Sunday, March 17, 2013

On Safari II: Chobe NP Botswana

Chobe National Park in Botswana stretches out along Chobe River which offers the possibility to watch the roaming wildlife from a boat cruising down the river.
Hence, I found myself on a nice boat, well equipped with beers and snacks, watching a herd of elephants coming down to the river bed to drink. There were a few calves that were only a few months old and they were stumbling around the legs of their mothers, occasionally falling over in the shallow water. 
It was gorgeous to watch and the elephants seemed completely undisturbed by our presence. 

As time passed, the boat cruise rather turned into a booze cruise that culminated in a beautiful sunset over Chobe river. Perfection!
The next morning, I went on an actual game drive through Chobe NP, witnessing the animals come to life with impala bonking on the plains, hippos playing in the water and baboons screaming in the bushes. Vegetation was different to Etosha NP, even richer and thicker, which made spotting the animals even harder...but it was beautiful none the less!

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Gliding through the Okavango Delta....

...on a traditional mokoro - pure bliss!

The Okavango river in Botswana spreads into an unique inland delta with an extensive maze of little channels. Only accessible by water, the delta is home to a diverse wildlife. We passed a lot of hippos on our way which was a little scary since they can easily bite the wooden mokoro in half when they get irritated. From a safe distance though, I loved to watch them play in the water. 

The little channels were covered with lilly pads that opened their flowers at sunrise which added even more charm to our morning cruise through this enchanting water world. The clouds reflected in the clear water and we spent hours on end gliding through this serene wonderland.
The water was warm and clear, inviting us for a bath since there are no camping facilities in the delta, the dogma is high cost-low impact tourism, so we planted the tents under some trees and put up a traditional bush camp with a fire place - no showers, no toilets, no electricity - just nature!
This also meant that you had to make sure no predators were around the tent when you had to get out at night - as soon as you saw eyes reflecting when shining out with your headlight - stay in the tent!

Getting on the mokoro was stepping into a different world - everything slowed down while the mokoro gently made its way through the myriad of channels, no rush, no time constraints, just peace and serenity!

Sunday, March 10, 2013

On Safari: Etosha NP Namibia

Driving through the endless plains of Etosha National Park....Etosha, the salt pan, becomes really arid in the dry winter months and the remaining waterholes attracts a lot of animals, the perfect spot for game viewing. In rainy season though, when I was passing through Etosha, the bush is lush green, offering good hiding and breeding ground to all the different species. We were lucky though and spotted elephants, giraffes and rhino in the bush, most of them even with there little ones...nothing cuter than a baby elephant! That is definitely one advantage of traveling in rainy season, you get to see a lot of baby animals! On our game drives, we even spotted baby warthogs in the distance! And let´s face it, rainy season meant the bush was a little greener, there wasn´t a drop of rain in the whole two weeks I spent in Namibia! Here in Etosha, the sky was beautiful though, with clouds passing through that built up enormous castles at the rain though for us!