Nadene Rolston gave a pictorial report back on her trip to Botswana in July this year. The trip covered 4700km in 18 days. The group consisted of 7 cars and 15 adventurers. It took 3 days to reach Maun, where frozen meat (previously ordered as no meat can be brought from SA or Namibia) and fresh foods were purchased for the 7 days that they would be in the bush.
The dirt road north started just outside of Maun and they stopped to let the tyre pressure down to 1.5 bar. This was the start of 8 days of dusty roads. The first campsite was Kwai, the cars and trailers were parked in a circle under the trees. The first game encounter was that night with a Honey Badger coming into camp, looking for food. No food had been left out due to the risk of attracting Hyenas. She did however steal a shoe! Nadene shared that the sound at night of the Lions and Elephants was really awesome, reminding them that they were in the wild.
It was incredibly peaceful, no cell signal (they had one Satellite phone), no TV, no electricity. Sitting at the camp fire, eating supper and chatting was very relaxing. Pot breads were made every night and enjoyed with Apricot jam and grated cheese.
The Kwai area is on the edge of the Okavango Delta and they could see the water flowing in a easterly direction -inland, this water comes from the catchment area in Angola, and takes 1 to 2 months to slowly flood into the Okavango Delta. In winter Botswana has no rainfall, its very dry but near the waterways there are lots of Elephants, Hippos and birds to be seen.
In the evenings 2 or 3 Elephants would walk close to the camp site, they also saw a pack of Painted dogs run past, on the hunt, and late one night a pride of 5 lions were seen casually strolling by.
After 4 days the group moved to Savuti camp site, they camped under a tree again only to find out that this was the favourite tree for a ‘one tusked’ male Elephant. The locals warned them not to run, as Elephants can outrun humans! The Elephant arrived that night, as they were washing up after dinner. He walked into camp with-out a sound and stood next to the tree which was only 3 meters from her tent, she quickly moved behind the tent. He rubbed himself against the tree and then stood for a while. Everyone stood still and watched in fear and awe. There was a peacefulness about this huge animal. Eventually, after 6 minutes, he walked away. A wonderful experience! He did return the next night at 2am, Robert heard him smelling the roof top tent and after a few very anxious minutes, the Elephant walked away.
This area is very dry and they were able to watch the game come to a man-made waterhole every evening. The Lone male Elephants came first, followed by the herd of Moms and babies. From here the group moved further north to Kasane, this road was awful, full of corrugations and holes. It took them 3 hours to do 80km. Reaching the tar was amazing!
Game viewing in Kasane was done on a river boat on the wide Chobe River. A large number of animals and birds can be viewed. She was happy to have seen a Malachite Kingfisher. From here they took a taxi into Zimbabwe to see the powerful Victoria Falls. 2 of the group did the 110m bungy jump. Quite heart-stopping to watch.
Nadene confirmed that traveling in Botswana was a challenging but wonderful experience. She got to appreciate friends and the amazing wonder of remote places in nature.
Nadene was sincerely thanked by Robert. A few pics are shared below.