Hello and welcome to my blog. This is a compilation of travel stories, photos and places that I have visited over the years (although once in a while I will include places that I WANT to visit!). I love to travel and am also a bit of a "foodie" so every now and then I will probably start talking about my favorite restaurants too. Enjoy!

Sunrise at Kruger National Park, South Africa

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Okavango Delta Part I: Getting to Xakanaka Camp, Moremi Game Reserve

I am finally sitting on my balcony at the Xakanaka Camp (pronounced KA-KA-NA-KA) in the Moremi Game Reserve on the Okavango Delta in Botswana! (Whew, what a mouthful!)

We were originally supposed to spend three nights here but during our inbound flight on Air Botswana from Johannesburg to Maun, we were re-routed to Gabarone due to “technical difficulties”. We landed and were essentially stranded at the airport for 3 ½ hours without much concern from the airline. They made us head through customs at Gabarone and pick up our luggage and told us to just wait at the airport until they called us for our next flight – no new boarding passes, no flight time or flight number, no assigned seats. Finally a woman came by with a “boarding card” that just had “MAUN” scribbled on it so we could pass through security to eventually board our flight. So, when in Africa and stranded in a random airport, you find the closest bar and have a drink!

By the time we arrived in Maun almost 5 hours later, it was too late to fly to our camp because the runways are not lighted and we would not be able to land. And so our African journey began on a slightly sour note as we were introduced to a new kind of “Africa slow”… But, according to the locals who were nice enough to help us out and give us some guidance, the fact that we even made it to Maun that day and did not have to stay in Gabarone for the night was a small miracle. Note for the future: spend the extra money to hire a charter plane from Gabarone or Kasane into the game park and avoid Air Botswana altogether (South African Airways and British Airways both fly to these cities)!!! Upon arrival in Maun, we were put up for the night at the Maun Lodge, and while the staff was very courteous and friendly, the room and the food was average at best. But, after traveling for over 40 hours straight to arrive in Maun, I was just happy to have a bed where I could lie down and finally get a good night sleep!

In the morning (at the crack of dawn) we headed to the airport and boarded our little Cessna charter flight to Xakanaka’s private airstrip - literally a dirt runway in the middle of the bush, seriously in the middle of nowhere!

What an experience flying over Botswana in a little 4 seater plane – there is really nothing like it…

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