I love Botswana!

Kasane Travel Blog

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Male impalas practice-fighting; Chobe National Park, Botswana

As of today, I have seen the Big Five! I’d seen buffalo, rhinoceros, lions and elephants on previous game drives, and today I saw a leopard!

 

I was the second person in our truck to spot the leopard skulking around the acacias. We caught glimpses of it every time it darted from one copse of trees to another for cover.

 

Our group was split into two trucks, and people in the second truck didn’t see the leopard. I sensed a little resentment later on when both our trucks stopped in the path of a dung beetle and someone said “We didn’t see a leopard, but we did see a bug push a ball of sh*t up a hill!”

 

We also saw plenty of piles of sh*t in the Okavango Delta – at least, that’s what they looked like.

Okavango Delta, Botswana
They were termite mounds, actually. Camping in the Okavango Delta has been my favourite part of the trip so far. The Okavango Delta is an inland delta. Most of it is made up of shallow waterways, but there are islands dotted around. We reached the islands via mokoros (dug-out canoes) and camped in the bush for the night. The local polers (mokoros are steered with poles) made the experience special: in the evening they sang some local songs. It was a beautiful night. We sat around a camp fire with no toilets or showers – it was just us in the delta – enjoying the locals’ dances and songs. They were excellent singers and it sounded harmonious. And it all happened under the blackest sky and the brightest stars. It felt really magical... for lack of a better word. At night we heard hyenas (and someone snoring).

 

We didn’t see any hyenas the next day, even though we walked around the island in the morning and the evening.

Max; Okavango Delta, Botswana
We split up into groups of eight or so, and each group was guided by two locals. We walked in single file, stopping every so often to inspect tracks and dung. The locals showed us the “toilet paper plant” – I don’t think that’s its official name, but the leaves are really soft. If you’re still not sure why it’s called the “toilet paper plant”, use your imagination!

 

Something we did need our imaginations for was picturing how big the delta is. We only saw a very small section of it on foot. By air, the delta looks even more spectacular. I know, because the next day, a few of us flew over the delta in a Cessna. The flight was a lot nicer than any of us had imagined it would be. I sat next to the pilot, which gave me frontrow seats when the pilot dove so close to the ground, the reeds must have been almost scraping the bottom of the plane. We saw more game from the air than we did on foot: a buffalo herd, giraffes, lions, elephants, crocodiles and hippos. If you have enough money, go on a delta flight! If you don’t have enough money, borrow some!

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Male impalas practice-fighting; Ch…
Male impalas practice-fighting; C…
Okavango Delta, Botswana
Okavango Delta, Botswana
Max; Okavango Delta, Botswana
Max; Okavango Delta, Botswana
Young hippos playing, with an olde…
Young hippos playing, with an old…
A hippo and two friends; Chobe Nat…
A hippo and two friends; Chobe Na…
Elephants playing in mud; Chobe Na…
Elephants playing in mud; Chobe N…
A boat in Chobe National Park, Bot…
A boat in Chobe National Park, Bo…
Kasane
photo by: jeffy