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Published: November 11th 2008
We left “disappointment” camp and set off through the sand tracks for the tarmac once again. Ian was leading, guided by his gps, and we followed. At some point, I inadvertently took a different track and suddenly we realised that we were no longer behind Ian. We had neither gps nor compass! (Well, I might have wound up my very old gps to give some useful information as a last resort). But we did have our walkie talkie communication with Ian who, by this time, was getting rather broken because of the increasing divergence of our tracks!
The bush looked all the same, direction was confusing, and it suddenly became rather unpleasant. We called Ian to stop him going any further. We then turned off our engine and asked him to sound his horn - nothing heard. So we both retraced our steps for a while and repeated the exercise. Again nothing heard. The third time we did this we could just hear Ian’s horn so agreed to meet at the one water hole we had both passed. We arrived there, immediately recognising that we were on the right route again and Ian appeared a few minutes later. It was
River trip Okavango
a salutary experience for us all and emphasised how easy it is to get lost, and worse still if separated. Not funny!
Once on the tarmac we retraced our steps to Gumare
in the hopes of getting an oil change for our cars. The fuel station there sold us the oil we needed - the manager funnily enough turning out to be a Kikuyu from Nairobi - and we then drove to find a small workshop where young motor mechanics were trained. They were only too pleased to do our oil changes (for a very small fee) and, under our close supervision, the job was done in an hour.
Then on northwards to Shakawe
, the border town at the Caprivi Strip
, to shop for provisions and water, before going down a short track once again to another riverside campsite we had heard about - Drotsky’s Cabins on the bank of the Okavango River.
It was all that the one last night wasn’t - lovely camp pitches under huge great trees looking across the papyrus of the arm of the delta. All facilities were excellent and costs not as extreme as “disappointment” camp. We immediately arranged a two
Reflecfions in Okavango
hour boat trip up the river which we all thoroughly enjoyed. The boat was comfortable, the boatmen very skilled and knowledgeable about the birds, and we saw an excellent variety along the river, including carmine bee-eaters and giant kingfishers. There were huge cumulus cloud buildups all around us as we landed back at camp so it was no surprise when, having just finished our evening meal, the thunder and lightning heralded a downpour of rain. We just made it into bed - dry.
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