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Diary of a Bush Ways safari with guide Evans by Frank G.

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Tuesday March 13. Tucson Az

Daline is to join me for a trip to Botswana and an 8 day safari in the Okavango Delta, as I have done twice before. I have been pining for a travel partner and one day about three weeks ago I got an early morning phone call from Daline. Her first words were, “Grandpa, I’ll travel to Africa with you”. Wow what a way to start a day. I got reservations for the safari and plane tickets before the end of the day. We are now leaving. It is an incredible gift for me to be able to travel with relatives and friends. This is a special trip. Her husband, Brad, is the one who suggested she accompany me. The trip is in itself a grand adventure for anyone who has not done it. I must say it has to be experienced and afterwards I can almost assure you it will be in the top echelon of memories. It will give you fodder for conversation for the remainder of your life. We are scheduled to meet at JFK tomorrow morning

Each of us changed flights on travel day. I was rerouted through DFW to LGA. Daline departed GSO instead of CLT and she was also routed to LGA . We were each scheduled to arrive at JFK which is close to our lodging. In fact Daline was not supposed to be here today at all. She was to fly on Thursday morning, early, to JFK in time to join me. She arrived 2 and a half hours after I did, then we took the shuttle to JFK. All in all it was pretty smooth. We didn’t get to our room until about 9 pm. Daline ordered pizza and we had food in the room. We didn’t stay up long before getting some sleep. Tomorrow is to be a long day.

Wed March 15, New York City.

Our phones and iPads are charged, we hit the dining room and self charge ourselves for the day. An 8 AM departure for the airport and with very little fanfare we are beyond security. Daline is awed by the size of the plane, an Airbus 340-600.

We departed on time and have a 15 hour flight in front of us. It is 7980 miles, damn that’s a long way. Immediately we are over the Atlantic headed southeast and it will be 7 hours before we are again over land. The most western point of Africa is our landfall. And we are not halfway yet. As in most instances the larger the plane, the smoother the ride and it is so for our flight. As Darrell told Daline, we have time to watch 7 movies on the way.

We flew and flew and flew and finally got to feel landfall and only 400 miles to go. The sun comes up on a beautiful partially cultivated landscape and a fantastic clear day. About this plane, it is really large and so it is has an extremely comfortable passage thru the air and a soft landing.

7:35 AM Thursday March 15 and we are in J’oberg. Clearing passport control and luggage forwarding is done. We are officially legal visitors. We kill a couple of hours in the lounge and then we are off to Maun. It is a 1hour flight and flawless. In Maun we are met by a driver from Bushways who takes us to the store to get water and wine. Then he takes us to the Bushways facility. We have brought a bunch of gear to be shared with the local school children and some instruments for the hospital. I brought a Lands End coat which fit me 50 pounds ago. Now I am hoping it will fit Eddie, my guide last year. I also brought him a new Birds Of Southern Africa reference book. We are many pounds lighter and that is a welcome feeling.

Just thinking, when you plan a trip like this you really look to the start date or starting line for the trip. I was excited and thought I had reached it Tuesday morning when Kathy took me to the airport in Tucson. Well when I traveled all day to get to JFK and met up with Daline, it was sort of like I had had a false start. I hadn’t gone anywhere. So when we got on the plane at JFK I really thought I had started, after all I was now with Daline. But it is work and very tiring to get to J’oberg. So I knew the start line was still in front of me, I was still making progress to start the vacation. However, we are in Maun and cleaned up, refreshed and looking to get a good nights sleep prior to meeting with the guide and Starting our safari. We can see ‘Start’ it from here.

Friday March 16 somewhere in the Delta

A full nights sleep to reset my system a well prepared breakfast and off we go. We do leave the lodge at 7:30 and for 15 minutes we are on pavement, then it is 2 hours on a dirt road and our initial game drive. Twists and turns, going thru large ponds of water and running water, passing over large termite mounds before breaking out on the Okavango itself. This is the launch point for further excursions into the water world of the delta. We are joining a safari group which is just completing the mokoro excursion. On the way into this area Daline spotted her first game animal, a group of 6 to 8 giraffes. Good pictures as there were some not 30 feet off of our road. On the way out , after joining the group she spotted an elephant. Some sightings huh?

