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Published: March 31st 2006
Magic in the Sky
Sunset on the Chobe river during the evening game viewing boat ride
From Zambia, we crossed the Zambezi river on a Pontoon Ferry to get to Kasane, Botswana. Kasane is the gateway to Chobe National Park, which is home to 45,000 (yes, forty five thousand) Elephants. Due to heavy rainfall, there is water everywhere and hence, the animals are difficult to find. We did a morning game drive and an evening/sunset boat cruise on the Chobe River to see the wild animals. We have been spoilt by our experiences in Kenya/Tanzania and were dissappointed with the amount of wild life here. We found lot more Elephants on the highway rather than in the Park. But, Botwana is known for its sunsets and have seen some wonderful sunsets here.
From Kasane, we headed to Okavango Delta. The mighty Okavango river from Angola flows into Namibia and river is stopped in its tracks by the Kalahari sands creating the vast Okavango Delta with thousands of islands and marsh land. We bought lot of food, rented camping gear and hired a mokoro (dugout canoe made from sausage tree) to take us into the Delta. The first time in the Mokoro feels very unstable, but soon you begin to enjoy the experience going through the narrow
Mokoro Ride in Okovango
Returning from a morning Mokoro ride in the Okovango Delta
rivulets amidst tall grass/marshes gliding past water lilies. After the mokoro ride, we arrrived at an island and we set up camp. After lunch and rest, we headed out with our guide bush walking on the Island in search of wild life. After three hours of trudging through thick grass and wild flowers, we arrived at the Hippo pool and saw several hippos idling in the waters.
Walking Safaris add an element of danger that we didn't feel during Jeep rides in Kenya/Tanzania. You never know which animal might be there at the next turn. After 15 minutes, we see a giant African elephant looking directly at us about 150 metres away. We stood still and waited for the Elephant to move away and then we proceeded. We saw couple of Elephants and the sun was setting soon. We rushed back to camp before it got too dark. As we are rushing back, we heard Hyenas, Elephant and Baboon cries. I was delighted to be back safely in Camp. Alison made some good pasta and after a hearty meal we went to bed. Through out the night, we kept hearing all kinds of animal sounds, but luckily no animal
Navigating the Pristine Delta
Maneuvering through the narrow rivulets in the Delta
come into the camp site.
The next morning, after tea we took the mokoro ride to get to another island. And our guide led us in search of more animals. After an hour, we saw a family of Giraffes. We keep following the giraffes for a while. It was fun to watch the elegant giraffes walking so close by. After a brief snack stop, we made our way back to Camp. During the last two days, we didn't see anybody except the animals. We didn't see any lions or cheetahs - but, I'm happy i didn't see them !
We packed up our tents and camping gear and loaded into the Mokoro and headed out of the Delta into civilization. The Okavango Delta experience is very unique and is a must for visitors to Bostwana.
After Okavango, we headed to the Kalahari Desert, home to the San People. San Tribe is the earliest dwellers in this region, dating back to 30000 years. We stayed at a community farm run by the San Tribe in D'Kar. To get there, we had to take a donkey cart among other transportation means.We met Ursula, a 78 year old Surinamese-Dutch lady
Future of San
A cute San boy that Alison wanted to bring back to New York
who was travelling through Africa by herself using public transportation. Something has to be said about being " Young at Heart". Alison, Ursula & I were the only tourists at the Game Farm. In the evening, after a sumptous meal we were treated to traditional San dance. The San people speak Naro language, which is the first language we have been exposed to that uses clicking sounds while speaking.. I look forward to teaching you a few of those sounds once I'm back in New York !
The next morning, we went on a bush walk with the San to see some of the traditional food and medicine they use living in the bush. The Kalahari is green at this time, due to unprecedented rains in this region. Due to this, one can see many wildflowers in full bloom.
The next day, we made our way to the Namibian Border. After crossing immigration, we found out that there is no transportation from the border to Windhoek, Namibian Capital. So, we hitched a ride on a pick up truck after waiting for 3 hours.
Now, we are in Windhoek and we found two Japanese and an Israeli to
Fighting the Ostriches
Mano-o-Mano battle with the Ostriches
share a Jeep to travel over the next 8 days.
Tot: 0.291s; Tpl: 0.016s; cc: 13; qc: 71; dbt: 0.0164s; 1; m:saturn w:www (184.108.40.206); sld: 1;
; mem: 1.4mb