Okavango Delta, the garden of Africa


I spoke days ago when we fly over this natural paradise away from civilization, from the garden of Africa. When you blend in with both nature and Moremi, you lose a little sense of reality, something that happened to me a few times before (if possible in the Antarctica)but Okavango Delta It is much more than this Nature Reserve, it is an oasis of extraordinary characteristics embedded in the aridity of an immense desert that even in the driest era leaves a universe of canals, lagoons and islands of life ... and "some scare" that reminds us that we are not in a zoo

What if I told you that among all the sunsets that Africa offers you today I have attended one of the most beautiful? Every day on this trip ... is a real gift!

Crossing Moremi towards the Mboma pier

"Good Morning! Good Morning!" !I admit it! My deep sleep does not allow me to hear the "walking alarm clock" (it is Sele who finds out) although today I was more surprised than ever to open the store's zipper and observe how they were already dismantling the camp they take to Savuti While we will spend a night in the Okavango Delta. What a currazo! I am also fascinated by the freshness that my traveling companions breathe early in the morning (right, Reyes?)…!

Our route today takes us to the wharf of Mboma where our dear Willie and Costa will be left to venture into a new means of transport to the island of Xhobega where we will sleep, on a route similar to the following ...

!No! There are also excellent eggs and bacon for breakfast. "But you are not in the middle of nowhere?" Unexplained things that a Mopane safari has, as well as being able to charge the batteries, shower and get up next to some of the most exciting birds on the planet. 400 different species!

Today if we had a small change. Instead of taking the suitcase / backpack with us for 1 day, it will stay in the car and we have already left it at the entrance of the store to be picked up and we will take a handbag.

Willie returns to the leopard area. Sometimes I think the symbiosis is not birds and antelopes, but our excellent guide and these felines. Cranes, egrets and some bustard give way to a small and elusive bushbuck, complicated antelope to see

Although there was a bird that we already wanted to have nearby, the beautiful african jaribou that reaches the meter and a half and has a certain resemblance to our stork although it seems that it is able to feed even small crocodiles. Sometimes I think that, although it seems absurd, our sightings also want to be photographed. It would be the only thing that would explain those poses with open wings that so much beauty gives off

Steenbok, zebras, rattles take us to the "nerve center" of Moremi.

We are in the Third bridge, an area where there is also a small campsite where there is never a place unless you insist a lot (and it doesn't even say if you do it online). Here we saw the Lycaons the first day in our arrival in Moremi although we have not been lucky with it again (it seems that we have already been more fortunate than 80% of people)

Although the scene is happening behind our backs. Dozens and dozens of elephants are going through the campsite! right now while we pause for coffee and Willie, Costa and Ana arrange the permits.

The first thing we all think is ... it has to be dangerous to sleep in tents here! but before the question repeated day after day, everyone reacts with parsimony. Elephants don't mess with you if you don't pose a threat.

It's possibly this section that goes from Third Brige to the Mboma pier the one that has been heaviest of all these days. Is it because of that difference between transfer and real safari? Perhaps this has also influenced a gloomy landscape of trees razed by elephants from this area further west of the reserve but that always leaves a stop of great beauty

Nor are missing the friendly giraffes and a small elephant with less than 10 weeks of life

It's around 12'00 when we arrive at isolated wharf of Mboma Where are they waiting for us?

We still did not know but at this point I was going to start another of the great adventures of our passage through Botswana

The "trapped" mokoro of the Okavango

If someone thought it was going to be a quiet day today, it was no further from reality. In the Okavango Delta something always happens and although at some point one may come to believe that it is in a giant zoo or an amusement park, nature brings you back to reality. This is the story of a mokoro "trapped" in a Delta channel

THE SERIES "JOURNEY TO BOTSWANA" NOW IN YOUTUBE: After the experience in Greenland Many had asked us for the best AUDIOVISUAL EXPERIENCE for this trip and we have listened to you! In our Youtube channel you can see the COMPLETE SERIES and then the chapter of this day without leaving the article you are reading (flying over the Okavango Delta)…

A mokoro It is still a canoe that was originally made of ebony wood but we see that even Botwana has arrived improvements and today are fiberglass

In the purest "Venetian" style, a rower takes advantage of the fact that the waters of the Okavango Delta are too low to make use of a "pole" and move between canals where vegetation protrudes through our heads

The Mokoro tour is one of the most famous in Botswana and I would say that it is essential to know one of its oldest traditions, having even full-day tours. However, after several days between unadulterated nature, I do not deceive anyone if I say that I initially found it a "pleasant tourist" (the walk is a joy)

Breathing that relaxation and walking through quiet canals of this part of the Okavango, we have even been able to appreciate elephants in the distance.