We gather and retrace our rough dirt path/road back out to the pavement. Then it’s off toward more game drive. One last, and he said this is our last commercial stop for 6 days, stop prior to dirt road again for 6 days. We stop in a concession area where we will make camp for the night. Daline and I pitch the tent for the first time. We did well. An announcement by Evans our head guide, about our itinerary for the day and roughly for the week. We are then allowed to rest or whatever until the 4 pm game drive. On the game drive we do see several pairs of large bull elephants. The bulls have left the females and will spend the next several months minding their own business, eating grass and drinking water. They are basically loners but will join up with one other bull. We also see the first impala and several giraffe. On the way back to camp we come upon several large, 14 or so, female elephants. These are the mothers, aunts, nieces and daughters of the group. Very protective indeed. We get about 10 minutes of video and stills. There are several real small ones. Now back to camp and our evening meal. We have a vegetable mix and filet of beef. Really good. A round table of talk with evening drinks. A little from everyone. We have a German couple, a single German young lady, a French Canadian man from Montreal, and a Swiss physician. Varied indeed.

Saturday March 17 Moremi Game Preserve Botswana

He wants us up at 5:30 so we can break camp eat, bathroom stop and be on the way by 7 am. We had 7 choices for breakfast, you could have toast, or toast and apricot jam , or toast and strawberry jam, or toast and butter, or toast and peanut butter, or corn flakes, or granola! Such a dilemma !

We did and we are. It is a beautiful game drive morning. The sun is not up and it is cool. We drive, longer than I expected, to get to the entry to Moremi. There is a formal gate, registration and so forth. By the time we get there we have seen a few elephants and a lot of giraffe. Now we are on the Moremi Preserve and driving slower on much coarser roads. Each time we spot an animal, except impala which are too abundant, we stop for photos.

We are now stopped for lunch, and the activity of the past 15 minutes has generated a sense of eating now, it may be your last meal. We just had the crap scared out of us, all of us, more later. That is a teaser, don’t quit early. Back to the animals we have seen. We have seen about a dozen zebras, perhaps 20 giraffe, 4 monkeys, 20 hippopotamus, a spring bok, a herd of Cape buffalo, a herd of Tsessebe, 2 water bucks, but the last thing we saw was 10 lions. This is where the teaser comes to life! The road is very muddy and frequently you must get off of the main track and go slightly thru the bush, not far, say a 60 foot bypass. This detour was around a small bunch of brush about 10 feet long and 6 feet wide. However there was fully grown lion in full makeup to look mean. Now there were 4 other males, same size, same attitude within 50 feet. Off to the left was at least 1 perhaps more lionesses. There were also 2 young cubs. This is a bunch of lions trying to nap in the middle of the day and we want by. Evans pulls up absolutely beside the lion in the bush, on our right. Daline was , unfortunately, sitting on the right side of our bench. She was close, no more than 5 feet from the lion. The

Canadian, Peter, also no more than 8 feet from the lion, was going to take a close(er) up so he had a long lens on his camera. He extended the camera body outside of the vehicles lines. The lion objected with a very stern and strong roar. We all crapped in unison. It was scary! No, we weren’t afraid, no not us! BS, Evans wanted to give us an even greater experience, we were parked 5 feet from roaring lion , and Evans turns the motor off so we could take pictures of this guy. He kept asking if the lions tail was switching or his eyes were blinking, that meant something with relation to the lions current attitude. He asked Daline, who was closest and had the best clear view of his highness, to report on these two conditions frequently. We finally moved forward and found another one, one of the 5 big boys. Sure enough we pulled off of the road to approach him and watch the movement of his tail and eyes. Of course Evans killed the motor. Oh yea, I have taken so many animal pictures in Africa that I am not taking any. Daline and Peter have the pics covered. Well Evans finally starts the motor and backs out so that we can make another pass on the first lion in the bush. He is still there but now we are on the opposite side of the small bush, his side, big deal we didn’t stop but we did go only 100 feet down the road before turning around and headed in the direction we were initially going. As we approach Mr Friendly, he has had enough of this crap, he raises his body as if to “try it”. We waited him out and finally passed for a last time. Now it’s lunch.

