Day 293 & 294 (24th – 25th June) – Okavango Delta

1 07 2011

 

Another of those very early starts we were beginning to love so much. With the truck loaded we set off before sunrise on our open sided truck – great views of the sunrise, but freezing! We were taking mokoros, 15 foot narrow open sided boats traditionally hollowed out from the Sausage tree and poled standing up – through the delta to a real bush campsite. Each mokoro held two people plus a poler. Everything had to be brought in on mokoro; tents, pots, pans, food, spade – to dig a toilet!

The Okavango Inland Delta is fed by the Okavango River, which starts its life in the highlands of centralAngola. It flows through Namibia before entering Botswana where the 18.5 billion cubic meters of fresh water spread and sprawl like an open palm across the flat landscape. Being an inland delta none of this water makes it to the sea, instead lost through evaporation, transpiration through the dense vegetation and the thirsty sands of the Kalahari Desert. The delta is home to a plethora of interesting birds and mammal life.

We were given a chance to take the mokoros out ourselves just to see how difficult it is to stand up on such a flimsy vessel. Needless to say one of our group fell in. We also went on a bush walk where our guide insisted on picking up and playing with just about every piece of animal poo we came across; explaining a little about the animal from which the faeces came from. However, I think this was something which could have been done without the constant fondling of animal faeces. Unfortunately we were unable to see any interesting wildlife on our bush walk, instead just seeing plenty of signs of life and taking in another of those beautiful African sunsets over a small watering hole.

It was stressed to us that we were not to wander from the camp as we were camping in the wild and could come across PDA’s, potentially dangerous animals. Sadly the only danger that night was freezing to death. It was insanely cold overnight and I don’t think we defrosted till midday, just in time for our truly wonderful scenic flight over the delta.

It was so nice to see and gain an appreciation for the area we had spent the previous day in. The vista was stupendous, flat, lush green wetlands as far as the eye could see. A myriad of snaking streams and lagoons broken up by small low lying islands all making a perfect home for countless insects, birds, plant and mammal life. The animals we failed to see from the ground the previous day were in abundance and easy to spot from 130 metres up; Elephants, Hippos, Giraffes, Zebra, Springbok and more. The wealth of life in the Okavango Delta became very clear from our little Cessna 210 sightseeing plane.

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