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Published: April 30th 2008
It's been difficult getting internet access for any decent duration of time so sorry for the delay in blogging! I am a whole week behind now!
Right, where did I get to last time? Well, I think I mentioned that we would be microlighting over Victoria Falls. If you don't know what microlighting is well you best go google it. I have no idea how such a basic contraption gets airborne. I must admit that I was really rather nervous. There was literally one seatbelt buckle round my waist holding me in. The whole craft is completely unenclosed and so you are in the air with the wind in your face feeling every gust throwing you out your chair! Saying that, it truly was a phenomenal way to see the falls. Only from the air and that height was I able to get some kind of grasp of the scale of the chasm of the falls. I might have been squeezing tight on the handlebars for dear life terrified of the contraption I was in but the view was indeed incredible. As the pilot swept over the Zambezi on the way back from the Falls, he dropped the altitude so
as to take in all the wildlife. Most beautiful of all, was a sole bull elephant wading purposefully through the waters. What a sight! Totally thrilling - almost as thrilling as when we landed and I could again feel the solid ground under my feet. Phew - I'd made it!
So for Kerry's birthday last Wednesday we had a meal at the Zambezi Waterfront resort. There, they were doing a special Zambian night which meant we were able to taste local delicacies, etc. We were daring enough even to try some bush worms! Not pleasant. Suffice to say we enjoyed but 2 or 3 mouthfuls of the whole meal!
Last Thursday, we crossed the border into Botswana. The border is the Zambezi River so this meant a short boat trip of around 20mins duration. We then arrived at the Thebe Safari Camp in Kasane, Botswana and had some time to ourselves. Walking around I came upon a large thin green snake. No idea what kind of snake it was. Probably don't want to know. It slithered away quickly before I got any real chance to look so all good. Spent a lot of the day sitting out in
the sun. Very peaceful. Sitting reading, butterflies and crickets and a whole host of other insects just land on you quite the thing. Amusing.
As for Friday last week, we had an early morning game drive through Chobe National Park and then in the afternoon a game cruise down the Chobe river which also forms part of the Chobe National Park. We saw ridiculous amounts of wildlife. We are talking literally dozens of elephants, impala, vultures, wildebeast, warthog, giraffe...even a crocodile! The best part is that we get to see this wildlife up real close. I have stacks of pictures. Not going to get the chance to upload until we hit Cape Town. That won't be for a couple more weeks but worth waiting for.
On Saturday, we were on the road for just about the whole day. We eventually arrived at Maun, Botswana where we were based in Sitatunga Camp. Here I shared a shower with a frog. I only noticed him hopping round my feet as I was rinsing the shampoo out of my hair. Suppose it could have been worse.
On Sunday, we had a real treat. We visited the Okavango Delta. There, the
local people took us on a mokoro (think gondola!) - two passengers plus one local 'poler'. It was a blissful ride, sailing through the reeds. Very enjoyable. In the middle of the Delta, we set up camp on an island and there had a proper one night's African Bush Camp with no toilets, showers, etc. All very back to nature. The local people stayed with us over night. In the evening they sang some traditional african songs for us. This was on the condition that we would sing for them. The best we could muster was a rendition of the Hokey-Kokey! Dire! We also played some local games which were a a real laugh.
We rose early on the Monday monring for another bush walk when were able to enjoy a glorious sunrise. The colours in the skies here are exquisite. We then ventured back to Sitatunga Camp and had some recovery time from our time in the Bush i.e. hot showers (even if it is shared with a frog - so past caring now!) and a trip to the bar.
Yesterday we were back on the road and travelled to Ghanzi, Botswana. The campsite was quite literally
in the middle of nowhere. After setting up camp about midday we were taken to a local quarry which is now disused, completely abandoned but has since filled with water. There we were able to dive in for a quick swim to cool off in the burning African heat. I must say this was a real treat. Swimming never felt so good. At sunset, we were back at the camp and then taken for bush walk with local african villagers who live out in the bush according to traditional african custom - and this was not just put on for the tourists!! The people were amazing. They are aware of the wider world and what it offers but yet have chosen to stay in the bush and live in a way which we would perhaps call 'primitive'. The children were all naked, the women were barely covered and the men wore only a loin cloth. They lead us through the bush and showed us how they make use of certain plants for medicinal purposes etc. They knew no english whatsoever but we had an interpreter. The tribe/village leader introduced himself personally to each of us. Later, after dinner, they came
back to sing for us round a campfire. Most fascinating. The whole experience/time spent with these local people will definitley stick in my mind as a highlight!
And as for today, we have been on the road for the most part. We have crossed the border into Namibia. We are on a two hour stop in the capital Windhoek. This is certainly the most developed place I've seen in Africa. We spend the next couple of days venturing into the desert and into sand dunes. Very exciting.
Must dash. Bye all.
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