After lunch we continue in our effort to find tonight’s campground. We have seen an additional 30 hippos, and another herd of Cape buffalo. I would guess that herd to be at least 400, more of the zebra, and giraffe, ., you get it. Evans is taking a shortcut to the campground. On this route the tire tracks get lost in the grass growth and length of time since the road has been used. No kidding at times it looks like we are going to have to penetrate a solid wall of green tree growth, and at the last minute , we do just that and come out the other side on what was a road some years ago. Well our luck has run out. We have rounded a corner and there is a dead tree blocking the road. It is a tree with extremely hard wood and must be cut with our axe. The trunk is 10 inches thick. It is a tough job. One could cut some live growth of smaller trees and gotten thru quicker but, you are not allowed to cut green growth in the preserve.

Glory be, after they cut the dead tree which was blocking our way and removed a bunch of assorted dead limbs and such, we are through. But, it is only 50 feet to our campsite. Absolutely 50 feet. It is very very heavily overgrown with tall weeds. Uncomfortable to say the least but tall enough to have a predator lying beneath the tops. There was never and never will be anyone in line to claim this site. Evans says we will be here 2 days and the weeds will be trampled. There is a river less than 100 feet from our campsite. Can’t wait to see what comes thru here to get their evening drink, I will keep you posted on that for sure.

We just had our post evening meal talk about today and tomorrow’s plan. Today I have covered and tomorrow we are going out specifically to find a leopard. Then Evans says, “I have something to tell you about today and our arrival”. That sounded ominous and it was. When the guides and cook were chopping the dead tree to remove it, Evans heard a fairly loud “thump”. When we got settled he looked around under the

tree beside our camp and found leopard spoor and super fresh deep tracks where a leopard had jumped down from the tree beside us. Our arrival waked him and caused him to leave. Evans says he probably lives near here and extra careful when walking the 75 feet to the biffy, which is under said tree. I am probably going to refrain from peeing until Wednesday. I did refrain for the night.

Sunday March 18, 2018 somewhere in the Moremi Game Preserve.

It seems like I am missing out on a lot of the excitement. I sleep soundly and all others enjoy the sound of the bush like; lions roaring, leopards coughing, hippos making their fart sounds and elephants crushing brush as white noise. This is all in harmony. We had 7 choices for breakfast, you could have toast, or toast and apricot jam , or toast and strawberry jam, or toast and butter, or toast and peanut butter, or corn flakes, or granola! Such a dilemma !

We are up prior to 6 for a game drive at 7 which is to last until noon. We will be seeking leopards. Supposedly the big cats, who hunt all night, do not like to walk in the wet with dew grass. So they go to their respective daytime rest area via roads. We are going to get on the roads while they are still commuting and see them better, if at all. As I am eating and others are rising from their semi-sound sleep the talk is of the lion in our area last night and his loud roars. Everyone heard him, except me, and were duly impressed, I miss a lot. Some thought I would hear it if I wore my hearing aids to bed, I doubt it and why would I want to disturb a sound sleep?

We had 7 choices for breakfast, you could have toast, or toast and apricot jam , or toast and strawberry jam, or toast and butter, or toast and peanut butter, or corn flakes, or granola! Such a dilemma !

The morning game drive was from 7 am til 1:14 pm. That is a lot of slow driving but boy did we see a lot. We saw similar to yesterday plus some African Dogs. These are the best hunters in Africa. If they initiate a pursuit, they have a success rate of 90%. They are also known to be the most cruel. When they catch the prey they begin devouring it immediately, they do not kill the animal first. They also run in packs of about 30 animals. We parked our vehicle in the midst of a pack. They were under the trees, in the road and roaming around. They paid no attention to us and we were often as close as 5 feet from them.

