Botswana's Okavango Delta is formed by a river that flows into the desert forming a great inland wetland that supports a wide variety of wildlife.
Kim, Bob and pilot Denise
To reach it, we flew from Jo-burg to Maun, then onward by a small plane piloted by Denise who looked like a college freshman! She was delightful and, comfy in my seat behind her, she almost made me want to run out an earn a pilot's license of my very own!!!!
The Delta is an awesome wetland area with hundreds of islands - the waterways between them are home to the hippo, crocodile, elephant and antelope.
Nature's paintbrush definitely is at work here. For my 2010 pictures and more on the Okavango Delta click here.
The only access to most safari camps in the Delta is by air and the tiny, remote airstrips are easy to spot along the way.
Met by our camp ranger Newman.....................
........we were soon loaded into the Land Rover and on our way to Abu Camp, a premier elephant conservation camp
Members of the staff were awaiting, singing a welcome and handing us fragrant wet towels to freshen up after the journey (a lovely touch at most safari camps when returning to camp after dusty game drives).
Our 'tent'. Sleeping under canvas, as I learned two years ago on my first safari, can be very elegant.
There was so much space to move about - our big mistake was not having the canvas wall covers dropped the first night and we almost froze - being Winter the temps. were near freezing at night and early morning.
Lovely bathroom with indoor and outdoor showers and outdoor tub - if only we'd been brave enough to stand the chill!
Bob on our deck looking out into the Delta.
The pool area........
....and dining deck for dinner.
View of our tent showing the front entrance. We were a few minutes walk from the main camp area and of course always required an armed guard escort after dark - there is no leaving one's tent at night. Interestingly, the walkways at Abu are recycled elephant dung. Elephants are strictly vegetarian, their dung is really just fine straw once dried out and makes an excellent pathway covering.
The African sunset is like no other and we saw a spectacular one every night. A totally black sky follows, the stars so profuse and brilliant. We would return each evening and just spend time staring upward feeling wrapped in diamonds cascading down on us. I just wish I could have captured them with my camera to share here.
The fire pit area for relaxing in the evening before and after dinner, and star gazing, also for eating breakfast...
...and for those brave enough, the 'star bed' is available if you want a night sleeping alongside the elephants.....when it's warm enough which it wasn't during our stay.
Next post.......we meet Abu's elephants and take that special ride through the Delta. Hope you come back and follow along on this trip.....we certainly had some awesome and very unusual experiences along the way and, if you love animals, I have plenty to show you, up close!