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The Travel Journal of Jacqui and Lars

 

Botswana - 14 April, 2001

 

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Location Latitude Longitude Elevation

Travel Distance

Start Island Safari Lodge, Maun S1955.612' E02330.608' 930 m 10 km
Flight from Maun to Seronga over the Okavango Delta 160 km (Cessna)
Seronga S1849.598' E02226.019' 969 m 5 km (truck)
Mekoro ride on Okavango Delta 10 km (mekoro)
Campsite on island in the Okavango Delta S1852.313' E02230.210' 970 m
Sunset mekoro ride to hippo pond 2 km (mekoro)
Finish Campsite on island in the Okavango Delta S1852.313' E02230.210' 970 m

Total:

34,945 km

14,125 km

 

Weather: Clear, sunny and very hot.  Cool at night.

 

 

Daily Journal Entry:

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Today we head into the Okavango Delta.  After getting all our stuff organised, we head to the airport.  We will be taking light planes for a flight over the delta to Seronga in the north, from where we will go on a mekoro (canoe) trip into the delta.  We are split up between three planes and all load up.  We are in a 6 person Cessna.

 

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We take off just after 8 AM and have a wonderful flight over the delta.  The floods are just beginning, so as we progress northwards, we can see how the delta is beginning to flood and fill up with water.  The pilots will often fly quite close to the ground, so we get some excellent views.

 

We see a number of different animals, including zebra, giraffe, buffalo and others.  We also see how the delta is formed, including the many islands, channels and flooded areas.  We land in Seronga after a 1 hour flight.

 

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After a short briefing, we all pile into a flat bed truck for a short ride to the village and the shore from where we will head into the delta on the mekoro.  We unload all our stuff from the truck and pick our boat - two to one boat with one poler.  The mekoro are navigated through the delta by a man standing in the back who propels the boat forward with a pole.

 

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After making ourselves comfortable, we head off at 10 AM.  We slowly make our way through the delta - it is quite an interesting perspective, being so low down in the boats.  Often we are laying down, with a bag as a pillow.  Many of the plants will be higher than us, and we get a close look at the plants and bugs as they part in front of us.

 

We proceed in single file through the many channels and waterways.  The types of plants constantly change as we move through.  We see a variety of bird life along the way.  Shortly before noon, we pull up to a small island for lunch.  We carry on 45 minutes later.

 

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A short way before we get to the campsite, we stop in a small stream where they say there are no crocodiles so we can go for a swim.  Taking their word, we change and jump in.  It is very refreshing.  What is most interesting is the variation in water temperature - there was a warm/hot stream of water flowing through the middle of the stream.  We get to the campsite on a small island at 1:30 PM.

 

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After setting up camp, we take it easy for the rest of the afternoon. At 4:30 PM we head off in the mekoro again to go take a look at the hippos in the hippo pond.  It is a short ride to the pond, where we sit on the edge of the pond in the reeds watching the hippos in the water.  They can sense our presence and they move a short way towards us and then they watch us.  They bob up and down in the water, snorting as they come up for air.  Some will give us an aggressive show, opening their mouths wide.

 

After a while, we go on a short cruise around taking a look at the birds and the plants in the delta.  We get back just before 6 PM - the polers do not want to be out after sunset as they are afraid of the hippos.

 

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Once back, we take it easy and enjoy the sun set.  The colors change throughout the sky and we are treated to a flock of birds flying in front of the setting sun (just as Jim promised).  We have dinner after the sun has set and then take it easy relaxing around the fire.

 

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We head off to bed early and we enjoy watching the night sky.  It is clear and the stars are shimmering.  It is great.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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