We saw an extraordinary number of hippos, I imagine we saw 40. When you are noticed by one of them, they all surface and face your direction as if posing for a family photo. We also saw 6 or so who were out of the water, damn they are fat! We stopped at an installation used as headquarters for the local game patrol. They are here to enforce anti poaching laws. Namibia is just across the river and they poach in Botswana. Within the area is WiFi. We, all of us, got out of the vehicle and wandered around including a bath stop. I was milling about and asked someone if they had WiFi, she responded with the faintest of voice, “yes”. I asked again for confirmation and lip reading and again she responded in like manner. May I use the service. , yes. I got the

iPad and attached to the web, told Daline and she spread the info to the others. Soon all of us were on line. Evans said that he had wanted to keep this option secret so as not to slow the group down. Poor connection and very slow. I posted an email and hopefully for my log, on Pages, saved in the cloud. We’ll see later.

I took a shower and we rested until 4 pm when we left again for the evening game drive. Just about 10 minutes from camp we came upon 6 hippos. Same-o-same-o. These will mostly be repeats but they are interesting to watch. They grunt, look our way and submerge. Later we find 300 cape buffalo with a few zebra, wildebeest and assorted antelopes. The real deal of this trip is our last stop. We arrived at a larger than small pond with 18 hippos in it. Sure enough they face our way, pop up then drop down but after awhile they begin to yawn. They would thrash the water about then open their tremendous mouth and show their complete insides. They can really open wide. It almost looked like it was a competitive yawning event. There were a lot of pictures taken but my camera is not built for that range and then a telephoto shot.

I’ll take a minute here to acclaim the sharpness of Daline’s vision. I have done this trip before and been with a few people and three guides, but Daline is absolutely as sharp in her visual acuity as any of the previous encounters. It only took a little while for her to process game outlines when camouflaged in the bush, game in the open grass and I would pit her against our guides. At several hundred yards she will identify a zebra or specific antelope. She can identify a jackal from an African wild dog, specific antelope species such as impala, wildebeest, kudu, waterbuck, spring bok, tssesebe and so forth. On today’s evening drive she first spotted a crocodile at about 200 feet. The croc was small, about 7 feet, and the only parts visible were his brow and his nostrils. He didn’t break the surface by more than 2 inches in three spots. He was backgrounded by weeds and floating debris. Pete. Johnson would love to have her along for a game spotter.

Monday March 19
We had 7 choices for breakfast, you could have toast, or toast and apricot jam , or toast and strawberry jam, or toast and butter, or toast and peanut butter, or corn flakes, or granola! Such a dilemma !

Up early, breakfast and break camp at 7, we have before us a long day of bush driving, I will be unable to describe the situation. We are traversing a woodland which is very thick in what you might thing of as young oak, the campsite we have been assigned to is one which has not been accessed in a long time and there are no traffic ruts. However he is really good at coming across the track often and thus determining that that we are still on track.

We are beyond the North Gate and on our way to campsite 2. The road is as it has been but now we have had to detour around a fallen tree across the road, not the first time for this. We ran over a log and broke off a limb which was sticking up vertically. Then we ran over the broken stump and that then pierced our tire. We are stopped with a flat tire in the middle, absolute middle, of no where.

We just passed a few elephants about 5 minutes ago, we have been told that there is increased lion activity in the area including campsite 2 and we are disabled. It is initially very uncomfortable being in active lion country and making noises which attract attention of all kinds of animals. Strangely we get comfortable when we aren’t immediately attacked. We all get out of the vehicle and proceed to change the tire. We had to disconnect from the trailer to get the vehicle on flat ground. It only takes an hour. Now we must clear an alternate route from where we are to the road we just left. We were forced to bypass a large tree, the detour is what caused us to get a flat. Now how do we get back on track. We must back down a newly hewn clearing avoiding larger trees. I scoured the means to do so and recommend that the truck be driven forward about 50 feet and backed down a lightly treed area. It was agreed and the two cooks took the axe and cleared the path. It worked out well. When we did continue we were only 20 minutes from our camp site. We are here.

