I left off on my last day in Namibia, on 4/19. I got up really early on the 19th, at about 3:00a.m. to catch my ride to the airport at 4:00a.m. I flew from Windohek to Johannesburg, then on to Maun, Botswana. My flight arrived in Maun at about 1:15. After clearing immigration and customs I made my way to the main lobby of the airport. I found the representative for the camp that I’m staying in. I gave her my bigger luggage as I had to take a bush plane to get to the camp and had to pack a smaller duffle bag for that flight. I waited around for another 45 minutes before the others on my flight finally cleared immigration and customs and then we were off. It was a plane that could seat 9 including the pilot. Since I was alone, the pilot required me to sit up in the co-pilot seat. That was amazing!!! I got a front and side view of the amazing scenery. It was about a 30 minute flight to the first air strip. We landed and dropped off all of the other passengers, and then took off again and had another 10-15 minute flight to my air strip where I was met by a guide from the camp. Camp Okuti.
My guide’s name is Bigfish. I like that. I loaded into the truck and we hung out for a minute while I filled out some paperwork. Then we were on our way to the Moremi Game Preserve in the Okovango Delta. Bigfish said since I didn’t get in until about 3:30 we had two options. First option was to go directly to camp and hang out, or we could start our game drive right away. I chose option 2. I was super excited to get this started. So we drove off into the game preserve. It is a national park here, so after filling out some more paperwork at that office we could start the drive. It is amazing here. So lush and green, and then there are open plains areas with taller grasses. It was really nice to see some green after spending all that time in the desert of Namibia. We drove around, off roading when we would see an animal. First thing, I saw some wild dogs. They are exclusive to Botswana, and apparently a bit elusive. But they were just hanging out under a tree. Having a nap. We drove around for another hour and then went towards camp where we picked up a lady who works in the office for the camp, in Maun. She was here training, to see how the camp operates and how the guides work. After picking her up we drove all over, going off road, and just hanging out looking at the animals. First day and we already saw Wild Dog, Zebra, Baboons (these ones seemed nice, sort of) Hippo, Impala, and a Crocodile. At about 6:15 while the sun was going down we drove to Camp Okuti.
I arrived at Camp Okuti in the dark, so I wasn’t really able to see how amazing this property was. I was met by Tibbi (the manager) and another lady (I can't remember her name) and they were waving and yelling welcome to me as we pulled up. They grabbed my bag and showed me to my room. Wow. This place is definitely the nicest place I have EVER been to in my life. A bit too luxury for me, but I’ll take it. I can’t believe this exists in the middle of the delta. My room is huge. I’m guessing it is as big or bigger than my house. The bed is two double beds pushed together with mosquito netting all around. I have an indoor and and outdoor shower, and a porch overlooking the river. I still can’t believe this place. It has basically a roof made of canvas, covered by twigs and is all open air. There is mosquito netting where the open parts are. I love it. I had a minute to take a shower and change my clothes, then it was time for dinner.
I went to the main dining area of the hotel and there is a fire pit with chairs all around. All the staff and other guests were there having drinks and sitting by the fire. Monnie(pronounced money) was waiting for me at the entrance and ready to fix me a drink. She is probably one of the nicest, happiest people I’ve met. I got a gin and tonic and went to the fire and met some of the other staff members. Then the staff gathered and started singing that it was time for dinner. They should really go on the road with their act because the voices were all amazing. So, we went to the table. The guests and staff sit at one big table for meals so you can meet other people and talk to the staff about Botswana and life in Botswana. I met a family from Germany and I thought the Father was going to cry when he was talking about this place. It is truly a special place. The environment is spectacular, but the staff are really what makes this place special. The friendliest and most sincere group of people. The dinner was like a 6 course dinner. Now, this part was a bit awkward for me. I feel like this place is for the super rich. I’m not super rich. So, it was a bit formal with cheese courses and desert wine courses. But, it still felt relaxed and nice, but a bit too formal. During dinner Tandy asked what I would like for my wake up call. I was confused. She explained that Monnie would come to my door at 6:00 for the wake up call and would bring either tea or coffee and wake me up. What?!?!?! A personal wake up service. Wow. After dinner we all sat by the fire and had another drink. At about 9:30 I was really tired, so I went back to my room and climbed in bed and read until I fell asleep. It was a good day. Right now is siesta time in the afternoon on the 2nd day. Oh, from about 1:00-3:00 is nap time. Seriously. Then at 3:00 is tea time, and 3:30 the afternoon game drive begins. I’m not sure when I’m going to be able to update the blog, so I’ll break it up into days. Even though I’m writing this on the 2nd Day.
I am so fortunate to be here….