Posts Tagged ‘Africa’

Morning Safari

Wednesday, September 12th, 2012

The sun rises over the Delta as we depart Jacana Bush Camp for our early morning safari. Our stomachs are full from another delightful breakfast and we are rugged up in ponchos so as to stop the cool morning air from penetrating our clothing. Moputi, our guide, opens up the Mercury powered tinny and we accelerate down the shallow channel.

Taking Flight

During the day the channels are used by the boats at the camp. By night these channels become aquatic pathways for elephants, hippo, fish, crocodiles and other Delta Dwellers.
Birds, large and small, take flight from the reeds lining the channel we are negotiating. The birdlife in this part of the Okavango is amazing and, whilst we are not “birders“, it is hard not to be impressed by the sheer beauty of a huge bird taking flight and being silhouetted by the sun rising in the African sky.
What a day this is going to be.

Share This Post

Mokoro Dreaming

Tuesday, September 11th, 2012

The bow of the little mokoro pushes the waterlilly plants and flowers out of the way as Isacc (our expert pole man) navigates the small canoe across the shallow waters near the Jacana Bush Camp. We are on an afternoon safari. The seating position in the mokoro is lower than the waterline and this gives you the sensation of being in the water – a truly magical way to see and feel the incredible Okavango Delta.

Sensational Serenity

The crystal clear waters of the Delta allow us to see the sub surface plant life and an array of fish. Skimming past beautiful leaves and flowers makes the whole experience feel surreal.
Isacc stops the mokoro alongside a perfectly vertical reed. He has spotted something. A tiny, brightly camouflaged frog is trying to go unnoticed. The guides must have binocular vision to be able to see this beautiful little amphibian.

We push on into the African sunset and absorb the beauty and serenity of this magical place.

Life moves at a very slow and respectful place here in the Okavango.

Share This Post

Waking To The Hippo Alarm Clock

Monday, September 10th, 2012

In the Delta you don’t need an alarm clock because one of two things will wake you for your early morning safari – a friendly guide or, at the Banoka Bush Camp, the morning chatter of hippos. In the not so large waterhole outside our tent, 12 hippos wallow in the shallow Delta water. This is Hippo heaven.
During the dark of night the hippos leave the water and go in search of food. They spend most of the night feeding on grasses and they venture quite a distance from their territorial waterholes. As the sun rises the hippos return to the cool of the water so as to protect themselves from the hot African sun.

Back Home

Like excited children going to the beach for the day, the hippos can’t seem to contain themselves as they get closer to the waterhole. They grunt and groan with pleasure as they immerse themselves in the familiar waters. – “We’re home” is what they seem to announcing.
We settle into our delightful breakfast as the hippos settle into their aquatic resting place for the day. Our day of activity is about to begin – their’s is about end.

Grunt, groan, aaaarrgghh. Hippo speak.

Share This Post

Welcome To Banoka

Sunday, September 9th, 2012

Willie negotiates the last of the bumpy track into the campsite. Over the sound of the jeep’s engine we hear singing. We round the last corner of the well worn track and come to a stop in the camp’s welcoming area. Camp staff have come out to greet us and they are singing a traditional Botswana welcoming song. We have arrived at Banoka Bush Camp (check out the great article on Mahlatini website)
As we step down from the dusty jeep we are presented with a cold face towel and an even cooler drink. We’re introduced to the camp managers – Mish, Lops and Claire. An air of “relax, slow down, your here” surrounds us and we feel instantly at home. They are all genuinely happy to meet us and the pride they take in their work is immediately evident.
We’re escorted to the camp’s expansive dining and meeting area to receive our camp safety briefing. As we pass through the entrance we notice the huge waterhole which the camp is built around. At least a dozen hippo are wallowing around in the shallows and their loud grunts and growls are a perfect accompaniment to our extensive camp briefing.
What a way to start our safari.

Share This Post

Arriving In The Delta

Sunday, September 9th, 2012

The speed of the turbine engine powering the Cessna Caravan reduces to idle as the young bush pilot expertly manoeuvres the plane for our arrival into the dirt airstrip in the remote Okavango Delta.  Our short and comfortable ride from Maun, Botswana is coming to an end.

Large passenger windows provide us with an excellent view of the landscape below and we stare into the vastness of the Delta looking for any sign of movement.  After all, we did come here to see some animals.

On Approach

As the pilot banks the aircraft onto the base leg The Princess points excitedly at the scene below.  A small herd of zebra graze on the dried winter grasses as a family of giraffe reach high up into the trees for their next meal.  Several huge elephants, oblivious to the plane overhead, approach a small waterhole for an afternoon drink.

We barely notice the plane’s purpose built undercarriage absorbing the forces of the rough surface of the bush runway as the plane touches down.

We have arrived in the mighty Okavango Delta.

Share This Post

The Delta Experience Begins

Sunday, September 9th, 2012

Loose dust particles are whipped into a frenzy as the Cessna Caravan’s constant speed propellor increases its speed. The small turbo prop plane accelerates quickly down the dirt strip and, before long, the young pilot flies the plane into the warm Botswana skies.

Powering Up

As the noise from the Wilderness Air plane reduces we become aware of the sounds of wildlife around us. We have arrived in the Okavango Delta, Botswana.
Willie, our guide for the next three days, introduces himself and welcomes us to this beautiful aquatic African paradise. Willie produces some cold drinks then he outlines the program he has in store for us – morning safaris, sundowner safaris, lots of eating and drinking and plenty of photography. Perfect.
Before we set course for Banoka Camp we take in the sight of elephants grazing nearby. The first of many sightings of these huge mammals.
The scene is set. Let the adventure begin.

Share This Post