We bid goodbye to Morris and Gill and they headed north into Chobe while Cheryl and I headed south back to Maun. We had quite a few things to sort out like our accommodation, our trip into the Okavango, and a new deep cycle battery (that powers our fridge and lights when the car is off.) We got the first two figured out rather easily but we did stop in at quite a few places before making the decision about who we’d go with on the Mokoro into the Delta (we went with Old Bridge Backpackers, the very place we got a quote from months before, shouldn’t have even shopped around!)
The battery turned out to be a bit more difficult. It started out easy. We went to THE place in town that everyone recommends for all things overlanding, Riley’s Garage, and purchased a battery. So far, so good. I even had a guy give me rough directions as to how it should be installed to avoid shocking myself. Easy stuff! Well, not so easy. It turns out the box we have to hold the battery is only 33cm wide. We bought a 34cm wide battery. And it is the only one they have. Of course I didn’t figure this out until I had everything out of the car and trying to fit in the new battery.
Since it was just after 4pm (and everything in Maun closes at 5pm, latest) we beat it around town to see if we could get a new battery that fits before taking the original one back. Supaquick had only the same as Riley’s. However, Midas proved to have the golden battery touch and had what we were looking for. We got back to Riley’s at 5:01pm and I squeezed through the front door as the guard was trying to lock it. The manager wasn’t happy to end the day with a high cost return but we were finally sorted. Well, except for installing the new one but that turned out to be fairly simple actually.
I wasn’t a happy camper when I realized the new batter wasn’t the same size as the old one.
We spent the next full day in Maun doing odds and ends that needed doing. We washed our clothes, Cheryl did some work, I shopped for our food for in the Okavango etc. We had an early start the next day so decided to forgo the late night party and head to bed.
The mokoro trip into the Okavango was great in some ways and a disappointment in others. This types of trips are really made or broken solely because of the guide that you get. On this trip, we unfortunately got a guide that couldn’t communicate very well in English and we had some early miscommunications that set a strage tone for the trip. He was also altogether just a bit of an oddball which didn’t help things either. One of the biggest miscommunications is that we weren’t told that we were expected to provide him all of his food and since he couldn’t communicate with us very well it got a bit awkward. We had brought enough food to share dinners because it seemed like the best thing to do but hadn’t planned on sharing breakfast and lunches really.
Despite the difficulty in communication, we made the most of the trip and enjoyed the time we had in the Delta. We spent 3 days and 2 nights in there, spending the heat of the day in camp playing cards, reading, napping and all of those good things. We cooked over an open fire, boiled water from the Delta to cook with (and drink sometimes) – real bush living. As part of the trip we went for a couple of nice walks on some islands through the bush and had a sunset mokoro cruise. You really can’t go wrong. Even if the guide can’t explain what you are seeing when walking. It was great.
Before we set off into the delta.
The path for the mokoros was often very narrow. Had to watch out for spiders all in the reeds but we were assured they weren’t poisonous. That point we made sure we understood!
Cheryl on one of our walks
Riding in the Mokoro with our guide.
Selfie on the sunset cruise
The lilly-pad flowers were really interesting. We learned that they open up throughout the day and close again at night time. This one was in the process of closing as the sun was setting.
We decided to come back to Maun early on our last day (options were 9am or 4pm, the difference being another bush walk but given the communication issues we decided to come back to get last things done in town.) We did some food shopping and booked accommodation for the next couple of nights on our way into Namibia. (This wound up being for naught as we decided to drive further the first day and cancel the reservations anyway…)
Time for a quick hair cut trim around the ears. The wine was necessary!
Next main stop: Etosha National Park – Namibia!