Today I am still in Botswana!! No shit…this morning at about 1:30a.m. I woke up to the sounds of a HUGE animal right outside my deck. I peeked through the curtains and it was a hippo grazing on the grass. I bet it was no more than 20 feet from the edge of my deck. I watched him or her for a while then it moved on. It may have saw me in my underwear’s and ran. I went back to bed and slept like a baby.
This morning I got my wake up call at 6:00 with a pitcher of coffee and a warm good morning from Monnie. I got up and got ready for the day. Today’s agenda was a game drive in the morning, then come back to the camp for lunch and a siesta, then another game drive in the afternoon. Not a bad way to spend the day.
This morning after breakfast, Bigfish and I set out for the day. Just the two of us. We drove for a long time and saw the usual Impala. It’s funny that I am so bored by the Impala now. I guess since they are so frequently seen and the population is high, they are old news. Before long, Bigfish and I came upon a pride of lions. There were 3 males and 1 female. They were super lazy! They had full bellies, so it showed that they had eaten the night before, so that would explain the laziness. Although, Bigfish said the lions are so lazy all the time. They can spend the entire day in one spot. So I took a ton of photos of the lions being lazy, then they got up and moved to the shade. So, it was nice to see them a bit active. That is where they stayed the entire day. After the lions, we drove around and saw giraffes (a group of 5 of them), a bunch of Warthogs, Impala, Kudu, and birds. It is a truly special place, the Moremi Game Preserve. After a couple hours of driving around, we stopped under a tree and watched some Warthogs and Zebra and had some more coffee. Bigfish set up a sweet spread of cookies and coffee. So, we hung out for a bit and then continued the drive. We saw more game and some Impala’s playing. Watched that for a while. Then I saw a huge elephant. We drove closer and as I was trying to take a photo of it, disaster struck. Well, not really disaster, but my 70-300 zoom lens broke. I knew it was having problems focusing because I dropped it in Sossusvlei. But it had been working ok up until this point. Just when the elephant was looking at me. Bummer. So, I don’t have a zoom lens for the drive tomorrow. Luckily I packed my little Nikon point and shoot and that has a decent zoom on it. So, I will use that tomorrow. After the morning game drive we came back to camp for lunch. Lunch was amazing. Had some great food and a beer, then I was informed that it was siesta time. From about 1:00-3:00 everyone takes naps. I updated some photos and wrote day 1 of the blog and then took a 45 minute nap. After siesta time, it was time for high tea. Well, yes, don’t we all have high tea at 3:00? This is a new experience for me. Basically it was iced tea and cake. Although they have a fully stocked bar and fridge here and you can help yourself at any time. The Austrians that are here are doing a fine job of that. I just had some iced tea and cake.
After lunch, the siesta, and high tea it was time for another game drive. A new couple came into camp this afternoon and Bigfish was assigned as their guide. Which means I have to share the ride and the drive for tomorrow with them. They seem super nice though. Both originally from South Africa. Here on their honeymoon. Seem like nice people. The dude, Rudy, is super into finding a Leopard. So most of the afternoon game drive was spent driving around looking for the Leopard. We did see more Elephants, Lions, Wild Dogs, Kudu, Impala, Water Bock, Antelope, Warthogs, Monkeys, etc.. but, no Leopard. At the end of the drive we stopped by a small lake and saw a HUGE crocodile and some hippos in the water. This is where we had our sundowners. I LOVE sundowners. The S.A. couple took the gin, so I had a beer. So, that’s cool. We made our way back to camp as the sun was down. It was a magical sunset. Maybe because I’m in Africa, but it seems different. So beautiful.
We got back to camp at about 6:45. I took a quick shower, in my outdoor shower of luxury of course. Then it was fire time and drinks. We sat at the fire and had a drink before dinner and then the staff entered the fire area and all 25 of them began singing and dancing. It was one of the most special experiences ever. They truly were amazing and you could tell they were sincere in every word they were singing and dancing to. It wasn’t just a show for the dumb tourists, they were enjoying themselves. I didn’t understand most of it because it was in the traditional Botswana language, but it brought a smile to everyones face. It was so great. Dinner was great. There is a group of 4 Austrian guys here. They go on a vaca together every year. Just the guys. This year is Africa. I was talking a lot with one of them and he told me that in Vienna, the Madison Symphony Orchestra is very, very famous. They love the Madison Symphony there. Who knew?? The things you learn about your home town when you travel. Then we had more drinks by the fire. I’m feeling a bit buzzed right now. I had a couple drinks. But not too many!
Tomorrow is a game drive in the morning, and then in the afternoon we will take the boat down river into the delta and explore that. The Austrian’s were telling me the scenery is amazing. So, I’m looking forward to that. Until tomorrow… time for bed. Early morning again tomorrow and it’s 11:00…