Safari on the Okavango Delta

First day of the Safari, I am up early at 5:30 for Coffee around the fire with the Camp director….. Then Mr T my guide and our driver head off to spot some game. Just outside the camp we come around a corner, and a large Bull Elephant was in the road……. We just stopped and watched him for awhile.

He gave us a few false charges as he did not like us there….. But we just wanted to get by.

and then a pride of 3 male lions. And of course…. could not bring the bike out here, so the mirror will have to do.

Amazing being just 2-4 meters from the lions. Watching them!

and a Yawn ….

turns into this……… Just 3 meters from our jeep.

Beautiful Animals to watch

Then Elephants.

And so many animals to see, Giraffes, Zebra’s, Warthogs. Just a few photos…..

This could go on all day ….. Took so many photos but since it was just me ….. we had lots of time to just observe and enjoy the animals in there space. Back to camp late morning for a full breakfast!

After a bit of a rest, as being up early and spotting game is hard work

we Drove around the area to the New Camp that is where they are moving for Summer. It has more water surrounding the camp, and much more shade. Met Ronnie and Sue who are the owners. really nice people. Took a little siesta by the water on a day bed. Great! Then Moroka back to shore.

Took a sunset drive, and watched the sunset with the Zebra’s! Amazing. The day was much cooler due to cloud cover. Was refreshing.

Back to camp for a shower, then G&T by the fire pit enjoying the sounds of nature. Dinner of fresh fish and chips, salad and wine. Roughing it 🙂

Back to the fire to relax and enjoy the evening. Had a few drops of rain as well. Then to bed early.

Up at 6Am for a coffee by the fire, then a bush walk with Mr T. We headed out of the camp into the surrounding Bush. It is a very different experience to be walking in the terrain that all the animals roam. You feel very small when you see the Elephant prints, water holes, trees that they have broken off. We saw Warthogs up close, elephants in the distance, a lone Giraffe, Water Antelopes, lots of bee eaters, and other birds including a Vulture.

We tracked some Warthogs

Learned about the various plants like the “shepard tree” or tree of life. Due to the food that it provides (kind of a meal). And the Termite mounds, Anteaters, and other plants along the way. 2 hour walk through the bush was great !

Elephant Tracks

Leopard Tracks

On the bush walk I sort of felt like Merlin Perkins of Mutual of Omaha’s Wild kingdom that appeared on TV sunday Evening in the 60-70 when I was a kind. Whispering about the animals and their habits and habitat! LOL. You of my generation in the US know what I mean.

Elephant Bones from a Lion that killed a baby Elephant

Learning about the Elephant teeth.

Relaxing in the bush has been an amazing experience. The interaction of the animals to help each other stay safe and way from predators, or to stay alone during the older years. The family units, mating and survival is all fascinating.

Last Morning and the start of the 28th month of my travels! Up early for a drive where we saw a pride of 5 lions, 200 Water Buffalo’s, zebras, and so many other animals. WOW.

You can see on the right Male Lion that he has a wounded left forearm

Then they were stocking the Water Buffalo

Moving into the taller grass to blend in and wait….

Herd of about 200 Water Buffalo just upwind.

and Zebra’s

and Wildebeast

Had a young french couple arrive and another guy who was an agent for this type of Safari trip. We had an afternoon Mokoro trip to sit and watch sunset.

African Sunsets. Very cool!

Then dinner…. and conversation at the fire!
Next morning. Lots more to see.

Then back to camp for breakfast/brunch then I flew out at 12:15. Arrived back to Maun at 1:15 and was right on time to greet Dick and Diana (my KiWI friends!) at the Maun airport as they walked into the main airport lobby on there way to the Delta!! Fantastic. This is the 6th country that I have seen Dick in the past year! Has been great seeing them so much!!

Welcoming them to Botswana as they are heading out to safari in the Delta as well!

Audio Camp for the evening, then pack up and ride to Nata and a place called Elephant Sands. En route we met 4 irish guys all on African twins that had started in Kenya and are taking 7 weeks to ride to Cape Town. Was great chatting with them.

They had been at Elephant Sands and loved it. They said the last 1.4 KM of Sand was deep and one guy fell over a few times.

We knew we were getting close.

We got to the last 1.4 KM at about 2PM. It was the heat of the day and started up the sand. Wow …. some of the hardest riding I have done in the deep sand. I kept it upright but it was tough. Hard on the body as I held the bike up. Jorg on the GS wallowed in the deep.

Had to post it

We did air down the tires and that helped … but with the heat and deep it was tough going. The reward was they the Elephant Sands resort was a place not to miss. It is a watering hole that elephants come to from all around. We saw hundreds….. It was great watching them from so close as they jockeyed for position, chased up. hurded , and some played in the mud hole. Was a fantastic place. As the sun set it cooled right down, had a great dinner at and watched and listened to the elephants into the evening! Cost 600 Pula per night for a chalet.

It is a watering hole that the owners truck in water …. and the Elephants come to drink. We spent all afternoon watching them!

and a Pool for us to cool down in!

Some Elephants used the water hole to slop mud and water on them

Amazing to watch!

Up close the elephant hides are very tough

There were some huge elephants in the mix as they jockey for position. It was great to watch!

Lots of other travelers from all over the world here!

Then some would go and more would arrive….. Right past the Chalets

Our Chalet for the night

The bar and pool facing the Elephant area. Fantastic place!

In the morning we needed to face the deep sand again. The cool night, and aired down tires helped as we rode out. It was still a challenging ride out, but i did not fall, and had an easier time. Aired back up at the road.

Then headed to Nata and then Francistown on our way to Zimbabwe. The border crossing out of Botswana was really easy, clean and efficient.

Out of the gate of Botswana

Welcome to Zimbabwe

Ride into covered parking for Zimbabwe. Windows out to parking so we could keep an eye on our bikes

Arrived Zimbabwe border in 10 Km and then it took another 1+ hours to get a Visa. I had to pay $30 USD for my visa, and fill out the paperwork. Then temporary import of the bike and pay another fee of $310 Pula for import taxes and 3rd party insurance required.

Out the last gate and into Zimbabwe. Country number 24 for me on this journey!

Then into Bulawayo.

We were staying the night with a friend of Jorg and Lily who lives here. Met Sherry, Carl and their two year old Summer, and Carl’s Mom Doreen. Very nice people!! Was great to talk about the country, business, politics and Carl had been watching the TV program “Motorcycle Adventure – Henry Cole”. Will have to check it out.