Travelling with Alex – Part III: A celebrity stop, a mokoro and the milky way
Maun Travel Blog› entry 18 of 21 › view all entries
Because our travel arrangements were a bit complicated we had to fly from the far north east back to Gabs and the next morning back up north west by plane…Air Botswana was due to leave at 8 AM so we made it to the airport by 7. Well, in theory they were leaving at 8…in practice we were told the flight had been delayed to 10 AM without a particular reason. Air
We arrived in Maun around noon and the sun was blazing.
The Old Bridge Backpacker’s (www.maun-backpackers.com) is incredibly nicely located right at one arm of the
The backpacker’s is full of interesting people: young ones (there was a group of 5 American girls that study at the University of KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa and had taken the bus up there), world travellers (we met and talked for a long time with an English couple in their mid-30ies that has been touring the world for more than 4 years now! �" They started in South America, via New Zealand and Australia to SouthEast-Asia, then on to Africa where they had been for 8 months already and had witnessed the violence in Kenya), and a whole bunch of middle-aged to aged whites that started drinking at the bar at 10 AM and never stopped.
In the evening, David took us and some others on a ride on his motorboat and we saw a beautiful sunset, zebras along the river, a couple of hippos and many many birds.
For the following day we had booked a mokoro (a traditional dugout canoe) tour which was reasonably cheap at the backpacker’s: 65 euros per person for a two-day trip. We talked about the trip with the English in the evening because they had taken it two days before us. They were very disappointed by the trip, the mokoro guide having been very lazy and not at explaining anything.
He asked us to walk with him to the village because he had not been prepared to go on a two-day trip. The village was quite traditional but very poor. However children, as mostly here, were laughing and smiling a lot and Sam was very friendly. We talked and helped him carry his stuff back to the boat. We then took off for a 2 ½ hour mokoro ride to our campsite. It was plain-right beautiful. The serenity of the landscape, the soft whispering of the wind in the willows, the peaceful sound of water being moved.
The Okavango Delta is one of the largest deltas that end in a country rather than the sea. At this season is has a lot of water although the water will continue to rise until end of June. It is renowned for the multitude of bird species and the vast area it covers is mostly protected as a nature reserve.
When we arrived at the campsite it turned out that a big Australian crowd was camping just 200 m down the river.
Around 4:30 PM we took a first short bush safari by foot, saw some baobabs and Sam explained many bird calls and showed animal footprints to us, trying to give us a feeling for the bush. We returned to the camp around 6 PM for a beautiful sunset. For roughly 20 minutes we were surrounded by mosquitoes which soon left us alone because it was too cold for them.
We went to bed around 11 PM because we were cold and due to start at 6 AM the next morning. The night was okay, we did not hear the hyena howl…Sam told us the next morning that he heard them…
We started out on a 4 hour walking safari and watched the sun rise over the bush.
We talked a lot and I feel like there was some kind of connection. I told him that we had heard bad stories about mokoro trips and he was very disappointed with his colleagues.
We returned to the backpacker’s and had a very calm evening. The next day we were flying over the delta for an hour. It was wonderful: you get to appreciate the vastness so much better and we saw loads of elephants, giraffes, hippos, buffaloes, zebras and wild beast. This is such a beautiful spot. It made me gasp more than once. It is endangered because
On a side note our pilot told us that the Old Bridge Backpacker’s was host to Prince Harry and his girlfriend when they visited Botswana earlier this year or late last year…the girlfriend is now pregnant, it is said the baby was conceived in Botswana, and the Queen and Prince Charles are not amused…so, in a way, we had in fact ended up in another celebrity spot! J
We returned to Gabs that same evening and Alex was leaving the next day. It was a very intense 10 days, I thoroughly enjoyed them. The beauty of this country definitely lies in its north. Travelling with Alex turned out to be very easy and agreeable.
I was back at work the next day…
remembering and dreaming of the beauties I had been able to see and experience.