Day 4, The Okavango Delta From Sunrise To Sunset

by Dave on December 26, 2008 · 14 comments

bailing out the mokoros

Dion was all too happy to wake us up at 4:30am for the long, four hour game walk at sunrise, even though the guides had said we would not leave camp until 5:30am. I’m sure they had their reasons, roving hippos being tops on my list. We spent ten minutes in the mokoros to reach a big, new island. Hopefully, it would be filled with animals.

wildebeast

The birds were out in force, delighting Carmelita. I had already gained a new appreciation for them, and was looking out for the beautifully colored national bird of Botswana. It wasn’t to be found, but we did spot a small group of wildebeests which we observed in a clearing for a bit. They preferred to graze in open fields so as to spot predators more easily.

posing with elephant skull

Long periods of silence would occur as we walked eagerly in search of more exciting wildlife. Lion prints were found twice, suspected to be from the previous night. The others were clearly hoping for more action, though I found the knowledge gained by a paw print to be enough to keep me interested. Other highlights included Stenbock (think Bambi), zebra prints, 3-day old giraffe poo, an elephant skull, and a hippo skull on our way back to the boats (and probably propped up by the trail in case the tourists don’t see the living ones on their walks. ” Where were the animals?”? was the refrain of the day, and entire trip to the Okavango Delta.

lion print

Back at camp, Dion would ask about the animals we saw, and in response to our pawltry reports, encourage the group that lions and crocodiles would about in Chobe Park. I was able to appreciate the beauty of the Delta minus the animals, though they would’ve made it more exciting. I was also glad I’d already been to Kruger Park and seen lions up close. Four hours is a long time to be walking and it made me appreciate the game drives in South Africa.

hippo skull

The afternoon was spent in the shade of camp. I enjoyed it as much as the walks. I took my mp3 player out and sat near Broc, who almost immediately wanted to share my headphones. I played some Bob Marley which he knew, and other stuff like Ben Harper, RHCP, and Bedouin Soundclash. It made for quality bonding time. Ingrid was reading nearby, and Carmelita was bird watching. Actually, we all enjoyed some birding as several colorful species frequented the fig tree in camp. Specifically, a bluish-chested parrot and a green pigeon-sized bird. Peter slept the whole time, while Richard read Bob Dylan’s ” Chronicles”? in the sun.

Richard and I went swimming for a bit, and tried to be mokoro polers.

mokoro

Later, Peter bet Richard a few beers if he could start a fire with two sticks. Ten minutes later, to everyone’s amazement, a flame developed, and Richard received accolades from us all.

Chillin with Broc (local guide)

Our second evening in the Delta featured a sunset mokoro ride. The guides were up front in setting our expectations, the hippos were not in the lagoon near our island, so we were going out for the scenery and the sound of frogs. If four hours makes for a long game walk, than two hours makes for a time to be sitting motionless in a mokoro getting whacked in the face with reeds. The sunset over the lagoon was worth the effort.

Richard starts a fire

Back at camp, Dion had prepared beef stroganoff, and a bigger fire was built than the night before. Peter spotted a baboon spider running wildly around the area where we were seated. We followed it around with lights for the ten seconds the poisonous arachnid was visible. I slept much better the second night, my t-shirt and sleeping bag having dried quickly in the day’s heat.

carmelita and richard on sunset ride

sunset

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is the author of 1726 posts on Go Backpacking.

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Categories: Botswana

14 Comments

crambox December 26, 2008 at 6:25 am

Merry Christmas dave that last picture is one in a million stay safe and happy holidays!!!!!

Reply

crambox December 26, 2008 at 1:25 am

Merry Christmas dave that last picture is one in a million stay safe and happy holidays!!!!!

Reply

Alisha December 26, 2008 at 2:42 pm

Great photos! Sounds like a great trip. Have a safe holiday out there

Reply

Alisha December 26, 2008 at 7:42 pm

Great photos! Sounds like a great trip. Have a safe holiday out there

Reply

Liz December 27, 2008 at 3:13 am

Can’t wait to find out where you’re going in South America.

I have a security question – What are you doing with your little computer during the day? Are you carrying it around with you? Keeping it in your room? Looking it up in the safe/at the front desk?

Now that we’re less than 3 months away from taking off I’m starting to think about all these little details.

Reply

Dave December 28, 2008 at 3:21 pm

I rarely carry my little computer around with me, unless I’m out trying to use wi-fi at a cafe. I do bring it on airplanes so I can use it at airports and on long flights. Otherwise, I tucket it away in my backpack, or put it in the small top pouch which I can lock with a little combination lock. Since I so rarely lock it up in safes, I think I’d leave town without it, and don’t go that route. Also, lots of hostels post that they can’t be responsible for the safety of items even if they are IN the safe, which is silly but true.

Basically, I just go on the honor system, and to-date, have yet to be the victim of theft in hostels, bungalows, cheap hotels, or tents! :)

Reply

Liz December 29, 2008 at 1:19 am

Thanks Dave.

Now go touch some wood before your luck ends :smile:

Reply

Liz December 26, 2008 at 10:13 pm

Can’t wait to find out where you’re going in South America.

I have a security question – What are you doing with your little computer during the day? Are you carrying it around with you? Keeping it in your room? Looking it up in the safe/at the front desk?

Now that we’re less than 3 months away from taking off I’m starting to think about all these little details.

Reply

Dave December 28, 2008 at 10:21 am

I rarely carry my little computer around with me, unless I’m out trying to use wi-fi at a cafe. I do bring it on airplanes so I can use it at airports and on long flights. Otherwise, I tucket it away in my backpack, or put it in the small top pouch which I can lock with a little combination lock. Since I so rarely lock it up in safes, I think I’d leave town without it, and don’t go that route. Also, lots of hostels post that they can’t be responsible for the safety of items even if they are IN the safe, which is silly but true.

Basically, I just go on the honor system, and to-date, have yet to be the victim of theft in hostels, bungalows, cheap hotels, or tents! :)

Reply

Liz December 28, 2008 at 8:19 pm

Thanks Dave.

Now go touch some wood before your luck ends :smile:

Reply

UpTake Suz January 5, 2009 at 7:20 pm

What an incredible sunset shot! How did he get the fire to start? Just the old school rubbing sticks together or was there a specific technique?

Reply

UpTake Suz January 5, 2009 at 2:20 pm

What an incredible sunset shot! How did he get the fire to start? Just the old school rubbing sticks together or was there a specific technique?

Reply

Mack July 10, 2009 at 7:24 am

Thanks for sharing such a informative post. Nice pic. This place is biggest oasis that is situated in the middle of the Kalhan sands.You may find various animals like buffalo, elephant, zebra, leopard, lion, cheetah, hyena, lion. During the rainy season you can see huge herds of Zebra flocking to the Makgadikgadi Pans.Chobe National Park is a must visit as it is famous for vast flocks of elephants, mysterious puku and the Chobe bush buck.Okavango is known for its plentiful plant life. For more details refer Okavango Delta

Reply

Mack July 10, 2009 at 2:24 am

Thanks for sharing such a informative post. Nice pic. This place is biggest oasis that is situated in the middle of the Kalhan sands.You may find various animals like buffalo, elephant, zebra, leopard, lion, cheetah, hyena, lion. During the rainy season you can see huge herds of Zebra flocking to the Makgadikgadi Pans.Chobe National Park is a must visit as it is famous for vast flocks of elephants, mysterious puku and the Chobe bush buck.Okavango is known for its plentiful plant life. For more details refer Okavango Delta

Reply

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