sorry its been a while since i last wrote, but unfortuantely i did not come across many internet cafes towards the end of the Africa trip and if i did, i only had a few mins to check the old net mail!
So...here we go! From Maun, we were taken into the Okavanga Delta (For those of you who dont know, a delta is a river that does not lead to the sea but simply stop mid land) on 'makoros' which are dug out tree trunks that look a little like canoes but are less stable. We set up camp in the middle of nowhere next to the river and went on a long walk. We came across wild elephants and zebras which was quite cool. In the evening, our driver Hermann cooked us a traditional South African stew and home made bread using just the bonfire - talented huh? We ate around the fire with our 'pollars' (the people who drove the makoros) who then sang for us. In return we had to sing a few songs which wehad previously prepared. One of the songs was the pirate one that Gorgie had taught me while we were sailing in Croatia. I suggested it as a joke and the group loved it. The other two songs were 'Can you feel the love tonight' from the Lion King and 'Thank you for the music' by Abba. Naturally i played the role of lead vocalist and maestro! what do you expect? The next day we had a quick makoro driving lesson which i also aced - obviously - and went back to main land where we went on a 'scenic flight' over the delta. Scenic was not the word! We flew in lil 5 seater planes and i got the chance to sit next to the pilot (Stewart) who performed many a trick! we span from left to right, up and down and got to the point where we were 2 mtrs or so off the ground! we crapped ourselves but it was great fun and a brilliant way to see the delta!we saw thousands of migrating buffallo, elephants, giraffes and zebras. we saw chunky hippos running along and a few crocks lounging!
From there we had a very long drive to Chobe (another national park). It was a truck members 31st birthday and so we spent the day dressed as pirates and consumed 20L of cocktails that we put together on the truck! great fun! we had musicv blaring and danced up and down the eisles. at lunchtime we all had a 3hr nap and then continued the party in the afternoon and through the evening! The next morning was another early start (and a tender one) as we had a sunrise game drive through Chobe followed by a sunset boat cruise down the river.This was by far the most successful day in terms of game watching. We came close to lions chasing antelopes, a leopard sat in a tree, elephants, hippo and lazy crocks!
From Chobe we did a very risky thing that was not part of the trip. The truck was meant to be going to Livingstone where the Victoria Falls are through the Zambian border but a few of us wanted to go to Zimbabwe before Zambia. So after our guide checked that the international ban had been lifted (see i am responsible) she told us that she would drop us off at the border to Zim and planned for a taxi to be waiting for us at the other side to take us to the town of VIc Falls. We definately were a little scared but felt that we couldnt miss such an opportunity when we were so close. And besides the view of the falls are a million time more magnificant from the Zim side as opposed to the Zambian. We paid 50 USD for the Zim visa and in return got the all important nice big stamp in our passports! we were picked up by our driver who cautiously but very kindly spoke to us about the troubles in Zimbabwe at the moment. He also told us not to utter a word of politics once we were out the bus. On arrival it was evident that Vic Falls was once a busy city full of life and business. Now all that stood there were shops the size of tesco with rows and rows of empty shelves. The only thing that was there was heinz ketchup and russian vodka! it was very disturbing! we went to a cafe for some lunch and literally they could only offer us 3 things from the menu! the only way people can find supplies to survive is by bringing them over from Botswana and Zambia (the latter of which is stupidly expensive!).Being the only white people in the town, we were approached by many locals trying to sell us crafts in exchange for ANYTHING! and i mean anything. i was asked for 1 flip flop or the dirty tshirt i was wearing - something for which they could exchange for food! we were also approached by people selling the infamous 1 billion dollar note that is worth absolutely nothing! we were advised by our guide not to buy them (even though it was so tempting) as many of them are undercover police and you can go to jail! Eventually we went to the Falls and took some wonderful pictures. We then crossed over the bridge into Zambia where we paid a hefty fine for the visa just because we were british - damn politics!!!
We met up with the rest of the group and our guides who were happy that we came back alive (mummy i did ask her to call you if i didnt come back so dont worry!) We went on another boat cruise but this time on the mighty Zambezi river where we had unlimited drinks and food. as you can imagine that was lotsa fun too! The next morning we booked to do white water rafting down the Zambezi which was wicked. We went down grade 5 rapis which were scary but with myself and Jamie at the front of the boat we ensured that it never flipped (thank goodness-considering a girl died last year when she fell in, lost her life jacket and was sucked under by the Devil's Toilet bowl'-one of the rapids) All in a days work!!! haha. After the rafting 5 of us decided that it seemede like a good day to jump off a bridge and did the 3rd highest bungi in the world!!! Luck would have it that i was forced to go 1st! I absolutely crapped myself and literally felt like i was commiting suicide!
For once, i genuinely was speechless!!! yeah i know!!! it lasted what felt like forever and the scariest bit for me was the rebound spring that brings your body almost upright where you comprehend that your actually floating in mid air and attached by a rope thats wrapped around your feet!!! Although at the time i dint think i enjoyed it, on reflection i think i would do it again purely because your first time is simply to get used to what happens - or so im told!!!
Anyway, after that we had a final dinner with the truck crew. Our guides were continuing up to Nairobi with a few of the guys but the majority of us were going to JO'burg with new guides and a different truck! We were all knackered after the day's anxiety filled activities and so went to bed for a well deserved early night.