Written by Claire O’Shaughnessy
The best way I could describe the Okavango Delta is by comparing it to a swimming pool overgrown with reeds that travels for as far as the eye can see.
It’s not an easy thing to picture in your mind, and it’s seems to be even harder to capture through the inch-and-a-half wide lens of my camera. But even so, I’ll try to describe my experience the best I can.
In early July, during our adventure through South-East Africa, my family and I visited the Okavango Delta in Botswana. We had a beautiful two story house, overlooking the magnificent Delta and outdoor tables at which we ate delicious meals. But the highlight of the visit wasn’t the food or the house; it was sitting by the edge of one of the most breathtaking places on earth, away from all distractions. There is a wonderful feeling that only wild places can give you; the feeling of ultimate serenity and freedom. Sitting by the Delta that morning I wanted nothing more than to stay there and never lose that magical, peaceful feeling.
At lunch that day we took a boat out to a small island in the Delta. Thick vines grew amongst the enormous trees and armies of tiny ants marched along the ground. Other than the clearing in the center, the island looked untouched.
That was until I noticed the giant termite mound at the edge of the clearing. The vivid orange glow of burning embers was visible in the centre of the abandoned mound.
A semicircle of dirt was removed from the mound and then half a steel drum was placed inside. The natural termite holes that scattered the mound were vents for smoke. This wasn’t just a termite mound; this was a pizza oven!
Near the giant pizza oven was a table covered with fresh vegetables, meats, and cheeses. I watched as the differently topped pizzas emerged from the vacant home of a once-welcomed group of termites and were cut into pieces.
As I munched on the delicious sausage-and-onion pizza and watched the rays of afternoon sun float on the patches of empty water strewn about the Delta, I began to recognise the fact that there is no place like Africa.
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