We have arrived from Kasane to Maun in mid afternoon and greeted by a friendly South African couple who run the camp. They explained everything about our overnight trip to the Delta and made sure that everyone in the group knows the essential 5 things by heart we must have: mosquito repellent, sunscreen, toilet paper, water, head torch! Without any of these you are lost.. and after all they were right!
We set off early in the morning on a back of an open truck with all our gear to the mokoro station, where we met our polers. They paired us up and loaded everyone onto the little dag out canoes before anyone would have had the chance to change their mind.
The sun provided no mercy despite the early hour, however the cruise through water lily forests made us forget all the hassles, as we silently slid further into the tranquil waterways of the Okavango Delta.
After a 2 hour cruise we have arrived to our camp, that was nothing but a perfect shady spot surrounded by acacia trees and bushes.
The polers set up our camp fire right in the middle and dug a toilet. Now this is where it got interesting. Everyone tells all the fantastic experiences and shows photographs of magical sunsets, but what about the toilet? The toilet in a wild bush camp, where there is no electricity, water nor any other facility..
So these people have a system that could not work any better. They pick a spot about 20 meters from the camp and make sure the path is safe but hidden from the campground itself. They dig a very narrow deep hole – no different from any squat toilet in Asia or the Middle East really, apart from the fact that it is cleaner and you don’t have to worry about flushing, as you just need to use the shovel to throw some dirt on it when finished. Now how do you know if someone is on the toilet then?! There is a shovel at the beginning of the path, if it is free and if it is not..well you obviously need to wait for your turn. Love it… This works perfectly well during day time, but what about in pitch black? You are in the wild, the animals can wander in and out of the camp. This is where my (and others) issues started..
We have placed a candle next to the toilet, but when you hear hyenas roaring nearby and you are heading to a candle light romantic toilet on your own about 20 meters away from everyone else, it might pop into your mind.. what if..?!
We have no knowledge of any incidents and our polers made us feel very safe, so there is not much to worry about. So in fact the theory that my dear sister created in my head is not true. No, you won’t need to have a stick to chase snakes and other creatures away with one hand, trying to hold onto the the shovel with the other while organising your urgent business..
During the day to try and escape the heat our guides have took us the an area 100% free of hippos and crocs where we were allowed to jump into the crystal clear water to cool down, swim and let the fresh water replace our daily shower.
When the sun gave up its strength closer to the evening, we headed for a walking safari looking for elephants, zebras and of course some cats. We were very lucky, at the start point our guide has pointed out to all the fresh droppings and dozens of recent footprints that we started tracking and the reward was not far. We have seen herds of zebra, a couple of elephants. As the sun was setting we cruised back to our camp, where our fantastic tour leader was already preparing a delicious meal for us.
I must admit I have never in my entire life have seen a starry sky like the one we encountered in our bush camp in the Okavango, far away from all the artificial lights, noise and pollution of the world. The Milky Way has provided a spectacular view with shooting starts while listening to the sounds of the wilderness.
Early in the morning we were greeted by a beautiful sunrise, while heading out for another walking safari trying to catch some of the nocturnal animals finishing their “shifts”.
After breakfast we took our tents down and packed everything we brought with us. Nothing can be left but footprints.. The polers had made sure once more we enjoy the effortless, relaxing ride back to our start point.
Safe and sound, full of incredible experiences we hopped back onto our truck to continue our journey across Namibia and its mighty Skeleton Coast.
Judit went on Tucan Travel’s Vic Falls to Cape Overland Tour.