Recently, we stayed at the Xigera camp in the Okavango Delta in Botswana. We just flew here in a bush plane and landed on the airstrip from the Kalahari Plains.
The Okavango Delta is almost the exact opposite of the Kalahari. There are lots of animals running around, and there is so much vegetation. In the Kalahari, the only vegetation was dead grass and dead trees since it is a huge desert. We got off the plane and met our guide, Lesh, who was going to drive us to the campsite. On the way over to the camp, we saw many Giraffes and tons of Antelopes wandering around. When we reached the campsite, we crossed a bridge over a small river, and then got a drink and sat down. The first thing that we noticed, was that there were tons of monkeys and baboons running around our camp stealing stuff like food and drinks. We looked out across the river and saw an Elephant! In the Kalahari, we were looking for an Elephant the whole time, and here we were sitting with a huge Elephant standing 20 feet away. On our way to the room, we noticed a paintball gun, we learned that if the monkeys got out of control, the staff could shoot the monkeys. They also had a BB gun, but that was only for the monkeys who wanted to make off with someone’s dinner.
We relaxed for a while, and then got back into the Safari buses to see what we could find. *On our Safari, we noticed many groups of Antelopes and Warthogs standing around the bottom of the trees. We saw many Monkeys and Baboons walking around the top of the trees. We learned that the prey like to stick together, so that if the Monkeys see something, they can immediately warn the other animals at the bottom of the tree. This partnership is called a symbiotic relationship, where two or more animals help each other. Another example of this, is birds with Impalas. The birds will eat the ticks off the Impala’s back which keeps the Impala healthy and gives the bird food.
We drove around a little bit more, and were looking for Lions. We eventually came to a small patch that was all rolled around, and saw two lions sleeping. We took some photos and kept going. We also saw a large family of Elephants walking around. We looked closely and saw a baby Elephant! We took a ton of photos, but before we could drive away, we were mock-charged by one of the Elephants. Even though it was a mock charge, I think we were all at least a little scared by the Elephant.
We drove around an area where we were going to sit down for a break and we saw Zebras for the first time in our lives. All the Zebras were peacefully prancing around when we drove in, but when we tried to get close to them, they sprinted away. We also heard one of the monkeys give the warning call, which made all the animals run away. We had some tea and some crackers, and then played around for a while then headed away.
We also got to see some Hippos swimming in a big lake. Now, we have seen the main characters in Madagascar. Alex the Lion, Marty the Zebra, Gloria the Hippo and Melmin the Giraffe! We watched the Hippos as they swam around, and would pull their bodies out of the water to walk around sometimes. The Hippos were so big and round, they looked like sausages with legs. (No offense)
Another adventure that we had was going on Mocorros.
Mocorros are dug out canoes that are used by the local people. We got in, and then had some of the staff at the hotel paddle us out. The paddle was a stick that had two prongs at the end, unlike a kayak paddle where the end is flat. The paddle was used to push us, but our driver stuck the end into the bottom of the pond and pushed off. We gently glided for around an hour and a half, passing through reeds and water lilies. We finally came to an area where we stopped and pulled our Mocorros onto the land and relaxed for a while. While having some drinks, we saw a huge male elephant walk around our area where we were sitting. The Elephant didn’t bother us, it just gracefully walk around our spot where we were relaxing. We eventually got up and paddled back to where our car was waiting where we started. We had a very good time touring the Okavango Delta and staying at the Xigera camp.