Tuesday, August 9, 2016
Long drive today, 7 am – 3:30 pm. Animal sightings kept us from stopping for morning tea but the lunch our guides had packed was served at a picnic area where we also heard a talk about Botswana. We bundled up in the morning and had shed many layers by afternoon. The roads in Chobe National Park are rough so it is quite a ride, especially for those in the back of the vehicle. They call it an Africa’s massage.
Today was big cat day. An impala draped up in a tree told us a leopard was nearby. We saw it walking away. Charlie saw it look back at us. But no pictures.
Later we saw a buffalo that had been attacked by lions. Its spine was broken but the lions had not finished the job so it was hard to watch. Later we saw the two lions (male and female) resting under a bush. Assumption is they will go back to the buffalo in the evening.
Across the plain (in Namibia) we saw a dead elephant. People were doing something with it. Near us was a huge tree of vultures… waiting.
Today was also a day of abundance. So many giraffes, elephants, zebras, buffalo, impalas, and more, often intermingled, many families. May have taken too many giraffe pictures… as if that is even possible. Also eagles, crocodiles, storks, sooo many guinea hens, and two types of mongoose.
Dinner tonight was a planned cultural experience. They explained traditional customs of Botswana and told us which we would follow (eating with our fingers) and which we would forgo (women sitting on the ground while men sat in chairs) We were served a traditional meal. Charlie and I skipped the BBQ meat but enjoyed lentils soup with rolls (Did I mention eating with fingers?) followed by butternut squash, spinach, polenta with hot sauce, and corn on the cob. It was all topped off with carmalized pineapple.
After dinner the camp staff sang and danced. Then they asked what we would do. Our youngest group member, the one who teaches the 5th grade, Alex, did a fantastic rap about the camp and our time here. Then one more dance that we joined in on, and we have fallen into bed.