Another post from our friend and regular traveler to Africa, Libby Hess, about here recent journey to Botswana. A fly-in safari to the legendary Okavango Delta.Here are Libby’s thoughts and some great photos she took.
One of the highlights of any safari is the light aircraft travel between camps, and Botswana offers some of the best camp-to-camp hops. Flying out of Maun into the Okavango delta area, you quickly become aware that land has given way to water, providing a perfect reflection of the sun and clouds above. With camps located along rivers or lagoons, you are treated to a different backdrop of ambient sound than in drier areas. Instead of the constant drone of the dove, kingfishers and blacksmith plovers keep up a more staccato dialogue.
Hippos grunt out territorial claims all day and redouble their efforts as daylight ends. After the sun sets, thousands of tiny frogs, each no bigger than a thumbnail, create a curtain of sound like a rain shower on a steel drum. The game viewing experience is similar to elsewhere in Southern Africa, but you may start and end each drive with a boat ride to and from your vehicle, sweeping through calm, narrow channels lined with lilies, reeds and papyrus.
It’s a wonderful way to start and end the day, glimpsing timid lechwe or a rare sable antelope along the water’s edge in more protected areas in the morning, and dozens of water birds roosting in trees as night falls. Wildlife is abundant but there is a particularly wide variety of birds, from the tiny malachite kingfisher to the goliath heron. And when the sad days comes that you must climb on the little plane and head back to civilization, don’t forget to look out the window for a few last photos of ellies in waterholes.
To see more detail about where Libby went, check out the virtual itinerary of her journey: