TRAVELBUCKET

Botswana

THE GOOD OLD PAPER MAP

        Why still a hard copy map?  Yes, yes, yes I know all the modern technology is available – and I do own a GPS and a smart phone with navigational abilities, but I still love a good old map with all those red lines connecting places. You see this is where the practical me jumps in again.  I like it because: There is nothing more rewarding when you are planning a trip than to spread out the map on the table and say that is where I want to go. Yes, yes, I know the GPS shows me where I want to go, but sometimes we get so blinded by tunnel vision  focussing on what the GPS tells us what to do that we do not actually know where we are in the bigger picture. Driving in town that is fine, you can just replace/recharge the… Read more >

AT THE WATERHOLE

Plan your trip and times and choose a waterhole where you want to spend some time.  The best time to observe the activity at a waterhole is early morning or late afternoon when the animals come for a drink.   You may see different animals at different waterholes as the vegetation may differ considerably – be choosy. When approaching the waterhole drive slowly as to make the less possible noise and dust when arriving.  If you arrive in a fanfare the animals and birdllife will be gone before you even know it.  We are all there to have a once in a life time experience! Be considerate and pick a spot where you will not obscure the view of other people already present.  Wait your turn. They were there first and we all want to experience the animals.  After all that is what we all are there for. Go prepared.  Take… Read more >

ELEPHANT 101

        This post is not about travel as such, but seeing that we had several close encounters with elephants in Mana Pools, Matusadona as well as in many of the Botswana wild parks this may come in handy.  Even in lately in Kruger National Park there were some incidents/accidents. Let’s start off with some interesting and lesser known facts about the trunk of an elephant: Feeling the vibe:  Aside from smell, the trunk is sensitive to vibrations; from the ground it can sense the rumble of faraway herds and even far-off thunder. Mighty muscles:  An elephant’s trunk has eight major muscles on either side and 150,000 muscle bundles in all. It is so strong that it can easily push down trees or roll over a vehicle. Move it:  Like the human tongue, the trunk is a muscular hydrostat – a boneless muscular structure that allows for its… Read more >

SUNSET ON CHOBE

There is no other word that I can think of to describe the sundown cruise on the Chobe River better as magical. This is not going to be a very long entry into my blog. This will be short and sweet.  Either you like the scenery or not – I am just going to do an overload of pictures, because it is difficult not to. By now you will probably be thinking well an elephant, is an elephant, is an elephant. – been there, done that, seen that! There are just so many animals and birds in large numbers that it is unavoidable not to take hundreds of pictures as your eye constantly takes in the view every time that the boat  maneuvers to get close to the animals without scaring them. For me the most impressive part of the three hour boat cruise is the golden hour at sunset… Read more >

GIANTS OF KUBU

It is the month of August and the end of the winter or rather dry season in Botswana.  After dropping off my 76 year old mother (who was on safari with us)  at Francistown Airport to take her first international flight home we took the A30 towards Orapa and Kubu Island. Shortly after we picked up our camping permits – after the lady in the office gave us a wrap over the knuckles for not making reservations in advance – our first glimpse of Sua Pan, part of the 16 000 km² pan complex, appeared on the horizon.  I am excited!  This will be another first  for me – a  visit to the vast pans and ancient Baobabs. As Kubu Island is a national monument and a pristine wilderness area the rule of take everything in and take everything out applies (and that includes taking your own firewood and water). If… Read more >

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