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    • Day 32

      Day 30 🇧🇼 Pt. 2

      September 15 in Botswana ⋅ ☀️ 31 °C

      Am Nachmittag gehen wir noch einmal auf die Bootstour. Genauso wie die Gamedrives sind auch diese nicht wirklich repetitiv. Heute sehen wir wie Büffel, die nur 2 Mal im Jahr auf die Insel schwimmen, genau das tun. Während Krokodile gerade an einem ihrer Kameraden nagen... Auch können wir wieder formidable Bilder schiessen...Read more

      Traveler  So stellt me sich Afrika vor...

      Traveler  Super schön

      Traveler  Ups,die si de nach dranne...

      4 more comments
    • Day 32

      Day 30 🇧🇼

      September 15 in Botswana ⋅ ☀️ 23 °C

      Die Lodge hat für uns ein komplettes Programm zusammen gestellt. Erst Gamedrive früh am morgen um 6 Uhr. Es tönt monton immer wieder auf Safari zu gehen, aber das ist es nicht. Man sieht vielleicht zwar sogar die gleichen Tiere aber immer in anderen Konstellationen... Heute entdecken wir wieder einmal einen Löwen und eine Löwin. Auch die üblichen Pflanzenfresser spielen bei der Partie mit. Elefanten, Giraffen, Impalas und auch Kudus.

      Am Nachmittag marschieren wir einwenig durch die Kleinstadt Kasane. Zwar hat Botswana selbst nur 2 Millionen Einwohner aber auch für das ist Kasane noch immer sehr spärlich besiedelt. Was auffällt ist, die knapp 10000 Personen hier sind um einiges weniger aufdringlich wie das bisher gekannte... Nur im Laden, als wir Getränke kaufen und fragen ob man mit USD bezahlen kann, und irgendwelche zufälligen Zahlen in den Taschenrechner eingegeben werden und ein absurd hoher Preis in USD verlangt wird, verdächtigen wir betrügerische Absichten. Wir finden aber heraus, dass die Kassiererin einfach keine Ahnung hatte, wie man den Kurs berechnet und versuchte mit der ihr mitgeteilten 8 als Wechselkurs einen normalen Betrag zustande zu kriegen... Die Mitteilung wurde von ihrer Seite einfach missverstanden, denn es wären 0.08 und das vom USD zum Pula nicht umgekehrt, da wären es 11.21. Mathe scheint wahrhaftig nicht ihre Stärke, denn später an einem Stand muss Dömu 240-90 vorrechnen um korrektes Rückgeld zu bekommen...
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      Traveler  Das Problem mitem Rächne isch bekannt und Umrächne isch de nomau schwiriger .....

      Traveler  Tolls Biud....

      Traveler  Bis am Eni vo der Reis eis Erläbnis nach em Andere.....Unvergässlech♥️

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    • Day 3

      Day 3. Vic Falls, Botswana & our first g

      September 29, 2019 in Botswana ⋅ ⛅ 32 °C

      What a day! The Falls were great and a pride of lions at the end of the day was the icing on the cake!

      We started the day soon after 5.30 as the camp gradually awoke in the unfamiliar setting. Tents came down before breakfast and bags were packed. Munya produced a great meal which was most welcome.

      After breakfast we left the Shearwater Explorers Village camp and drove the short distance to the Falls car park where we met our guide, Innocence. He talked about the falls in front of a large diagram and then took us, walking on the back path, to the Victoria Falls bridge. From there we walked to Danger Point where we looked down at the Boiling Pot and the Zambian side - which had no water going over it.

      Gradually we made our way west to the waters on the Zimbabwean side where there was water going over the Main Falls and the Devil’s Cataract. We finished our visit with a look at David Livingstone’s statue.

      From the Falls, we left the township and headed west, reaching the Botswana border over an hour later. Formalities there finished with a walk through a ‘foot and mouth’ prevention chemical mixture, designed to protect Botswana’s cattle industry.

      From the border we drove the 20 minutes to Kasane where we had an hour in town while our crew shopped for fresh food. Once completed, we moved quickly to the nearby Thebe River Lodge campground, our home for the next 3 days. We put up our tents while Munya, aided by Bheki and Brian, prepared the ingredients for our DIY sandwich lunch.

      By mid-afternoon we were ready for our first game drive of our tour and were soon heading for the Sedudu Gate of the Chobe National Park in a Jeep and larger viewing truck. The landscape was incredibly dry with the only greenery on the floodplains and river bank of the Chobe River.

