That was a pretty awesome and intense couple of days!!
After another wonderful sleep we “slept in” to 6:30am, woke up and packed up. The pulas very kindly helped us all take down our tents and then we had some breakfast. Right after breakfast we started the loading operation. Everything (everything) that was on the ground had to go! Honestly with modern society you see less and less of pure “man power” to the point that when you see it, it’s really impressive! We had a large group with us still and they, with our help, had our entire camp loaded up onto the canoe in 20 mins flat.
It takes me 20 mins to pack my bags. Just saying.
Anyway, off we went. The trip back to the mainland took about 2 hours again – very comfortable and enjoyable again. I got some great pictures with the sun still rising casting some really cool shadows. Not much in the way of animals, but none were expected.
Made it back to the mainland where we again had a huge crew to help us unpack, even bigger now because another group was there waiting to go! Talk about an efficient operation.
Got everything offloaded, took pictures, shook hands, passed out the tips (everyone gave more than recommended – these guys were crazy good!) and we got back into the two 4×4’s to journey back.
Just as we’re getting ready to leave we get a nice surprise – one of our guides offered to take us to his village and show us around! Unplanned, not something normally done apparently so I have to believe they liked us somewhat.
His village is just on the edge of the delta, it has over 1000 people living there which blew us away. Tiny huts which they make of the termite mounds and straw. They have to move them around based on the water levels so not permanent. He himself owns a bunch of livestock and has a lovely garden that produces a bunch of vegetables. He showed us the little shop they all use to buy their food. No electricity at all in the whole village, which seems like a normal thing.
He explained how they all rotate through being able to take tourists out to the delta as that’s their primary source of income, but it is done fairly to ensure everyone gets a chance to go.
We met the son of one of our guides – I took his pictures and then showed it to him, he was wowed! It was very cute. Overall this was a really cool unplanned side trip that I think added a lot to the experience.
After that we took the short drive back into Maun to return to the Sedia Hotel, which is where we were the day before we left for the Delta. Myself and a bunch of others were a bit lazy and decided to upgrade to a real room instead of setting up camp again tonight. A real bed, a real bathroom… it was too much to pass up. Tomorrow is another day for camping!
The room is surprisingly nice, bed is quite comfy. It’s got a very cool vibe to the hotel. As I think I said before, I’d happily stay here for a vacation to Botswana.
In the afternoon around 4:30pm we went to the airfield just a few minutes away and caught the scenic flight flying over the Okavango Delta. This was quite cool as the Delta is about 15,000 sq/km and we covered like… 1% of it lol, if that, by land. So this really lets you get a feel for the true size of it. It’s also really interesting because a large portion of it is water, but it looks like land from above, and even from the ground – as we were canoeing around it looks like we’re going through grass, but if you were to consult Google Maps (as we did) you’d see we were in quite an open water way. So this gave some really cool context, and we got to see some more animals! While it was from high up, we got to see a herd of elephants, zebras, water buffalos, hippos and several others! I’ve got some pictures but it obviously doesn’t really capture it.
We stopped for a quick shop on the way back to the hotel and then got back around 6:30 with a half hour to spare before dinner. We met together again at 7:00, Timone decided to try something different tonight and got us all the buffet meal at the hotel which meant a little less cooking for him and Shemani and another delightful meal for us. I think we were all pretty tired as none of us hung around too too long after the meal – I went to settle up my bar tab and food tab, which was quite interestingly unorganized, and returned to bed for a shave and shower! I was starting to look a little like a cave man.
In my room I’ve got a mosquito net which I had first mistaken for like a princess “drape” over the bed, which is really the only place I’ve seen them lol but I did quickly figure it out. Give me a break, I was tired. And now that that’s all wrapped up I’ll be going to bed! 6am wakeup tomorrow, gotta redo my bags again since I kind of ripped everything apart today so need some time for that then a 6:30 breakfast and 7:00 departure. 6 hours on the road… not too bad considering what we’ve been doing so far!
So that’s it. Another night in Africa, don’t know if I’ll have much wifi over the next couple of days so we’ll see how it goes! Cya!