A full day delightfully spent in the bush

Trip Start Feb 23, 2009
Trip End Aug 22, 2009

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Where I stayed
Bush camping

Flag of Botswana  ,
Monday, July 20, 2009

Today was spent being one with the outdoors!

We had a 6:30 wake up call and headed off for a bush walk promptly at 7 am...we walked for 3 & 1/2 hours through the bush and we saw baboons and elephants.  Chances are we were probably be seen be thousands of other animals, but they're just really good at avoiding we paparazzi minded tourists!

As most animals siesta during the hot hours of the afternoon, our group opted for the same.  We sat at the campsite and ate popcorn while watching one of the most captivating sites on earth (in my mind anyways): hippos!!  With their Jabba-The-Hut style of laughter, their excessively loud and echoey grunting and their sheer bravado, one can't help but want to watch them all day! 

Prior to sunset, we set out once again in the mekoros for a sunset cruise.  We meandered through the delta and for a grand finale, we went (perilously) close to the hippos.  I have had many moments in my life where I was more or less convinced that it would be ending shortly.  Being close to the hippos, in a tiny wooden canoe, in deep water, was one of those moments.  Obviously stupid tourist that I am, I should have realized that the mekoro guides knew exactly what they were doing (and if we got eaten/maimed/killed, they probably wouldn't be getting much of a tip), but at that point in time, I was too busy holding my breath so that I wouldn't shake the mekoro in any way.

Needless to say, I lived to write another blog entry...(much to all your dismay, no doubt :p)

Dinner was delicious...after near death experiences, everything tends to taste better, don't you find?!  We spent the evening singing campfire songs (both in Setswana and in English) and we also played a great game: the Box Game or Box Diving.  Before you begin to envision something inappropriate, the game actually involves a small cardboard box.  The players of the game must pick up the box without using their hands or going on their knees.  As the game progresses, layers are ripped from the box until eventually there's just small sides left.  It sounds simple, but when the box's side is only a centimetre tall, it becomes much trickier, particularly in sand (which does not cushion your blow when you fall!!!)!  Because our mekoro guides were insanely flexible, we inevitably had to dig a hole in the sand as a virtually non-existant box was no match for their flexibility.  The game ended when the hole was a head deep into the sand.  I kid you not.

Next time someone considers themselves to be 'flexible' or 'agile', I suggest you go to Botswana and play the box game with some locals...you will be put to shame!

Plus side of tonight: no animals scratching at my tent.  However there were some very hungry (growling) lions nearby and elephants shaking the trees nearby.
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