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Bec & Simon

Spitzkoppe to Okavango Delta

BOTSWANA | Friday, 20 November 2009 | Views [1427]

Simon patting the cheetah

Simon patting the cheetah

We bounced on our rented bus (our tour truck never got fixed) to Spitzkoppe. Spitzkoppe is a series of rocky outcroppings surrounded by completely flat desert. We didn't spend a lot of time there, mostly due to delays caused by our ongoing truck saga! 

After yet another epic day of driving, we rolled into Cheetah park in time for a quick afternoon swim, a walk with the cheetahs and to participate in feeding time (not as the meal though!). Cheetah Park was a great place to visit for us, because I think the likelihood of seeing any cheetahs in the wild is pretty slim. At the park we actually walked around with two (and a half...a cub) 'tame' cheetahs. It was pretty scary at first, because they are pretty vicious looking cats, but the walked along with us pretty calmly and let us pet them. Simon's highlight for the day was seeing a little jack russell take on a cheetah cub and come out unscathed. We all piled into the back of a couple of utes to go out and feed the 'semi-tame' cheetahs - although, after watching them at feeding time, I'd like to debate the 'tame' part! 

The following day was kind of a blur for me, because I got sick, although out of a 342 days travelling, I think only getting sick once isn't too bad (touch wood - we still have two weeks of eating, drinking and travelling in India to survive yet). That evening we arrived in Etosha National Park (in a new borrowed tour truck) and finally spotted some big game! We spent that afternoon and the entire next day game driving in the park and saw a ridiculous amount of wildlife. We spotted zebra, giraffes, lots of different types of antelope, hyenas, jackals, lions and lion cubs, white rhinos and heaps of elephants. It was an incredible day!

After Etosha the aim was to make it to the Rainbow River Lodge an hour past Rundu, to camp along a river full of crocs and hippos. But the truck debacle continues, and we made it to about 30kms out of Rundu, when I next truck gave up leaving us stranded on the side of the road. This breakdown was a lot worse though, because it wasn't fixable and to call in another truck could take days. Basically, we'd miss out on a massive chunk of our trip. After a few hours hanging out on the roadside, entertaining the locals, a tour truck from a different company pulled up to see what was up. Linda, the driver/tour guide, (who we love and will always be grateful to) rescued us! We piled into her truck - it was a pretty tight squeeze, people sharing seats, bags piled on top and around us - but we didn't care, we were so happy to be moving, and, ATC (our tour company), forked out for beers and wine, to make up for our troubles!

We spent the next three days camping out in the Okavango Delta. We were poled out there in Mokoros (traditional dugout canoes, complete with traditional leaks too!). Simon and some of the other boys, decided they needed to have a go at Mokoro poling while we were out there, which was pretty entertaining. Simon, to my disgust, got the hang of it far too quickly and didn't even fall out once! We spent most of our time in the Delta trekking around in small groups with a local guide tracking wildlife. For a place that is pretty much untouched by humans and supposedly packed with wildlife, we saw suprisingly little wildlife! Although it was a nice experience seeing things on foot instead of through a window. Simon was pretty stoked that we saw a black mamba (although, I wouldn't have been shattered not to ave spotted a deadly snake!). On our last night in the Delta the polers and guides sang and danced for us, which I loved, they have such amazing voices!

Tags: cheetah, etosha, okavango, spitzkoppe

 

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