Written by: Joshua Drew, 15 years old
My trip to the Okavango Delta was going to be spent drifting down the Delta on a houseboat with Lelobu Safaris. However we first had to take a plane trip from Maun to Shakawe where the houseboat was waiting for us. From the plane we got a great view of the Delta that stretched before us and were able to see a few animals bellow us, including giraffe, elephants and even a few hippos walking on the banks of the rivers.
The houseboat itself was double story and had two bedrooms, a kitchen and a relaxation area with a dining table and small bar along with a few smaller boats tied to the back that held extra supplies and fishing gear. These were also used to take us out further on the river to watch game, fish and do some birding (we were all excited to see a Pel’s fishing owl).
On arrival we met Greg, who ran the houseboat and was a master at fishing. After hours of fishing, and when it seemed the waters had nothing but grass and mud in them, Greg would take out his fishing rod and immediately catch us three bream for dinner. Saying that, the fishing was good at times and we each caught a few tiger fish as well as bream and a barbell which were all released. The birdlife was also fantastic. On one afternoon a fish eagle that had been sitting in a nearby tree watching us fish and on sight of the fish swooped down to catch its own fish.
Most of our time was spent lounging about while enjoying our surroundings, seeing the odd crocodile and elephant. There was a small collection of books that one could help themselves to and I did so, reading up on the animals and looking at photographs that were perhaps too good to be true.
At night we would stop and land the houseboat on the banks of the river to light a fire and sit around with a couple of drinks and talk about the events of the day.
Our last day consisted of an early breakfast and final sunrise before we drove back up to Shakawe for the plane trip back to Maun. I fell asleep after the first ten minutes only to wake up at Maun International Airport to be shown the photos of the many animals seen down below us.
Our trip on to the Okavango on a houseboat was one of extreme relaxation and was a perfect vacation to catch up on some much needed rest while also experiencing the beauty of the river. We were able to fish whenever we wanted and were able to see some wildlife on the river and during our flights to and from Shakawe. And yes we got to see our first Pel’s fishing owl! It was something that I have never had the chance to experience and will return as soon as possible if I am given the chance.
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