Continuing on with Friday’s journey, we packed up the car and headed to Botswana! We would be going on a boat cruise in the evening, camping out overnight, and going on two game drives the next day before heading back to the volunteer house.
Crossing the border into Botswana was interesting to say the least. We got randomly stopped a few different times on our way to the actual border, mostly because the guys at the gates are bored and want to talk. Then once we got to the border there is no bridge over the river so we have to take a ferry across. There are huge semi trucks that go on the ferry too and it seems like it’s so low that it will sink!
But we all make it across the river safely and then have to go through Botswana immigration. Once we do so, the final step in getting across the border is wiping your feet on a mat. Yes- you read correctly. The people of Botswana are very concerned about foot and mouth disease, and it is believed that wiping your feet on this mat before entering will prevent the disease from coming into the country. Ok, so we have to wipe our feet on a mat. So what? Well this “mat” is not exactly a mat. Its mostly a bunch of rags that are sopping wet with mud and when you stand on the “mat” they squish under your feet and the mud seeps out. But what can I say… This is Africa!
Soon, we had arrived at the campsite. We all set up our tents first and then had a bit of down time to relax before our evening boat cruise. We happened to be at a campsite that actually had a pool, so we decided to take a dip after the hot, sticky ride there.
After changing out of our bathing suits we headed to the Boat Cruise on the Chobe River! It was stunning to see all the animals out in the wild and how close we actually got on the boat. We saw elephants, hippos, crocodiles, water buffalo, and more! The boat cruise ended with a beautiful sunset that was reflected on the river.
Elephants in the Chobe River
Me with the Elephants
Water Buffalo lounging in the mud
Sunset on the Chobe River
We arrived back to the campsite after the boat cruise to a delicious meal of chicken, steak, vegetables, garlic bread, and more. After relishing in our feast we all sat around and relaxed for a while. That is, until the thunder started. A storm was brewing and our tents were all out in the open. Since we had that small covered area at our campsite, we decided it would be in our best interest to squeeze all the tents underneath for extra protection from the rain.
And just as we did so the rain started to come down in buckets. One tent was not so lucky as the rest, but we made it all work out in the end and managed to stay relatively dry the whole night. Avoiding the mud, however, was not as successful. In order to use the bathroom just up the path, there was no avoiding the muddy slop that the rain left behind. Oh well, a little mud never hurt anyone! Stick around for tomorrow’s post for more mud, animals, and Botswana!