Africa

Party Truck on Route to Botswana

— 15 Sep 2011 —

With the tents folded and the party truck packed, we were off to Kasane! The major hurdle for the day would be the border crossing between Zambia and Botswana. We were warned to be patient because you never know how many personnel were at the border and how many were actually working or how many people or trucks were trying to cross the border for the day.

We got our exit stamp (not a very interesting one to add to the collection might I add) and cross the Zambezi without a fuss. As we were crossing on the ferry, I was wondering what are these people crossing the border for? Are they Zambians looking to live in Botswana? Are they crossing to trade goods? Are they visiting people? There were so many of them.

Our party truck on the ferry across the Zambezi.

Our destination, Botswana.

With that done and dusted, we now needed to tackle the Botswana customs. Sometimes they are lax with the rules and sometimes not. I guess it just wasn’t our lucky day as the whole process proved to be a mission and a half.

Botswana was once a thriving economy trading mainly in cattle.  Then foot and mouth disease came along and pretty much wiped out the entire cattle industry which devastated the economy and its people. They still haven’t fully recovered from this attack and is quite stringent when letting people through.

With that in mind, you can probably understand why we needed
to unpack all our shoes, dip them in an unknown liquid (the whole process was
quite dodgy to the quite honest) and have the entire truck searched. But it was
a bitch of an exercise. And the tour leader was cross as.

With all that behind us, we raced to our camp site at Thebe Rivers Safari to eat lunch, unpack and get ready for our sunset river cruise on the Chobe. And what a lovely time we had. It was the best way to wind down and get over the whole border debacle. Our captain, Captain Jack (Sparrow) was entertaining and took us to all the good spots where we saw hippos, crocodiles, fish eagles, elephants, giraffes, buffalos and much more. Check it out for yourself below.

The tranquil waters of the Chobe River. The barrier that separates Namibia and Botswana.

Hippos checking out the activity on the water.

Children cooling themselves down from the heat, unafraid of the dangers lurking the water. I like how they use the tree trunk as a diving station.

Some kind of kingfisher. How stunning is its colour?

The majestic fish eagle perched high, stalking for its next prey.

I hadn’t seen any crocodiles yet so this branch had to suffice. Do you think it looks like one too?

Elephants and buffalos in the distance. That’s 2 of the Big 5 down.

The water monitoring lizard, or better known as the iguana.

Beautiful water lilies that line the shores.

The water buffalo. This guy was very protective of his space  and jumped up as soon as we approached the shore.

The snake bird (there is an official name which I don’t know) drying its feathers. The feathers are not waterproof thus it can go underwater and fish.

Now this is what I’m talking about. The ones in the water are always so hard to take pictures of. Captain Jack told us it is not a fully grown adult and can grow up to 6m. To be honest, I wasn’t as excited as the rest of the group because I’ve been up to Australia Zoo and seen late Steve’s crocodiles.

A herd of impalas. They look so beautiful that I won’t want to go hunt one anymore.

Some type of stork. I love the colour of its beak. It’s a nice contrast from the monochromatic colour of its body.

Freshly cooled elephants. We just missed out on their bathing ritual. They are now kicking up the short grass in order to get a feed.

Hippos galore. Dang, I love these buggers. They’re my favourite animal in the world. Yes they are fat and yes they are dangerous, but it just makes them more interesting. Thought: How do they get so fat  being vegetarian?

And to top off the whole experience? The sunset. Isn’t it just magnificent? There’s just something about the African sun that I don’t get. It has a way of transfixing me and I can’t help staring at it.

             

What a great way to end the day.

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