Saturday, December 6, 2008

Back to civilization (Dec. 2/08 - Gweta, Botswana)

Sleep was more valuable than a walking safari for most of our group this morning, as only eight people showed up for the early morning game walk. They definitely missed out. The sunrise was gorgeous coming up behind the palm trees, and the smell of the savannah grasses covered in dew was so nice. We walked north for about half an hour and were delighted to spot six giraffes grazing against some bushes. They had obviously seen us before we saw them, and several of them continued to watch us as others wandered along. With binoculars, we could see that a bunch of zebras were hanging around with them, barely visible above the grasses and only coming up to the giraffe's knees! The rising sun made them easier to see against the trees, and we watched until they had all wandered out of sight. A herd of zebras crossed the field behind us as we continued on our walk and passed a couple huge old Baobob trees on our way back to camp. It was a short but awesome walk, and we had just enough time for breakfast before loading up the mokoros at 7am and headed back to civilization. The paddle back was so relaxing that we both fell asleep several times.

The next stop on our trip across Botswana would be an awesome campsite near the town of Gweta. From the road, it sounded like a pretty odd place - called "Planet Baobob Kalahari Surf Club", with a giant concrete aardvark at the road. But it was an awesome place - huge thousand year old Baobob trees to camp under, open air showers, a big pool, and a nice bar. Oh, and a watering hole out the back with a 6000 volt electric fence to keep the elephants out of camp! We cooled off with a swim and took care of some laundry before enjoying some drinks and a burger at the bar. Instead of frogs tonight, we get to listen to cow bells and braying donkeys from the adjacent field. Not quite as soothing as a froggy chorus, but we're in Africa so we can't complain!

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