While we have come to the middle of winter, Norway is enjoying the middle of summer. Meaning that school up in the north has a 8 week long holiday and families with kids can take a few weeks holiday to visit us with their kids. First up is Martha’s cousin and family. Their kids are the same age as our two oldest. They get along well having spent numerous holidays together while we were still living in Norway.
July has a few long weekends, one in respect of Botswana’s first president, Sir Seretse Khama. So we used the extra days to go on adventure.
First up was a safari trip to one of our favorite spots on the Mababe river. Camping on the edge of the river with a wonderful view down the banks, from a 4 meter raised sandy little cliff. A fantastic spot for morning coffee and hot chocolate.
Because of the lack of rain animals crowd along the rivers, most noticeable were the elephants, which moved in and around camp day and night. Because Botswana is the country with the highest elephant population in Africa one is bound to encounter them. Luckily all our encounters were peaceful. Nonetheless there were a lot of tired faces exiting the tents on the first morning, having had elephants walk a few meters past our tents and ripping branches off trees right next to us all night. We love camping in the bush and you’d be surprised what one can see by just sitting in camp. We also had a hyena come by every night, saw two crocodiles mating in the river just in front of the camp, hippos bathing in the sun, buffalos drinking by the water and small wild cats hunting on the opposite side of the river.
Being in camp gives the kids time to do different things compared to every day life. For example cooking, making fires and entertaining themselves with out electronics or abundance of toys. Life can be so simple.
Of course we also went on gamedrives and watched some beautiful sunsets.
We didn’t see any of the big cats this time around, but that just means we’ll have to come back another time.
Once back in town the kids went to school for a few days before we headed off along the western side of the Delta. Driving around 300 km took us to Etsha and a camp along the Guma lagoon, at the bottom of the panhandle. Once leaving the tar road the roads were quite sandy and one of the cars got stuck. But reducing the tire pressure by letting out some air was enough to get it out and continue the journey.
This gave us the opportunity to see a different side of the otherwise pretty dry Okavango. Although water is relatively low this year, it was lovely to see this much water and greenery. Of course we had to get out on the boat and cruise the narrow channels of the Okavango lined by papyrus walls. Seeing a few huge crocodiles catching some warmth in the sun, but quickly slipping into the water when we tried to approach for a better look.
Enjoying fishing I had the rods ready to try our luck at catching the African tiger fish or the more tricky bream (bass). Although fortune was not with us this time, it was fun giving it a try.
We now await the next visitors in a week, and are looking forward to new adventures. The next trip will take us into Moremi Game Reserve before we head to the Makgadikgadi pans and then Vic falls passing through Savuti on our way back home.
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