Becker’s African Diary #20: Botswana

Maun, Okavango Delta, Botswana, 03.08.2010

Jesus, I have learned more about birds species, flower types and breeding habits of mammals in the last days than I ever thought I wanted to know. There is no way travelling to Botswana and NOT turning into a hobby ornithologist or, even worse, one of those Australian outback types, that are far more comfortable talking to the engine of their 4X4 then to another human being. Urban settlements are dusty stretches of tarmac with a petrol station and a shack selling fatty chicken pieces, and everyone seems to be on the way from one remote bush camp to another. Exactly the world I was made for. Anyhow, I found a way to keep myself entertained: Look out for the rough, young, testosterone loaded Botswane motorboat owner, and ask him to do a little Okavango race…Hilariously funny. I assume after today some local species here will have serious breeding issues because of me and my racing mate, and I feel terribly sorry for that…

On my way down here I stopped over in a rotten, dodgy “guesthouse” in another one of those dustbowls called Shakane in Northern Botswana, only to find out that it was the local brothel that was taking care of truck drivers from Angola, Congo, Zimbabwe on their way down, usually to the Cape. The lovely receptionist must have been really impressed by my bike – or was it the beard? – since she handed me 12 condoms on check in (1 person, 1 night..?) Anyhow, it was a lively night, and a worthwhile sociological experience. Details? Come over for a beer at the Circus in 2 weeks…

Did I say 2 weeks? My god. There is sooo much to see. Actually, the only thing I do NOT wanna see any longer are Germans (respectively Italian, French…) in there 50´s, dressed in the latest survival gear, say Nanga Parbat base camp 2009, boarding an air conditioned luxury bus that drives them through a fenced nature reserve…Ooo, and did I mention your occasional white racist, mindset early 20th century? Yep, the bush conservatives…

Off direction Namibia tomorrow, Windhoek…or, maybe up north, direction Angola? Paul, get your ass and your 800 GS down here, and we do the Angola option.

Song of the day: You can leave your hat on, Joe Cocker, for Daniele…

Video #1: The Okavango Delta Slow…



Video #2: The Okavango Delta Fast…