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Nick and Bec's Big Trip Starting on the 29th of June 2008 Bec and I will be starting a year long adventure, spending 6 months in Africa and another 6 months in South America. It should be lots of fun.

Spitskoppe, Etosha, Okavango and now Chobe

BOTSWANA | Sunday, 3 August 2008 | Views [1020] | Comments [2]

Bec and I are in Kasane, Botswana.  We have been busy since I last wrote.  From Swakopmund we tavelled to Cape Cross to see a seal colony, then Spitskoppe, Etosha National Park, then into Botswana for the Okavango Delta and now Chobe National Park.  Where we have already seen a lion eating its kill, a sable antelope.  Gruesome stuff.

Here's another extract from the diary:

26th July, Etosha

Within five minutes we had seen our first Etosha lions, a small pride of four, three females and a single male.  Then we saw numerous impala, springbok and zebra.  At the first water hole we stopped at we sawtwo more lions, lazying in the scrub, as usual.  We also saw elephants, giraffes, wildebeest, red heart beest, a giant bird called a kiro bustard and the secretary bird, a snake eater.  Then to add to the collection another lion.  A solitary male striding along the edge of the massive salt pan.

I think Etosha is all about the waterholes though.  After lunch we headed down to the waterhole on foot.  There were various animals including four bull elephants, drinking from the an made water outlet.  Being very clever they drink the clean water and play in the muddy water second.

After watching the four males for fifteen minutes or so, Innocent, our guide, noticed a huge family of elephants approaching the waterhole, all dust and a scattering of the smaller animals.  In total I counted twenty four elephants.  They arrived and promptly started to drink, about 300 litres each.  They were a true family with all shapes and sizes, including some very small baby elephants.  After drinking for ten minutes it was time to get wet and they all splashed about throwing the water over themselves with their trunks and each other.  Great to watch.  At one point one of the group charged one of the bachelor males, exciting stuff, with dust and thunderous elephant calls.

And another extract from the Okavango Delta:

31st July, Delta, Mokoro (canoe) and game walk

It is difficult to now what to write about for today, for so much has happened and it has been full of highlights.

We left the houseboat by motor lauch.  Then were picked up by four wheel drive and taken to the mokoro launching area where we were met by our polers.  Ours was called 'Deadman'.  Interesting name. We travelled by mokoro to our bush camp on an Okavango island.

Poist lunch we climbed abroad the canoes and went on a game paddle, spotting a group of hippos, a game walk, sighting warthopgs fighting over a woman, who seemed totally uninterested, a couple of elephants (we moved away from them for fear of being charged) and a herd of zebra, plus a distant impala.  All on foot.  Also a nature walk where our guide pointed out the common fig, used in fire lighting, the jackal berry, not bad eating similar to a date, the strangler fig, a parasite which grows on other trees and kills them and the sausage tree (used in secret mens' business - so we were told).  Some of the trees displayed damage caused by elephants and we came across hippo poo on the trail marking the territory of a bull male.  During the walk we mostly travelled on wide pathways, made by the elephants.

It is difficult to pick highlights from such a good day.  The mokoro trip, along the hippo highways, and game walks were a real thrill.  To be on your feet and without the protection of a vehicle certianly makes it more exciting and more real, down to earth experience.  I really enjoyed being able to touch their environment and be surrounded by wildlife, plus being on my feet, walking.

It is time for bed, as I write this I can hear hippos huffing and moaning and the call of an elephant wading through the delta. 

Comments

1

We only have rain and more rain and a few ostriches and sheep. These are not so interesting as your animals!
xx

  Pat Aug 9, 2008 6:17 AM

2

Olympics in Beijing. Case in point. Handball. Who plays handball? Only the best in the world I suppose.

  H Aug 17, 2008 12:11 PM

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