We are all glad to be situated and everyone pitches in, as usual, and the camp is set up tents pitched, shower set up, head situated , awning in place, all the chairs and the two long tables. It’s time for a beer. Evans announces that there will be an afternoon/ evening game drive as soon as everyone is refreshed and showered as desired. They all did and now they are gone. I asked the Swiss doctor, JP, to watch out for Daline, he responded that she is the same age as his children. I’m showered and enjoying not experiencing an “E” ticket ride on the bouncy road. I’ll get more tomorrow.

Daline and all returned from the evening drive. They saw elephants, giraffe and a porcupine. Hoping for a leopard, but no such luck. Our evening meal is scalloped potatoes with cheese, baked squash and kudu steak. Daline looks up from her meal with a great degree of alertness, staring behind us. I asked and she said that she heard a lion, or so. She was equally puzzled that I couldn’t hear the lion. Very soon, after I was alerted to listen intently, I heard the lion, you can imagine how close it was for me to hear it. I believe Daline could hear him breathe. The whole table is alert and stay that way for the remainder of the meal. Evans said the lion was very close, I think that meant less than 200 feet. I went to bed and felt secure in the tent. Daline followed sometime later. This morning she told me that after I retired a large bull elephant approached the site. According to Evans, we had set up our tents and all right in the way of his usual walk way. He lingered awhile on the perimeter and circled the camp about 60 feet from our dining table. Peacefully

Tuesday March 20, campsite 2

We had 7 choices for breakfast, you could have toast, or toast and apricot jam , or toast and strawberry jam, or toast and butter, or toast and peanut butter, or corn flakes, or granola! Such a dilemma !

We broke camp by 7 and had a very nice drive in grass with heavy dew. Not many animals this morning. We just drove all morning until 1:15 when we stopped for lunch. The road is better, but still uncomfortable. We were in a stretch where we were

essentially on a roller coaster. About 100 feet of higher land then rolling off to 60 feet of water in the lower parts. The water was not deep, say 12 inches or so and the hills were equally small only rising a foot or so. Think the corrugated metal roofing, now think horizontal across the ups and downs. That is how it was with it being 150 feet between peaks and the troughs were filled with water. But I counted the rather regular occurrence and there were 67 of the dips and hills. That was a noticeable amount. We are now beneath a large tree eating a lettuce and tomato salad with tuna added. It is but 6 miles to the camp site.

After lunch we head out to see our new camp site. There are about 20 elephants in a line walking to the water, “elephant walk”. The matriarch is a monster in size. There are 2 small ones one very small one and a young male who has not been ejected from the troop. He will be forced to leave soon. However now he is pretending to be the defender of the group. He balks, fake a thrust, shake his head on see what happens. We don’t budge so he tries again and again, and swings his trunk around about as if to club us. he looks silly. In the end he bellows out his best trumpet call. We are leaving anyway, but he will take credit for defending the group.

We got to our campsite and set up efficiently. Everyone helps in whatever needs to be done. It is a great team effort to ready yourself and in parallel help do other misc tasks. We then have the highly anticipated shower in the wild. I may put one of these at my home, it is fresh and clearly clean!

Now we are out for the evening game drive and we see a lot of the usual but near the end I spot the lion of the day. I was astounded to have been the one who located it, I saw a large brown back moving slowly across the grass. It is the same color as the impala, but they are skittish and run and jump. This guy did not do that. I couldn’t see his head or mane, but there was nothing else it could be. We pulled to within 90 feet of the big guy. He laid down and drank from a small puddle of water. Within 10 minutes there are 9 other vehicles drawn like flies to honey. We enjoy their presence and take several pictures.

Wednesday March 21

We had 7 choices for breakfast, you could have toast, or toast and apricot jam , or toast and strawberry jam, or toast and butter, or toast and peanut butter, or corn flakes, or granola! Such a dilemma !

