Okavango Delta (Botswana) Day 1

We have a new frog to add to our collection – the dripping tap frog. He sang most of the night…… Dawn broke at around 5:30 – and I was greeted by a scorpion on the inside of my mosquito net. Better than a double shot of espresso. Once it had been sent to arthropod heaven courtesy of my shoe, we got going with the day – travelling to the Okavango Delta. Along the way we stopped at a Walmart type supermarket in a roadside town. Herds of cows wandered freely through the parking lot and chickens checked out the grills of parked cars for dead bugs. I thought that was a nice extra service in the lot 🙂 A 1 1/2 hr boat trip took us to our houseboat where we will be staying for a couple of days. The Delta is stunningly beautiful. It is one of three inland deltas in Africa. The water never reaches the sea but soaks into the Kalahari well before the Atlantic Ocean. During the rainy season the Delta increases in size and attracts a huge concentration of wildlife. We hope to see some of that tomorrow during our hike and canoe ride. There is a heron here that catches a large insect and drops it in the water as a lure for fish. He then waits patiently until one arrives and nails it. Hope to see this bird tomorrow.

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We are now drifting without power in the Okavango Delta – the starter apparently has gone in the houseboat motor. Our group must have a starter jinx on it 🙂 It is a lovely evening and I will keep you posted on how far we drift before we are rescued…… OK – the rescuers have arrived. We have had a very pleasant drift – quiet, just few fish jumping and crocodiles splashing. Engine started – just died again and we are drifting agin – enjoying a gorgeous sunset. Finally gave up on the engine – it will get fixed tomorrow. The crew lassoed a palm tree on the shore and tied up the houseboat. Dinner was spaghetti which I don’t care for. The crew kindly asked me to join them in their traditional dinner of white maize polenta and beef done a la Botswana simmered with tomatoes, onions, garlic and spices. We ate with our hands, African style, on deck as the Okavango sunset darkened to purple and then black with millions of stars. Magic.

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