Going through the Okavango Delta on a Makorro

Yet another early start as we headed to the Okavango Delta. Tour groups often camp on the islands in the delta but many of the islands were under water due to the high rains. Our guide planned for us to take a Makorro boat trip through the waterways and have lunch on an island that had formed since the rains.

The Okavango Delta is shallow and the boats are light. Mokorro boats are moved by poking poles on the ground below the water and pushing the boat along. It’s really relaxing and a person gets right next to the water creatures and vegetation.

Al fresco lunch on island in Okavango Delta

Lunch was a chicken salad, pasta salad and home baked bread rolls. We chatted to the manager of the lodge that provided the lunch spread for us. Botswana is big on eco tourism. Nature reserves in Botswana are fiercely protected and tourism is either high end luxury, but build sustainably, or low end camping. That way, the impact of tourism can be kept to a minimum.

Bushman paintings at Toleni

One of the things this guy had a possible explanation for, was why some people are eaten alive by mosquitoes, while others are left in peace. He observed that diabetics and people with blood sugar related disorders seemed to be a magnet for mosquitoes. Do mosquitoes have a sweet tooth? I am one of the lucky ones and I don’t eat much sugar so his theory could well hold true. I don’t like taking anti malarials but I did take Artemesia, a herbal tablet. If you want to read more about natural options have a look at this older post – natural deterrents to malaria.

Bushman paintings

After lunch, the polers gave chase getting us back to our bus. Next we made our way to Toleni where there are a lot of bushman paintings. We missed out on bushman paintings in Namibia due to road  detours so this was our last chance to see this ancient art/history. Toleni is a UNESCO heritage site. The 40 kilometre road to Toleni was a nightmare. The truck had to go so slowly and still we were being thrown about inside. The signposting was poor and we could not find a reception desk or anyone who appeared to work there.

Walking to the “mountain”

We took a decision to walk toward the “mountain” and hope for the best. This “mountain” is also the tallest in all Botswana. The walk took about an hour and most of us were in flip flops and so, rather unprepared. The thick mud from the road stuck like glue to the soles of our flip flops making them extra heavy. We were walking funny to try and stop our shoes falling off and not step in the mud.

Luckily we did find a few rock paintings. There must have been more, but weighing on our minds was that we did not have a guide or know our way around, the arduous 40 kilometre trek back along the road and the fact that we had to be out the game reserve by 18.00pm or we would get locked inside.

We made it to the final gate exactly in time. The gate had been pulled shut but not yet locked. Phew! We got to the campsite after dark and set about making supper. There was a guy who could mimic the sound of a hippo and he kept making hippo sounds. After our previous night when we had a hippo strolling in and around our tents, a person did have to think twice.

Click here to go to Part 8.

Go to – My Holidays and Trips – at the top of this page to read about other places we have visited. Or just click on – this link.

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