This was a day of moving. We drove many miles leaving Chobe National Park. Then we were on pavement through a couple of towns, and then re-entered CNP. It was 6 hours of driving, and of course game viewing. We are now at a campsite just above the Chobe River. This afternoon/evening game drive was different. We saw more elephants than we saw impala. We must have passed through 300 elephants going in herds to and from the river where they get their drinks. They were all the female herds with many juveniles. Some were most likely less than a month old. We even had one next to the vehicle which appeared ready to deliver any time, according to Evans. Some bellowing

at us and one matriarch challenged us to the point that Evans put it in reverse and retreated. When we first drove to the river there were about 50 elephants in the area. Probably as many as 10 were in the water playing, just like homosapiens. They would push each other in or under the water. They were shoulder deep in the water. Then one would submerge with his trunk showing, like a submarine, and run along the bottom. What a time they were having.

Our supper was pasta carbonara, one of my favorites. I showed incredible fortitude and didn’t have seconds. This is similar to the memorable pasta meal on my first trip. Our supper talk, which details the next day, had a lot to say about elephants and how they will most probably come to the camp tonight. Also, the chefs heard a leopard coughing today. Maybe tomorrow we will see one. This has been a heck of a vacation.

Thursday March 22, 2018. Campsite Ihaha #7. In Chobe Nat Park

We had 7 choices for breakfast, you could have toast, or toast and apricot jam , or toast and strawberry jam, or toast and butter, or toast and peanut butter, or corn flakes, or granola! Such a dilemma !

I’ve spoken about the “get outta here” bird. It is the one who acts as a sentinel for the bush. The bird calls loudly when there is a predator near. Well in the middle of the night all loud sounds are interpreted as being his call. Last night the impersonators were the baboons. Nothing is regular! Today has great promises, we are going down river this morning, back for lunch and showers, then up river.

About an hour into the drive and Daline makes a discovery. She announces LEOPARD, boy does that get attention. Evans slams on the brakes and asks for directions to see the find. At first he doubts that she has in fact seen a leopard, they are rare and he didn’t see it. She is clear in telling everyone where to look. He was about 150 feet off of the road on a path to cross the road and get to the river. Our stopping caused him to change plans and drop below grass level. We jockeyed up the road and back down the road changing our position to be near the Leopard. Pretty quickly we are joined by several other vehicles. We stayed long enough to get a lot of pictures then moved on. This was the first Leopard seen on this Leopard Safari. Daline is the person of the day and has again examples that she can spot game with the big boys.

The rest of the morning was driving and seeing lesser animals such as a monitor lizard, 4 feet long, two small crocs, buffalo, giraffe, the ever present in great numbers impala, a pond with 40 + floating hippos, elephants of all sizes, waterbuck, warthogs, jackal, kudu, and a zillion birds. While watching the hippos, on the other side of a stream of water, they get startled and make a run for the water. Most are in the water but there is a mad rush for everyone to get in the water. This quick movement startles the elephants who are wading on our side of the creek and they also bolt— out of the water and into the hillside. During all of this there is a Cape buffalo resting in about 2

feet of water and he is totally unconcerned about any threat. Nothing, including the lion, threaten the buffalo.

When we stopped for our morning break and snack we stopped at a designated place, a Chobe River overlook. There were 3 other vehicles there also. The real deal was the resident monkey population. They are accustomed to these visits and the associated lack of interest in what is going on in the vehicle. When your back is turned or you are not paying attention, they will steal all of your fruit. If challenged they will put up an intimidating and fake charge, if you back up they will continue and get your fruit. However if you charge them or wave a stick at them they retreat. They also show in their facial presentation that they are pissed at you.

Almost at camp and we are faced with a small herd of elephants on the road coming our way. There are about 15 of them and they are taking their half of the road right out of the center. At this part of the road they have the right of way. We are stopped so as not to confuse them and want to allow them to pass without stopping. All is mostly well until about 4 elephants from the last. This is the matriarch and she wants us to acknowledge their right of way by backing down. It is a symbol of submission by us and accepted as a good gesture, she actually shook her head approvingly and passed on by.

The last evening game drive left camp without me. I am clean and not sweaty, and I want to stay that way until we get to Victoria Falls. That is already going to happen, tomorrow. This has been an exceptionally good trip. Daline has shown to be among the best travelers I have travelled with. She is congenial with fellow travelers and has a way about making casual conversation with them. She is a first class camp helper and works like a Trojan when there is work to be done. She is extraordinarily good at scanning the surroundings and spotting game, some of which she has never seen before. I believe I have engaged her sense of travel and adventure?

