A bush walk through the wetlands

It is three minutes to eight when someone fetches us in our van. We quickly dip a last rusk in our coffee and wash it down. The adventure may begin.

Oscar our driver takes the two of us to the mokoro station. Mokoro is the local edition of a Venetian gondola and the best way to explore the Okavango Delta. After a bumpy drive though thick sand into the delta we meet Johnson. Johnson is our captain for the day and he will push us all the way up river to a beautiful island. We lean back and enjoy the most peaceful ride of our lives and let him do the hard work.

Along the way we stop to stretch our legs while gazing at a herd of red leeches, an antelope common in the delta. As we carry on we once again soak up the peacefulness and think about how privileged we are to be here. All of a sudden Johnson steers into the high grass. We are here. It’s time for the bush walk.

‘What time is it?’, Johnson asks. ‘It’s 10.30’. He informs us that we will be back here at 11.30. Just one hour? We ask ourselves in slight disappointment. We expected to explore the island for a couple of hours. But hey, one hour is fine, we say to ourselves and leave out the znüni for today. We start walking and come along a lonesome baobab tree and shortly after meet a gang of baboons. They are enjoying the sun and as usual fooling around. We loose our orientation while following Johnson. The presumably short walk gets longer by the minute. A look on our swatch tells us it’s gone 12. We are now definitely getting hungry. Are we walking in a circle? Will we be back at the starting point soon? Maybe he meant to be back at 12.30. We are pretty sure we will be back any moment as we almost bump into an elephant. Excited but careful we walk as close as possible without crossing his boundaries. We watch him feed on the trees for a while while not noticing that there is a herd of zebras not far away. They shoo as soon we approach them.

It’s time to head back to our mokoro. As we have been walking for over 3 hours we for sure are veery hungry and stop for an apple and water to kill starvation. During our stop a giraffe pops his head around the corner to see what we are doing. Lucky us.

Back at the starting point we cross the river and flee from the burning sun and finally have lunch under a tree. Crackers with cheddar cheese have never tasted yummier before. What a lekker lunch, what an amazing day. It truly was a beautiful walk. If he mixed up numbers when telling us what time we will be back, if he lost orientation too or if time simply is not important far out in the delta we will never know.

On the way back through the wetlands we soak up the atmosphere once again. Johnson takes us back to his village and we enjoy a beer at the local shabeen.

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