As all the waterways here were ever changing, it was a real treat for us to come in October. The water was still flowing, but not too deep yet allowing the smaller islands to pop up, where usually they would be under water for months of the year.
From elephants, crocodiles, and hippos, to lions, giraffe and many species of beautiful birds. You couldn’t miss nature, it was right there with every blink, a new wonder to see.
Our days started at sunrise, as we set out into our Mokoro with BK, and into the wild. This time, on foot. A whole new experience than what we had done at Kalahari, and so exhilarating! You almost can’t believe you’re sharing the same ground as all of these exciting (and deadly) animals.
BK was another mass source of interesting information on the area, growing up here, he told us about how they would play as children, and how they learnt the ‘way of the Delta’ from being young. Respecting the elements and animals around them.
He showed us how to track animals from their prints, and enjoyed the wonderful landscape, as well as all the animals along the way. It was actually really nice to be walking properly again. Although most mornings we had done a workout, or stretch routine, we hadn’t been able to do our normal amount of walking – due to the danger of walking alone here.
Termite hills (above) can be up to 6 metres deep, and play an important role here. They create islands! They even nest here when the water comes – as they have enough time to make their nest waterproof, and live in it until the water subsides the next season. I never thought I would be so interested by termites – but they play such an important role in the eco system of the Okavango, it’s pretty cool!
A hippo eyeing us up
Heading back to camp on the Mokoro, BK suddenly changed course and told us to be quiet. “This is how we die” I thought. A small heard of buffalo – the most aggressive species here, was eyeing us up from the shallow waters we shared. Michiel, having taken all his training on what to do in this situation, said nothing, and stared intently in front of him, avoiding eye contact with the buffalo.
After minutes of staying deadly still, BK said they showed no signs of charging, so we were ok to move slightly and take some photos, but be aware.
Michiel, not hearing this, decided to keep staring forward, whilst I was frantically tapping him on the shoulder to check them out. ‘Not now Holly’. I found this so funny I couldn’t see for laughing, and he soon realised the coast was clear. We didn’t need to plan our dramatic escape route just yet.