Yes, it is always my intention to leave you hanging on a cliff of what happened next!
Let me start here, climate change is a REAL THING, in as much as, world leaders like Donald Trump would want you to believe otherwise because it serves economic greed! If we all just listen to Leonardo DiCaprio and everyone consistently telling us we need to fix this now, you will not find yourself in situations where, when you arrive at Okavango Delta and they tell you the Delta is dry. For the first time in so many years, the delta dried up because the skies had not opened up for the annual rainy season and showed no signs of opening up soon.
In my opinion the magnificence of a delta is linked to the presence of water. I say magnificence and not beauty because even without the water, there was beauty everywhere you looked. Two things had a lasting impression on me in Okavango:
1. The Mukoro
The Mukoro is nothing fancy for a child of Africa, it is probably called many different things in Africa but in Malawi you know the canoe to be a ‘bwato’. In Botswana ‘The Mukoro.’ When you think about it, we should not be that excited to be engaged in bwato filled activities but hold on, in all my 30 years on God’s green earth, I had never been in a canoe. Boats, yes; canoe, no! The excitement also came from having to be on the remaining spaces of the delta that had water.
I don’t remember the name of the Safari company that took us to The Mukoro, which is very rude of me, probably because they showed up 2 hours later (African time right)! Just for the record, I show up on time for everything, I do not appreciate people wasting my time and I in turn try to show up on time! Moving on, it took about an hour to get to the mukoro’s and we had to wait an extra 10 minutes to locate the two men who were next on the roster to take people out on the mukoro’s and we were on our way.
Remember, we were 2 hours late, by the time we got to where the mukoro’s were stationed it was midday and blazing hot. Needless to say, we only lasted about 40 minutes on the mukoro’s. You know, you need an out when it feels like the heat of the sun is making direct contact with your skin even though you are wearing jeans! You know you need an out, when Limba is scooping up water from the delta and pouring it onto her jean covered legs and dries up in a matter of minutes. However, when you forget about the heat and get lost in the moment what you see if nature at its finest, you hear the chuffs of the hippos, the singing of birds, the flight of white birds… I am not a bird watcher, so I cannot tell you what kind of birds those were.
The calm of the water and you feel connected to world, enclosed in a profound sense of peace that the cities tend to take away.
2. The Delta
So when you have pretty much seen most of the big five in your life, what is the best way to see them when it is hot, the delta is dry and you know the animals are sticking the remaining pools of water? You fly. Get into a tiny plane and take in the view from up top.
And what you see is absolutely incredible. I maintain that if we had seen the delta filled with water that would have been spectacular if not magnificent! Note to self and everyone: I am definitely going back to the delta when it has water in it!
We saw elephants, giraffes, antelopes and buffalo. First time to see buffalo and that was a lot of buffalo. It was a sea of black coats. You know not to mess with any wild animal, some give the impression that you can, that is why you see people do dumb shit like walk with lions, take a picture with a tiger in its cage… NO! Nothing about that animal is friendly leave it alone! Do you not see the glint in its eyes that says if you and I were to square off, you are dinner! On Earth as it is in Heaven, let us not test that line in all situations of life, leave that for when you get to Heaven, and you can pet all the animals you want. The buffalo, yeah it does not give that impression even from up top. It looked so bad ass, you are not even trying to pet that thing, if you are that sort of person.
If you ever get the chance, go and see the delta. Be moved by the beauty of the Earth and find peace as you leave all the stresses life throws at you, out there on the delta.
Of all the cool things that happened on this trip… the trip back home was horrible to say the least!
‘The Musing of the Malawian Girl’
#OkavangoDelta #Botswana #Africa