The Urban Wanderer

Crossing Borders ~ Bridging Cultures ~ Traveling Responsibly

Okavango Delta

IMG_0242This next adventure took us deep into the bush. We had to 4×4 it for about an hour deep into the Okavango Delta. Once we reached the water we were met by a team of locals who were going to take us deeper into the delta. Boats are the traditional mokoro, which is a dug out tree…basically an African canoe. We sat two to a mokoro and each had its own ‘poler’. The poler (a local), steers the boat standing up from the back with a really long stick. It was kind of like the African version of Venice. The delta waters are full of wildlife and some would say we are crazy because these were especially full with crocs and hippos. You could see the hippos blowing water and grunting from afar. The scenery was beautiful with lily pads and lotus flowers everywhere. We traveled by mokoro for about an hour until we reached land. From there it was time to carry the camp supplies further inland in the excruciating heat. We are so deep into the delta that we have about 10 locals staying with us and basically protecting us. 90[1]
Once we were all set up it was on to our next death trap. We traveled by mokoro to another water area that looks…pretty much just like everywhere else and then was told that it was ok to swim. Did I mention that these are hippo and croc infested waters? Yes, yes I did! But the locals said we would be fine. They checked for crocs and it was clear. As we all got in they were probably laughing and thinking ‘you stupid *&%ing white people!’  Some parts were super sludgy and others had lovely sand bars. We played volleyball in the water and after our fingers turned to prunes we headed back to camp. The whole time I was in the water I couldn’t help but keep looking over my shoulder with fear that a croc was right beside me.89[1]
The most wonderful thing happened when we returned. You see, there is this British couple – lets call them Eep and Ork – and they are pretty much disliked by everyone. They are pompous, vulgar, loud and obnoxious. When we clean up camp they always bugger off. They constantly have a cigarette hanging from their lips. And yesterday at one of the road side pee breaks Ork whips out his dong right in front of the bus and facing us starts pissing while smoking his ‘fag’. Eep is one of those women who straighten and blow dry their hair even while camping in the Namibian desert, as well as crouches down next to begging children she gave food to smile and pose for a photo… So you get the picture of who these people are right? So anyway guess who finds a leach stuck to his ass? Yep, Ork! After burrowing itself into his lovely cheeks Eep had to pull it off and he was left with a bloody ass! Karma’s a bitch! Our guide swam with us and she has never seen leaches in there before. So the next thing you know we are jumping in our tents pulling our pants down checking if we also have any stuck to us. Nope, it only found the best ass hole of all! 96[1]
After this we were all exhausted from the sweltering heat so many opted out for the next effed up activity. I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to try everything so I went on the bush walk. Others named this The Death March. Still extremely hot out, a bunch of us went with the locals to find wildlife by foot. Did I mention that the Big Five are residents of the delta? Meters from our camp were fresh lion prints. But we kept on … For three hours we walked in search of anything that moved. It was amazing!!!! Our first encounter were some warthogs and springbok. But soon it was giraffe and then an elephant. We got so close by foot that we were given instructions of what to do if the elephant starts charging. I don’t know if it’s a combo of adrenaline and stupidity but it was so cool.95[1] As our march continued we heard grunting from the waters. Here in front of us were easily 50 hippos. Incredible!!! Yawning and showing us their massive mouths we got quite the show. But not after long they turned towards us and we’re coming closer and closer. Because they’re not the swiftest on land we left at the last moment and continued on. When we thought we were done we walked right into two massive male giraffes. They are such calm animals but gigantic!!! With their heads well above the tree line they just towered over us. It gives you a whole different perspective to see the animals on foot. It was hard to walk away from them but our guide needed us to be back to camp before the sun set.
The night didn’t end there. After dinner the locals sang for us. As well, one local took two of us out of our camp and close to the shore so we we could see fireflies. Thousands lit up the sky around us. This was simply breathtaking and made for a perfect end to the night!
Oh wait… Did I tell you about the toilets? There were none. So the locals made this make-shift toilet. About fifty yards from camp they set up a toilet that hovered over a hole. When you’re finished your business you shovel dirt on top. I felt like a cat in kitty litter. Sitting on a can under the stars with the frogs croaking is unreal! I had to make my friend Hannelie come with me because there’s no way I was going out there alone!
Anyway, I survived to tell the tale and this is one that I soon won’t forget!

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