After leaving the Caprivi Strip, we headed for one of the highlights of our camping safari: Botswana’s Chobe National Park, a park that boasts one of the largest concentrations of game in Africa and more than fifty thousand elephants.
After our morning walk with the San people, we got an early start on both the day and our drive across Western Botswana, from the Kalahari Desert up to the Okavango Delta. Along the way, we passed a number of tiny villages and countless heads of cattle roaming across the road. Eventually we reached the town of Etsha 13,1 where we would be leaving behind our bus and transferring into a giant 4WD vehicle with massive tires for the remainder of the journey into the delta.
After unpacking nearly everything from the bus – including everyone’s packs, the tents, and multiple coolers full of food and drinks – and loading it onto the 4WD vehicle, we were on our way. Our destination was Guma Lagoon Camp, a lodge along the banks of Guma Lagoon in the panhandle of the Okavango Delta, where we would be camping for the next two nights. Within minutes, it became readily apparent as to why we needed the 4WD vehicle to complete this last portion of the journey: the route quickly changed from driving along a sandy track to sloshing through water that was several feet deep.2 Along the way, we saw a number of birds, including the instantly recognizable hammerkop and several African fish eagles.3
From the early days of our planning for this adventure across Southern Africa, we had intended to first travel through Mozambique, Swaziland, Lesotho, and South Africa, before going north to explore Namibia, and then heading east, through Botswana, on our way to Victoria Falls. One of the hurdles in this aspirational routing, however, was the lack of public transportation between Windhoek (where we would be wrapping up our two weeks of travels through Namibia) and Maun (the principal jumping-off point for travels in the Okavango Delta, and one of the only towns of any size in Northern Botswana). After considering a couple of expensive/unappealing options for independent overland travel – renting a car to make the one-way journey or hitchhiking through a sparsely populated stretch of the Kalahari Desert – we decided to go all in with Wild Dog Safaris and tack a nine-day, one way trip from Windhoek, through Botswana and Namibia’s Caprivi Strip, to Victoria Falls onto the end of our Namibian travels.1 Continue reading Traveling from Namibia to Botswana (Or, Walking with the San People)