Being south of the equator means its winter here in Lesotho and that comes with a month break from school. Time off provides time for relaxing, visiting others in Lesotho, workshops, and, of course, vacations. So it was off to Botswana to escape the chill and explore.
Here’s a quick overview of the trip:
-4 hour sprinter (mini-bus) ride to Joburg
-7 hour bus ride to Gaborone
-10 hour bus ride to Maun
-3 day safari
-1 free day
-10 hour bus ride to Gaborone
-7 hour bus ride to Joburg
-4 hour sprinter ride to Fixsburg
There was A LOT of travel but it wasn’t too terrible. All the backpackers/hostels we stayed at were nice and provided a place for us to hang out and regroup before the next leg of our journey. My favorite was the place we stayed in Maun. It had lots of outdoor seating, a bar, a good restaurant, a campfire, a crocodile infested river, outdoor showers, and a great view.
Of course the highlight of the trip was the safari. We did a three day safari in the Moremi Game Reserve near the Delta. We were picked up 8am the first morning and drove to the reserve.
Even before hitting the reserve we saw elephants and other wildlife. On our first day we saw the most animals. Elephants, giraffes, zebras, impalas, birds, hippos, water buffalo, wildebeests, lions, and more.
We were in a big lifted safari truck with 9 seats in the back. It was just our group of 7 the whole time so we had plenty of room. Both sides of the truck were open to it was easy to spot animals and get good pictures. Our driver’s name was Lets and he was fantastic. He was funny in a scary deadpan way. We believed him when he told us we were having baboon for dinner the first night and were a little disappointed to find it was beef. He would stop the truck suddenly and stare off in the distance. Sometimes he had spotted an animal, sometimes he announced it was time for a pee break. He took shortcuts to cut off other trucks and pulled up right next to a lion eating a water buffalo carcass. He also went off road to get us close to a lion spotted on our last day. The quality of our safari was greatly improved by having him as our driver.
The setup of our campsite was fantastic. Everything was set up for us and meals were prepared and served for us. None of us were expecting to be so spoiled. I’m bummed I don’t have any pictures of the campsite to share. Just close your eyes and picture tents… and a campfire and a classy lantern lit table and a toilet that faced open brush. Also imagine elephants trumpeting, hyenas calling, lions roaring, and monkeys hopping around the trees because we heard all that from our fenced campsite. It was pretty amazing. I admit I unfortunately slept through a lot of the animal noises at night but I did spot a hyena butt running away as the guys shone a huge spotlight on it to scare it off.
This was my first safari and my bar was set high. Not only because of our luck with what we saw, but because the whole experience was fantastic.
I know what you’re thinking, “Catie, this is not enough picture spam, I want more!” No worries I have plenty more if you want to see them.