What you never think about at that moment is that between laughter and jokes, nature was going to explain a little "detail" that we seemed to have forgotten. What does our "poler" warn about?

A elephant with a young have stopped and are crossing but without advancing too right on our way back

What should remain as a curiosity begins to eternalize. We weren't going to be more than 30 minutes and we were on our way for 1 hour. The sun cream circulates among the boats but nobody dares to make a minimum movement. Passing with this delicate boat near an elephant breast with its young can be a very bad idea

The critical moment passes Sele with a little heat stroke. Luckily, Reyes and Oscar go out quickly to the quite and tell him to put the dolls in the cold water. Everything is in a scare, one of almost 1 hour and a half until ... we hear the motor of a boat! It is Willie, who together with the driver of a motorboat, have caused enough noise to scare the elephants and allow us to pass. !! SAVED !! It goes without saying that our hydration, while Patxi, MªCruz, Isi and Patri began their experience, has been appropriate

It has become clear to us! This is not an amusement park or a zoo. Now yes, those beers ... pouf !!

Heading to the heart of the Okavango Delta

Our privileged Today's accommodation is located on an island called Xhobega in the middle of the Okavango Delta, so we abandoned the experience of the mokoro (which we will no longer forget) to move on to a much faster boat.

The tranquility that the mokoro gives you does not get this boat, however the proximity with which we can reach elephants, hippos, crocodiles or birds well deserves the change

He path between channels is really fascinating leaving aside, as we move forward, enclaves conducive to all kinds of life and what makes this ecosystem that garden of Africa that we mentioned in the introduction of this story

Hunger squeezes, today more than ever because of our delay. With that permanent smile Gigi awaits us in Xhobega with everything ready for the fiercest predators of the Okavango at this time ...! 10 travelers who devour !!

Of course, today the nap will have to be cut. Nobody wants to miss a new sunset and less in this unique landscape

The most beautiful sunset in the Okavango Delta

He Birdlife lover will find on this day her star day. In addition to egrets, bustards, jaribus, eagles or vultures, before sunset this is the biggest bird show of the entire safari

Including those marabou that we had defined in the "Kenya Masai Mara Reserve"like the" men of the scythe "because as scavengers they waited for death" around them "for their feast

The fall of the sun again leaves the most beautiful colors of the day with those reds that only Africa offers

What we did not expect, already special in itself, was to live a dream sunset to remember a lifetime and put on any top of those endless lists that come out every year on the sunsets

It is at that moment when one feels the magic of the African continent, the one that you take with you and makes you come back again and again. It catches you and hypnotizes you for life.

Even when the sun has already fallen and the colors transform, beauty is sublime. It is also at times like this when you realize the luck of having a group like the one that touched me. It is lively, fun, cousin cousin, but also knows how to respect the times and observe these moments in almost complete silence without anyone asking

I am convinced that Noe and David, Reyes and Oscar, are the ones who enjoy it most especially. I inevitably miss Paula, that if she would be in love with all the "little animals" (as she says), she knows how to value these moments as nobody

The night falls on Botswana and our accommodation and dinner are ready to receive us

Useful information for the traveler:

The tents of Xhobega in 2015 have nothing to do with our Merus mobile camp, although it has a bathroom in the back that allows not to get away from it and some small details. Do not forget your headlamp, water for the night and bring the batteries charged for this day

I must admit that when I started this day, I thought I would be the weakest in the adventure. More broken absurd prejudices. Not only is it one of the most complete, but it is so different and special, that I think it is essential and in which I can say since it is ... BEST SAFARI OF MY LIFE!

Isaac (and the Mopane Team) from Xhobega Island (Botswana)