Blogs from Botswana, Africa - page 56


Africa » Botswana » North-West » Chobe National Park January 25th 2007

We got up late, well rested and full of energy for the day ahead. We went into town (or village perhaps) to have a look around and to buy some food and alcohol for the afternoon's cruise. We saw a sign saying 'Hot Bread Shop' and followed the arrows hungrily (bread is not up to much here on the whole). Next door to the bread shop was something even better - a deli selling the sort of things you'd find in Waitrose and loads of nice South African wines. We spent a 'kitty' fortune in there, and it was almost all gone just a few hours later. Everything from peanuts and pickled onions to a selection of cheeses and over a litre of wine per person (and that included people who only drank beer). It was ... read more
1st one of the year and Ed's big 5

Africa » Botswana » North-West » Maun January 24th 2007

Today's journey began early and was one of the quietest yet on the truck. The destination was Chobe National Park. Time and again we would have to slow down for elephants either in or next to the road, and this wasn't even in a national park or protected area, just the genuine 'wild'. It's great to see so many and makes you wonder why people still think they're almost extinct. One time the driver stopped and we wondered why, only to spot a dead donkey in the road. Thankfully this was just a coincidence, although the real reason we'd stopped wasn't much better. About 30m back from the road was a Baobab tree, famed for their incredibly thick trunks and branches that look so much like roots that they appear almost upside down (well, almost!). This ... read more

Africa » Botswana » North-West » Maun January 23rd 2007

We spent the morning hanging around the campsite, and at 11:30 Ed decided to catch a taxi into town. The first hurdle was that the phone line in the campsite office was dead. So Ed borrowed the manager's mobile to call for a taxi, following instructions to "walk down the track until you come to a huge termite mound and climb the tree next to it" in order to get a signal. That half worked and in between crackles it sounded as if a taxi was on its way. Half an hour later Ed borrowed the same phone and climbed the same tree, only to hear that the phone had run out of minutes. More time went by until the campsite manager realised that his landline phone could call other landlines, just not mobiles. So he ... read more

Africa » Botswana » North-West » Maun January 22nd 2007

With just 8 people staying behind in the campsite whilst 14 others went into the delta, the cook was happy to do some more labour-intensive dishes, so for breakfast today we got delicious omelettes rather than hard-boiled eggs. After breakfast we went into town for a bit. Nothing terribly eventful but some time on the internet, a great lunch at French Connection and a bit of time exploring Maun. Its much more similar to towns in developed countries than we'd expected, although with more roads made of just sand. And hardly any white people. We also managed to buy the remaining items for our Australia Day outfit (on Friday). We got back to the campsite for the third delicious meal of the day before the usual bar-then-bed routine.... read more

Africa » Botswana » North-West » Maun January 21st 2007

The town of Maun, and in fact the whole of Botswana's tourism industry, owes a lot to the Okavango Delta. The Okavango River starts in Angola, crosses the Caprivi Strip in north-eastern Namibia and eventually empties itself in what's called the Okavango Delta. The Kalahari is next door, so all this water attracts a lot of wildlife. We had the option of a 2 night/3day excursion into the delta, travelling by traditional pole-driven canoes called Makoros. For one reason or another, including the attraction of a bit of peace and quiet whilst the majority of our group went off on the excursion, we decided to remain at the campsite and take a closer look at Maun. So early in the morning we waved goodbye to most of our new friends before enjoying our first leisurely breakfast ... read more
Elephants - there are more
The Delta from the air

Africa » Botswana » North-West » Maun January 20th 2007

We had a nightmare of a journey today: 10 hours on a crowded truck with uncomfortable seats and no air-con in the African sunshine. Because of our long ride we left early which in turn meant getting up at 4.30am. With last night's antics in the bar not long past, a lot of us boarded the truck clearly still drunk and were asleep within seconds. After a couple of hours we crossed into Botswana, a rarity in Africa in that it's run quite competently by all accounts and enjoys - relatively - high standards of living. We are here for 6 nights, taking in 2 of Botswana's 3 main highlights: the Okavango Delta and Chobe National Park (the other highlight is the Kalahari). To speed up our journey we'd had to make packed lunches in ... read more

Africa » Botswana » North-West » Maun January 16th 2007

So I've been traveling in Botswana now for two weeks. I've come across some interesting travel methods. I left Lusaka on an overnight bus. I must say that the Lusaka bus station was much friendlier at 10PM than it was at 7AM. At 7AM everyone wants to direct me to a Livingstone bound bus, whether that is where I'm going or not. I'm white, I must be going to Livingstone. If they don't want to do that, they want to change money for you. At night, I got asked for a few cabs and one guy asked if I knew where he could sell diamonds. At 6AM on Wednesday morning I'm waiting in line at the Zambia/Botswana border waiting for immigration to open. Around noonish I get dropped in Nata where I wait for a Maun ... read more
Packed in a Hi-lux
Shakawe Ferry
Ride from Seronga

Africa » Botswana » North-West » Okavango Delta January 15th 2007

I have returned to Maun after my sojourn into the Okavango Delta. After learning and seeing pictures of the Okavango Delta it became one of those places I just had to visit. The Delta is created where the Okavango River decides to battle the Kalahari Desert. The desert wins. The river dies a sandy grave. But in the process, it creates this magnificent wetland area in the middle of a desert. Inside the delta there are areas of permant swamp and annual swamp. Right now is the rainy season so the delta is slowly filling up with water. In April/June time frame the waters will reach their peak. Most of the water in the delta comes from the rains in Angola. It takes several months for the water to fill the delta. Usually sometime after the ... read more
Mekoro sunset
Bringing in the fishing net

Africa » Botswana » South-East » Gaborone January 7th 2007

As we rushed down from Gaborone to celebrate New Years Eve in Cape Town, we had been arrested by Karma police a mere hours drive before the big city in the small town of Worcester - and sentenced to a 10-day meditation course. Therefore I sat in silence on my small meditation cushion, contemplating, focusing. Around me were 35 other meditators, all doing their best trying not to move, not to look, not to plan for the future, and not to drift into the past but to follow the teacher’s instructions and be in the present moment. Often I would catch my mind wandering far away from the meditation technique and I would then patiently try to bring my mind back on track - observing - not reacting - realising. At times I would allow my ... read more
Three Wildebeests

Africa » Botswana January 2nd 2007

hi! we've been to botswana, which was wonderful as you can see on our pics! I'll tell you about one special adventure in detail: The elefant attack We were sitting on our vehicle, which means we've got no cover or protection around us, just benches on a vehicle, one higher than that before. And we came to an elefant, a big bull, which was standing alone. When we arrived he was interested in us, he looked directly at us and stopped eating. just stood there and watched us. And we watched him. Apparently he found us neutral, because after one minute he started eatig leaves from a tree nearby while he continued staring at us. Suddenly (very very suddenly) he turned around, facing us again und shook his huge head, so that his trunk swung to ... read more
Coffeebreak in the bush
Raging Elephant

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