      However, in the 3 hours we were there, we saw some amazing game - including dozens of elephants , impala, kudu, giraffe, hippo, crocodile, Maribor stork, lilac crested rollers and vultures. The best was saved to last when were lucky enough to see a pride of 5 lions, dominated by a magnificent yellow-maned male. Fantastic!

      There was mad rush afterwards to exit the park at the mandatory 6.00 pm but we just made it. Back at camp, exhausted but happy, we unwound before dinner and then showered before bed.

      It had been a special day for all involved
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      Traveler  An amazing day!


      Traveler  Wish we were there.


      Traveler  Wow ! What an amazing trip you are all having ! Thanks for the update Peter and great photos .


      Rani Ritchie  You were all so so lucky to see lions, we missed them last year. Say hi to Munya for me, can’t believe he is on your trip again!!!

    • Day 4

      Day 4. Kasane: game-viewing from jeep& b

      September 30, 2019 in Botswana ⋅ ⛅ 34 °C

      It was an early start this morning as we wanted to be at the Sedudu Gate for the 6.00am opening. A warm drink and a rusk started our day before we walked to Reception in the red-tinged dawn to board our park vehicles.

      It was a cold ride but we there on time and we warmed up as the sun rose. None of the elephants or giraffe of yesterday but we did see hippo and their babies grazing on the land adjacent to the Chobe River. Again we were fortunate to see two different lion prides (something not seen by last year’s Oxley students). Yesterday’s concern for a large sick elephant we found lying on the ground proved to be this morning’s meal for a lion pride.

      In this morning’s drive we saw some different species, including fish eagles, drongos, vultures, alarmed baboon troop and some warthogs. There were several mother and baby combinations of grazing hippos. After a stop in a ‘Stretch Point’ we slowly headed back to the Sedudu Park Gate, seeing groups of male and then female kudus on the way.

      Back at Thebie River Camp by 9.30 we enjoyed a late breakfast prepared by Munya. After that we had a lazy morning as the temperatures climbed toto the mid-30s. Some washed clothes, some played football, and all swam and adjourned to the restaurant for a cool drink. Lunch followed at 1.00 with more R&R until we left for our river cruise mid-afternoon.

      Our pontoon craft, after checking in to the park boat office, slowly explored the banks of the Chobe River. We got close to hippos, crocodiles, buffalo, lechwe, waterbuck, maribou storks and a pair of solitary elephants (where had all of yesterday afternoon’s gone?). As the sun dropped we completed our circumnavigation of Sedudu Island and followed the Namibian bank waiting for the sunset to develop. And it was worth the effort!

      We were picked up by Bheki and Brian and returned to camp to find Tempe Adams of Elephants without Borders visiting us. Tempe joined us for dinner before leaving to take up her shift with a new arrival in the baby elephant orphanage.

      It had been a hot day (37C) but a good one. The country had celebrated their 52nd Botswana Independence Day and we had seen a beautiful part of Africa.
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      Kate Psarakis  Wow! Amazing. How wonderful for the kids.


      Traveler  Thankyou for the post. Love the pics!


      Traveler  Wonderful to follow! Thank you. Looks fantastic!


      Traveler  Just an amazing experience!

    • Day 5

      Day 5. Elephants without Borders

      October 1, 2019 in Botswana ⋅ ⛅ 29 °C

      It was luxury to lie in bed this morning and watch the sky colours change. The camp slowly came to life as everyone caught up on the sleep they had missed since leaving Australia. Breakfast was at 8.00 on a mild morning but the temperature is due to rise.

      After breakfast we did a bit of laundry before leaving the campground. We bought water for the day before moving to the nearby Elephants without Borders compound at Kasangula.

      We were welcomed by Old Oxleyan, Tempe Adams, and later met her bosses Kelly Landon and Mike Chase. Immediately we were split into groups with one group observing a 6 week-old elephant orphan being fed while the students met the 3 older orphans, Tuli, Panda and Morelo.

      Tempe gave us a PowerPoint talk about the activities in which EWB is involved and also her own role in the small but important NGO. There was so much more diverse activity than anyone realised! Which made it all the more significant when Tempe was presented with $2141 raised by the Year 9s to be spent as EWB saw fit. Yanni made a confident presentation speech and the EWB staff were amazed at the efforts involved.

