I was at Xudum, in the Okavango Delta, Botswana; with only eighteen guests in camp and quite a large choice of activities available, I was not surprised and secretly rather pleased to find that I was to be poled in my own mokoro this afternoon.
A mokoro is a local dug out canoe and this is one of the main ways of exploring the myriad of waterways that make up the Okagavango Delta. (If you are planning a visit you might want to do some research as to which camps have perennial water and which not or you could find yourself disappointed.).
The sun was setting as we glided through the reed surrounded channels, witnessing unusual and unlikely residents. Perhaps we can make up a Delta “ Little Five” I suggested to Eric, my poler. First up on my wish list was a painted reed frog – about the size of a finger nail so no mean feat to find one. Eric found me one – actually two – with ease. So what is next I mused?
The peace and quiet as we poled along was magical. It is so rare to find yourself in a place with no man made sounds – just the sounds of nature. Utter bliss.
We round the corner and Eric spots what he claims to be a dead baby hippo. “Watch out for the mother “he says “she may be close”. My sense of calm and euphoria evaporate. It is not my idea of fun to be charged by an enraged hippo, with only a flat canoe as protection. I sit up anticipating the worst…
However, as we draw closer, I see Eric is having me on. The “hippo” turns out to be a semi submerged tyre, containing champagne, chilled glasses, marshmallows and warm dipping chocolate (how on earth did they manage that??). How inspirational; all this just for me out here in the midst of the Okavango Delta.
I watch the sun go down feeling utterly spoilt and reminding myself that I have a pretty great job”.
Natasha Springer was checking out lodges and camps on behalf of Pulse Africa. If you would like to enjoy a similar spoiling experience, please get in touch.
See what Xudum is all about: