So what does my environment look like?
Here’s my place. It’s a kraal, the small buildings are traditional rondavels. It’s on the Thamalakane river (currently dry) that flows through Maun from the Delta
The bedrooms (independent structures) have a/c. I have too many rooms, but overall it’s small and cozy
The living room, unglazed, so it’s hot inside when its hot outside.
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…
My view, the dry river bed. Hippos, crocs, birds of all types, when it’s full as it was when I arrived here
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.
But now, on the river, cow carcasses, from the seasonal drought
The google earth. I’m in the trees on the south bank
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.
My friend’s sister relaxing in front of one of the luxury tents
The camp is located here, in the trees centre left. Another seasonal drought photo, normally the area is flooded
Nice inside. A fully equipped bathroom (mostly stainless steel) behind
An hour after sunset the lions roar.
A few of these, plus a large ‘map room’ with reference books and a bar
Dining room view. Elephants here
Wow, doing this blog reminds me of how dry it was before the rinds came back.
Kitchen. The staff outnumber guests 2 to 1. Most of them have never worked in the Delta before and are spooked by the wildlife that surrounds the camp. They work in 2 week shifts.
More in-depth Delta reports coming up.