From the Caprivi Strip in Namibia we crossed the border to Botswana at Muhembo. It went all very smooth. The road in Botswanais tarred and in good condition, but packed with donkeys and cows who are too lazy to get out of the way!
Our first night we spent at the Sepupa Swamp Stop before we reached Maun. In Maun the first thing we did was try to find an ATM. But we noticed the huge crowd and queues at the banks and all the ATM’s. It happened to be the 1st of the month, so the whole town was collecting their paychecks, our luck. But luckily we found us an ATM where Maestro was accepted and the waiting time was only 15 minutes.
We met up with Drew who took us to his place. Together with Drew we drove around town to get supplies. It turned out that our rooftop tent couldn’t handle 5 hours of solid rain and therefore we were looking for some waterproof spray. With all the safari companies around we ended up painting the tent with some kind of waterproof paint. It seems to be working, but I guess we’ll find out at the next thunderstorm.
One day Drew decided to take us out for a trip on the Okavango river. While launching the boat (Don was standing in the water knee deep) he asked Drew about this sign he saw which said: ‘’KOTSI! Thutisa Madi Metsi a a na le megare’’ or in English: ‘’DANGER! Schistosomiases, this water is infected’’. Oh yeah, never mind, said Drew, that’s right that means Bilharzia. For the ones who don’t know what Bilharzia means; Bilharzia is a disease which is spread by small worms that are carried by a freshwater snail to slow-moving or still water. The parasites penetrate human skin during swimming and then migrate to the bladder. “Oh, okay”. But don’t worry; said Drew, this sign is probably not on the right place.
Anyway, we finally got into the boat and heading to the Delta. But not even 10 minutes later heavy showers spoilt our boat trip and got us soaking wet in only a few minutes! We found shelter (thanks Liz) and waited it to pass by. No crocs and hippo’s this time.
We enjoyed our stay with Drew and notice that we start longing to the comforts of home. Small things like using the washing machine instead of washing all your clothes by hand, a comfortable bed, kitchen and shower nearby. Oh, don’t forget about the dryer. In Botswana they tend to put everything in the dryer or make sure everything gets ironed, because of the putsi-fly who can lay eggs on your clothes while on the washing line. While wearing the clothes the eggs might make contact with your bare skin, causing a larve to be born under your skin. If this is the case you will notice a bump which is actually ‘’moving’’, because the “larve’ is trying to get out! Well, welcome to the real Africa! Maybe we should consider to do our laundry at the Laundromat…
After another two nights with Kate and Shaun in Maun we headed towards Chobe National Park. Since the entrance fee got quite expensive and the camping fees in the park even more so, we decided to cross Chobe in just one day. We heard that the road conditions were bad in rainy season, but it we should be allright with our Landy. So we set the alarmclock at 5 am and at 6 am we were on our way from Maun to Chobe. We were not even in the park or elephants were crossing the road and giraffes were staring at us. I think we have seen more outside than inside the park. Unfortunately we haven’t seen any lions, since the grass was too high.
The road started very sandy, but there were the dips filled with water and the dips became deeper and deeper and were never ending. It was excited and the water was reaching up to the wheel arches, but the Landy was doing very good!
10 hours later we arrived in Kasane. Here we decided to skip Zimbabwe for now and cross the river by ferry into Zambia.