Looking back at the Namibia post, I realized that I kept repeating the fact that it was damn hot in Namibia. That’s because it was freakin hot in Namibia. And so was Botswana. We took the Trans-Kalahari border crossing into Botswana and again found dryness. Just flat dryness. Then the dead cows started. Either due to heat, lack of rain, or foot and mouth disease, every few kilometers we found cows and goats dead along the road sides. A little disturbing because of the number of animals that were dead. The main draw in Botswana is the Kalahari and the Okavango Delta. Since we were done with the hot, we headed for Maun to jump off to Okavango Delta. It’s supposed to be an amazing park full of hundreds of waterways and watering holes where animals gather. There are different ways to see the delta, either by mokoro (traditional wooden boat) where you are taken around the delta and you can camp out or by helicopter/plane. It’s dry season and after talking to the tour operator we made a decision against the mokoro. The operator straight up told us that it’s too hot to enjoy the day and for most of the day you’re just ‘hanging out’. To be honest, we expected a bit more organization when it came to the town of Maun. We headed for the airport to see what we could arrange on our own. We walked into Blue Air and to our surprise, found a young,handsome, sardar guy sitting at the desk. We were stunned for a second…haven’t seen a sardar since Australia! He introduced himself as Supreet, and turns out he is from Chandigarh too! Supreet was able to hook us up with an awesome flight over the Okavango. He was a great pilot and able to point out loads of animals before we could even see them! It was an early flight, but we got to see elephants wading in the water, water buffaloes, giraffes, and zebras. Getting an aerial view was great-we could see the complicated, snake-like water ways wind through the greenery and all the tracks the animals had carved into the land. And we were also surprisingly low enough to see the animals very well. A big thanks to Supreet for making the experience great and for elegantly representing sardars far from home!
After the flight, we jetted out of Maun. We were a bit tired of the heat and also ready to get out of Southern Africa and explore the more ‘African’ countries. In South Africa, Namibia, and Botswana…it felt as if Africans did not own as much as you would think, land-wise and business-wise. Many seemed to be working for expats. There were no restaurants on the way, not too many shops unless you were in a big city, and not much traffic on the roads (esp Namibia, Botswana). It just feels like these countries haven’t found their ‘groove’. This may not make sense now, but I’ll bring it up again later….Next stop, Victoria Falls!