Boat trips and passports

After a really good rainy season, which resulted in a total of around 1000mm this season, well over the yearly average, the rains came to an early end in March. Unfortunately the rains in the catchment area, in Angola were very bad, meaning there will hardly be, if any, flood water arriving this year. All the rain though has caused the receding water level to rise again. That meant we felt confident to go boating and overnighting in the bush. And with the warm temperatures of late summer, early autumn it was wonderful being on the river. Navigating through narrow channels posed quite the challenge at times, but we always managed to find a lovely island to camp on.

Because of the warm temperatures at the time it was always fun spending time in the water when we did find a shallow and sandy spot.

The kids love camping and enjoy helping set up and contributing when it comes to making food.

Spending time away from home gives us time to play games, read books and be lazy. The kids have all gotten into playing “settlers of Catan”.

The kids have also spent time learning to drive the boat. A good thing to know should anything happen to us adults. The challenge in these narrow channels is to keep the propeller in the channels, otherwise it can be a tiring and timely effort to get it free again. The best way of learning is by doing…

At the beginning of the school holidays we needed to go to the capital to organize passports for the kids. Their Norwegian passports are expiring this year and to renew them we would have had to go to the embassy in Pretoria, South Africa. Calculating the costs of corona tests and travel and accommodation I decided to give the German embassy in Gaborone, Botswana’s capital, a call. Because I am German the kids have the right to a German passport, so it was a no-brainer to avoid border crossings, expenses and stay with friends in Gaborone.

The temperatures have since dropped quite drastically at night. The days are still warm, but the boating and swimming season has officially closed. School has started again and we are hoping that we can squeeze in the odd bush trip by car in the next few months. The warm winter clothes have been taken out of their boxes and dusted off, ready to be used.