While out walking you realise just how remote and wild this place is. When you stray a little farther and see the carcas of a wildebeest with hyena chewing happily, it hits home just how wild and dangerous this place is. When you look in the trees and the thing that is responsible for the dead wildebeest you wish you were back in camp!
NOTE THE FRESH BLOOD ON THE LIONS HEAD!
At times it was easy to forget that we were camping in the middle of wild Africa. During the heat of the day, when we were relaxing by the waters edge, playing cards and drinking beer, a herd of elephant came down for a drink within 30 metres of our tents. These wild animals could have easily walked straight through our camp to gain access to the water and there is really not a lot that we could have done about it! Makes for a good photo though!
As part of our camping experience we were treated to an evening mokoro cruise to catch the sunset and to see the animals come down to the water for a drink. A short way into this cruise we stumbled across a group of hippos that were less than impressed with us traversing their little patch of paradise! We had an uneasy feeling when our polers and guides worked up a lather of sweat within 5 seconds of our arrival!
Hippos kill more people in Africa than any other animal.
Botswana is one of the countries that has been hardest hit by the worldwide HIV epidemic. In 2004 there were an estimated 260,000 people in Botswana living with HIV. This, in a country with a total population of 1.6 million, gives Botswana a prevalence rate of 36.5%, the second highest in the world after Swaziland.
Life expectancy is only 39 years, while it would have been 72, if it were not for AIDS.
It is sad to see the local cemetry in Maun growing out of control and stretching as far as the eye can see. There are numerous coffin and grave tent businesses that seem to be thriving in the area.
BE WARNED!!! I just don't see there being any safe sex here.
At first light we walked out to the site of the kill and discovered 16 Hyena and 1 Jackal feeding and playing on the remains of the Wildebeest. As we moved closer they ran for the cover of the scrub and as we humans do, we moved in for the photo opportunity!
At 3.30am we were startled awake by the sound of lions roaring after they had made a kill. An unlucky wildebeest had been brought down and made a meal of by the local pride of lion before they in turn were chased away by hyena, which we heard "laughing" at around 4am.
When you are packing for your mokoro trip you will need to consider the possibility of disaster.
It is a good idea to pack your backpack and your camera into plastic bags and seal them to prevent your belongings getting wet in the event of a "Titanic" experience. I would suggest packing a couple of large garbage bags for this trip.
be warned the whole chobe and okavango region is rife with malaria....so pack in those repellants, citronella candles and mosquito nets!!!if you like, prophalactics too, even though i would advise against them.Larium, the most common, has been proven to cause damage to the human body and often makes one feel ill....there are good homeopathic alternatives to this problem which have NO side-effects.generally i take a home malaria test kit with me, and if i am feeling symptoms i test myself!but when in doubt,GO to the hospital....