Me, of little attention span, gets fidgety very quickly. For example, I only managed four hours in the Louvre Gallery in Paris before I had to leave. At home, watching a movie I tend to get up and do something numerous times; visit the toilet, go get a drink, go and find my nail file, you get the idea. And so by day three of my stay in the Okavango Delta, I found myself occupying oneself between trips by researching.
My first day staying in the Delta, cruising its many waterways and walking across one of the island velds was pretty hard to beat. These trips are fairly expensive, however, for a backpacker and person of no current income. So day two I spent on Whatsapp reaching out to friends and writing pages in my notebook while soaking up the sun.
Little OnLine Information
Day three started with four hours of research on what the next league of my journey was to look like. With Africa, I’m finding a shortage of well-recorded and up-to-date information on ways to get between countries and cities. The best source online has been from other travellers posting on their blog sites or on traveler’s forums. Which encourages me to keep up with my posts on this site.
Traveler Vs Tourist
A “traveller” like me, as opposed to a “tourist”, is generally looking for that less expensive option which generally, equates to the “locals” option. The best way to find out exactly what the local option is is to ask a local which is what I did with one of the bar staff at the Okavango Delta Lodge. He rang around some people and had me sorted out in no time as far as information on transport to get to the Namibian border from Maun. He also told me of a rest camp just across the border all of which I had no luck finding on the internet.
No Walking In The Bush
It’s impossible to just “go for a walk” in the bush around here as I would normally do to occupy myself. Due to things like snakes, crocodiles, elephants etc. So instead I took my itchy feet off, up along the main road. There are lodges fairly close together along this strip so I felt safe and comfortable that I could rock up at another lodge for a beer and change of scene with no problem. And I was getting to see a bit more of the locals doing local stuff.
A group of three locals along the way said hi to me as they passed and wanted to shake my hand and “knuckle tap” me. I’m not sure if there’s an official name for that form of greeting. They were smiley and jovial and when one of them came closer towards me with two white boxes I immediately asked him if he was trying to sell me something. To me, it looked like boxes of cheap sunglasses.
He told me he wasn’t selling anything but that he had a tuck shop and that what was in the boxes was to help people be safe, from diseases. I told him that was very good of him and at the same time one of the boxes dropped and spilled its contents all over the sandy ground. Everyone started laughing in the way people do when a situation could be on the embarrassing side.
I smiled at him and said “woops”. He smiled back and said “the condoms are ok, the sand will brush off”
- The only information I could find on the internet for getting from Maun to the Botswana-Namibia border was via Gaborone, you had to leave from Maun at 5am and it takes 18.5 hours – see map below.
- After asking a local I discovered there is one mini van a day that goes the quicker route through Ghanzi and will drop you at the border.
- The fare costs 110 Pula and departs at 1pm from the Ghanzi strip of the bus station. The trip is supposed to take 5.5 hours – see picture below for contact details.
- The border, (Mamuno on the Botswana side and Buitepos on the Namibia side) both open at 6am and close at 11pm during the winter, and open at 7am and close at midnight in the summer. Click here for a link to a map and more information on the borders.