The Okavango Delta is the largest inland delta in the world, 15.000 square kilometres large. The strange thing about Okavango is that the Okavango River does not end in the sea, but seeps away in the sand of the Kalahari thus forming the largest oasis in the world.
The Okavango Delta apparently is one of the last great nature paradises in Africa with hippos, crocodiles, aquatic antelopes, elephants, giraffe, zebras, lions, leopards, a multitude of birds and many many more interesting animals and plants set in a beautiful landscape. What an impressive ecosystem!
Even the way to the Moremi Game Reserve where we are going to stay for the next couple of days is a bit of an adventure, as the gravel roads outside the park are full of potholes and before reaching the reserve, the roads are full of elephant-sh**, and gazelle and other animals are a common sight.
After entering the game reserve, the roads become more farm roads from a European point of view than "proper roads". But this makes traveling here even more adventurous and "real"! We are so impressed and enjoy traveling here so very much that indeed we forget to take photos. Anouk doesn't like driving here and gets "seasick" as the Land Rover is rolling like a ship while Sóley enjoys it so much that she starts singing her favourite pirates' songs. We drive through a nearly untouched nature ... more or less alone ... and behind every corner, you simply don't know what to expect, an agressive elephant, grazing gazelle or a roaring lion. Wonderful!
We stay there for three nights at "Xakanaxa" campsite. As the campsites are not fenced, as soon as it is dark, the animals take over that territory as well and elephants or hippos might wander through your camp as well as lions or leopards might. That's why you should not leave the car or tent at night and all night long the sounds of the animals are around you: a munching elephant, a howling hyena, roaring lions in the distance and a multitude of more or less silent footsteps. Especially with young children this can become quite stressful, as they should not be allowed to play alone and only near the car at all times. As soon as the sun sets, they have to be in the tent or car as they perfectly well fit into the predator-prey system of the big cats and hyena.
Still, during daytime we relax in the camp and enjoy the great view into the delta and visiting gazelle. We also really enjoy the game drives in our Land Rover and especially so the evenings around the campfire in the middle of the wilderness.
African wilderness, a boat trip, game drives, a campfire and great company ... what more does one need!?
Only the baboons are really a pain in the ***, as they don't fear humans or fire anymore. We are lucky to be able to chase them away and prepare the camp in a way so that the baboons couldn't steal anything from us. South African neighbors were not so lucky and their camp was raided completely. Apparently, baboons can even open tents using the zipper! And they do like South African red wine, too!
After Moremi we continue on our way down south and stop to spend some time at the "Khama Rhino Sanctuary" near Serowe.
The reception we recieve is not so very promising: a bored and uncommunicative lady behind the counter is rather unfriendly and we can't really understand why we have to pay an entry fee for the park for the day we arrive even though we cannot drive into the park AND have to leave the next morning BEFORE TEN! No 24h rule applies here which would have been more than fine for us. The manager understands the problems we have with this policy and we pay for 24hours ... Apart from the lady at the reception everybody here is exceptionally friendly and interested.
The campsite under a big tree is beautiful and on the next day we see a multitude of animals.
The "Khama Rhino Sanctuary" definitely is worth visiting!