Let’s Safari

Let's Safari
Let’s Safari

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.

The view at the backpackers in Maun
Afternoon at the backpackers in Maun

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.

Heading out day 1
Heading out day 1

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.

Probably one of my favorite pics from the trip.
Probably one of my favorite pics from the trip.

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.

Thanks for the great photo opp Lets
Thanks for the great photo opp Lets

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.

Elephants on a lunch break
A view of elephants on our lunch break
Water Buffalo are the animal of my district, Leribe, in Lesotho
Water Buffalo (nare in sesotho) are the animal of my district, Leribe, in Lesotho
Hey there buddy
Hey there buddy
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Linare!
A kubu! My dog is named Kubu after the majestic hippo.
A kubu! My dog is named Kubu after the majestic hippo.
Likubu in the background
Likubu in the background

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Wildebeest
Wildebeest

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Baboons monkeying around

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Elephants on the bottle, elephants in the background
Elephants on the bottle, elephants in the background
Creepy vultures near the water buffalo carcess
Creepy vultures near the water buffalo carcass
Safari Day 2
Safari Day 2
Water Buck
Water Buck

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We saw a leopard! He just ran across the road as we were driving out on the last day.
We saw a leopard! He just ran across the road as we were driving out on the last day.

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Now that you've scrolled through all my pics let me tell you about Freida: On our free day in Maun we walked into town. It was a looong walk. About halfway into it a dog appeared and started walking with us. She was named Freida. She followed us all the way into town. When we went into a store Freida would be there when we came out. When we lunched Freida hung out under the table. We had a wonderful time with Freida but our ties were quickly severed when we hopped into a taxi. Freida was last seen through a car window wandering around town. Here's hoping you made it home girlie!
Now that you’ve scrolled through all my pics let me tell you about Freida:
On our free day in Maun we walked into town. It was a looong walk. About halfway into it a dog appeared and started walking with us. She was named Freida. She followed us all the way into town. When we went into a store Freida would be there when we came out. When we lunched Freida hung out under the table. We had a wonderful time with Freida but our ties were quickly severed when we hopped into a taxi. Freida was last seen through a car window wandering around town. Here’s hoping you made it home girlie!
Sunset in Botswana
Sunset in Botswana

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.

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5 Comments

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  1. Dear Catie – Recd the post of your Safari trip – it all sounded very exciting. So happy for you that you are getting to travel as you had hoped. So far, I am having trouble loading all the pictures, so will have Carol help me with that when she comes over. I haven’t seen all the pictures, but did get your travel reports. Anyway, I do enjoy Your blogs and appreciate your sending them. Will write more later and tell you about the girl’s visit. Love Grandma

  2. Cheri Corneloup July 26, 2015 — 6:19 am

    Catie,
    It is amazing, the experiences that you are having! Enjoy & be safe!
    Love you,
    Cheri

  3. Dear Catie – Carol came over and she pulled up all the pictures for me – they are wonderful, and how lucky you are to be able to experience all that. You have earned it all, by volunteering for the Peace Corps in the first place. The description of your journey to Botswana, and finally the Safari, was so interesting and well written – I really enjoyed reading it you are a good writer – very descriptive. We had a nice week-end when your Mom was here, along with Diane – we kept very busy. I couldn’t hear very well during the phone, but know your Mom was very pleased that we made contact with you. Suppose you are back in school by now – to your normal!

  4. Dear Catie – The internet and myself do not get along very well – I had written a long reply to you and by touching the wrong key – somehow, I lost the message before I could finish it and could not find a draft. ANYWAY, Carol did pull up the Safari pictures and they were wonderful, as well as your descriptive writing. I am so glad that you are enjoying your experiences, there. It was difficult for me to hear you during the phone call, but glad that we made contact with you – know your Mom was pleased. We had a nice week-end when your Mom and Diane were here – kept very busy. Suppose by now, you are back to teaching, vacation behind you. Lots of love, Grandma Catherine

  5. Hi Catie, I finally figured out how to look at your blog. What fun. I love this last one with all those pictures. Kind of scary. I like seeing pics of you and the others. You all look well, and seem like you are having good times. Looks like you are having fun with the simple things. Be well, you are my idol !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Sheila G.

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