So after the first couple of game park nights under our belt, we were ready for the next adventure.
Now, the Delta is also a game park that you camp in, with one difference. There is no safari truck. It is a walking safari….
These Africans are seriously crazy!
Well…. when in Rome….
Even getting to the camp spot was an adventure. We glided through the river in these dugout canoes called Mokoros pushed by guides with poles. The Mokoros were loaded with all of our bags, boxes of wine (you will start to see a pattern with the wine), ourselves, and our camping gear. Mary was so bad ass for pushing this totally unstable canoe with a pole… for a couple of hours… to our final destination.
It was gorgeous moving through the Delta river which was covered in water lilies! I even took a little nap along the way. Life is so tough at times…
There were some concerns, however, about the black clouds coming our way and intermittent sounds of thunder.
It does not rain much in Africa, does it?
When we got to our camp area, we scanned it for a good spot to pitch a tent. Well, in all honestly, we were the last to unload so all the good spots were taken. We asked Mary what she thought and she pointed to one of the last available spots. “Will it be okay?” I questioned. She shrugged her shoulders and said, “Sure!”
Wasn’t sure how much confidence I had with that spot staying dry in a storm. But I did not really have much of a choice.
After we got our tents and camp set up (including digging a whole in the ground for our toilet for the weekend and a couple of cocktails), we were ready for our next adventure in the Delta!
A walking safari.
Now, they requested that we wear neutral colours when heading out on the safari…. this is gonna be a problem, I thought. If there is one thing anyone knows about me, it’s that I do not own neutral colours of clothing of any sort with my skin tone… anything that resembles skin tone colour is totally off limits.
So, I had never really given any thought into the necessity of khaki outfits when going on a safari. Sure – any stereotypical image you have of someone in Africa on a safari would include a unfashionable full body khaki coloured outfit with an equally unfashionable safari hat…. but I would never consider packing an outfit like that for a variety of reason! Mostly because I immediately want to laugh at those people for looking like such a tourist…..And clearly, I was not the ONLY one…
We were quite the group heading out of the bushes that surrounded our camp into the great wild. In preparation for the rain, I had on my bright blue rain jacket with my Disney Land poncho over top (Pam did as well). Then, there was Philo in her leather jacket…. looked like we got hit in a skittle storm… the look of disappointment on the guide’s face when we showed up ready was priceless.
“Real discrete,” he was probably thinking….
But we headed out anyway, to catch the sunset and get an introduction to the area. Just being out on foot in this park was amazing! And we could not stop talking about how great it was… and taking pictures of ourselves to document how great the experience was and giggling. Between the chatter and the flashes from our cameras, the disappointment from our guide must have been growing as he wondered if we came to watch ourselves or the animals….
We’ll do better tomorrow – we all promised ourselves.
Just as we started to settle down and were getting into the trekking, the guide advised that we head back to the camp…. the dark clouds and echoes of thunder did not sound too promising!
“It’s coming,” the guide said ….. But I was not feeling too worried… our tent survived that storm in Victoria Falls .. but then again there was our questionable tent location…
The second we stepped foot into our tent – it came.
Now, I am from the west coast of Canada, so I know what a real rain storm is all about, but this was like a monsoon! I also have to say, that experiencing a storm like that, in the wild, in a tent NOT in the security of a building, is a whole other ball game.
Pam and I did not know what the hell to do. Was this actually happening? Why is it so cold and wet in Africa? Then our tent started to slowly flood because we were sitting on top of a big puddle of water. Seriously, Mary? This spot is THE worst.
How our cook Onary managed to whip up dinner over the fire in that storm will be one of life’s mysteries. We sat in our tents and ate our dinner and regrouped. This was not SO bad, I mean we did have that box of wine…..
So out into the storm we went for the rest of the night. It calmed down a bit and with a little alcohol, our spirits started to lift! This was also a good time for Pam and I to get to know more of our group, particularly Jac and Kevin who also had a significant amount of wine to drink.
Wine really just brings people together….
We survived the night! I put myself on disaster control and kept that tent as dry inside as I could. I must have sopped up and rung out like 20 towels in there. Kevin and Charles also contracted out their services and helped dig a bit of a trench to relieve some of the water pooling under the tent. Overall, it was all good!
In the morning, we suited back up in our rain gear and headed back into the Delta.
This time we even saw some animals up close!
I have to say it’s pretty cool to be hiding in a bush spying on an elephant…. sure, I may have been the only one crouching down and really hiding in the bush – but that was my strategy. I sized up everyone in my group and needless to say they were all quite a bit taller then me. That meant their legs were longer than mine. That meant chances were they could out run me…… can you see where I am going with this?
We also saw a herd of 20 zebras and 15 giraffes. Man, do I love giraffes. Unfortunately, I have very little photos of what we saw due to the rain. I had only brought my GoPro and, without a zoom and wide-angle lense, you can see very little. Oh well!
That night we went back to the campsite and drank a bunch of wine with the group.
In the morning we headed back and said our good-byes to our amazing guides and porters!
What can I say? Africa just kept getting better and better!