- Delta exploration
- mole rat
- road trip, back country namibia
- truck build 1
- 2 places
- in another camp
- bad pennies
- semi official
- the rain is coming, maybe
- land cruiser prado
- the ride in
- old, green
- salon change, plus intestines
- so 3
- so 2
- update 2
- stickers and stuff
- the river 3
- the river 2
- situation 2
- situation 1
- into Botswana
- gnu 3
- the river
- shongololo 3
- the sky 2
- tractionator GPS, from motoz
- gnu 2
- gnu 1
- the sky
- swakopmund flora
- swakopmund fauna
- epic find!
- before Windhoek
- the hunt
- the weavers
- Sandhof Farm, and Crinum paludosum
- filler 2
- filler post
- shongololo, again
- in trees
- on r/t_d, sunday is gunday
- on r/irl, it’s wednesday
- to deadvlei
- on the farm
- Namibia, orange river to helmeringhausen
- just a few movies
- western Cape
- Ronnies Sex Shop
- got a new battery for my watch
- see my ring?
- time, I guess, to get this started again
- so 2
- and so…
- jaipur 2
- jaipur 1
- varanasi wrap up
- another bookmark
- buying posting time, behind because
- back to bangalore
- gcvg 5, varanasi
- gcvg 4, varanasi
- gcvg 3, bangalore to varanasi, barely
- gcvg 2, bangalore
- gcvg 1, bangalore
- hawks over bangalore 2
- @ sunday morning read
- Deer Park
- how to end an argument in India
- V 8
- V 7, clips, a
- V 6
- V 5
These are really bad photos, but I was chasing this animal around a large ‘garden’ in Gobabis, eastern Namibia, at night with no flash, just light from the house. And he moved fast.
But it’s the story of having seen it at all. I was very lucky. The people I was staying with, who live here, have never seen one. They live exclusively underground, so no idea what this fellow was doing above.
One of my email circles is a group of 3, and the subject of the mole rat has come up a bunch of times, really. One of us is a zoologist, and I’m keen on anything interesting, and the third is only very mildly interested in flora/fauna, and in particular he hates when the mole rat comes up, because he thinks they’re gross.
As it turns out, my encounter was with a Damaraland mole rat.
Damaraland mole-rats live in networks of tunnels, which they dig with their front teeth. The tunnels are 65 to 75 mm (2.6 to 3.0 in) in diameter, and may stretch for up to 1 km (0.62 mi) below the ground. They have no connection to the surface, although their presence can be inferred from dome-shaped molehills of excavated earth pushed up to the surface. As a result, the tunnels develop their own microclimate containing warm, moist air, with low oxygen levels.
For more Damaraland mole rat
Had to do this
You have to have a capable truck here if you’re going to spend any time in the Delta. Most people catch rides with safari vehicles and stick to Moremi Park, but if you’re going to explore there’s quite a bit of preparation involved.
You start here:
Click on that Japanese website and you’ll see all kinds of cars going for a song. In fact nearly all the taxis in Maun are from this website, Honda Fits, from about $500. Japan offloads these non-conforming used vehicles to countries that are right hand drive and have no environmental restrictions on older imports. Not a big world market, hence the rock bottom prices.
So you bring one in, pay 30% duty and away you go. The drawbacks:
If you’re going to serious modify a truck, there’s only one vehicle to get: a Toyota. At the top there are the Land Cruisers, then the Fortuna, then the Surf.
Then you take it to Kavango Engineering.
It’s a big 3 row, 7 seater beast, and is being gutted inside now. Part 2 of the build involves building a 185 liter fuel tank, 100 liter water tank, all kinds of electronic stuff, roof rack, shower installation (arrived from the US 2 weeks ago). The dual battery and 60 liter fridge are installed already
If you’re curious what sort of (professional photographer) person does this, here’s the URL on the side of the truck: JENS
The living room, unglazed, so it’s hot inside when its hot outside. Huge gecko’s looking like the size of small crocodiles, stick to my south and north open walls all night
OK, but suboptimal wifi, and fully western bathrooms and kitchen. There’s no generator, as many places have, and power outages are frequent during the lightning storms, sometimes lasting a day.
I share a housekeeper with my neighbour who does everything except cook. Housekeepers are not an optional thing, if you can afford the small amount. It’s employment.
There aren’t a lot of full westernized places available for rent riverside in Maun. It took me 6 months. And I could be leaving this summer…
It’s simple, and the town is like the dusty, donkey-ridden Wild West, sandwiched here between the Kalahari and the Okavango Delta, a strip along the only river in the central country, it’s very special.
The population is almost entirely San tribe, or Bushman, that lived here on the Kalahari forever and are one of the oldest indigenous populations in the world. They’re the reason this country is so peaceful compared to some of Botswana’s more rowdy neighbours. That and a brilliant and revered first President after independence, who wrote the rules. To read a bit about him, here’s the wiki Seretse Khama.
And an occasional home away:
About 90 minutes into the Delta, a friend owns this camp. Negotiating the licence to build the camp took 3 years and is obviously tightly regulated. In exchange for some creative guidance I did on it during construction, I can stay for free, yay. Normally it’s $1000US per person per night, helicopter in. Prices per night in the Delta go to $5000 per night.
I drive there, now that my truck is finished (more on that later), an always incredible experience, another blog.
An hour after sunset the lions roar.
Wow, doing this blog reminds me of how dry it was before the rinds came back.
More in-depth Delta reports coming up.
Our paths have crossed 3 times in the world now
She’s guiding a titled octogenarian Brit around Southern Africa for 10 weeks in this beast
Going out to a brake shop, they got pulled over behind me. No greater pleasure than pulling over and watching your good friends behind busted but not fatally
Thanks for stopping, S.