Friday, August 12, 2016
This morning we had a short wildlife drive followed by a ride in mokoros, the traditional mode of transportation for the people who have lived in this watery area. These dug out canoes are usually made of sausage trees but for sustainability reasons we rode in fiberglass replicas. The waters are shallow so a pole, used by local guides, propell it. The water was calm and relaxing after so much bouncing around in the jeeps. Although billed as a cultural event rather than wildlife excursion, we were lucky enough to watch a giraffe come to the water’s edge for a drink.
After brunch we had a back of the house tour (behind the scenes) to see all that goes into supporting our small group’s luxurious stay in this fabulous location.
And it is luxurious.
(Add Photo: Behind the scenes)
We are fed every time we turn around. They graciously accommodate our request for vegan meals. Our bags are “magically” moved from our tent at one camp to our room at the next. Having our laundry done is included. They come to our rooms to wake us. We leave our rooms early, and when we come back midday, they are tidied up, with all the velcro windows down. When we come back after dinner, carrying our bush babies (hot water bottles they have filled for us), they are closed back up with beds turned down. All we have to do is dress ourselves and show up at the jeep or dining area when told. We are quite spoiled. Still, we are exhausted and sleeping extremely well.
This afternoon we had a presentation about the Okavango Delta, the largest inland delta in the world, formed when tectonic shifts prevented the river from flowing to the sea as it once had.
We went for our last wildlife drive in this location and had a wonderful adventure. Our jeep stopped so the local guide could pick up a pice of trash. Before he could put it in the back end, the driver turned the jeep so we could photograph the sunset. The guide decided that, since the jeep had moved away from him, he would go to the nearby bush to pee. Charlie started to get out to do the same. Suddenly, the guide came running back with news that there was a leopard. The driver directed Charlie, rather emphatically, to stay in the jeep. Once we were all safely seated in the jeep, we drove around to get a better view of not one, but two, leopard cubs climbing on and around an termite mound. Mama was nowhere to be seen, so probably out hunting. We watched the two, estimated to be about 4 months, until it was too dark to see.
As we turned to go, we saw our first two wild dogs. Then, our guide had to find our way back to a real road since we had gone significantly off road before the sunset. Very exciting!