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

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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.

Some of the following pictures were taken by a fellow camper on this safari, Ken, from Scotland. I took very few this time and did not want to show old photos.

 

Monday March 27.

After a long sleep we are awake at 5:30 AM and start our day. We check the phones and computer get up to date on the communications and go to an early breakfast. Thence to the airport to begin our journey in earnest. After the TSA check in we find two comfortable chairs and lounge while we wait until it is of the appropriate time to call home. All is well at home so now we board our flying home for the next 15 hours. It is about 50% full so we end up with lots of room to stretch out and get comfortable. Right now we are going 631 mph and have only 11 and a half hours to go. Great Scott that is a long time.

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We have been flying in a very straight line from JFK to JNB until about 30 minutes ago. Our arrival time has been consistently 8 AM plus or minus about 5 minutes. I was following our route and about the time we changed crews, 8 hours or so, I noticed we made a slow but deliberate turn to the east. This turn was shallow and not noticeable unless you were following the route. Our arrival time immediately moved to 9:30. I watched awhile and then went to the galley area and asked one of the flight attendants why the re-direct? She was not aware of this so she looked at my monitor and was puzzled enough to go to the flight deck with the question. On her way back she stopped and said they were directed to alter course due to some space launch or returning space debris. We are now on course and will be in JNB at 8:45.

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

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Eingecheckt im 1 Million Sterne Hotel

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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… Dieses Land, welches genauso viele Einwohner hat wie Hamburg und das auf der doppelten Fläche von Deutschland… dieses Land welches für mich mit seinem Naturschutz durch nachhaltigen Tourismus und der Vielfalt der Tiere und Menschen mit Abstand die größte Anziehungskraft ausübte und immer noch ausübt. Dieses Land, welches keinen Hehl daraus macht, dass es keinen Massentourismus möchte und dies auch durchsetzt. Und genauso wie mich damals Botswana beeindruckt hat, hat das Safariunternehmen, welches meine erste Botswana Reise durchgeführt hat Eindruck bei mir hinterlassen… BUSH WAYS SAFARIS… Es war meine erste Zeltsafari! Ja, in der Wildnis von Afrika im Zelt schlafen, das Camp teilen mit Elefanten, Löwen und allen anderen wilden Tieren. Zu Besuch sein bei all diesen wundervollen Kreaturen, ein wirkliches Abenteuer! Dieses Abenteuer und auch Bush Ways haben mich damals wirklich von dieser Art des Reisens überzeugt. Ein Guide, der wirklich jede, aber auch jede Frage beantworten konnte, egal ob es sich um große Tiere wie Elefanten oder um den 100. Vogel am Horizont handelte, OT wußte wirklich alles. Ein Koch, der auf „nur“ offenem Feuer und einem Braai-Grill das leckerste Essen zubereitete, welches bei uns in unserer Hightech Welt manche Hausfrau nicht mit ihrem ultimativen Induktionsherd hinbekommt.

Diese Reise hat damals einen Teil von meinem Herzen in Botswana zurück behalten.

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. On each mokoro were three people, two guests and a poler to steadily pole through the water avoiding head on papyrus and water reeds. Since I had a camera with me, Tebby (our safari guide) insisted I sit in front and he takes the back seat. I was okay with this as it gave me a front row seat of our transit in the waters of the Delta, our poler, Dj agreed.
Upon boarding the mokoro we were told our ride would take at least 1 hour 30 minutes, this, I thought was exciting: what a way to embrace nature and start a safari! So then we began, making our way across, and the first 200 meters were okay I thought, open water, enough space to see something coming if need be, but I was curious as to how the said river channels looked like. Well not long after open water we started taking turns in very narrow channels, where all I saw was the water and mokoro ahead…to my right and left were tall reeds and papyrus. This, I told myself was the exact escape I needed for a tranquil environment. With my camera handy I took amazing shots while on the voyage; that captured the serenity of the Delta. The echoes of different birds kept me calm and were the basic tune for tranquillity, I must admit.
So as we made our way through this maze of river channels I just kept asking DJ “are we there yet?” to which he always replied “sit back, relax and enjoy the water, take in the beauty”, what a kind reminder it was; for me to absorb all the aspects of the journey. After about an hour into these waters full of life we passed by a shallow hippo pool, where a group of 6 hippos were enjoying the aquatic cool. Was I thrilled to see them yes, however knowing fully well we had quite a distance to go, I was curious and wondered what else we would see. Looking ahead, guests in the mokoro in front of ours were lying in the mokoro soaking up the Sun and taking pictures…utter relaxation I tell you. I also  appreciated the skill of poling at a whole new level as one has to steer the mokoro using just one long pole while balancing the mokoro with his/her feet simultaneously. As a passenger I could almost feel the sway of the mokoro as it moved steadily.
Finally I saw the three groups ahead of us take a turn to the right and offload their hand luggage, and I knew the transit was over. I not only enjoyed the tranquillity and ambiance but the ride itself resonated as an art for the polers.
Only on a mokoro ride can you become one with the aquatic vegetation and wildlife and can you fully embrace the epitome of scenic beauty and tranquillity! I suggest it’s a must for a travellers’ bucket list!

 

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”

A New Generation of Safari Vehicles

Bush Ways Safaris is now the proud owner of six modernized Land Cruiser vehicles. With our great team right here at Bush Ways Safaris we have strived to make them more comfortable as well as maintain our high level of standards and keeping our reliability. Continue reading “A New Generation of Safari Vehicles”

Your First 2017 Date with Bush Ways

I don’t know about you, but for us, there are three major highlights in our year: ITB, Indaba and BTTE. And you know why they are so dear to us? Because we get to catch up with you! Well, at least some of us do. Continue reading “Your First 2017 Date with Bush Ways”

Sampling Botswana Flavours on a Bush Ways Platter

In 20 years…what am I saying, 21 years! you may know that we have kept ourselves rather busy here at Bush Ways, and have designed quite a nice variety of ways of exploring the Botswana bush: different levels of mobile safaris, camping or accommodated, then lodges, and a guest house. Continue reading “Sampling Botswana Flavours on a Bush Ways Platter”

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