      Afterwards, the two groups roles were reversed: followed by lunch sitting on the lawn.

      EWB has been given a large riverside land grant to reforest and establish a Chobe Culture and Wildlife Centre. There are plans for a Culture centre, a board walk, teaching areas, reforestation, threatened species care (the Chobe bushbuck) and educational programmes. A visitor last week was Prince Harry who is a close friend of Dr Mike Chase of EWB. We drove to the site and watered the 250 trees planted by local school children at the time of Harry’s visit. Harry had planted a small baobab and we followed suit in our own area, planting 6 trees representing the six Oxley houses. Afterwards we celebrated this little part of ‘Oxley in Botswana ‘ with a photo at Harry’s baobab.

      We left the property late afternoon, bought water in the supermarket, and returned Thebe River Camp. Dinner followed, where we were joined again by Tempe, before she headed off again to mind a baby elephant.

      It had been a different - but most rewarding - day, enjoyed and absorbed by all.
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      Kate Psarakis  What a wonderful experience. So great that the kids were getting their hands dirty and joining in.


      Traveler  Well done Yanni for his speech. It’s so fantastic to know What an amazing experience they’re having and to be able to read about it and see the photos 😀


      Traveler  👏🏻👍🏻💐

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    • Day 12

      Day 12 (Day 1 Sedie JSS)

      October 8, 2019 in Botswana ⋅ ☀️ 35 °C

      We were determined to be on time for our first school day so the wake up call was 5.30, with breakfast at 6.00. By 7.00 our transport had arrived and dressed in our Oxley sports uniform we climbed aboard our trucks for the 45 minute drive to Sedie School. To avoid the morning rush hour traffic we took a couple of ‘long cuts’ on unpaved roads but we were on time.

      Once at Sedie Junior Secondary School we were ushered into a nearby staff room where we received a formal welcome to Sedie, to Mathiba Primary School and to Maun. In attendance were the Heads of both schools, a representative of the Ministry of Education, a parent and several staff. When the guests departed, our ‘buddies’ entered the room and we individually made their acquaintance.

      After that we went on a tour of the school, visiting the computer room, the library, kitchens, Home Economics and Art rooms.

      After a morning break students went with their buddies to class while the staff talked to the Head of Sedie, Mrs Senatla Mokobele.

      At midday, we somewhat haphazardly used transport to get to the Nhabe Museum in town where we were shown around by the curator. Afterwards we had lunch sitting in the shade in the museum grounds.

      From the museum we were transferred to the Maun kgotla where we were welcomed to Maun by 3 important chiefs. The conversation broadened as some good questions were asked and the chiefs warmed to the occasion. It became a most interesting session.

      We were picked up from the kgotla and taken into town to buy water (plus). It had been a long day by the time we got into camp.

      However, everyone perked up as they began to listen to our esteemed visitor, the world-renowned rhino conservationist, Map Ives. We sat out in the open in front of the restaurant, in the cool of the evening and found his talk fascinating. Oxley asked plenty of questions and got some interesting responses.

      Map left us before dinner which we ate in the restaurant. A de-brief of the day followed ( a lot of good things occurred: other aspects need to be re-assessed).

      We had no problem directing all to their tents at 9.30.
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      Traveler  Really appreciating these updates Peter as you already have a busy time so taking time to do this is fabulous. Thankyou

    • Day 14

      Day 14. (Day 2 Mathiba)

      October 10, 2019 in Botswana ⋅ ☁️ 35 °C

      We are now used to the routine of getting ready for school & breakfasting prior to departure from Sitatunga. This morning - a cloudy, cooler day to start with - we set off before 7.15 and drove through Maun centre, passed the airport, to Mathiba Memorial Primary School. The school is at the end of the airport runway and we had frequent small aircraft, delta lodge bound, take off over us in the course of the morning.

      The 1000+ students started lining up for Assembly as we arrived and once we were in position in front of them we were treated to a whole-assembly dance and song, which was a fabulous African greeting. They were remarkably rhythmic and intensely focused, the little ones keenly determined to do their best.

      At the end of Assembly and introductions from their Executives and Stephen Marnoch, they started singing “When the Saints go marching in” and year groups peeled off and went to their classrooms .

      The remaining Standard IIs were divided into small groups, which found a shady spot, and Oxley began its teaching morning.

      The pairs of Oxley students spent the next 2 hours teaching, swapping groups every 40 minutes or so for the variety. It was great fun and everybody enjoyed the experience.

