Okavango delta

Trip Start Aug 28, 2008
Trip End Nov 06, 2008

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Flag of Botswana  ,
Friday, September 26, 2008

When we arrived at Maun I booked myself onto a flight over the delta on recommendation.  Jules decided to join me too.  We had an early one that night and the next morning we were up early to meet out truck to go to the Delta.  We were joined by Jodie and Danny who were working in Cape Town.  Danny had the best job - he's an editor with Sky Sports News for the rugby.  Guess who's going on the Lions tour next year.  We headed out on the truck across dirt roads to meet our mokoros and the polers who were going to look after us for the next couple of days.  The mokoros were great, me and Michael shared one and about half an hour in I was asleep.  they're long flat bottomed canoes that just sit above the water line when fully loaded.  A bit nerve wrecking to start with but the complete silence and the rocking motion had me asleep in no time.  We got to our campsite and it was nothing like I expected.  We were seperate from any other groups, there was nothing there except a clearing.  We set up camp and dug our toilet and that evening went for a nature walk.  We didn't really see that much, an elephant in the distance along with some antelope but the idea of walking through wild savannah was quite exciting.  I kept repeating the golden rules in my head - lions: make eye contact, leopards: don't make eye contact, rhinos: run away, elephants: don't run... it's complicated!

I didn't sleep especially well that night, after dinner the wind really picked up and my tent collapsed on my head a couple of times.  I woke up startled thinking that an elephant was trying to get in.  We were up early the next morning, we'd decided the night before that we'd do two and half hours game walk before breakfast at nine.  It was a pretty long morning in the end, we didn't really see that much again, but we worked up a fair appetite, which was a good thing, considering that Michael had scrambled 30 eggs and enough bacon to feed an army.  We spent the rest of the afternoon snoozing and swimming in the water hole where we bumped into some of the guys on my old truck.  The water was a bit weird, it's apparently filtered through the sand to the point that it's just about drinkable but it looks very peaty - it's so brown that you can't see the bottom six feet down.  I tried a bit of poling that afternoon as well but could only manage a 50 point turn in the mokoro and gave up.  I was asleep on my mattress outside of my tent shortly after my exhurtions when Michael woke me up to tell me that there were elephants in our camp.  He wasn't joking either.  There was a big bull elephant standing at our toilet with about five others behind him.  It was pretty exciting, there was even a baby.  Eventually the polers scared them off.  That night we had a sunset cruise in the mokoros up to the hippo pool and watched them playing about in the water followed by dinner.  Then came the moment we'd been dreading.  We'd be warned the polers would entertain us with songs after dinner and they would expect us to recipricate.  We'd been debating our song choice all day on and off and finally decided on Molly Malone and Waltzing Matilda, as the non-Irish & Australians amonst us could probably join in on those two.  We didn't get a great response, we can't have been that good.  It was (you guessed it) an early morning the next day, tents down and packed onto the Mokoros to head back to Maun. 

Seeing as we hadn't had a shower in two days it was one of the first things we did.  We attempted a volleyball game for a few minutes, but the sand was so hot it was impossible to stand on, which made it kind of hard.  Myself and Jules headed off to the airport shortly afterwards anyhow.  The flight was pretty amazing and we got to see some more wildlife but it was the scenery which really blew us away.  We were in a little cesna and we pulled up (this is still mid air) beside another tourist plane and sat for a couple of minutes waving at the people in the other plane.  We then did a bit of a nose dive, just to see if everyone was able to keep their lunch down.  It was a pretty nippy little thing.  After dinner that night I had my final goodbye with my old truck and everyone on it.  It was a good night, everyone was in great form and I didn't have too much further to go without them so it wasn't too teary.
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