Safari Camps

Posted August 25th, 2010 by Deepa and filed in Travel
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PHOTOS: Okavango Delta

The highlight of our African adventure was undoubtedly the stay in the safari camps and the game drives at these camps.  We spent three days (and three nights) at the Pom Pom Camp at the Okavango Delta in Botswana. Seejo & I splurged for another three days at the Inyati Game Reserve at the Sabi Sands Reserve (part of Kruger National Park)  in South Africa at the tail end of the trip. In addition we also went for an early morning game drive at Chobe National Park.   Wildlife was abundant in all three places and we were lucky enough to get to see an amazing variety of species.  I found that there was a world of difference in observing an animal in its natural habitat as opposed to the zoo.  It was fascinating to see how each and every creature has adapted to its surroundings and utilizes them as best as it can to either get its food or avoid being food.

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A Leopard Hunt

Posted August 22nd, 2010 by Deepa and filed in Travel
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DSC_6302I was sitting snugly between my mother and Seejo while we were on our “night safari drive”.  It was pitch dark outside and I was lazily following the beam from the huge spotlight that Peter, our tracker, was  flashing from side to side.  There was a slightly chilly breeze but I was wrapped up well with the warm blankets that the folks at Pom Pom camp had provided.  The evening’s safari, thus far, had been rather disappointing.

The Okavango Delta covers about 16,000 sq km and in that area there are only about 20-25 camps with each one accommodating about 20 odd guests.  Each camp, therefore, has its own private concession area where they can take their guests for a safari tour withoutDSC_7529bumping into guests from other camps.  For the tourists, it translates into a very personal safari experience where you do not have other vehicles waiting bumper to bumper to observe the same group of animals.  But it also means that animals have a large area to move about freely.  In most cases, the sheer population of animals ensures that you will see many of them eventually but that evening they were proving to be particularly elusive.  Our guide, Shaku, had driven quite far away from the camp  that day so we had longer night drive than usual.   It was our last evening/night safari and I had hoped to see  some of the wild creatures that we hadn’t seen so far but other than the ever present impalas , some kudus (large antelopes with a camel like hump and white stripes) and a horde of monkeys,  we hadn’t come across anything else. Continue Reading »

A Mokoro Ride

Posted August 21st, 2010 by Deepa and filed in Travel
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The Delta

PHOTOS : BOTSWANA

The best way to really experience the Okavango Delta intimately is a mokoro ride. One of the reasons for opting for the  Pom Pom Camp in Botswana was its ability to provide both the land safari and the mokoro safari.   A mokoro is a type of a canoe that has been carved from a single tree trunk, although due to conservation efforts fiberglass is being increasingly used nowadays.  Generally, it can accommodate about two people and a poler who stands at the rear and steers the mokoro using a long pole.  We started at around 7:30 am, a little later than the usual safari, to give the hippos a chance to go into deeper waters in the daytime. The hippos are notorious for overturning the mokoros so it seemed like a good idea to avoid them.  The point of the mokoro safari, unlike the land safaris, was to steer clear of the bigger animals and take time to appreciate the smaller creatures, the birds and the plant life that the delta offers.

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