Talk about a lack of sleep! We met at 5:45am this morning in the lobby of the hotel so we could get an early start on the very long drive into Botswana. That sleep by the way…One of the best of my life. Too short but man did I ever need that sleep!
Anyway we’re up and introduced to the truck that will be taking us around for the next 10 days – a 16 seater custom bus that’s got great big windows and all sorts of other fun stuff. We all pile in and no one is talking for the first couple of hours until we make it to our first break period. We stopped for 30 mins for breakfast which they had prepared for us. That kind of woke everyone up and got people talking.
Piled back on the bus. We stopped every two hours or so for a bathroom break and stretch. Made it to the Botswana border around noon (6 hrs later). Took about an hour to get through both check points – South Africa out, Botswana in. Quite the slow process. But we made it through.
Found a spot to stop for lunch just on the other side of the border. We walked across while the bus was searched. Very different from the typical land border crossing I’m used to lol. Food was a grilled chicken place, took forever to get the food but was pretty decent. Hopped back on the bus for another 4 hours or so, I actually nodded off for a bit and must have got a bit of sleep.
We arrived at the Rhino Sanctuary around 4, made decent time. It’s here that we’ll be spending the night and taking a game drive.
We get into the park. It’s massive. Absolutely massive. Takes us about 10 mins to drive through to the campsite. Unload all the bags and tents, quickly build the tents before the game drive starts at 4:30. Tents are decent single person tents that should be fine. They also provide a small mattress to put beneath your sleeping bag.
4:30 comes and we get picked up by two open trucks, 8 of us each. We had an incredibly knowledgeable guide who seemed to know every animal (down to the bird) in the conservatory and a pretty detailed history on each. We drove for about 2 hours and were lucky to see a lot of white rhinos, along with a bunch of other animals. I got a ton of great pictures, really excited to see how they turned out. Didn’t see any black rhinos which are very rare but this may have been a good thing as they have a tendency to attack.
We arrived back at the campsite, our two guides had prepared us a delicious pasta dinner and a camp fire so we all enjoyed that, then we got briefed on tomorrow (and our again very early start) and were left to our own devices for the night.
When things got quite dark I looked up to the sky and was treated to one of the clearest views of stars that I’ve ever seen. Absolutely stunning. A random guy from another campsite wanderer over and shared with us some South African folk lore on some of the stars. Very cool.
A bunch of us sat around the campfire swapping stories for an hour or so then I decided to try out the shower. Bloody cold. Managed to get about 90 seconds of heat. But anyway. Got back to the campsite, tidied up a bit, lied down to write this and now…It’s time for another hopefully good night’s sleep! Tomorrow we’re in Maun preparing for the Okavango Delta.