14.07.2017 30 °C
13 July 2017
Before breakfast we had to load up the truck with our bigger bags that are staying on the truck for the next couple of days. Breakfast was at 7.15am and we were on the way to the airport at 8.00am.
We were allocated a ticket for one of three flights taking our group to the Okavango Delta. The delta is a flood plain for the Okavango River and it has lots of wild life. The water flows from Angola and is at its highest in the dry season (which is now). It was amazing to fly in over the delta and see the extent of the water system. The flight was only 20 minutes long and we landed on a little dusty strip right next to the Oddballs Lodge.
We were greeted by the staff at the lodge but before we entered Jude and I were single out and told we were going somewhere else. We met our mokoro poler, Moga (mokoro is a canoe made of a hollowed out tree trunk … they still use the traditional wooden mokoros here). We got in the mokoro and Moga took us closer to an elephant that was feeding in the water. We glided along low in the water and reached our accommodation, Oddballs Enclave. They didn’t have enough rooms for our group of 16 so Jude and I are the only ones here until a couple fly in the afternoon. The rest of the group were actually taken to another camp that had more basic accommodation ... we were really lucky to have good accommodation and food.
We were given a briefing about the camp and told when our mokoro/bush walk excursions would take place. Then we were taken to our rooms/cabins/tents (?). What an amazing set up! The permanent tents are set up on high platforms right next to the water. There is a wooden walkway between the tented bedroom and the outside bathroom. To have a shower you have to fill the bucket and pull it up high so gravity can do its work when you turn on the shower. I have a little balcony off the bedroom.
We had a few minutes to settle before heading out in the mokoro. Moja took us through the shallow channels that the hippos make when they feed (they stay in deeper water during the day to keep out of the sun). He stopped to point our different plants and a tiny frog that blended in with the reeds. We got out and went for a walk in the bush. Moja explained that they have the Big 5 animals here … yep, lions and leopards … so why am I walking here! But they will be resting in the shade until the late afternoon. It was really hot and I wanted to be resting in the shade too. We found a herd of impala that were nervously watching our movements. After a couple of hours we were back on the mokoro and headed back for lunch.
We felt very special being the only guests at lunch. There were some colourful birds that flitted around the lodge while we were eating. I was feeling quite dehydrated and tried to drink lots of water, which only made me feel sick. So after lunch I had a rest and decided not to do the 3.30pm mokoro ride and walk in the heat. I tried out the bucket shower but couldn’t get any hot water so had a very quick cold shower.
Jude came back from the mokoro ride and quickly got me to go and see the elephant at the next camp site. There were baboons on the road and Pony (her name sounds like pony – she is the camp director/hostess) came with us to make sure we were safe. With a backdrop of a brilliant sunset a large elephant was in the water ripping up weeds. WOW.
Dinner was at 7.00pm. The pumpkin soup, chicken and vegetables and jam tart was much better than anything Clever and JP could whip up in the truck kitchen. In the darkness you could hear the sound of hippos nearby as they fed in the shallow channels. After dinner Pony walked us back to our tents by torch light. The light in my tent had been working but now wasn’t so once again I had to get ready for bed using my head torch.