Spending Christmas Day in the river

We celebrated Christmas Eve the German way with presents in the evening. The kids organized the Christmas tree (one of the grandparents’ pot plants, most resembling a Christmas tree) and got it all stashed up.

Wearing shorts and drinking ice cold drinks we spent the afternoon playing games together and enjoying each other’s company, before having fondue for dinner. The kids loved it, composing their own combinations of a variety of veggies, beef, salads and dips.

On Christmas Day we all got up late, having been up late unpacking each other’s gifts the night before. After everyone had woken we packed the cool boxes with drinks and snacks and drove up the river to find a nice spot to spend the day. After a 30 minute drive along sandy roads and past cattle, donkeys and goats we found a fantastic spot. With the decline of the water level white sand gets exposed creating sandbanks and perfect swimming spots.

Luckily a friend had brought his gazebo which we placed in the water and therefore could sit endlessly in the cool water without getting sunburnt. While preparing the picnic table the wind picked up and we heard thunder closing in on us. The weather changed from sunny and hot to rainy and cool. The gazebo was taken out of the water and placed between 2 of the cars over the picnic table. We all huddled under the shelter and enjoyed the sound of thunder and raindrops hitting the roof of the gazebo. Is this the beginning of the long awaited rainy season…? As quick as the rain had come it drifted off and we could all return into the river, enjoying the rest of the afternoon.

The river being a part of a fantastic ecosystem called the Okavango Delta means we share it with wild animals. Where we had parked there were definite signs of elephants having passed by not so long ago, their gigantic dung balls decorating the area. And of course one cannot deny crocodiles or hippos their presence in the water ways. With this in mind one does not dive into black deep holes or stand close to the water edge where one cannot see what is underneath the surface. Luckily we did not have any exciting close-up encounters.

We are currently spending our days being lazy, playing and counting down the days for mom to arrive!