Wednesday, 8 July 2009

Botswana Self Drive Holiday. Day Five. Xakanaxa Campsite to North Bridge (Khwai) Campsite.

The motor boat ride ensured an early start today as it was booked for 07.00. At this time in the morning, with the sun just coming up It was very cold out on the water. I got a very good view of all three lodges as we passed! The reed fence next to Camp Okuti, divides the Lodge from the Xakanaxa Boat Station and Campsite. This is the next lodge in the line of three, Camp Moremi, latest price $360 pppn. The Delta was so quiet, once our guide turned off the engines, it was a good view from the top deck of the boat. We did come across the most enormous crocodile in the Xakanaxa Lagoon. We heard one Fish Eagle Cry, but couldn’t see it.
We had a long way drive today, from Xakanaxa to North Gate for 2 nights, so as soon as we got back from the boat ride we set off. The German couple had told us that the drive through Paradise Pools was lovely, so we took the fork in the road towards Paradise Pools.
As soon as we drove out of the camp, our way was blocked by a large heard of Elephants. Three of whom were laid in the road, dusting themselves. We turned of the engine and just waited for them to finish, they took there time! We passed the Xakanaxa airstrip next, a plane had just landed, and had disturbed a troop of Baboons, they were running all over the airfield. It was a good greeting for the guests going to the Lodges.
The drive through Qua Ledibe was very picturesque, the road wandered through old, established Mopane Woodlands, we saw herds and herds of Elephants. A lot of trees had been felled by the Elephants and blocked the road, we had to create our own rout to get round the trees, the road did not look as if it was in use, the track was very overgrown, and since we set off we had not seen another human, we wondered if the Germans had duped us!?!
As we got further, the road got worse. I checked the Map and GPS, so knew our position. But with the flood levels being so high we came to a part where the water was getting deeper, we had forded water several times up to this point, but now it looked very deep. I think if we had been in a group we would have risked it, but as we were alone the thought of getting stuck for an unknown length of time caused us to turn back.
Is this the road?

We arrived again at the Airstrip. Then took the ‘main’ road to North Gate. Even this road was in a bad condition, with many deep, muddy pools and one major river crossing.
It was quite late by the time we arrived at North Bridge, and the campsite. We just had time to cook and set up camp before it got dark.