This is from the (only) journal entry of our trip:
Zett and I are sipping on a beer on the stoep (Veranda) out the front of our tent overlooking a slice of pristine Okavango delta, Max is having a snooze so there’s no sound other that the birds and the odd baboon call.
I figure this is as good a time as any to jot down what’s happened the last couple of days.
Day 1. Pretoria to Kubu Island
We started out with an early start after a not so good nights rest, Max was projectile vomiting from 11:30pm through too around 2am, we all found out later that it was due to a stomach bug… we’ve all had a dose of it over that last couple of days, luckily it seems to only last 24 hours.
Despite this we were on the road by 5am and made really good time up to the border arriving at around 10:30am.
The border crossing itself didn’t go as hoped but about as well as expected, the main problem being that my application for an extension to my relatives permit is still processing (after almost 3 months) and the permit itself has expired. We had the extension application with us but as you expect no-one really knew what to do about it, we managed to get them down to a R1500 fine for overstaying, which they say will allow me to re-enter on a 3 month tourist visa… thanks for nothing the department of home affairs!
After the border crossing we again made good time up one of the main highways north for several hours. Once we turned off the main highway though it was a completely different story, the tar road gave way to gravel road, which gave way to sandy track, which gave way to “choose your own adventure” salt pan and grassy plain where we were using a combination of GPS, compass and gut feel.
We eventually made it to Kubu Island (an island dotted with Baobab trees on the edge of the salt pan proper) just before sunset. We bypassed all the designated campsites and setup camp on the pan side of the island, right in front of a stand of 5 impressive baobab trees.
The baobab tree looks like it’s been planted upside down, with its branches looking more like the roots of some sort of tuba. Though the outside of the tree is hard and smooth it looks sort of wrinkly and fleshy, apparently they take hundreds of years to grow to a decent size.
After a fairly windy night and cruisey morning we set off for Maun, at this point the navigation really got interesting with the GPS devoid of any roads, we mostly relied on the kindness of the goat herders we passed and the compass on my watch.
The sandy tracks eventually made it to the back streets of Gewa, where after driving through some shacks and grass roofed huts we made it to the highway again for some fuel before heading to Maun for the night.
The following shots are to/from and around Kubu island, we weren’t actually there for long but it make for some great photos.