Dawn over the Okavango Delta.
I didn’t sleep well last night as I was awakened a lot of times by noises around the camp … Woke up a bit late and I missed the early morning walk as planned by Dumi. We had to leave early as we were told by Dumi that the scenic joy flights over the Okavango Delta is scheduled in the late afternoon today and we had to collect our passports first at the lodge as it was needed for the flight registration. After breakfast we loaded our supplies onto the ‘Mokoros’ and off we went..
Gliding through the reeds.
Hippopotamus at large.
The launching area @ Okovango Delta.
End of a marvelous safari.
Dumi giving out tips to the boatmen.
Flooded area at the Okavango Delta.
Lunch at Maun Lodge.
The journey back was as exciting and magical as the one yesterday but we did not make any pit stops along the way. As we approached the launch area, King, our ‘Poler’ pushed the ‘Mokoro’ gently and stopped beside the reeds. He then told us to be quiet as we could and asked us look to our right and there was the hippopotamus with half of it’s head visible. We stayed motionless for a good five minutes before King gently pushed the ‘Mokoro’ towards the launch area. King added that respect has to be given to the animals especially the hippopotamus as they are easily agitated and could be vicious once it feels provoked. I bade farewell to King and the other boatmen for their concern for our safety. A big fat tip from me was given to each one of them and of course to my ‘Poler’ Mr.King . I really enjoyed my short Okovango Delta safari and wished I had gone for the early morning walk rather then sleeping. On my way back I noticed that the area we passed yesterday to the launch site was flooded due to a heavy downpour. Back at the camp, I organized myself with a hot shower and fresh clothes, picked up my passport, had a quick lunch and off we went to Maun Airport.
After paying for the joy ride which cost a small fortune to me, we were briefed by the pilot, Capt Immaculate who is a local girl of the area about the safety aspects of the flight, the duration and the area covered and we were to listen to her as always, an hour and a half flight time and a vast part of the Okovango Delta. The aircraft was a Australian made GipsAero GA8 Airvan which has seven seats. 3 rows with 2 seats abreast and a single seat at the rear of the aircraft which was the best seat on the aircraft as one could see without any hindrance on both sides of the aircraft …Lucky Me .
Okavango Delta from the air.
I had the best viewing seat.
African Continent shaped island @ Okavango Delta.
Trying to locate game from the air.
The moment the plane took off, it reminded me of a scene from the movie ” Out of Africa” where Robert Redford took Meryl Streep on a bi-plane ride over the African plains although the present situation is nowhere near that. Well it was just an imagination. The flight took us to various parts of the Okovango Delta where one could view the various landscapes and contours of the Okovango Delta and animals on a smaller size where the giraffes are the easiest to spot. Although the plane has flying restrictions such as height, a few times the pilot flew low and one could view the animals running away from the plane.I t was a good experience to view that few moments of craziness …. Well I think the pilot did that to give us the value for what we had paid for.
Feeling contented and blessed.
Captain Immaculate briefing us after landing.
Can’t ask for more.
As we landed, the other groups did their air safari and while waiting for them I browsed the shops that were outside the airport that were selling souvenirs. I was tempted to buy a few wood carving animals especially the giraffe but considering that I had only two backpacks, one main and a small one for my computers and cameras plus I had another 60 planned days to go on this trip, I just bought a few fridge magnets for my close friends. On board the ‘Monster’ on the way back to the lodge, I smiled to myself as I felt blessed as for the past three days where I really enjoyed myself .
Alhamdulillah (Praise be to Allah) ……..