Day 1 | 2 December 2007
I woke up really early to fly Johannesburg and was really excited about my first visit to the Okavango Delta. To get up at 04h00 on a Sunday is unheard of for me. I was quite convinced that my colleague and I would be the only people on the 06h00 flight as I was sure that no one would willingly fly at the time.
Our only reason was due to the fact that we had to catch the connection to Maun from Johannesburg at 10h00.
The transfer arrived at 04h00, I am not normally home by 04h00 on a Sunday morning so I was very proud of myself for being up and looking remotely respectable at that time of the morning. The airport was chaos. I can’t believe how many people are awake at that time. We finally got to Johannesburg an hour late and only had an hour to check in for the Air Botswana flight to Maun. On arrival at the counter we where advised that they had given our tickets to standby passengers. I could not believe what I had to deal with at 09h00 on a Sunday morning after I already had been awake for what felt like 10 hours!
After much begging and pleading I managed to get our seats back and we ran through and made the plane in the nick of time. The flight to Maun is 2 hours and the plane is very small.
Never the less they served us a drink and we settled back for the 2nd flight of the day. On arrival in Maun where transferred to a very small plane which everyone was referring to as a caravan. To me it was anything but a caravan nevertheless - the prospect of 6 days in the Okavango Delta was far to motivating to question the abilities of the Australian pilot who looked about 18 years old. The plane only seated 7 people and flew no higher than 700 meters above the ground. The first stop on the itinerary was Stanley’s Camp on Chiefs Island in The Moremi Game Reserve.
The flight was only 10 minutes and we arrived in one piece. Stanley’s Camp is great and we got there just in time for lunch. It felt like it should have been dinner because we had been awake for so long.
They served wine with lunch (welcome treat) and the view from the table over the plains was spectacular. The tents were very comfortable and had everything you would need. The afternoon game drive was great and 10 minutes into it we witnessed two lionesses grab a baby impala and enjoy a feast in the bush. Herds of elephant walked by and giraffe were everywhere. It is quite amazing to witness nature like that.
The bird life was incredible as were the sundowners in the bush. Nothing like a gin and tonic and an African sunset to make one relax and forget about the hectic pace of life in the city!
Dinner that night was great. We sat with a very interesting French couple who only spoke French so we pretty much chatted to the other agents and the managers who sit with the guests every night. It was great to get into bed after what felt like a 50 hour day.
My first day in the Delta was fantastic!