Monday, November 15, 2010

Luxury; Safari Style

 Soon after arriving at Gunn's Camp we went on a boat safari.  Our guide had grown up in the Delta and his father had also been a guide; he had a sixth sense about where animals would be.  We saw hippos, elephants, wildebeest and, lots of birds.

We also learn what it's like to be staying in luxury.
Our Safari "Tent".

Open air bathroom at the back of the tent.

The front porch of our tent.

The typical day at a safari camp:
5:30: wake up with fresh coffee delivered to your tent
6:00: breakfast
6:30: morning game drive (or in the Delta boat ride)
11:00: return to camp and bruch
11:30-3:30: nap time and relax
3:30: high tea
4:00: afternoon game drive
7:30 return to camp
8:00: dinner

Dan particularly enjoyed the fact that there were four meals a day.

Into the Delta

Day 3: We fly deep into the Okavango Delta.
We headed back to the airport in Maun for our flight to Gunn's Camp in the Delta.  After hearing so much about the Delta, Dan and I were itching to experience it for ourselves.  The only other passengers on our flight were an older German couple dressed entirely in matching safari suits (yes, even the same shoes).

As an aside, safari clothing is actually worn here; it's not just a costume dreamed up by Disney. Safari clothing seems to encompass a wide variety of things, the basic premise is that it must be green, brown or khaki coloured.  Zip-off parts are just bonus.

Planes lined up at Maun Airport

Loading our luggage into the plane

Right after take-off; flying out over Maun which is completely dry.

A few minutes later we're over the green of the Delta.


We stayed one more night in Maun; allowing Dan to recover from jetlag.  It was a quiet day since basically there is nothing to do in Maun, except for organize a trip into the Delta.  We did go on a short boat ride up the Thamalakane River at the southern edge of the Delta.  Our lodge was located on the banks of the Thamalakane River.
Polling a traditional makoro up the river.

Our Lodge as viewed from the river. 
Yes, those are cows grazing between the palm trees and water lilies.

Honeymoon with Dan

A few people have been asking about our honeymoon.  It was amazing! We saw elephants and lions and tons of other animals.  The natural beauty of the area was unbelievable.

I know that there are some people who I won't get to tell about the trip in person for a while, so I'm going to post about our honeymoon.

Day 1 (Oct. 24): Dan arrives in Gaborone and we fly to Maun.
We arrive in Maun after the sun has set and realize that we'll need to find a way to get from the airport the small (and budget) lodge where we are planning to stay.  We walk out the door of the airport, not a taxi in sight. Dan has the brilliant idea of asking the guy standing behind the tourist information booth in the airport. First he offers to drive us himself, for an exorbitant price. We refuse.  He then offers to call his buddy who drives a taxi. He agrees to drive us (for a much more reasonable price).

Maun is basically just a town which serves as the gateway to the Okavango Delta. The Okavango Delta is the largest inland delta in the world.  The Okavango River drains the highlands of Angola and flows into the Delta where it spreads out over an area of 15 000 km sq.  The Delta water levels peak between June and August, the dry season in Botswana, and thus attract large numbers of animals.  The waters of the Delta gradually dry up as you travel south, and the Kalahari Desert begins.
The Okavango Delta from the air.  Most of the grass which you can see is floating on the waters of the delta. 

Traditional Makoro (dugout canoes) on the bank of an island.