Maun is the gateway to the Okavango Delta and tonight's destination is a campsite just outside the town.
After just a couple of hours driving Siziba pulled off the road and down what looked like just a small gravel track. It's unusual for our bush toilet stops to take us so far off the actual road but some of us were so desperate we just ran into the bushes without stopping to look at where we actually were.
Feeling a bit more human we headed back to Siziba only to be confronted with a ginormous tree! This tree is known as the Baobab and looks like it's upside down with its thick trunk and sprawling arms that look like roots. Some of these trees are up to 2400 years old!!!
I'm not sure how old this particular tree was buts it's no baby as the whole group were able to stand around it holding hands whilst Siziba took pictures!
The tree also had large unripe fruits that contain more vitamin C than an orange and are reputedly used for drinks as well as to make a type of porridge.
Moving on we has just another couple of hours to go till arriving at our campsite for the evening, but Siziba took us to somewhere far more exciting first! The local airfield!
We were given the opportunity to fly in a small 6 seater (including the pilot) aircraft over the Okavango Delta with the hope of seeing many large animals such as elephants, rhino, hippo and giraffe!
We all signed in and made our way through customs. There was a fault with the local water supply meaning none of the toilets were working and looking at the state of them I think they'd been blocked for some time! Not good news for Simone who was keen to take part but suffers with motion sickness!
Out on the tarmac we split into 3 groups but as only 2 of the planes were ready to go our group had to wait for the next plane to land. Our group included Stef, Simone and Christina. It was baking hot on the tarmac and we headed to a small shelter at the edge as we had just been left standing there as small planes moved all around us! No such thing as health and safety clearly!
Eventually our plane landed and we walked over to meet the pilot, a young guy of about 25 from America, unfortunately I can't remember his name or which state he came from but he was a really nice guy.
Christina asked if he was able to do a loop the loop or anything like that and he confirmed that strictly speaking he couldn't but there were a few tricks he could do for us which had us all very excited. I claimed the front seat much to Adam's disappointment and he ended up in the back with a slightly apprehensive Simone! Christina and Stef sat in the middle.
We headed to the runway and one of the first things I noticed was how lightweight and bumpy the little plane was. I could hardly believe it would take off and suspect that a strong gust of wind would send the thing far off course!
The pilot looked around at us all grinning like little children and laughed before preparing for take-off. He slowly increased the speed and we were not more than 15 metres in the air when he suddenly swung the plane to the left banking hard! It was a complete shock and I burst out laughing but there were definitely a few screams coming from behind me!
We flew over swamp land and little river ways and the pilot was quick to spot some giraffe amongst the trees. I hadn't noticed them at all and still struggled even after he pointed them out. He had to circle around sharply for us to get a good look and it became clear that all these huge animals would be very well camouflaged even from up here and we weren't too high up.
It was a fantastic flight, we saw a herd of elephants crossing a river and many hippo's both in and out of the water, we even caught sight of the occasional big crocodile!
Our pilot would sporadically throw in some kind of drastic move and take us by surprise such as spiralling down steeply to within a couple of hundred feet of the ground before climbing steeply back up. He would then climb higher than before with the plane almost vertical before tipping the nose so we would drop back down to cruising height leaving out stomachs somewhere up above us. It was like being on the world's highest roller coaster but no more scary than that! Only Simone's stomach was proving unwilling to enjoy the experience!
Heading back the pilot let go of the controls completely and indicated to me to take over. I had dual controls and had been trying not to grab them by mistake when he threw in a little trick. I was wary because I could see how sensitive the controls were and didn't want to do anything to sudden! But he was pretty relaxed and clearly wanted me to give it a go so I did! Immediately I grabbed the control stick the plane seemed to skim sideways and I'd barely touched it! Once again I laughed and wanted to carry on but Christina, Stef and Simone all screamed and Christina was pretty adamant that I should let go so I did! My two seconds of flying a plane were still pretty exciting though!
The Delta from the air is spectacular and one of the most beautiful things I've seen. The afternoon sun and distant rainfall only added to the experience and this is yet another highlight of the tour!
Back on solid ground we stopped at a local supermarket before heading on to camp. Simone felt unwell for the rest of the day but really enjoyed herself! There used to be a crocodile farm at the campsite but it closed down earlier this year so we spent the evening relaxing and most headed to the bar whilst I unfortunately went to bed early with a headache. Clearly I had had too much fun for one day!