Separating the domestic animals from wild game.
Moremi Game Drive
Today was a big day, starting at 6:30 am and ending at 6:30 pm tonight. We hopped into Backpackers safari vehicle and headed for Moremi Game Reserve. Before even entering the park, we sighted two elephant under a distant acacia tree. It turned out to be our only viewing of these elusive animals, except for their distinct "loaves of bread" left everywhere on the road. Kayla would really like to meet the animals responsible for baking such large & abundant "Loaves of bread".
Our driver & guide, "Ice" (really his middle name), took us first along the marshes bordering the water passages of the Okavango Delta. He knew just where to look for all the game, and the fun really started here - antelope, impala everywhere we went, slow-moving giraffe. Hippos, both in and out of the water. Even though this was getting close to the heat of the day, we were treated to two female lion, lounging under a tree and not really caring that we were only a few meters away snapping away with our cameras. Did I mention that there were only four of us plus "Ice" so we had ringside seats for the
whole show. Did I also mention that we stayed in the vehicle, and that "Ice" told us the lions would behave quite differently if we were lunch on the hoof instead of staying in the vehicle? Did I also mention that the entire vehicle was open aiir, as in no windows or doors?
Every twist and turn of the vehicle - Ice's driving was a miracle to behold, (and I would not advise anyone to try this no matter how much 4X4 driving experience they have) - produced yet another view of more animals. Water, water everywhere. This was the year of a lot of water, and some early rain. Our vehicle was more in the water than out. Later in the day we pulled another vehicle out of an especially deep (for them) pond in the middle of the road. It's no surprise to us that the government of Botswana has passed new legislation that prevents self-drive vehicles in the parks, starting next January.
We stopped for lunch under a "Sausage Tree" - don't know what the real name is but this one is descriptive because of the huge, sausage-shaped tree fruit that falls from the tree.
Must create an elephant-size headache to any human unlucky enough to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. After Ice did his walk about to ensure there were no predators about or a leopard in the tree, we were sitting there enjoying a brief respite from being on the move when a curious giraffe started walking our way. Sniff, sniff. Walk more our way. Stop and stare at the strange humans. Walk more our way. Snap, snap go the cameras. Almost joined our picnic before ambling on its way. What an incredible experience! Who could not love such gentle creatures.
On the way home, Ice waved, or stopped to talk or shout out to several groups of friends & family. That started us talking about his culture. He belongs to the Bayei tribe, which numbers about 20,000 people in the Maun area. They were the original occupants of the Okavango Delta, and moved to the surrounding areas when it became a park back in the 60's. One thing lead to another and now we've been invited by him to meet his family and learn more about their culture on Wednesday, and to see more of Maun from
the perspective of one who has lived here all his life.
This computer does not allow upload of photos, so we'll have to publish the pictures later. We have lots.
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