Hut, Stars and Bugs Galore

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Africa » Botswana » Ghanzi District » Ghanzi
February 11th 2011
Published: February 11th 2011
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I spent the last 2 hours sitting around a fire starring at 1,000’s of stars. I have never in my entire life seen so many stars. It was dark outside and the sky twinkled. It was a nice night. Getting here is another story.

We left Windhoek, Namibia around 9:30am. Our itinerary changed so we headed directly to the border crossing into Botswana. At 5pm, we finally arrived at the Trailblazers Bushman Hut Camp in Ghanzi. Both Linda and Coleman refused to stay here as it was basic (no doors on the bathrooms or showers – just a side door) and the huts themselves were, well… made of branches. Poor Locke had to drive them about 30 minutes each way to find them ‘acceptable’ accommodations.

The people here are super friendly. They made Locke and me a home cooked meal. I downed a few scotches as it seemed like we all needed a drink after the long day we had. The meal was AMAZING. We had pumpkin, beef stew, rice, and porridge (the staple ‘poor man’s dish’). A fire was built and we just star gazed and I spent some time doing terrible impersonations of both Linda and Coleman. It was a pretty silly night.

When all the lights were shut off, it was super peaceful. The only thing that got extremely loud was all the bugs and animals. I was perfectly fine until I heard some loud and unusual sounds. Locke is about 5 huts away. We are the only people staying at this place tonight. The staff disappears until sunrise. Surprisingly, I slept very well under my mosquito net once I fell asleep. My alarm was set for 6:30am as I was meeting with Bushman for a morning walk.

The name of the tribe is Qcwiikhwee tribe (San tribe). There are only about 500 left in their settlement located 300 km away from where I was staying. Every few months, different folks from the tribe come to different areas of Botswana to share their culture and survival skills and of course make some money from tourists like me. Don’t be fooled, the younger generation do tend to wear western clothing and not what my pictures show. The older folks still wear next to nothing. We started our walk and before I knew it everyone started spreading out and searching for different bushes and trees. I learned which branches/roots are good for back aches, intestinal problems, fertility issues, brushing your teeth (killing germs), etc… This was all done through a translator as their language has the clicks and the clocks if you know what I mean.

After a bit, we all sat down while the 2 boys taught me how to make a fire. They did it in about 4-5 minutes. I was certainly impressed! After my many thanks for their time, we headed back to camp. Locke and I ate breakfast and we had to go pick up the 2 geriatrics.

The driving in Botswana is quite entertaining. Animals are ALL OVER the road. Basically there are more cows, donkeys, goats, dogs, horses, etc… than I have ever seen! As it is the birthing season, there are so many little ones as well. We lucked out and saw some baby warthogs (which are the cutest things ever) and an African wild cat (which is rare to see). As you are driving, anyone of these animals is simply crossing the road. We couldn’t understand why 200km may take 4 hours to drive. Now it all makes sense. We slow down and stop every 10 minutes or so for the animals. It is hilarious.

Our pit stop for the night is at a descent lodge in Maun. Tomorrow is a big day as we head into the Okavango Delta. The good news is that both Linda and Coleman are definitely not going as they refuse to camp (I am confused as to why they are even here – they have no interest in anything except for eating and sleeping in AC).

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