So it’s taken some time, but finally I’m ready to share Part 2 of my trip in Botswana, which is technically 2 parts itself ! Get ready for even more photos. From Selinda we traveled to our only mobile camp of the trip, in a more southern part of the Delta. By requirement a mobile camp cannot be in the same place for more than six days, so this means that every six days (or sooner!), the entire camp picks up and moves to a new location.
Mobile camping was definitely the closest to “roughing it” of the trip. We slept in tents and had no running water or electricity. But unlike what I’d call ‘proper’ camping we slept in cots and had a bucket shower and refillable toilet just outside our tent. Definitely a step up from summer camp camping! One of the most surprising parts of our time at the mobile camp was how incredible the food was — and all of it was cooked using a bush oven (see picture below). The chef was able to turn out incredible foods out of that chest buried under coals – layered banana cakes, lemon poppy seed muffins, roast meats and fish and perfect, soft breads.
On top of some solid game sightings, by far the most amazing part of our mobile camp experience was our camping trip to an island – that’s right, we left our mobile camp to go camping! We took mokoros, which are flat bottom canoes, through the very shallow waters of the Okavango, including through a pond filled with hippos ( we were with guides who knew what to do but it was still terrifying!). We arrived on a small island where we sat around a fire listening to the hippos in the water, ate another amazing meal (I don’t know how they do it) and fell asleep looking up at the stars through our mosquito nets with the sounds of lions off in the distance. Truly the experience of a lifetime. On the way back our guide made my mom and I necklaces that he carved out of the water lilies, pictured below.
Game highlights include….
- Mother cheetah with three cubs
- Hundreds of buffalo!
- 3 male lions
- Giraffes, lots of them
- A leopard walking down the road at night (no pictures, sorry!)
- A seville at night – an animal I didn’t even know existed (it looks like a fox crossed with a house cat crossed with a leopard), picture below
- Tons of hippos in and out of the water
- Lots of beautiful and amazing birds
Duba and the Okavongo Delta
Our final destination was an area called Duba, right in the heart of the Delta. Duba is known for being one of the wetter parts of the delta as it floods almost completely in the wet season. While we didn’t see a ton of game in Duba, the sightings we did have were incredibly unique and included …
- Lions mating! We followed them for an hour as they moved from location to location. Photos below of the “the act”.
- White rhinos. Because of terrible poaching in South Africa, Great Plains has brought 5 rhinos over (air-lifted!) to seek safe haven in Duba. To protect them, they all have trackable bracelets so the conservationists can keep an eye on them.
- Beautiful heards of elephants on the open plain as the sun set.
- Boat trip! Because of the amount of water in Duba, you get to do a safari by boat as well as car. We didn’t see much more than birds but it was lovely.
I just wanted to say thank you so much again to my parents for organizing such an incredible trip. It was truly the experience of a lifetime.