Friday 23 March 2018. Chobe National Park

We had 7 choices for breakfast, you could have toast, or toast and apricot jam , or toast and strawberry jam, or toast and butter, or toast and peanut butter, or corn flakes, or granola! Such a dilemma !

We are leaving today. We get to sleep in until 6 am , then break camp and hit the road. The trip to Kasane is nice with the sighting of our first hyena, so we really have seen a lot of animals. In Kasane we part company with PJ, the physician from Switzerland
He was one of the people who you get to meet if you travel often enough. He was worldly and understood the many moods and personalities of the other guests. He would be a fine man to travel with. Perhaps someday I will see him in Switzerland, not too far fetched of an idea. Then the campground where we part company with our camp helpers. On to the border and the ferry ride across the Zambezi. The Zambia side is fraught with corruption re passports and vehicle permission. Our guide, Evans, will

have none of it regarding bribes and we wait for the authorities to understand he knows the rules and will not be bent. I heartily approve. It did cost us an extra hour of delay, but he did not pay a bribe! Thence to the Marumba Camp grounds and our tent facilities. We have WiFi so we called, vis FaceTime, and said hello to our loved ones. Then to Victoria Falls. I had told Daline how wet you would get, we got even wetter. I don’t take a shower in water running that fast or full. It is crazy. It is not raining in the near vicinity, but pouring here on the path around the island. Fun times. We do a bit of shopping and then we’re met by Evans and brought back to the lodge.

We had our supper with Evans and had a long fruitful talk. It is so educational to converse with an intelligent person about their country and all. To bed!

Saturday March 24, 2018. Marumba Lodge Livingstone Zambia

We had a good full, with eggs, breakfast. While we were eating, a hippo in the river just below the dining deck, started making noises. Strange sound at breakfast. We will be taken to the airport at 10:30 for our flight to Joberg.

Evans takes us to the airport, and we have time for some shopping. This airport has one of the nicest small gift shops around. Once we arrive in J’oberg I decide that I would really like to upgrade from economy to business class. Kathy spoke with the SAA agent in Tucson and she said that sometimes they did last minute reduced price upgrades to fill those seats. I asked if it was available and it was, for a price. The price was fair and we bought the upgrade. We will return to NY city on a 15 hour flight in business class. I hope to sleep most of the way. Perhaps only watch 3 or 4 movies. As an extra benefit we were invited to wait in the SAA premium visitor lounge. Lots of good food and drink. We have each used face time and spoken with our loved ones back home. What a find that was.

Sunday March 25, 2018

Great flight with the business class seating stretching out to provide a full length flat sleeping surface. We were 3 hours late leaving J’oberg so I missed my earlier connection to Phx. Kathy drove to Phx to meet me and I drove us home. We each got home on the day we planned to get home. This trip is complete.

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Shelter and security in Khwai – Naletsana Charity

Bush Ways Foundation engaged in a project of Naletsana Charity Organization in partnership with Fuel Defend Global, which focussed on the Khwai community and its surrounding areas. Seeing as the main goal of this initiative is to ensure safe shelter is provided for those living in wilderness areas, our recent trip team members helped to paint one of the houses that was built by the project. The Foundations’ provided logistical support to Naletsana, assisting with the transport and storage of all building materials.

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Ditshiping gateway to the Delta

Bush Ways Foundation

Bush Ways Foundation has always found it worthy to give back and this year it was to the people of the Ditshiping village in the Delta. Home to approximately 150 people this close-knit society has through the years found ways to sustain itself through its community Trust,by the provision of polers and guides fortourists that camp within the area.

As an eager and promising village, Ditshiping was overwhelmed by the clothes and shoes hampers that Bush Ways Foundation donated to them,  which were all part of the Pack For A Purpose initiative.This visit to Ditshiping was a joint venture, seeing a team from Samaritans Feet donate shoes to members of the community. The Chief of this village noted how the visit proved that they are not a forgotten people and recognised the Bush Ways Foundationforcreating awareness of how such a community drives the tourism industry in the Delta.

