Day 11: Travel day

Long long day of travel today. Mokorros again to get us from the lodge to a 4×4. Then about 45min drive in the back of the cruiser; a lot of which was through foot deep water due to unseasonably high water levels in the delta.

Saddle-billed stork (there’s a good chance I’m getting some of these bird names wrong – my memory is terrible – so if you pick up an error let me know; Doug, you’ve been recording them all so you’ll probably be the first to find a mistake if I make one)…

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Black-collared barbet…

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Once we got through the still-flooded area we got to the dry area where Todd had left the vehicle. Here we transferred our luggage to the overland vehicle, Mbada, for about nine hours of driving to get to Roy’s Camp, Namibia. Todd is our driver, guide, and all-round Africa-information-centre for the next 8 days until we depart Swakopmund. Like Clive and Anne, there’s pretty much no question you can throw at Todd that he can’t answer straight away or find out by the end of the day; wildlife, bird life, vegetation, geography, geology, African history … you name it, he’ll know plenty about it.

The border crossings out of Botswana and into Namibia were a breeze, despite there being only one woman to process us all through immigration on the Namibian side.

Right now we’re about nine hours into the total 10-11hrs of travel but it hasn’t felt like an uncomfortably long day. This vehicle is great. 14-seater, plenty of room, large drop-down windows for easy game photography, two fridges, almost enough head-room to stand up, and Todd has managed to avoid running over any donkeys, cattle, people, and Kalahari Ferraris (donkey carts). And like almost every other form of transport we’ve been on, Lela has managed to fall asleep … again. I think the mokorros was the only form of transport she couldn’t sleep in.

Just on sunset we arrived at Roy’s camp; It turned out to be a good 11 hours of travel today. Hard to describe Roy’s Camp. I’ll go with rustic-eclectic-kitsch.

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Dinner finished; kudo, chicken, veges and salad, with apple melba(?) and custard for dessert. Again, delicious. I’ve never eaten so many 2-3 course meals on a daily basis in my life. I’m very curious to check the scales when I get home. If I haven’t put on at least a few kilos then I’ll write a research paper on the weight-control benefits of photography.

We leave at 5:45am in the morning (which is 4:45am Botswana time) to meet up with the Bushman. It’s already nearly midnight now so I should probably get some sleep.

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