Ever since I read the Ladies No. 1 Detective Agency I have wanted to go to Botswana, the people in the book were just interesting in a way I had never seen. Tompaul has wanted to go to Botswana ever since he saw a feature about it on the Today show. As soon as Heather and Don Koons said they were moving there we knew it was a stop on our round the world trip!
After Heather bravely picks us up from the air port (she was super sick that morning including ER visit) we settle into their lovely bush home. It is gorgeous. There are a few bugs and reports of monkeys in their yard (which we thought was a lie).
In true Koons hospitality form she takes us to the best Indian Resturant in Gabs (she was still a bit queasy).
This was by far one of the BEST meals we had in a long time. Actually it is the best Indian food we have had for many a moon. Note the Naan, people. NOTE IT! It was soft yet crispy! It was like I died and went to Nirvana.
Then it was off to bed. We were going to hit the road bright and early, once Don got off his 24h shift. Our plan was to go to the Molema Bush camp for two days and then to the Tuli safari lodge. This is located close to Zimbawe, so it is like 7 hours. We all agreed to listen to Spud and that helped to speed the drive. The South African accent made the audiobook. We enjoyed the word “dodgy” especially. During this time we were able to get a good view of Botswana countyside.
It is rainy season so everything is super lush and green. The umbrellas everyone carries around are mostly for the sun, however.
Here is a traditional house and a non-traditional house side by side.
There are rest stops along the highway. We stopped in true Botswana fashion, under a tree. There we had a discussion about key things and had a delicious lunch. The only thing was missing was a cup of tea.
As we resumed our journey the weather looked a bit cloudy and then it seemed someone had an accident. There might have been a third car but only two were on the road. Don sys the car accidents are truely wretched and deadly here.
The rain was amazingly beautiful. Little did we know what was to come. Montana is big sky country, but it has NOTHING on Botswana. I have never ever seen sky as we saw in Botswana. The clouds seemed to go on for an eternity, the color was so blue, the clouds so white!
After our prescribed 7 hours of driving we reached the Molema Bush Camp for the first leg of our safari. We were staying in the chalets for about 40 US dollars a night. We were roughing it, no electricity, the staff did our dishes and lit our cooking fires and gas lanterns. Rough, I say.
Our chalets were just overlooking the river. We were asked not to walk with 15m of the rivers edge cause they didn’t want us attacked by crocs or hippos. After our Kenyan adventure, we had no trouble following that advice.
Here is the inside of of our chalet. Very cozy.
While in Molema we did our own self drives. We saw tons of buck and birds. Nothing too exotic. Part of the reason was that we came in the rainy season so the bush was grown up and foliage obscured things. But that also meant there were BABIES everywhere. We also had frequent warthog sightings.
Warthogs are fun animals in the wild. They run in a funny way with their tail standing straight up. They do NOT pose for pictures and are extremely skittish, running away soon as they are spotted. Our goal was to get ONE nice warthog picture.
Steenbuck. They are always seen near their mate, and look like babies but are not.
A beautiful vista. Note the sky.
Warthog mommy and baby running away, again….
What is a proper safari without the dung beetle?
We stopped for sundowners and on the way back we saw this beautiful sight. The owl was watching for prey.
On our last morning we planned to drive up to the hide, but it was blocked because of the heavy rains. About 2am we heard deafening rain, for 2 hours. It rained 61mm overnight. No hide for us. That also meant no exit for us. We were blocked in and could not make it to Tuli. We spent the morning hanging out in one of the cabins, watching Ladies No. 1 Detective Agency (the series). It rained some more.
This is British Chris and Botswana Chris telling us we were blocked in, but maybe we could get out by 3. What would we do?