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Day 65: Livingstone, Zambia-Kasane, Botswana (11 November 2009)

Another day, another tour! We woke up this morning at our Zambezi Waterfront campsite and when visiting the ablution box I could only think about the Grey Beach washhouse at sleep away camp and the memories that that brings with it…the hair drying room, Mr. Bill’s mirror that now sits in Jackie’s basement and the numerous times that clothing was stolen when someone was in the shower. Anyway, the sun was out and the lights were on so I was definitely happier to be in the campsite in daylight especially since my torch blew last night of course so it was even more difficult than the usual to see in the darkness. And remember, at these campsites you’re not just looking for things in front of you but it’s the crawlies that you could step on that could be deadly as well!

We had our first breakfast on this tour, a full buffet which was alright and who can complain when they get to eat dinner and breakfast on the Zambezi River, right? We finished eating, packed up our tents, loaded the truck and away we went! We drove a short while to the border where we got another Zambia stamp (outgoing this time) and waited again for the ferry that doesn’t look like a ferry! It took a bit of awhile for our turn on the ferry this time and eventually we actually boarded the ferry prior to the truck so we walked our way to the Botswanan border post to get our stamps and waited for Colin to get across with the truck. We had some soft drinks while we waited and upon Colin’s arrival we headed off into Botswana and after awhile arrived at a shopping center where we could get some snacks and drinks and the guys got stuff for dinner and we drove basically around the corner and got to the Chobe Safari Lodge where we were camping for the night.

We set up camp right by the fence border of the park amidst the monkeys and the baboons and in direct view of the hippos and the crocodiles. Once the kitchen was set up (a table next to the fire) we had some lunch of sandwiches, set up the tents and then put on some bathing suits and took our stuff with us for the sunset river cruise in the late afternoon. We got to hang out in the pool a bit which was really nice. This was a lovely lodge with really nice chalets and cabins. It seems that many of the places have really nice accommodations and then also maintain a campsite as well and those are the sites we’re staying at so we can use some of the amenities of the resorts but we stay at the campsite and use the ablution boxes. We used the fancy bathrooms and got changed and then got ready for the cruise. This was the same cruise that we had been on a few nights ago, but we were able to go on a really small boat this time that was very close to the water level and we had Chapman as our guide. We knew that we had already driven this same route, but it was really great to be in one of the small boats and we felt quite close to the hippos and crocs along the way and we were able to see the elephants so close up. Remember, we didn’t feel the big need to be face to face with a hippo again (considering) but it was a great ride with another beautiful sunset to close the show!

It’s Botswana, so you know there’ll be bugs when it hits nighttime and that there were! We got back from the cruise, went back to our campsite just next to the river and had some dinner by fire and lantern light with many little crawly and flying creatures to join us. Yohan had made dinner which was rice and veggies for me and chicken added in for the others. It was really good and it was cool that it was made on a basic hotplate as we had no stove facilities at all of course. And then, as this is a full participation tour; we had to go and wash the dishes…I know, not what everyone in the world would want to do on their honeymoon…but we wanted to see Africa and without that lotto winning it can’t all be five star treatment, right? So, hands on it is…the washing was a three tub system; one with soap, one with sterilizer and the other just clean water and then some drying cloths. It went pretty quickly as there were five of us and we all went to get it done quickly.

Then of course I had to introduce more people and more cultures to the art of s’more making and everyone was quite happy with their dessert treat! Jerrit and Yohan had had them before as there have been many other s’more happy campers who have shown them, but it was the first for Linda and Simon and Colm and they do always make us smile as well! The husband and I went to bed early as there were hundreds of bugs that just seemed to fly right into you and land wherever they wanted and you just couldn’t get away from them; at least in our tents with the tiny meshed windows we were somewhat safer. Unfortunately, the Botswanan night air tonight was relatively hot and sticky so it was a little difficult to fall asleep! Eventually we fell asleep knowing that we only had one more night in Botswana with all of the bugs (we decided that bugs and Botswana both start with ‘b’ so that’s why they go together-nuts we know, but something had to pass the time, right?) and tomorrow night should put us up close with the elephants so it should be totally worth it!

Tomorrow: Elephant Sands!

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