The Okavango Delta

28 Nov

The Delta was the only ‘true’ bit of safari we participated in. We were truly in the “bush,” as they say. There was nothing around, no electricity, no showers, no toilets. And we didn’t drive around in 4×4 vehicles searching for game. We moved around on foot. There was nothing between us and the Africa wild.

Dane:  We were taken to the camp site via canoes, all our supplies, all our water, everything.

Eric:  After setting up camp, we realized it was too hot to do anything. We sat around making small talk for the next six hours.

Dane:  This was the first place we truly started bonding with some of the safari group. Out of boredom we created nicknames for everyone. Some people liked their nicknames more than others (e.g., the girl we nicknamed the Oracle. She brought a bottle of vodka on the trip for the group. She claimed it would’ve been rude not to buy a bottle of alcohol in duty free).

Eric:  We refused to make nicknames for ourselves. We told the group to come up with nicknames for us. They failed to offend us.

Dane:  We did go swimming in a place in the Delta that afternoon. Supposedly it’s a safe place. No hippos or crocodiles go there during the day.

Eric:  Our guide Andrew pretended to be a hippo.

Dane:  It was so hot there. The swimming hole was the only thing to provide relief.

Eric:  Even at sunset it was pretty hot.

Dane:  That’s when we went on our first walking safari.

Eric:  And that’s when we found out we were terrible at walking safaris.

Dane:  Just our group.

Eric:  The A-Team! Me, you, the Oracle, Arnold, Harvey the Bully, and Jandals (for that first walk).

Dane:  We struggled to be quiet to the level necessary for not scaring the animals.

Eric:  No one should find it surprising I couldn’t maintain that level of quiet.

Dane:  We saw nothing.

Eric:  Well, not nothing. Poop.

Dane:  Our guide struggled. When there were no animals, he tried to entertain us by stopping at different animal droppings and describing them. Our first walking safari basically turned into a series of poop jokes.

Eric:  Our next walking safari wasn’t any better.

Dane:  Yeah, we went to bed early in order to wake up for another walking safari in the morning. We saw more poop. That was all.

Eric:  In the afternoon, though, we accomplished something amazing!

Dane:  Yes!

Eric:  We went swimming again. There were tons of minnows in the water, so we started catching them.

Dane:  Everyone did. But we took it to the next level.

Eric:  We played catch with the fish!

Dane:  At first, we tried to catch the minnows with our bare hands. That failed. Then, the catcher cupped water in their hands.

Eric:  We threw one minnow back and forth and back!

Dane:  That’s when we shouted ‘we win Africa’! No one else understood our elation.

Eric:  They’re dumb.

Dane:  Then, we just sat around camp.

Eric:  We spent that day about the same way we did the last. Just making small talk and getting to know one another.

Dane:  That night, after dinner, the guides put on a show.

Eric:  I loved it!

Dane:  Oh, I forgot something, the boat ride at sunset.

Eric:  We were told we were going on a sunset cruise, so of course we had to bring our beers.

Dane:  But as was relatively consistent with our time at the Delta, we were not given all the necessary information. At one point, the boats docked and we were told we were getting out for one last game walk.

Eric:  We weren’t even told that. We were just told to get out of the boats and walk.

Dane:  We were wearing sandals.

Eric:  And had our beers in hand.

Dane:  Both groups were mixed together at this point, and the other group was not impressed with our talking. We were “shushed.”

Eric:  Not even my mother “shushed” me like I was “shushed” by Hawkeye (a girl from the other group). But you’re skipping ahead. You’re leaving out the moment you made Daisy run away.

Dane:  I saw one of the guides, Daisy, not wearing any shoes. I asked her where her shoes were. She said on the boat.

Eric:  Then, you told her she was crazy!

Dane:  Yeah, that’s about right.

Eric:  She ran away faster than the animals we were scaring with our talking.

Dane:  Many girls have walked away from me in my life, but none faster than her.

Eric:  I think you just like making fun of poor people.

Dane:  Nothing is more fun than making fun of a 47%-er.

Eric:  The election also happened while we were in the Delta.

Dane:  Yeah, it was weird being disconnected from the news during such a monumental event.

Eric:  Our guide made a phone call to try to find out who won. He said, “Obama…probably…I think.”

Dane:  Yeah, he was a little unsure. It made the next 24-hours a bit tense till we discovered there was no “I think” or “probably” about it.

Eric:  Yeah, I’m not sure exactly why he made it seem so close.

Dane:  Back to the impromptu walking safari. We made it to a group of trees near the water. We heard a churning in the water, a loud churning. Then, we saw elephants.

Eric:  That was cool.

Dane:  That was great!

Eric:  Seeing them on foot and up close was definitely a highlight.

Dane:  And then that night was highlight number two, the performance.

Eric:  I loved it! I thought it was terrific. The guides all did a dance performance and sang traditional songs. We were really lucky for them to put that all on for us. The ceremony was really fun.  I even got pulled up to dance!

Dane:  The next day, we were canoed out of the Delta. Some of our group, us included, paid for an extra helicopter ride over the Delta which I really enjoyed. We covered lots of ground and saw lots of game.

Eric:  We also got a new perspective on the Delta. It is massive. It’s hard to tell where you are and where you are going as you brush past the reeds through the small canals, but from above you can see it all.

Dane:  Yeah, I agree. It was a nice way to cap off the whole experience before setting off to our next destination.

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