Monday, June 7, 2010

Cruising the 'elephant channel' and beyond........

Country of beauty
Flood plain to bushveld and onward
Watery grassland

It didn't take long before the rhythm of Botswana took over.  The beautiful sunny days made it easy to view not only the many and varied animals and birds, but also the vegetation, late Summer flowers still blooming here and there, and trees such as mangosteen, jackalberry, and the sausage tree which provide shade, food and shelter for wildlife.

Exchanging an evening game drive for a boat trip on the flooded Okavango Delta was an amazing experience.  We four gals sat with our ranger ST, while Captain Sparks guided the little boat through the shallow 'elephant channel' far out into water 15' deep.  Covered in floating islands of silvery grasses and papyrus, cruising through day and night blooming waterlilies, stopping here and there to hear tales of the Delta, we loved every moment. 

 Heading out through the 'elephant channel'

The annually flooded grasslands of the Okavango Delta are referred to as 'melapo' and offer seasonal viewing of elephant, giraffe, impala, kudu, zebra, waterbuck, reedbuck, tsessebe, wildebeest, red lechwe and Cape buffalo, as well as the big cats. Encounters with hippo and crocodile are common in the waterways.

Beautiful Waterlilies

Captain Sparks knew every inch of the water, navigating through the tall grasses, stopping to make Jen a necklace from a waterlily and me a bracelet from papyrus.  He has lived on this body of water his entire life, his stories would make an amazing book, perhaps even a movie!

The reason we went in the power boat rather than the native dugout mokoro canoes............dangerous hippos.  We actually did make a quick get-a-way when they started to submerge completely and could have been coming our way!

Heading back to camp at sunset - guide ST and Babs

Arriving at camp the fire pit was burning brightly and the comfy seating looked inviting.  A glass of Amarula, or whatever warming drink you preferred, was waiting, and discussion of the evening cruise kept us chatting 'til dinner was served.

...........oh yes, about that 'loo with a view''ll have to come back tomorrow!


  1. Sounds wonderful. I love the waterlilly necklace that he made. And returning to the fire at camp sounds like the perfect way to end the day. Carla

  2. Oh my gosh Mary, you are back and I have neglected you. We were out of town for our grandson's graduation for several day. We arrived home late on Wednesday night. I have been very busy with photo shop lessons. It takes hours on line. I am loving it though.

    Your photos are magnificent. I just took time to scroll down to all of your posts. I will go to each one and leave a message. I am so intrigued by each post. I knew you would love Africa. My Aunt still talks about it and that was several years ago. Smile. Weaving the water lily stems is so interesting. Show us your bracelet if you kept it.

    Right now I am getting ready for a Garden Club meeting. I'll be back my dear friend. I am so glad you have arrived home safe and sound.

    Love, Jeanne

    PS: I tried to visit Vanessa and her link didn't work. Has she changed anything on her blog? The link was from a comment she made to someone else.???

  3. Mary,
    So glad you are back safe and sound and that you had a glorious trip. Looking forward to seeing you soon.

  4. Oh, Mary...I'll bet you couldn't wait to get up and out each morning! The dinners...I want to hear about what you had there.

    Larry is telling everyone that I want to go to Africa now. He's enjoying your posts, too.


  5. Each day I am looking forward to the next story and pictures. How thrilling for you. Love seeing the hippos open mouth. My goodness, it looked like you were close by.

  6. This is amazing sharing your trip. The hippo's are beautiful!

  7. That shot of the hippo with mouth open is amazing, Mary! And the sunset! I feel like I'm getting a little trip to Africa myself.


  8. I can't imagine seeing a Live KUDO , they are soo beautiful.


  9. Hi Mary,

    Oh my goodness gracious - your trip was amazing and your photographs are awsome. I looked at every post and enjoyed every photo. Welcome back and thank you for sharing your glorious trip with us.
    Looking forward to seeing more.
    Hugs and Blessings,
    Erin and Bentley

  10. I just showed Rick your hippo photo. He is as stunned as I am! Were you that close or do you have a fabulous zoom lense? Pretty!

  11. Mary, it is such fun to see these photos. What a fabulous trip! Hope you are adjusting to being back home. It may take sometime! :-)
    Hugs ~ Sarah

  12. How lucky you are to have had such a fantastic experience, creating marvellous photographs with which you could decorate your home, writing a diary of treasures whilst recording unforgettable memories!
    Magnificent! Amazing! I love your hippo with his mouth agape!
    I am also with mouth agape!

  13. Thank goodness for your camera! You were able to get some great/close shots as that hippo's teeth could be viewed from far away in my opinion!! Can't wait till my hubby comes in so I can show him all of these photos.
    Take Care!

  14. Mary, I am just amazed at and loving all these animal photos. The hippo with the mouth wide open is an awesome capture. Fantastic photos!


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