zambia, Namibia, Zimbabwe and Botswana). We took a short boat ride across the river to Botswana, and after clearing immigration we went towards Kasane, from where we boarded a boat for the Zambezi River cruise. The river cruise took us along the Chobe, between Botswana and Namibia. We took ... read more
Who are you looking at?
Leopard in the tree
Wrinkles

Africa » Botswana » Southern » Kanye April 7th 2013

I've put off writing this entry as I've had a hard time finding the perfect way to describe my time spent in the African bush of Southern Botswana. Where do I even begin? Do I start with the ever-present sounds of monkeys and birds, the smell of dead elephants, or the sunsets that truly took my breath away? Some of the aspects are amazing, some are less than desirable, but they mixed together to form a priceless week. I left Botswana feeling accomplished, proud, at peace, and completely unready for my time to be over. But I suppose the best place to start is, in fact, the beginning. We arrived at the teeny airport of Polokwane in the afternoon of November 30th. In typical African style, our driver was MIA upon our arrival, but we targeted ... read more




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