Today we left the luxury of the bungalows to head into the Delta. We met up with the truck before transiting across into Botswana (another stamp in the passport!) we stopped for lunch at Sepupa Swamp Stop (nothing to write home about!) packed a bag to last us 3 days in the Delta and got on a speed boat. We traveled about an hour or so on the river to reach our campsite, Mbiroba. Along the way seeing huge crocodiles of about 4m lurking on the banks. Before we left our guide, Allan, so eloquently reminded us that hippos and crocodiles are real. And this view of them from the boat really brought that home! The camp was right on the banks of the river, and as we arrived early in the afternoon we had the chance to relax.
30 Jan 2011
Finally a chance to sleep in, heading off from the camp at about 8:30 we took a short ride in a truck to meet up with our Mokoro (local dug-out canoe) where we loaded up and headed off down the Delta arriving at our island camp about 45mins later. We relaxed most of the afternoon, until about 3:30 when we headed out in the Mokoro again to another island. Our guide very calmly informed us that he wasn't sure what we would come across but that he would go ahead first. He said that whatever happened, for us not to run, and that if he was attacked, the other guide behind us would escort us back to safety! So regardless of that reality check, we set off to try and spot some wildlife. It didn't take long before we encountered a hippo, grazing in the grass! It sure was more frightening removed from the safety of our truck and having nothing between us and a 2 tonne hippo! We also came across a 50 year old turtle and tracked elephant droppings for a few hundred meters with no success. Once on the way back to camp in our Mokoro we stopped to watches some hippos in the water from a distance. They put on a show and then decided they needed to investigate us further and headed toward us. Once again we realized there was very little between us and them and they swim really fast!! Fantastic to watch, but we all got a bit apprehensive as they got closer, with one hippo even launching itself straight up out of the water. So, we retreated. Back on dry land we sat around the camp singing with our guides.
31 Jan 2011
First thing this morning we set off on another cruise in our Mokoro to watch the sunrise. We were hoping for more hippo action, but had to settle for reed frogs. At one stage Jarrod had 7 in the front of the boat with him (Bev we were thinking of you!) after brekkie we packed up and got back in our Mokoro to, were picked up and then driven to another location where we hopped on a speed boat to take us to our houseboat. Another nice break from camping, and to our surprise even a private room with an ensuite. We relaxed the afternoon away, cruising the Kavango river. Set with a challenge to empty the esky, Jarrod, Josh and Pete gave that a real nudge. We have been so lucky as all 3 of the days we have spent in the Delta have been rain free. Glad not to have had to deal with that, the creepy crawlies have been challenge enough....