A dream come true - The Okavango Delta.

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I learnt about the Okavango Delta when I was 10years old in my geography class at the Tshidumbi senior primary school in the Vhembe region. I have since been infatuated with this place, one of the 1000 world heritage sites.

The Okavango Delta in Botswana is a very large inland Delta formed where the Okavango River reaches a tectonic trough in the central part of the endorheic basin of the Kalahari. All the water reaching the Delta is ultimately evaporated and transpired, and does not flow into any sea or ocean. On the 22nd June, 2014, the Okavango Delta became the 1000th site to be officially inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List.

Although the Okavango Delta is widely believed to be the world's largest inland delta, it is not. In Africa alone there are two larger similar geological features: the Sudd on the Nile in South Sudan, and the Inner Niger Delta in Mali.

I swore to visit the Okavango Delta even if I used my last money. I booked my Makoro trip through the Okavango River Lodge. Wednesday morning I got onto a speed boat for a 40minute ride to the Boro Village Makoro station. Met up with my awesome certified guide and poler, Bouca.

You cannot #Explore the Okavango Delta without a poler, this makes sense the moment you get in deep into the Delta.

A Makoro is a wooden kayak-like boat. Bouca poler us for 2 hours to our campsite in the middle of the unforgiving Botswana heat. I was sun burnt so bad, by the time we reached camp, my skin was literally sizzling and I refused to be moved from the shade for a while. While Bouca set up our campsite *what a gentleman*, I got into my bikinis to show him I could pole the Makoro better than he could. Needless to say I failed dismally and all I did what go in circles until the current started pushing me away from camp and my skills got better almost instantly. I eventually ditched the Makoro to swim, what I know best in water.

Ask I am backpacking I don't have space to carry camping gear but the lovely people at Okavango River Lodge packed all essential necessities for me. You can also hire camping equipment from them should you not have your own. After a well deserved swim with other campers, we had an afternoon siesta. When the sun was cooler in the evening we took a nature walk and saw lots of fish eagles just camping by a pond ready to pounce. A lot of zebras and Kudus.

Advise from not your typical camper, bring your hiking boots and long pants are a must. I did the nature walk in shorts and it wasn't my brightest moment.

We then headed back to camp, prepared dinner and Makoro'd across the river for a night cap with fellow campers. After a few bottles of wine we Makoro'd back to camp, shared some stories with Bouca who wondered whether we had any wild animals on Johannesburg. What a disappointment when I told him my city is a concrete jungle. We kept the fire on to keep wild animals away. Eventually we said our good nights and headed each to their own tent.

It was a full moon in the Delta. I almost feel like God always favours me on the adventures that my heart desires the most, its always full moon when I embark on these. The delta was lit beautifully by the moon.

During the night I had a visitor to my tent, he sniffed the foreign object in the middle of his home, I wasn't sure what it was till the morning and we saw Kudu footprints. The hippo visited put swimming area and he had himself a blast a well, he made sure that we heard him and were well aware of his presence. So did the lion and the hyenas.

When I would wake at night all alone in my tent, all I DoD was pray to go back to sleep as I was frightened out of my wits.

The following morning was an early morning for a game walk, we started at 6a.m. to try avoid the sun. It was a fruitful game walk as we saw herds of Zebras, wildebeest and also lots of baboons. We spotted the lion paw prints but ensured that we headed the opposite direction.

We then headed to camp.
We packed up then had our final. Started a Makoro journey back to Boro Village, we then spotted a giant elephant. My absolute highlight as this guy was ginormous and so close. We didn't want to bother him much so after a few snaps we ran off. On this day, the sun favoured us. It wasn't to hot and the current made the trip back much easier. We arrived at the station and hour earlier than my pick up. Did a your of the village and ended up at the local shebeen. We all bought beers for our very knowledged and helpful guides and the whole village came to join.

Unfortunately, we had to say our good byes shortly as my speedboat from Okavango River Lodge had arrived to pick me up.

To view pictures and videos of this 2 day adventure, please visit my Instagram account www.Instagram.com/travelmzantsi

As I made my dream come true to visit the Okavango Delta, I am now living in the village spending most of my time tasting the different traditional beers with the hopes to take one of the local donkeys and hitch a ride. Botswana has been a blessing. I am sunburnt and much happier about this life. Do yourself a favour and take a Sho't Left to Maun, Botswana. You will not regret it.

From me, I will now try find  wanderlusters keen on a day trip to Moremi Game Reserve. I am assured to see more elephants then.


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