Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Okavango Delta

In our mokoro on the Okavango Delta

The Okavango Delta sits like an oasis right in the middle of the desert of northern Botswana.  Each year a river of water flows south from Angola to Botswana after the rainy season.  But this is a river without a mouth.  Instead of flowing to the sea, the water branches out to form a huge marshy swamp - an inland delta - where the water ultimately evaporates.  The Okavango Delta is a beautiful, pristine wilderness and home to a huge variety of wildlife.

We spent two nights bush camping on Nakatsa Tholo, an island in the Okavango Delta.  It was quite an ordeal just to get to the island.  First, we took a speed boat from Maun, the biggest town in the area.  When we reached the village of Boro, we met our polers who guided us in mokoros (dug out canoes) to Nakatsa Tholo.  Our poler’s name was Gladys.  She was really fun, knowledgeable, and we didn't tip!  After more than three hours of boat rides we made it to Nakatsa Tholo and set up camp.    

Gladys, the poler of our mokoro

Once we got settled, we headed out on our first walk around the island.  We weren’t expecting to see much, but we have quickly learned that you should never underestimate Africa.  After about twenty minutes we found ourselves watching a herd of more than a hundred zebras and wildebeests.  A couple hundred feet away were about a dozen giraffes.  The next day several huge elephants walked right through our camp.  Nakatsa Tholo sure was an exciting little island.  

A herd of zebras and wildebeests
Standing in front of a herd of wildebeests on Nakatsa Tholo

It was fun to fall asleep in our tents each night knowing that all of the animals we had seen that day were right there on the island with us.

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