Sunday, March 18, 2012

Jealous yet??

As I write, I am sat soaking up the sun on a glorious Sunday afternoon on Swakopmund Namibia….Jealous yet? If not you sure will be by the time you’ve finished reading!

So, back to the beginning. Once leaving Livingstone and crossing into Botswana, the fun began as we spent 2 nights in the Chobe area. Game driving through Chobe National park where we spotted all kinds of colourful birds, giraffe, rhino AND mating lions! Yes! But the fun wasn’t over yet as the Fish Eagle Boat Cruise was yet to come. Whilst cruising along the waterways of the Chobe River we were blessed with herd after herd of elephants, including babies of no more that 6 months running and playing underneath (yep the were that small) their elders!

Next up was Maun (known as Maun Vegas,,,,,,,for what reason I am still unsure!), the gateway to the flowing channels of the Okavango Delta! The Delta, where bush camping and toilets masquerading as holes dug into the earth becomes everyone’s fabulous reality! We were treated to a bit of welcomed relaxation as we were ‘poled’ through the watery alleys of the delta brushed gently by reeds and water lilies as we passed. Once at our bush camp we swam and tired to pole the mokoros and as the blazing sun became too much we retreated to the shady solace of a sausage tree! In the cool of the afternoon we headed out for our first bush walk where we got to experience the serenity of the bush by sunset! Back at camp dinner was served around the fire and we saw the evening in listening as the night came alive with the nocturnal noises of all creatures calling the Delta their home.

The Delta experience was over as soon as it began and we were headed back to Maun for one more night before heading over to Ghanzi. For our one night here the peeps got to walk with and learn about the survival of the bushmen. Sadly the walk was cut short as the heaves decided to open with an enormous cloud burst. The rain continued all night adding to the eerie atmosphere of this old tribal land.

Next up was our first glance at a westernized infrastructure: Windhoek, Namibia’s capital and possibly Africa’s cleanest city! Time was on our side so we had plenty of hours to mooch around the city streets. That night, not to break overlanding tradition we took over Joe’s Beer House!!!!

The following 2 days were spent meandering through the dirt tracks of Etosha National Park, scouting out for the 4 of the big 5 that live here (Etosha is too dry for the buffalo)……Having spent the 2 days with our eyes peeled we managed to spot lions, elephant AND rhino but sadly the ever elusive leopard remained anti-social (as per reputation) and kept well hidden amongst the bush. Other spots included owls, many frogs, a jackal springing on and eating a mouse (I am counting this as a kill!!!!), and a turtle swimming through a massive puddle. But the best spot goes to our very own eagle eyed TJ who managed to glimpse a monitor lizard completely blended into the tree upon which it was sat, so much so that it took us ages to work out what it was we were supposed to be looking at! All were very impressed with TJ’s eye site!!!

Onwards to what will probably remain my favorite place in Africa: Spitzkoppe. Again, time was with us so having arrived and setting up camp everyone disappeared into the rocky wonderland to go and explore. Some went jogging, others went for gentle strolls in the shadows of the outcrops and then 4 decided to tackle the big mountain, 1 of which reached the top! Big shout out to Lee Sheara Jones who is my only pax EVER to get to the top!!!! Hugely impressed we awaited their return. The sunset,the moon rose and thanks to a clear evening the stars bought the night sky alive as they shot across the black backdrop but alas our explorers were still to return,,,,eventually at 10.30…6 hours after they set out they returned…this my friends is a lesson to ALWAYS carry your head torch!!!

This brings me pretty much up to date, We have already sent 8 out of the 11 passengers off to skydive. Over the next day and a half people will continue their quest for adrenaline as they sand board and quad bike over the sand dunes. In the mean time, whilst I await the safe return of our skydivers I will continue soaking up the sun with a good book and a cold beer. Jealous yet? Bet you are!

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