Sunday, April 27, 2008

Botswana-Part 2

We left Maun and headed due west towards Windhoek, Namibia. We were told that there would be tailwinds as we were doing 162 k/100 miles a day for 5 days straight. This also included a 207k day into Namibia. The landscape of Botswana didn’t change too much: however, we did see lots of standing water off to one side of the road that consisted of a vast low-lying swamp filled with birds and trees.

One neat thing I did do on my day off in Maun was to go on a 45 minute flight over the Okavango Delta. This is located in the northwestern corner of Botswana. It was a 6 seater plane with windows on every side so you can spot animals. Having an aerial view of the delta gave us a nice perspective of where these animals live. And, we did see lots of animals from the air: giraffe, elephant, antelope, hippo, and African buffalo. Towards the end I was getting a little sick to my stomach as we would make great turns to the right and left when our pilot spotted some animals. The delta is a vast network of lazy rivers, green swamps and some higher ground thrown in between. There are trees spread throughout the delta in tight clusters.

My initial impressions of Botswana didn’t change too much. It is vastly empty. Compared to Ethiopia, you can ride for long, long stretches and not see anyone at all. Also, the infrastructure seems set up around game drives and bush lodges. You will be riding along the road and all of a sudden see a sign for a Bush Lodge. It seems to be located in the middle of nowhere but I suppose there are enough tourists to keep them financially viable.

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