We took it easy here, after the many game drives we have already done that were included in the overall tour, we decided not to pay to go on safari into the Chobe National Park. We did however, have an included boat cruise on the Chobe River which also serves as the border of Botswana and Namibia. The wildlife was great with heaps of new birds we hadn’t seen before as well as some BIG crocodiles and some of the familiars like elephants, buffalo, hippos, Impala, etc. The cruise was a BYO affair so we were able to sit back, take in the wildlife while and sip on red wine and eat cheese and crackers!
We took the opportunity to go into town, use the net, look through the shops, and have KFC for lunch! The first fast-food establishment we have seen for ages, and the cheapest KFC we have ever been to! Botswana is amazingly developed compared to its neighbours, and the people are really friendly.
We headed to Maun which was our base for the beautiful Okavango Delta – the largest inland delta in the world, which is fed by the Okavango River, the water disperses in the Delta as it hits the Kalahari Desert. After a night at a campsite near Maun, we were up early, driving by 4WD for about 2 hours to the edge of the delta, from there we travelled about an hour and a half by mokoros (a wooden dug-out canoe) with a Botswanan ‘poler’ (same as a punter in Oxford) to an island in the delta carrying our tents, water, etc where we set up camp.
The Polers let us have a go on the mokoros ourselves which was good fun, but harder than it looked! Some of us went for a swim in the Delta which was a bit unpleasant given the muddy bottom, and brown water that is the same as what the hippos swim in.
Just before sunset we went for a walk with the guide after learning various hand signals to be used in case we were in a situation faced with an angry elephant or animals alike. The walk was great. At one point we were standing in the open with about 10 giraffes all around us. To top off the day we had a campfire with toasted marshmallows, followed by singing, dancing and games with our polers.
After a pretty chilly night, the next day we were up at sunrise for another walk, this time we weren’t so lucky with the animals playing their part, but the sunrise over the delta was beautiful. It was then time to get packed up and take the spectacular journey to the mainland in the mokoros; and then back to Maun. Some of the guys went on a scenic flight over the delta in the afternoon, we sat this one out to save our pennies.
See next: Namibia