Excuse me while I take a small break from the reality.
I’m in Botswana. And it is Beautiful. But not all that easy to get to.
On Thursday morning I left my Nairobi hotel for the airport at 6am.
Then the flight was delayed.
A LOT of us sat in a very small crowded hot and smelly Ken.ya Air.ways waiting room. I slept sitting up. We became extremely docile. When we were docile enough that brain matter was turning to mush and oozing out our ears they allowed us onto the plane.
I slept sitting up.
Arrived in Zambia. My colleague had her card eaten by an ATM machine. We spent about an hour trying to resolve the situation. It is so typical for me in the course of travel to have ATM and credit card problems that it barely even phased me. But she was upset so I felt really bad. Miraculously they sent a technician who opened the ATM and got it out. If you know Africa you know this is a true miracle to have happen in just one hour.
Got on another flight – it was too small to even have a bathroom. There were 3 passengers including us.
I slept sitting up.
Arrived in Livingstone. Drove over the border. I slept sitting up. Then ferried across the Zambezi, or Chobe, not sure which river it was but it was where you can see Namibia, Zimbabwe, Botswana and Zambia all at the same time. The ride took 3 minutes so I managed not to fall asleep.
Safari jeep to our lodge. I did not sleep sitting up. Safari jeeps are super fun!
It is a really good thing that I can sleep anywhere because as you can see from this post I basically slept across Sub-Saharan Africa yesterday.
My colleague and I are staying at the Chobe Marina Lodge on the banks of the Chobe River which is just outside of Chobe National Park. This morning we got up at 5am (but I went to bed early so you won’t have to read more about my sleeping today!) and took a safari drive into the park. It was AMAZING. Have I mentioned that Botswana is Beautiful?
Shapes emerged out of the gray dawn and became Kudu with their enormous horns and white stripes, little marmots ran across our path, Cape Buffalo with white birds on their backs chewed leaves and considered running us down.
And then we arrived at the elephants. I was in heaven. The only event comparable in my life so far was the day I spent at Elephant Nature Park in northern Thailand.
I just couldn’t stop smiling. And taking pictures. And smiling!
The elephant herd was so majestic and calm. There were babies under the shadow of their moms. They looked like the queens of Chobe.
Most of the safari was along a ridge overlooking the river which merged onto a green and lush delta of land. Even though it’s dry season it is very green in the park along the river. Away from the river the trees are brown and bare so its easy to watch the animals. Perfect time of year.
We saw 2 giraffe – one of them got a little nervous and we watched her lope off into the bush.
We saw more species of bird than I knew existed! I think there are 400 different species in the park.
Many many photos to come when I have a second to upload.
And then the big finale – a LEOPARD. The leopard is one of the big five which were the “most dangerous” African animals as identified by early explorers: Cape buffalo, elephant, rhino, leopard and lion. Of course they forgot the hippo which are extremely dangerous.
The leopard was hard to photograph. The spots are great camoflauge.
The best moment of the day was when we took a break and got out of the car near the river. We heard grunting below us and looked down to find a mommy and baby hippo splashing in the water (baby was carrying a stick in her mouth), a giant elephant on the shore, and a huge Nile crocodile all just hanging out together. It was hard to leave. I could have watched this little group all day.
Tonight we went on an evening cruise and watched several elephant herds swimming back to shore from an island in the river. We also saw a LOT of hippo and crocodiles as well as buffalo and birds. I’m really hoping to see zebra and a lion tomorrow on our next morning safari.
I hope my words and photos do it justice. I have been to several parts of Africa but never on safari. Even though this is just a short hop into the world of safaris and animals it really gave me a different perspective on Africa. I am so inspired by the beauty of the land and everything unique it has to offer. It is a very startling contrast to the big cities here and their slums. I wonder how many Africans get to see the natural beauty of their continent. Must have been just an awesome (and dangerous) land for the indigenous tribes living here. I’m not sure who lives here in Botswana now. I have to admit to being here completely ignorant of the culture, language or even currency. Tomorrow we head back to Livingstone to visit Victoria Falls.
No word on baby. But I’ve been doing a lot of shopping for her!
- Me. Us. She.
- J and I have been married for almost 15 years. We have shared many adventures and a lot of watershed moments. In 2009 I began blogging and in 2010 we adopted our daughter from Ethiopia. In March of 2012 we began the process to adopt a little boy from Haiti. This blog follows the many twists and turns on the road to our two children and beyond.
- ► 2010 (106)
- Boutique baby fool-I should not be let out of the ...
- Where I am vs. where I wish I were
- Baby stuff from Africa
- Victoria Falls
- Even I am getting sick of reading myself whine!
- back on the rollercoaster...
- A clarification
- Meeting my "almost daughter" in Addis or The post ...
- Photos from Botswana Safari
- Heaven is a place on earth
- ▼ October (10)