OKAVANGA DELTA (North-West, BWA)
Thursday December 1st, 2016
TODAYS MILEAGE – 28 miles or 45 kilometres
TRIP MILEAGE – 15837 miles or 25487 kilometres
Even though todays travel distance was the shortest of the trip at 28 miles (45 kilometres), it was also one of the longest - in killing time.
We were transferred to the Nguma Island Lodge early in the morning by "Mama Lolo" and "Maverick", who then returned to Sepupa Swamp Stop for the next couple of days. Us Chakalaka's then got to sit around all day twiddling our thumbs, waiting for the 2½ hour evening boat trip around the Okavango Delta.
To make matters worse, we received no information as to why we were sitting around, so understandably people went "exploring". This is when we ran into the supposed lodge owner who in no uncertain terms told us to "go back the campground as the lodge area was only for the accommodated tour patrons." and in a nutshell, she was a complete bitch about it.
She also had the temerity to tell one of our tour party - Gunnar, who was feeling ill, to sort out his own medical stuff as he was not a "lodge guest". It took a fair amount of cajoling to even be allowed to use the telephone in seeking medical assistance. I fair dinkum near lost it with her when she tried to shush me when discussing a plan in helping Gunnar, with a couple of other fellow travellers who have medical backgrounds. What set me off was when she came out of her office and said "Quite please - you are disturbing the guests". I simply said "Why don't you just fuck off as us other guests are trying assist one of your unwell guests." She gives me the death stare and stomps off. Anyways, we ended up dealing with another person at the lodge who took control of the situation and eventually got Gunnar sorted.
Around 4:30PM we all trundled down past the lodge and into a few tinnies with school chairs - our cruise vessels, and spent the rest of the late afternoon/early evening sussing out what was around the delta. I will say that the day wasn't a complete waste, as the photos show, we all enjoyed one of those "bucket moment" brilliant sunsets.
• OKAVANGA DELTA ~ Nguma Island (North-West, BWA)
Day 15 - Okavango Delta
After a leisurely breakfast we depart on our boat cruise to Seronga via the winding channels of the Delta. A vehicle transfer sees us arrive at our base for the next two nights, where we settle in and prepare for our afternoon activity that ends with sundowners overlooking the waterways of the Delta. The evening is spent around the campfire. The activities may vary depending on water levels.
The Okavango is extremely seasonal and different animals visit at different times of the year - hence Jumbo Junction getting its name - it sometimes literally has hundreds of elephants passing right through it. The Delta is fed by rains which fall in faraway countries and the area that the water will cover will expand from approximately 9 000 square kilometres to 16 000 square kilometres. The arrival of the water generally takes place between December and July. The rains in the Delta are generally between November and April, this is a good time for the Okavango Delta if you are a bird enthusiast or are interested in the vegetation. When the vegetation in the Delta dries out, the animals start concentrating in areas where there is still water available for them, they are much easier to view and the best time of year for game viewing is May to October. It is possible to see antelope, buffalo, elephants, hippos, giraffe and sometimes even wild dog, cheetah, leopard and lion, however the dogs and cats generally stay closer to Kana Kara camp (visited on our accommodated tours). The possibility is always there however as the animals are free roaming. When the water is high, they do get restricted in their movement, but as the water subsides, they move around again.