Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Life in Botswana: Safari, February 1991

Another excerpt from my parent's journal, Life in Botswana.

This year we traveled a lot, more than we've ever done before and certainly more than we will do in future. We may never have a chance to see Africa again and wanted to make the most of this opportunity.

Bob, Jess, and Nico came out for a month. The first two weeks we were together in Botswana – Gaborone and Chobe National Park, up North, and then to Victoria Falls and Hwange National Park in Zimbabwe.

In Chobe we went on an afternoon game drive in an open-top Land Cruiser and soon encountered elephant on both sides. After driving a bit further we stopped and watched hundreds of elephant pass on both sides of us. Some came straight at us and then, surprised, trumpeted, and passed to the side. There were many babies, one evidently newly born. One baby lost its mother and went shrieking back and forth until it found Mom. Nico was agog. We saw also, in the distance, 500 to 1000 buffalo, in clouds of dust.

Victoria Falls was beautiful as ever, even with less water. We stayed in a lodge in the Zambezi National Park, with the long front lawn going down to the Zambezi River. Sitting on the porch we watched warthogs drinking from the bird bath, a troop of baboon skittering across the lawn, and two small antelope dashing across.

We left the young ones at Hwange with the car, and took trains to Bulawayo and then to Gaborone, about a 500 mile trip that we had long wanted to do, and it was quite an experience. We had a sleeping compartment, but both trains stopped at every whistle stop both nights. In Bulawayo, with a six-hour layover, we walked to the Museum of Natural History, and thought it was wonderful – one of the best we've seen. Bob and Jess met up with Jess's brother, Rob, and they traveled around Zimbabwe and had good experiences before driving back to Gaborone.

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