Looks a bit like an African version of EastEnders doesn’t it? Chances are, you are more likely to get killed off here than in Albert Square, being home to Lions, Hippos, hyenas the lot. .
In fact, before I left to camp the night in the middle of the wilderness – I was made to sign a waiver to state that I recognized the dangers of staying in the Delta and that it was on me to protect myself.
So we were off to a good start. We drove as far as the dirt road would take us, the rest of the journey would have to be made on the water. As you can tell from the photo, I was lets say a little apprehensive. Probably just me being dramatic as per.
To get to the campsite, it was a two hour journey via a longboat. The locals oared us through the Delta full of Water Lillies and long grass. It was probably, still to this day – one of the most beautiful out of this world moments for me, and I wasn’t even there yet. Despite the sun in it’s glory, and having nowhere to shelter, I was in awe of this magical, untouched landscape. That was until the river started to narrow and the long grass became surrounding us. The grass was home to hundreds of little jumping frogs and spiders. Head between my legs I sucked it up, calming my thoughts until we arrived on the banks of the river.
There was a warm welcome at the camp, and as we set up our tents for the night we were briefed on our surroundings and safety. No one was to travel alone, even to the toilet (wait until you see the toilet). The camp inhabited all types of wildlife – hippos, hyenas, venomous snakes and spiders.
Naturally, there was no running water or electricity at the campsite – and so we headed back to the swamp to cool off. Having had so much sun exposure, my scalp was painfully burnt. Utilizing the Deltas resources, I tied a Lilly pad around my head to serve as a hat- Bear Grylls eat your heart out mate.
Returning to the camp, we had a cheeky Kahlua and Coffee – all set to head off for our Safari Walk. Unfortunately, I wasn’t allowed to wear my Tie Dye TShirt, but I did wear some trousers which resembled Zebra print – with no intention of attracting Lions.
I don’t know how to explain how spectacular it is, walking through wild territory – watching animals from afar with the thrill that anything could happen – to them, to you. It’s a cruel world out there, and being amidst the cycle of life is a thrill like no other. Coming across bones, watching vultures scavenge off of left overs – looking out for track marks from a Lion, seeing Elephant dung. Little signs of the real action you have been fortunate to see captured on film. We spotted groups of Buffalo, Giraffes in their hometown. But it was the atmosphere, the thrill of the unknown eyes watching you. Complete with the most enchanting sunset I have ever seen.
Gliding back through the swamp was even more magical at sunset. Everything illuminated and shined with more mystery. It made me think of what the world was like before man kind, was it all this surreal? That journey really was like something on another planet, it’s something you can only see to understand.
Can this day get any better? Apparently so. Our hosts cooked up stew and vegetables of which I took about 3 helpings ( genuinely put on a stone in Africa). They danced, and they sung – presented riddles to us and then asked if we had any entertainment to provide them with. Painfully, and with the aid of a couple of beers – we did a ‘freestyle’ dance each which was pretty embarrassing given the bar they had set.
I slept like a log without any dangerous encounters, and even managed to escape using the camp toilet. Botswana, you are the reason I am so spoilt.