Botswana: A Young Bull States His Case
Our Ranger Disho and Tracker Palo are both from the area and a wealth of colorful stories and demonstrations (soccer with elephant dung, spitting contests with Jackalberry pits). This morning with an incredible sunrise, we headed out for another drive. We saw many animals including the beautiful and rare Roan Antelope as well as the locally common Tsessebe.
Our big drama for the entire day, however, was when a young bull Elephant stomped his feet, flapped his hears and came towards us in a very threatening manner. I have to say it was both thrilling and frightening. The group included mothers and their young (with one just a few weeks old) and the young bull was really out of place with them and creating a lot of nervousness as they rushed to catch up with the rest of their herd. That little elephant was the cutest thing ever!
We stopped for a morning break along the water’s edge, and the next thing we know the guys are cooking another amazing bush-breakfast for us. For this one, they were totally contained and did it all themselves. Then they laid out picnic blankets on an overturned mokoro (traditional wooden canoe) for our special waterfront seats.
While Wildebeest and Warthogs were running around we learned about the “Uglies” – the 5 ugliest African animals: Marabou Stork, Baboon, Warthog, Wildebeest & Hyaena (I notice we are spelling this the British way).
Our second bit of trouble occurred when we got stuck in some deep mud; but the guys knew just what to do and had us on our way again soon.
Fishing in the Delta
This afternoon we went out in the boat for the first time – it was beautiful. We wove in and out of the grasses and reeds, spotting many beautiful birds along the way.
We were on a Hippo-hunt and after finding several who surfaced very briefly to make threatening noises for our benefit, we finally did find one big boy hiding in the reeds. He was really shy and to escape us, took off out of the water and on land moving really quickly. It was exciting, but we all would’ve liked to see him stay around a little longer.
Eventually we found ourselves within sight of an encampment of local fisherman. As previously mentioned Disho and Palo are part of a local tribe – it’s called the Hambukushu and is the largest of the five tribes that inhabit the Delta. These fishermen were from the tribe and we were welcomed very warmly. We learned how they catch (with government permit) and prepare fish. We also tried some Jackalberry fruit with its 4-5 pits. We were invited to return in the morning for a fish breakfast.
Being suitably inspired by our visit we decided to fish. Using only lures, you cast and quickly reel in the line. I was the only one that struck out with this catch and release endeavor.
We reluctantly packed up the gear and headed back to Camp.
Back at the Lodge – I discovered a bottle of Jack and tasted Springbok for the first time (it was good), even though this was not my dinner choice – they are too cute.