      After break, we walked out of the ‘Oxley Gates’ the 400 metres to the local clinic. After a bit of a wait, while the waiting room emptied, we entered the HIV Aids section where we listened to a talk by a male nurse and an administrator. We were given an overview as to how the clinic dealt with their patients.

      Returning to Mathiba, we sat in the shade of an admin building corridor and ate our packed lunch.

      After lunch, we were invited by the Standard VIs to a ‘cultural welcome’. It was a most interesting hour or so. Mathiba have really worked hard to make our visit memorable and their organisation has been impressive. It is obvious they value their link with Oxley.

      Staff spoke, children acted in traditional costume, singing and ululating occurred, a gift was given and games played (a local traditional board game) and skipping took place. It also gave Oxley the opportunity to handover the books and games each student had brought. It was a great ending to our visits to Mathiba this trip and we were sad to say farewell to the friends we had made.

      While we waited for our transport to arrive, the wind gusted, a storm blew up and there was lightning and thunder. A few raindrops fell - Oxley’s first in their visits to Botswana - but nothing really came of it. We hope that it is the start of a much needed rainy season.

      The usual ‘Choppies’ supermarket stop occurred on the way home to camp and we were back by 5.00. Everyone relaxed until our guest speakers arrived at 6.00. We had a fascinating evening with Drs Leanne van der Weyde and Jess Isden sharing their experience in cheetah (Leanne) and lion (Jess) conservation and mitigation. This was the third time the two had shared their experiences with Oxley groups and it is really appreciated.

      Jess and Leanne joined us for dinner - as did Edward of the Sedie Science Department - and it was an interesting conversation.

      We broke up about 9.00 and slowly headed for bed, exhausted. It had been a busy, rewarding and overwhelming (by the enthusiasm of the Mathiba staff and students) sort of day.
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      Traveler  Fantastic to follow. What


      Traveler  Whoops! What an absolute wonderful experience for everyone. Thank you Peter


      Traveler  Another amazing day ! Thankyou Peter for the update and photos. Best wishes to all for the last few days of the trip.

      2 more comments
    • Day 15

      Day 15 Our last school day

      October 11, 2019 in Botswana ⋅ ☁️ 28 °C

      The Delta Rain vehicles were being used for many different activities this morning - ferrying us to Sedie as well as collecting tour groups from the delta - so to accommodate all that our transport left Sitatunga Camp at 7.00 am. We were at Sedie in time to join the morning assembly which lasted about 10 minutes.

      After that we, and our Sedie buddies, and a couple of teachers, climbed aboard a bus organised by the school and drove across town to visit the Delta Waters International School (a private school with about 800 primary and 170 secondary students, including some boarders).

      We were made extremely welcome at the school at an assembly which included speeches, some marimba music and some singing. The quality was extremely high. From the assembly we broke up into 4 groups who were exposed to different activities - traditional Setswana games, conservation club, science and basketball.

      There is much in common between Oxley and Delta Waters. Both were established by small groups of parents wanting a local alternative to sending their children away to boarding schools.. Both took on great financial risk at the beginning. Delta Waters has developed a little oasis in the harsh Botswanan Kalahari with green lawns, playing fields and a swimming pool.

      We arrived back at Sedie JSS by midday and found a shady spot for lunch. After that we met up with our buddies in the hall and sat in discussion groups to get to know each other better. A lively conversation hum soon started.

      By 1.30 our transport had arrived and we spent an hour in town, with most looking at the curio stalls for momentos of their visit. Back at Sitatunga Camp we had a lazy afternoon, swimming, playing volleyball or using the wifi. Dany Hancock, of Rides on the Wildside (tomorrow’s horse ride), came by to say hello.

      Refreshed, we were ready for the Farewell BBQ put on by Sedie JSS.. In 2 vehicles we returned to school where tables had been laid out in a quadrangle. We were joined by our buddies and their parents. Speeches were made and prayers said, and the meal followed. It was a good way to end our visit to the school. Many friendships had started and others renewed.

      Back at camp we had a short briefing to let everyone know what was happening on our final full day in Botswana. And then it was time for bed. Our visit to the schools had ended on a high note.
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      Kate Psarakis  Wonderful to visit another school, and for the Oxley students to spend so much time with their Buddies.


      Traveler  Hi Kate. All is fantastic!!


