Monday, August 20th, 2012...4:19 pm

A short visit to the Okavanga Delta

TheGardenLady has written about her good friend Lynne (she’s the one in the photo above with the blue bandanna), who is doing Peace Corp work in Mmathethe, Botswana.  She went on a short visit to the Okavanga Delta and below she writes about her experience and shares some of her photos.

Seven Peace Corps Volunteers traveled 10 hours by an African bus all the way up to Maun where we stayed at the Old Bridge Backpackers for 4 days. Many PCV’s stay there because it is very reasonably priced. From the website it looked nice, but often those photos don’t live up to the expectations. This one did though!

The camp was situated on the river going into the Okavanga Delta. Across the way, there was an “Old Bridge,” lots of beautiful foliage, wildflowers, and the safari like tents were clean and perfect. The food was very good for a place like this, and we sat out every night dining under the bright stars and sounds of the hippo. The food was casual backpackers food, but very well done for the price. Old Bridge will schedule you a day safari, so we were picked up at 6am to travel a little over an hour to Moremi National Park. On the way in we saw giraffe, then after getting through the gate, we had a lovely breakfast at a picnic spot. After breakfast we immediately spotted a rare leopard in this park. He was healthy, strong, shy, magnificent! And then moments later, a rare cheetah leaped out in front of us. My friend got a great photo of this!

Driving through Moremi is a surreal experience. Just knowing that this land has been untouched since the beginning of time is mind boggling in itself. Animals come in and out of the bush, then disappear into nowhere! Sometimes you can see forever, and what struck me at different parts of the day, was how the sunlight reflected down to show shining colors from the terrain. At around 12:30, we found an open spot to lunch. They made us different types of salads, fruit, and stuff to make a sandwich if you wanted. Our friend Celia was going to “leave her mark” in the bush, and a snake wacked her leg. We couldn’t find the snake, but needless to say, she left her mark in a different spot! On our way out, we found the lone Boabab of Moremi. The sun was already down, but it stood majestically over all the other trees! I’m not sure why there is only one of these trees in Moremi, because in Zambia, they were all over the parks. The next day we went basket hunting because this is the region they are made. I bought several, and it was so much fun. We also did an Okavanga boat trip for a few hours close to sunset which is another surreal experience!

Here are some photos of a water lily in the famed Okavanga Delta that might interest you for your blog!

Also an unusual frog, the Foam-nest Tree Frog [Chiromantis xerampelina], also called the white frog and, a water monitor, and the one Boabab tree in Moremi that we saw as we were coming out of the park in the evening. The other pic is of my friends that I went with! Had a great time even though we did not see a lion. We did, however, see a rare cheetah and leopard, and found out later that nobody in months has seen them. My friends Ross and Heidi who are placed in Maun and have been there for 2 years now, have never seen them there, so we felt very fortunate.

 

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