Written By: Warwick Henry
The drive from Ghanzi to Maun was quicker than Don and Sarah expected, which suited them fine: northern Botswana awaited!
Once they’d arrived in Maun – known as the gateway to the Okavango Delta – they stocked up on fuel and supplies, grabbed a quick lunch and moved on again.
They headed out of Maun on the Shorobe road, which meanders through the district’s far-flung hamlets and cattle posts, spread out among looming mopane forests, interspersed with occasional patches of open ground dotted with livestock.
School children waved, shouted and danced as the vehicle passed, leaving Don and Sarah with the impression that they were being welcomed as they drew closer to their destination just outside Khwai.
Beyond Shorobe, they moved more slowly on the bumpy and uneven road, giving them time to survey their surroundings more carefully. Just beyond Mababe Village, they were rewarded with a fleeting sighting of a herd of beautiful roan antelope, among the region’s least common and most timid species.
As they pulled into their campsite for the night, located just inside Moremi Game Reserve‘s north gate on the banks of the Khwai River, they were overwhelmed not only by the magnificent setting but by the sheer abundance of wildlife spread out on the grassy banks of the river in front of them.
Nestled in the shade of a lush stretch of riparian forest, their camp was quiet and cool, and offered spectacular views of the river and the herds of red lechwe, waterbuck, and elephant grazing, drinking and wallowing along the banks.
As Don set up camp, Sarah sat back and surveyed the scene with an ice-cold glass of her favourite tipple and a pair of binoculars close at hand. On their game drive later that evening they were once again overwhelmed by the beauty and wildlife of the area – they’d have to come back one day!
After a good night’s rest they set off early once more for the drive to Savute, the gem of the Chobe National Park. Their route took them back down the calcrete road towards Mababe, where they’d turn off not far from the village.
They made their way along the northern edge of the Mababe Depression, astounded once more by the throngs of elephant and incredibly large buffalo herds feeding on the sprawling grasslands. Soon they came to the edge of the Savute Marsh – one of Botswana’s natural wonders. They lingered here for some time, taking a late breakfast among milling herds of wildebeest and foraging warthog, hoping to catch a glimpse of the famed marsh pride of lions.
The day began to warm up and the couple decided to make their way to Camp Savute for a cold drink, a well-earned rest in the shade and to plan their afternoon’s excursion to take in Savute’s many attractions. They’d heard there was some rock-art nearby and wanted to spend some time at one of the pans and then round out their drive with another visit to the marsh to try their luck again with the big cats.
They were not disappointed – the rock paintings were incredible – well worth the short walk – and the marsh pride put in an appearance too, on a hunt no less. The warthog may have got away, but the Samsons were left well satisfied and feeling very lucky indeed.
The following day – their last in Botswana, they made their way through the park towards Kasane, a town perched on the banks of the Chobe River. They’d decided to treat themselves to a night at the luxurious Chobe Safari Lodge, where they lounged by the pool and finished the day at Sedudu Bar, the finest sundowner spot in town. Their air-conditioned room lured them to bed early – tomorrow they’d have a very large river to cross and a whole new country to explore…
Stay tuned for our next segment by Outbound in Africa, where we continue to follow Don and Sarah’s journey.