      Kate Psarakis  Hi Steve, Pete’s blog and photos have been wonderful updates for us. Looks like another incredible adventure! Enjoy the last few day. See you soon,


      Traveler  Thanks for the updates - great to get the detail.

    • Day 16

      Day 16. Horse-back game-viewing

      October 12, 2019 in Botswana ⋅ ⛅ 30 °C

      There was no urgency about the start of today. No wake-up calls, no hurry-ups. Half of the group had no deadline to meet. All wandered slowly up to breakfast at 7.00 in their own time.

      By 7.30 we had been joined by local resident, Dany Hancock, of Rides on the Wildside, who had split the students into 2 groups, one to ride in the morning and the other in the afternoon. Dany had organised our transport to the private game reserve where we were to ride. We were soon on the back of a truck and because the Thamalakane River is dry were able to take a short cut across the river bed to the horse stables.

      Once inside the reserve we divided again with one group grooming horses and the other riding. Led by a guide, with an assistant behind, we rode in single file gradually increasing in confidence as the ride progressed. Some groups walked, other more competent riders were able to be more challenged.

      In the course of the ride we were able to see close up several giraffes, eland, zebra, springbok, gemsbok, ostrich and monkeys. It was a great way to view the wildlife: very different to our previous experiences.

      The two groups then swapped over, both having a ride, a grooming session and a period of relaxation back in the camp at Sitatunga. The theory for those back in camp was to pre-pack and organise (R&R) before the start of the long haul tomorrow to return home.

      Charlotte, the Sitatunga cook, did us proud again for dinner - steak and boerewors. We had our final de-brief of the tour and then talked about tomorrow’s arrangements for our travel to the airport and onwards.

      It was a tired group who headed for bed - but everyone had had a great ride.
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    • Day 17

      Day 17. Homeward Bound

      October 13, 2019 in Botswana ⋅ ⛅ 33 °C

      We were in no rush this morning with breakfast at 8.00. Tents were cleared and bags stored in Mr Craig’s tent, ready for delivery at the airport by midday.

      After breakfast we eventually climbed on to our transport for our last ride into Maun and we were dropped off adjacent to the airport. Once everybody had arrived we climbed up to the first floor movie theatre for a showing of biographical tribute to the life of Tim Liversedge. Tim has had a huge impact on the Maun region, as a scientist, a travel industry entrepreneur, and a cinematographer (Roar: Lions of the Kalahari). For his work as a naturalist Tim was given an honorary doctorate by the Smithsonian Institute in Washington DC.

      Tim and June Liversedge were in attendance after the video and it was great to catch up with them (as we have done for the past 3 visits). We adjourned to the cafe around the corner and were joined by Senatla Mokobela, the Sedie principal.

      From there we collected our bags and checked in for our flight to Johannesburg. The small SALink jet took 1:20 to get to ORTambo in Johannesburg. After clearing Customs we headed for the familiar cafe to base ourselves for the duration of our transition.
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      Traveler  Travel safe - see you soon - how amazing this trip has been - thank you to all


      Traveler  Best wishes to all for a safe trip home . See you all soon !


      Traveler  The Dream Team

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    You might also know this place by the following names:

    Republic of Botswana, Botswana, Bɔtswana, ቦትስዋና, Botsuana, Botsƿana, بتسوانا, Botsvana, Батсвана, Ботсвана, Bɔtisiwana, বোত্‍সওয়ানা, བོཙ་ཝ་ན།, Bocvana, Botswana nutome, Μποτσουάνα, Bocvano, بوتسوانا, Botswaana, Botsouana, An Bhotsuáin, બોત્સ્વાના, Baswana, בוטסוואנה, बोत्सवाना, Բոտսվանա, ボツワナ共和国, ბოტსვანა, បុតស្វាណា, ಬೋಟ್ಸ್‌ವಾನಾ, 보츠와나, بۆتسوانا, Botiswana, ບອັດສະວານາ, Mbotswana, Botsvāna, Botsoana, Боцвана, ബോട്സ്വാന, बोट्सवाना, ဘော့စ်ဝါနာ, Botwana, बोट्स्वाना, ବୋଟସ୍ବାନ୍, බොස්ට්වානා, Botuswaana, Bocuana, போட்ஸ்வானா, బోట్స్వానా, บอตสวานา, Potisiuana, بوتسۋانا, Bốt-xoa-na (Botswana), Zvanän, Orílẹ́ède Bọ̀tìsúwánà, 博茨瓦纳, i-Botswana

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