I had become quite the expert on filling out the entry and departure forms for Namibia but the border crossing into Botswana was yet the most awkward one. It seemed not very official since people were just walking back and forth into the little office and behind the counters, there were big hellos for welcoming some pastor and you could pick up your pack of free condoms like that’s what you need when entering a country. We just put on our happy smiles gave them a big “Dumela” and they were pleased to stamp our passports.
The first night we spent at a bushman camp and it was fun to see those tiny San people and listening to their click sounds – I am so going to watch “The Gods must be crazy” once back home. After that we went into the Okavango Delta which was quite a highlight for me. The weather and landscape were beautiful and we were able to do some chillaxing for once. We took a speed boat deeper into the Delta and had two great days with our poler Bernhard who guided us around the shallow waters in his mokoro. We got also a chance to try it out ourselves. It was pretty hard work and it is advisable not to drink and pole ;-). Also we did a walking safari which was pretty spectacular since you felt like being part of the food chain. It was an amazing experience to walk around the bush in search of animals but at the same time I was not so sure if I really wanted to spot wildlife. We encountered a herd of elephants and we had to move pretty fast to get closer when all in a sudden there was a sound of a roaring lion. Our guide signaled us to stop and I was looking around which tree I could possibly climb. Luckily there was no need for that and we were soon to find out why the lion roared: a big elephant bull was passing by. After that I was sure that we were being watched by the lions for the rest of the walk and it felt a little bit like those scenes you know from Jurassic Park or Anaconda right before the attack 😉
After the Delta we headed to the Chobe National Park. Chobe NP takes its name from the Chobe River which forms the northern boundary and protects about 11700 square km. Its landscape is just beautiful since it varies from lush floodplains to the scorched Savuti marsh. Also it is quite unique because it lies next to the Chobe River for almost 60 km and because of that we didn’t just do a game drive but also a river safari which was a first to me. The river safari was amazing because with the boat you could get pretty close to the animals coming down to the river to drink.
After the Chobe National Park it was just a short drive into Zimbabwe to Vic Falls. Crossing the border took ages and immediately I had many ideas how to optimize the system, speed it up and improve the procedures. Hey there was a suggestion box after all and time to kill. But they were out of feedback forms and it looked like no one ever opened the box. Possible it serves as a garbage bin nowadays. So we waited patiently to pay the visa, went outside and waited for someone from the queue to return our passports outside. TIA 😉
But the wait was worth the while. The falls were pretty spectacular and we got to see them from the top as well as from the bottom since we did a hike into the gorge which was a nice workout after all that sitting on a truck. Since Vic Falls is a pretty touristy little city and therefore quite expensive we tried out our haggling and trading skills at the open market. We were able to get some nice souvenirs for our old jerseys, shoes and pants but still had to through in some US-Obama-Dollars.
Tomorrow I will be continuing my journey on to Eastern Africa. I am excited to enter a more tropical environment and leave the dust behind. The roads are probably going to be much rougher so I will be enjoying a nice African massage for the next few weeks.