The hearty village of XouXao

Bush Ways Foundation

 Situated near the edge of the Delta and home to approximately 150 people, the village of XouXao was formed in 1932 and is the oldest village in its area.

Bush Ways Foundation partnered with Samaritans Feet to give back to this village. Bush Ways operates in the area and wanted to give back to the community, in the form of some basic supplies. Families gathered at the Kgotla where we were met by a joyfulpeopleand their Chief. With song and dance we were welcomed into the village as a sign of bringing hope. Thelaughs and good cheer was order of the day.

The Bush Ways Foundation donated clothes and shoes hampers to families as well as basic provisionsfor new-borns such as diapers, linen and clothing –  all part of the Pack For A Purpose initiative. Samaritans Feet’s involvement was the donation of approximately 200 pairs of shoes for all members of the community.

 

 

 

 

 

 

A visit to Bana Ba Letsatsi

Bush Ways Foundation

2018 started on a good note for Bana Ba Letsatsi rehabilitation centre. Bush Ways Foundation visited the centre with Samaritans Feet and Naletsana Charity Organization to give out shoes and gift hampers. Bana Ba Letsatsi, as a rehabilitation centre provides a haven for orphaned and vulnerable children and the support givento them is always appreciated. With donationsof some hampers from Safari Destinations and the Pack For A Purpose Initiative, the children were overjoyed by their little surprises.

 

 

Diary of a Bush Ways safari with guide Eddie by Frank G.

 

Sunday March 26, 2017 and I am aboard an American Airlines flight to JFK where I will meet Kevin for a super trip. We will spend the night in New York City and fly non stop, scheduled that way, to Johannesburg SA. The first leg went splendidly. Kevin and I were each about 2 hours later into JFK due to fog. Connections to the Sleep Inn were straight forward and we immediately went to supper at a nearby Chinese Restaurant. I use the word restaurant rather loosely here. It was close by. It seemed rather early but when we got back to the room Kevin was ready for slumber. He had been up since 3AM Hartley Time and it was now 7 so that computes to 16 hours. The room is too small for one to sleep and the other to keep busy with the computer or TV so I also hit the sack. It is not even sundown in Tucson, where I started my day.

My brother in law Kevin joined me for the trip. Eddie was our guide.

Continue reading “Diary of a Bush Ways safari with guide Eddie by Frank G.”

Eingecheckt im 1 Million Sterne Hotel

Schon vor mehreren Jahren hat Afrika mein Herz erobert, nach meinem ersten Besuch in Namibia vor 4 Jahren, war es quasi um mich geschehen. Immer wieder kehrte ich nach Afrika zurück, nach Botswana, nach Südafrika, nach Botswana, nach Swasiland, nach Botswana… Jedes Jahr musste es wieder dieser Kontinent sein und wie man unschwer erkennen kann ein spezielles afrikanisches Land besonders… BOTSWANA… Continue reading “Eingecheckt im 1 Million Sterne Hotel”

The thrill of a mokoro ride to Ditshiping Island, Okavango Delta

Where the Okavango Delta provides a gateway on its Southern tip, is a mokoro station built to transport you to a little paradise in the wilderness. We were set to use mekoros (dugout canoes) as mode of transport to our camp site on Ditshiping Island, it wasn’t my first mokoro ride but definitely the most extensive one through the river channels, as you can imagine this was an on edge experience. Continue reading “The thrill of a mokoro ride to Ditshiping Island, Okavango Delta”

1st Bush Ways Video Contest

#JoinTheBushWaysClan & Participate in the First Bush Ways Video Contest to Win 1 FREE Safari

How to enter

  1. Record as much as you can during your safari with Bush Ways
  2. Create a video clip (max 3 min) that gives, according to you, the best definition of a Bush Ways mobile safari
  3. Send it via Dropbox or similar to marketing@bushways.com latest submissions 31 January 2018

How to win Continue reading “1st Bush Ways Video Contest”

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