Early morning in the Delta
Woke up about 5:15am as we were supposed to leave for our morning walk at 5:30am. Our guides deemed it not light enough though so we waited til 6am then set off. The walk went for almost 2.5hrs around an island in the Delta. We saw a bushbuck, a giraffe, heard some lions roaring, and took photos with a huge elephant skull. Elephants can live from 65-80 years old if they aren't killed by poachers first. They usually die because their dentition wears down to the point where they can no longer chew and they startve to death. In Botswana if an elephant wanders into your crop the farmer can legally shoot it as long as he reports it to wildlife services afterwards, who remove the tusks and give them to the government. The farmer and his family can then eat the meat.
This morning instead of being stinking hot it was as wet as anything. It didn't take long for my pants to be wet up to my knees (cos of the reeds) and for me to be making squelching noises with my socks every time I took a step. I was also very hungry the whole day, a sensation I had had since the previous night when for the first time I guess I hadn't eaten very much. My tummy was rumbling the whole walk. When we got back breakfast was ready and I was so hungry I even took a sausage, though I immediately regretted it when I bit into it. After brekkie we packed up our manky tent for the first and last time then loaded all our gear into mokoros. The journey back in the mokoros was much nicer as it was heaps heaps cooler. We sat around for awhile waiting for the truck then started the journey back to Audi Camp.
Our tin can plane
It seemed to take about twice as long on the way back. Despite the bumps I managed to sleep part of the way. When we got back the first thing all of us did after pitching the tents (yay for having #8 aka 'supertent' back!) was have an absolutely awesome shower and then wash all our grotty clothes. I put my runners out in the sun to dry too as they were soaked. Dad cracked the shits at me saying I should be cleaning the lunchtime pots since I was on pots duty, but I calmly told him everyone pitches in at breakfast and lunch which I knew to be fact, and I didn't bite back, so it wasn't much of an argument. Afterwards I just went with Tammy to the bar where she bought me a nice refreshing Coke. We hung out there for ages just catching up on our journals and talking to Alex, Rosie and Arja before it was time to head to Maun
airport to take our US$95 1hr flight over the Delta.
What an awesome plane ride
I was in a plane with Karl, Rosie, Tammy and Odin, a 6-seater with a Botswanian pilot. It was sooo awesome. We saw herds of elephants and buffalo and impala, solo giraffes and hippos, and just seeing the vastness of the Delta was incredible. When there was something interesting down below the pilot would dip the wings to that side which was such good fun. At one point we tipped completely over to mine and Tammy's side so that the window was like a glass floor parallel to the ground - god it was good! The hour felt a lot more like 20min, and we all wanted it to go on for heaps longer. It was interesting; if you looked across the landscape some parts looked a bit like the Australian landscape - dry and paddocky - but when you looked straight down you realised it was reeds covering large tracts of water.
Elephants heading to the water hole
The water glinting in the sun was beautiful, and it was cool to see the animal paths criss-crossing over the land. After the flight we headed to the supermarket to kill time while the rest of the group went up. We then returned to the truck and Sammy started pumping out retro 80s tunes which was fun. Everyone was having a great time. We got back to camp around 7pm and I fried up some chicken for my tea as everyone else was having fish cakes. I was on pots duty. After tea Karl and Odin, in their sombreros, set up a hugely impressive bar with cocktails, candles, cheese, savoury snacks and lime and pineapple to go in the drinks. Rosie made me a mojito which was nice, but I didn't feel like drinking any more than that. Tam and I spent a long time talking with Sammy about life.
Karl and Odin's awesome bar
He started talking about his time as a driver in Somalia, where you have to drive between 120-180km/hr constantly otherwise you get stuck in the sand. Where 10yo boys carry machine guns and have their bodies covered in ammunition. And where the roadblocks consist of a row of human heads. Your choice is: act human, stop the car, move the heads to the side and then continue to drive (but you will get shot by the bandits lying in wait) or - do what you have to do, which is drive straight on through without stopping. What a choice. What a godforesaken place! He said Sudan was quite similar. No surprises about the huge number of Sudanese refugees in Australia in that case! Fell asleep at 2am to the sounds of Odin and Arja drunkenly singing a Scandinavian song.