It is the strangest thing, how time always seems to pass too quickly when it is well spent. It feels just like it was yesterday when we met at Pont Drift border post on the banks of the mighty Limpopo, starting our trip all the way from the East to the West of this beautiful country by the name of Botswana. And yet, we are already in our third road trip week, currently recharging the batteries (both equipment and body) in Maun, the Mecca of Botswana, the gateway to the Okavango Delta.
Nxai Pan: Life, unplugged.
But first things first: After leaving stunning Kubu Island one very cold morning Frank steered the car over a small patch of highway straight into Nxai Pan. The roads leading to our campsite were a bit… challenging, let’s call it that. But we made it in the end and finished the day at a remote and wild campsite where we set up our rooftop tent – our nest, as we call it – two square meters that start to feel more and more like home…
The good thing about the two of us: We don’t need much.
Life these days is as simple as it should be.
Our first night at Nxai Pan didn’t offer much in terms of wildlife, but we enjoyed a quite and good night’s sleep in the company of only a few spring hares. Next day we changed campsites, only to discover that we forgot to restock on much needed camping essentials ( wood & beer). Word of advice to fellow campers in Botswana: Whenever you go shopping for these essentials – buy double of what you need. However, we were pleasantly surprised that the tiny Tuck Shop at our camp site was piled up with everything a camper’s heart could ask for. We sat up camp right next to a few old bull elephants and spend the afternoon looking for birds at a nearby waterhole.
Early next morning Gesa was still very cosy in her sleeping bag, when she heard someone or something running around the car, moving stuff around. Carefully, she looked for the intruder: It was Frank, of course, busy packing up at five o’clock in the morning to go chase lions. Well, at least he had made coffee…
And lions we found! Just as the sun peeked over the horizon we saw two male lions approach the waterhole for a cool drink. Later on, we found a lonesome lioness stalking for prey, as well as plenty of ele’s throughout the day.
Our stay at Nxai Pan was a sweet one, reminding us of just how little we need to be happy and how precious time spend completely unplugged and offline can be. There is no wifi in the wild, guys. But we promise you will find a better connection…
Meet-Up in Maun.
From Nxai Pan it took us a good 2 hours drive to Maun, where we met up with Johan and Welna who join us for about two weeks on the road. In Maun we are now meeting up with a lot of tour operators, guides and safari companies to get everything going for 2017 and find passionate and wild people we will hopefully build longterm relationships with. Thanks to everyone who took the time to meet up with us so far! It’s been an absolute pleasure!
Needless to say: of course we also spend some quality time in the Okavango Delta, exploring this massive and absolutely incredible wilderness area. The water is slowly but surely coming in from Angola these days, flooding the channels more and more every day. Gesa went on her first Mokoro-trip and Welna faced her fears with a hippo on foot; while Johan and Frank spend some bonding-time at the Selinda spillway on bush walks, boats and planes in and over the Delta.
Today we are restocking on food and fuel, before the four of us will head out to Khwai for three nights of much needed wildness after a few days in Maun with good friends, frothy cappuccinos and comfy beds. But as nice as a bit of “city life” may be every once in a while – we belong out there, all of us, where life is simple and wild. And now we cannot wait to go explore the North… Adventure awaits! Keep you posted, guys!