Botswana - Moremi

May 17, 2011 - Livingstone, Zambia

We arrived at Moremi just after the wet Easter rush so the roads were very messed up! First Bridge was barely passable, Second Bridge was not at all, George and Karl tested the waters and a small crocodile jumped out. We had to take deep water detours around the side of Second Bridge and many road detours to get past the worst of the mud and puddles. Lucky for us it had not rained for a couple of days but still the puddles were deep and full of nasty surprises! We had the advantage of having Karl in the lead testing the terrain. The radios blurted back and forth as he told us what to avoid or gave a warning.

Our first camp site was at Third Bridge, we arrived just before dark due to complications in Maun, Easter was not a good time to try and get anything fixed! It was an exciting evening two lions roared from different sides of the camp whilst we were braaing. Periodically the spotlights were used to scan the bushes when we heard something. Our visitors included a hippo, hyena and jackal all lurking at the edge of the bushes. George thought he saw the lion with his spotlight crossing between our camp and another some way down! On our last morning we had an elephant right outside the ablutions, we all gathered to watch him until he gave a little mock charge to clear his passage and we scurried around the corner!

We moved on less than 20kms away to Xakanaxa for the next 3 nights.  This meant crossing 2 more bridges but these were passable. The last one Fourth Bridge was the only one they have fixed, it was a long wooden bridge with poles for your tyres to run along and a gap inbetween – a rather too wide gap! The anxiety rose as each inch of the bridge creaked and squeaked under the weight of our landy and caravan!  

Xakanaxa was wonderful, the campsites (not the facilities) are absolutely the highlight of Moremi - forget the game drives....the animals come to you instead! There was the frequent thud of marula fruits hitting the ground or the roofs of our cars/caravan/tent...and nearly Karl’s head. Since this was the elephants’ choice food, we of course have had a lot action! Elephants in the afternoon, during the night and in the mornings kept us captive hiding behind the caravan and in the car, until finally we didn’t care much about them anymore. The elephants liked to shake the trees around us so occasionally there was the thudding of a marula shower – not the kind of tree you want to park under!  We looked out of our caravan window one night to see a huge elephant bull towering above the roof of the caravan swaying and sweeping the area with his trunk, close enough to stick it through the window! Sadly we have only had elephants at Xakanaxa, the lions we left behind at Third Bridge!

George, being a highly social man with excellent handyman skills soon made a good arrangement with the local staff of both camps. They had no idea how to fix their lighting problems or how the solar panels worked. George stepped in the gap, consulted, fixed and even rewired their boards so that we could have lights in the ablutions at night. Soon they were asking him about what else he could fix. Since George had found favour with them we also scored 40 litres of petrol (paid for) which was desperately needed, a battery and a good load of wood!

On our last night we hooked up with a party of 8 and went on a boat ride, our last experience of the Okavango Delta. Of course there was no game as when it is so wet the animals do not need to bother to come down to the river to find water. There were so many puddles that even a hippo found a home in one on the roadside! So it was goodbye to Moremi and all it’s mud, potholes and puddles. Early the next day we began the mother of all journeys to Savuti backtracking beyond Southgate to the vet control due to terrible road conditions.

 


7 Comments

Moira Richards:
May 18, 2011
you have done nothing to alleviate my jealousy.... wonderful wild times, enjoy every moment and experience. Love me
Sinclair & Carol:
May 18, 2011
Well you are certainly underlining that much used term 'only in Africa' what an adventure and such lovely insights to the joy of what a helping hand can achieve.
We await with great anticipation what your next encounters will be. This is surly going to give rise to an amazing coffee table book.
God bless you and keep you safe.
Carol & Sinclair
Uli:
May 18, 2011
Gosh, Alice and George,
Harald and me are reading your stories with a lot of jealousy in our hearts!! To be stuck in Berlin instead of being out in the wild is not nice!
Wishing you a lot more (but safe) adventures,
Uli & Harald
alice:
May 18, 2011
Uli - we would love to have had you and Harald to the rescue again!! Keep well and wish you were here!
brigitte parfitt:
May 19, 2011
Hi guys, what a wonderful muddy party you had with elefants galore. Glad though to hear you are safe.
Till the sequel to this adventure.
Luve Brigitte
boots/margo:
May 19, 2011
great camping,glad to read of your adventures and enjoying the updates,love from this end
Ellie:
May 20, 2011
Your visit there sounds lovely!
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