You are here
Dedicated to Sarah: “People become really quite remarkable when they start thinking that they can do things. When they believe in themselves they have the first secret of success.” Norman Vincent Peale.
Happy birthday Sarah. It is our first-borns birthday today and we will contact her by sat. phone later today as she is in Hong Kong and China on business. She is the glue holding the family together!
Good nights sleep, awoken by a single lion roaring from about 400m away across the Savuti Channel. In the morning there were hyena tracks but we had packed everything away in the vehicle in anticipation. We set off on our game drive just before 7AM as we were quite correctly anticipating a change of luck. We first crossed the metal bridge to inspect the area on the far side of the Savuti Channel to see if we could locate the source of the roars. Next we unsuccessfully searched Leopard Rock for the leopard and cubs.
Xakanaxa Public Campsite – Moremi North Gate (and Khwai Public Campsite) – Mababe Depression and communal lands – Mababe Gate, entrance to Chobe National Park – Savuti Public Campsite.
Times taken and distances covered:
Xakanaxa to North Gate: 1hr 45min 48km
North Gate to Mababe Gate: 1hr 25min 46km
Mababe Gate to Savuti: 1hr 55min 66km
TOTAL TIME XAKANAXA TO SAVUTI about 5hrs.
Just a little detail on the route to Dombo Hippo Pools. This 70km round trip took us about 4 hours with an hour’s stopover at the lookout point and brunch. The road towards Khwai (North Gate) camp is fine but there are some long sandy bits with frequent temporary detours around the last remaining muddy pools. The area around Dombo is pretty with fair numbers of animals and many hippo pods in this fairly large photogenic expanse of water. The approach entailed a 30m water crossing about the depth of the vehicle’s tyres. No problem.
We were woken from our slumbers by the duet of the pair of black-collared barbets introduced to you earlier. How much better than an alarm clock! My goal this morning was to re-explore the river route along the Khwai River floodplain to the east. This route I had enjoyed on previous trips. When I stopped to enquire at the Xakanaxa game scout office (at the airstrip) about water crossings, I was most dismayed to find that this route was now closed. The reason given was that too many people were getting stuck, is in my opinion only part of the truth.
Having so strongly recommended a motorboat trip on the swamps I had better give you the gen. The boat station at Xakanaxa is operated by Ngami Marine, based in Maun. Some of the proceeds go to neighboring communities so this is a good cause. They have 8 and 12 seater aluminium boats with big outboard engines. These cost P520 and P580 respectively per hour, irrespective of the number of people. So if you are a large group it need not be too expensive or you can team up with others. Previously we have done whole day trips which were great as you can penetrate deep into the swamps.
“Reminds me of my safari in Africa. Somebody forgot the corkscrew and for several days we had to live on nothing but food and water”. W. C. Fields.