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Published: June 17th 2017
Elephants are frequent visitors to our campsite.
Geo: -19.0933, 22.4451
Everyone in camp was up by 8. I got out of our tent just in time to see the elephant that had just walked through camp. Today was going to be another beautiful spring day – the sky was clear and it was already warming up. It wasn't long before more elephants walked past. This time it was two young adults, a mother and her calf. They were walking just behind the tents. The calf stopped its mother for a drink, which showed us how relaxed they were in our close company.
After watching the elephants we had breakfast, spent a bit of time relaxing in camp and then we were off. It was at a bit after 11 that Jan, his two friends, Paul and I were driven to the airstrip. The drive to the airstrip was quite interesting, but unfortunately as it was a business trip there wasn't much time to stop and look at the wildlife. During the ten minute drive we saw a herd of impalas, a troop of baboons that quickly climbed a tree when they saw us and a Lechwe (a type of antelope that I had not seen before).
The best part of
03 Termite Mound
A termite mound near our campsite.
the short journey is driving through the wetlands. The water was quite deep, but we made it through each time. At the plane we got in, buckled up and looked forward to another scenic aerial view of the delta. What I didn't realise, is that Jan had planned to do a 'fly by', as soon as we had taken off, he turned the plane around and flew it low, directly above the airstrip. This scared the crap out of me, especially when the plane suddenly changed angles. The others just laughed at me. Once the plane appeared to be more stable, I started to enjoy the flight.
The scenery was very similar to yesterday. We flew over waterholes, canals, swamps and other geographical formations. I also noticed an elephant at a small waterhole and a herd of buffaloes. In the middle of this twenty minute flight we had turbulence, it wasn't fun and I was scared. The turbulence didn't last long. Finally we landed and once again I was happy to be on the ground. We landed at the Khwai River airstrip.
Here one of the guides from the local lodge met us in his open safari vehicle. He was driving
One of the elephants walking behind the tents.
us around for the next few hours. We drove past pans, saw a variety of birds, went through the little village of Khwai, saw a herd of Lechwe, watched lots of hippos basking in the sun and floating in the Khwai River. It was an enjoyable drive around the area.
Just after half past two we were back at the airstrip and soon after we took off. About five minutes of this flight was terrible, the turbulence was so bad, that at one stage all of us were hitting our heads against the ceiling of the plane. We flew through the sky equivalent of really bad, deep potholes. Jan flew the plane higher and then there was less turbulence.
Just before three, we landed again. Once again I was happy to be walking on the ground, but also appreciative of the experience of flying above the delta. As we landed we noticed a few giraffe by the side of the runway. The best part of the drive between the airstrip and the lodge is driving through the wetland. I amazed each time that the car makes it through without getting bogged. There was a breeding herd of elephants in the middle
07 Mother & Young
The mother elephant and her young one are walking near our tents.
of the track, who we watched for a few minutes.
We spent the rest of the afternoon relaxing around the camp. This evening we had another feast by the fire, as we heard the sounds of the bush.
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