The Okavango Delta. For many years this had been a place I had wanted to visit, see and experience. One of the Seven Wonders of Africa it was easy to to see why. A massive expanse of inland waterways that mixes with a sublime landscape and is home to a large abundance of incredible wildlife. It is an ecosystem that is truly special to this earth. This particular series of images focuses on a 3 day camping trip inside the Delta. To get to our destination we did some crazy 4WDing and got sand bogged several times. I have to say that Toyota Land Cruisers are by far the toughest of any car I’ve seen. These things are amazing. We drove over and through stuff any other car wouldn’t stand a chance with. Once we left the 4WD’s it was 3 days of just us and the bush. We met with our Mokoro Crew. A group of locals from the area who supplied dug out canoes called Mokoro’s and they poled our way through the shallow Delta waters to our campsite some 1 and a half hours away. The Mokoro crafts are sourced from a once abundant Sausage Tree. The tree would be cut down for its trunk, hollowed out and turned into these canoes. Unfortunately, due to a lack of regulation, the Sausage Tree is now critically endangered in Botswana and other parts of Southern Africa. Conservation efforts now focus on supplying locals with fibreglass canoes which we used in conjunction with original Mokoros.
Camping in the middle of the African bush is not for the faint hearted. There was literally nothing stopping a Lion, Leopard, Hippo or Elephant walking through our campsite. A big bull elephant came awfully close causing the elderly gentleman as seen in the images, nicknamed ‘Diamond Dave’ scurrying out of the bushes butt naked after taking a bush shower. It was quite funny I must admit.
The highlight of the 3 days camping were the foot safaris. Walking through the bush in search for wildlife with nothing but our boots, cameras and an elevated heart rate and adrenaline flow. Being on foot not only gave a different perspective of viewing and searching for wild animals but it also reinforced just how at the mercy of nature we were. I wrote in an earlier blog post about how there are no guarantees in Africa. A foot safari certainly provides no guarantees of anything. I was happy to come back unscathed after each venture out.
Following our 3 days on the Mokoro’s we ventured deeper into the Delta and into the Moremi Game reserve. This was where pretty much all of the major wildlife photography happened. I will devote an entire blog post to that experience very soon. Leaving Moremi we came back to Maun, a large town just on the fringes of the delta. Our accommodation was here but it was an afternoon scenic flight that really had me excited. Aerial photography is something that I really enjoy but don’t get to do near enough. That perspective from above, especially with this environment had me feeling like a kid in a candy shop. It was everything I had hoped for. The view was spectacular. It was amazing to see so many varied environments within the delta. The Okavango Delta. A jewel in natures crown no doubt.