"I'm going to speak my mind because I have nothing to lose."--S.I. Hayakawa

Tuesday, November 30, 2021

The 2021 Africa Journals, Ch. 7, In Which My Heart Finds a Forever Home Away from Home

 (Note:   I have no idea why the text is appearing in white strips.   Still working on a fix.)

Chapter Seven:

In Which My Heart Finds a Forever Home Away from Home


“Wilderness is not a luxury

but necessity of the human spirit.” – Edward Abbey


I had a preconceived notion of what the Okavango Delta looked like.   It must be a vast swamp, I imagined, cut with water channels three to four feet wide in which people poled or paddled those little dug out canoes that were about the size of an average Nile crocodile through tall reeds and grasses.   The Delta, however, has some of the largest crocs in the world.  

Not for me.   Not when hippos are notorious for charging and over-turning those little boats.


I intentionally cut off the heads of these men for their privacy.   They are paddling a mokoro on the Chobe River.

But wait.   I’m getting ahead of myself.   When last I left you, I was dismayed about the long lines of wildfires burning through northern Botswana.  I took a few photos as our pilot maneuvered around towering cumulus clouds and uprising smoke.

When we landed at the first airstrip to drop off two people, there were flames leaping from burning bushes along the edges of the strip.   Oh, man, I was sure glad this wasn’t our stop.  



         A half hour later, it was our stop and we climbed out of the small plane not to clear air but as least we couldn’t smell the smoke.       I looked around and saw a lilac-breasted roller on a nearby branch.   

That’s a good omen, I figured.   Maybe Murphy’s Law won’t catch up to me here.   We were met by a lovely lady name Razi and were soon bouncing our way to Great Plains Explorers camp, about an hour away.  Sand.   I noticed the trails were made over sand.   Softer than rocks but bouncy nonetheless.


         We weren’t in the Delta per se, but in the adjoining 320,000 acre private Selinda Reserve of northern Botswana.  The Selinda Spillway drains into the Delta.   The Delta itself drains rainwater from Angola and floods a large area.   None of the water reaches the ocean.   Rather, the water is evaporated or transpired by plants.   It is an oasis in a desert.

       I borrowed this map from the Internet.   Selinda Reserve is at the top of Botswana with a number 1 in it.   Our camp is not listed.

         We stopped for a few wildlife shots as we made our way to the camp.   We were in somewhat of a hurry because we didn’t want to miss the late, short, afternoon game drive.


Tsessebe, pronounced something like SEH-seh-bee.   The fastest antelope species in Africa, it can run at 60 kmh (37 mph).   To me they look like a cross between topi and red hartebeest.


Common waterbuck, male.  So-called because of its heavy dependence on water, males stand  a bit over four feet at the shoulder.

And then we reached camp.   Zowie!  I fell in love with my tent immediately.   I never wanted to leave here.



My tent number.


                        Note that the tents are covered by a larger fly.

                            At 5  AM wake-up call, I would find my tea and cookies on the side table.

        The decor is tailor-made to evoke images of the early African explorers, with packing trunks and luggage  outfitted for hanging and storing clothing and other items..   

In the very center of this photo is a tent flap that leads to the en suite bathroom.   It is outside, but under the tent fly.   It has a shower and a flush toilet surrounded by a privacy screen of bamboo.   The white thing is a towel rack and the floor is slats.


The "closet" designed inside a trunk.

From the firepit to the common siting area.   We dined in this area at night.

The dining tent for lunch.

The common sitting area where we gathered for our game drives, for snacks, tea or coffee.   At center right, Marg is kneeling in front of her computer.   At her right is the crate where all the devices could be charged.

An almost empty charging trunk.   I think that's my iPad and black battery charger in there.   Sometimes it's impossible to find a an empty receptacle.

The common loo.

Inside the common loo.

Just before four o'clock, we gathered in the common sitting area for snacks and fruit juice.   Two of the people we met at Pangolin photo safari lodge were here and would be our game drive companions for a few drives until they left.

"How are you doing?" I asked the woman.   She showed me her wet tee shirt and replied, "Learning how to cope with the hot weather."   I looked at the little thermometer attached to my camera bag:   95 degrees Fahrenheit!!!

With that introduction, we were off to see what we could find in the Selinda Reserve.   After driving through the riverine forest for a few minutes, we pulled alongside a beautiful waterway.    This is not what I expected at all!!

                                            Beautiful, beautiful Selinda.

This was not the first surprise Selinda had in store for me.


  1. Well, the text within the white strips suddenly ceased when you said I never wanted to leave here !! What a small gaggle of devices being plugged into power outlets in photo 19 and then sometimes you have a struggle to find an open plug-in outlet. Are you the only one (what about Marg) who had a computer snap/crackle/pop ?? We look forward to upcoming surprises of Selinda. Patti and Cap