Thursday, 9 July 2009

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

As I said we were booked for 2 nights at North Gate (Khwai) Campsite. But we found that this was our least favourite campsite, It was dirty, I think this was due to the lack of a designated ‘campfire’ space, so fires had been lit all over the pitches, resulting in black sand. This campsite is also very close to the Khwai Village, we hardly had any sleep due to the village dogs barking all night long and very loud singing, but it was Sunday, maybe it was a long church service?
The other issue was the villagers using the ablution blocks- I don’t blame them, if I lived in a hut with no running water I would use them as well! But it means there is no hot water left.
A Hyena had woken me at about 04.00, I smelt it again. It was right against the back left hand wheel, and it Whooped for ages, deafening us and making any more sleep impossible. The nights in Moremi were very cold, I was glad of my winter PJs and wolly socks. If I go again in June, I will take at hat to sleep in as well!
So we decided to explore the area then head off back down to Xakanaxa.
We set off on the road that runs beside the river Khwai and around the floodplains. Unfortunatly due to the height of the flood, most of the roads were under water and we could not get very far. The other small roads were mud filled tracks, thease were the worst roads we drove on in the Game Reserve.As we drove to Xakanaxa we pulled of the main road to an area signposted ‘Hippo Pool’ and sat there for a few hours watching Hippos and bird life. It was an idyllic spot.

We set up camp again in Xakanaxa, this time at 17.30 the warden did come up to us to ask why were were there! He told us that we had camped in a spot reseved for 'Cars that break down'. I asked him if we should set off to North Gate?- it is against Park rules to drive in the dark. He shrugged and drove off!
We had not seen any Zebra, Buffalos or Wildebeest on our journeys, and that =no Cats! Each night we had heard the roaring of Lions, but the sound was getting further and further away. We think that the recent good rainfall had dispersed the game.
We just relaxed, enjoyed the sunset and the stars, we again had a close encounter with a large Bull Elephant, as he walked through the camp breaking branches. He passed within a few yards of our car, causing me leap to get into the drivers seat in fear!