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2 travelers at this place
  • Day5

    Meno a Kweno

    July 10, 2017 in Botswana ⋅ ⛅ 18 °C

    We arrived at our camp Meno a Kwena at about 2pm. It is on a bend in the Botiti River. We were sitting out looking over the river when we first got here and a herd of 5 - 6 elephants came down to drink at the river. It was almost as if someone had said "cue the elephants the guests have arrived". Stefan thought they were all females but after a while it became obvious when one did a wee. Even from the other side of the river the appendage looked enormous - up to 56kg...which Stefan said is more than he weighs.Read more

  • Day4

    from Khama to Meno a Kwena

    July 9, 2017 in Botswana ⋅ ☀️ 17 °C

    Today we left Khama and travelled to Meno a Kwena camp. Stephan told us he had pumped up one tyre last night and we noticed it was looking flat again. He will get it looked at in Maun. The main highways are quite good - some pot holes but nothing worse than Victorian roads. We whizzed along at 130 - 140km/h - there does not appear to be anyone patrolling. The main thing that slowed our journey were the domesticated animals - goats, cows, donkeys, horses. They are used to the traffic and mostly don't move but there was the occasional beast that was laconically wandering across. Livestock are a prized possession here in Botswana. Most people own some and are always trying to buy more to add to their herd. Even people who live in the city have cattle/ livestock at their country place that someone cares for. For example, one of the Batswanan workers at our hotel has 2 cows that his grandparents care for. On his days off he often goes to stay with them and to care for his cows. I asked him what a cow was worth - 1,500 pula which is about $188 Australian. Cows and livestock are also an important part of the dowry system.
    There are many round houses with grass tops. Sometimes a yard would consist of a more solid square house made out of cement blocks and then a number of these round houses. In the more remote parts there is no electricity but in and near the towns there is often electricity and a satellite dish.
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  • Day4

    Kalahari Bushmen

    July 9, 2017 in Botswana ⋅ ⛅ 16 °C

    We were shown to our tents - they are very lovely and we have a verandah with a view of the river.

    We met again at 4pm and we went for a bush walk with the Kalahari bushmen. Kalahari bushmen no longer live in this area but these were brought from near the Namibian border for 3 months as a group to demonstrate to the tourists their way of living.

    The first thing we did was have introductions. The 2 men leading the group shook our hands and told us their names. They speak in clicks and it is a very gutteral language. They also had an interpreter. They were dressed traditionally but the 2 babies wore hoodies. There was then a casting of ? bones to predict what might happen on our walk...all appeared to be we set off. The zebra herd had come to drink at the river and we stopped to look at them. Zebras as a herd are very noisy and bark like dogs rather than sound like horses. They were also very spooky and would stampede away from the water if there was a perceived danger, then slowly return as a group. All the animals here are totally in the wild. There are no fences and this is part of their natural winter migration.

    We then walked further and they showed us a tree they use different parts of for medicine and eating. This was followed by a demonstration of how they make fire. Geoff was very impressed and picked up a few tips on the finer points of fire creation that he had missed out in Boy Scouts! Though I'm not sure where he is going to source dried up Zebra poo which appears to be an essential part of it.

    After the walk we had dinner and sat around the campfire which was very nice.
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  • Day3

    Day 2 continued

    July 8, 2017 in Botswana ⋅ 🌙 27 °C

    There does not appear to be any reinforced speed our Toyota Commuter mini bus whizzed along the road at 130kmh...sometimes 140kmh even! Consequently the South African/Botswanan landscape was on fast forward out the window.
    We stopped at the border at Palapye to do the compulsory border entry. This involved all getting out of the bus and then going into a building and lining up...there was a stamping of our passport...I think to leave South Africa...then back in the Commuter for a short 300m trip across no-mans-land to the Botswanan border control. Again all out and lined up for the stamp in the passport. There are large banners in English declaring as of 1 May everyone must pay $30 US to enter Botswana. However when Stephan asked them about this they didn't know anything about it. Maybe they only enforce it for loud obnoxious tourists...which sounds fair to me. We walked up to the servo to see about lunch while Stephan did some paperwork at border control. There wasn't much there so we all hung on for another hour and had lunch at a "Wimpy". Stephan didn't join us for lunch. He had to go and buy a Sim for his phone. His driving matches his personality - 100 miles per hour - not even time to eat.
    In Botswana everyone who turns 18 can be given land. Consequently there are many mud huts with straw roofs along the road
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  • Day7

    Makgadikgadi Pans National Park

    July 12, 2017 in Botswana ⋅ 🌙 30 °C

    After a hearty breakfast we went out with Sam on safari. We drove about 45 minutes to the ferry that crosses the Botiti River to the Makgadikgadi National Park. It was a fairly rudimentary ferry and would never pass any sort of safety standards in Australia - more like a floating raft consisting of drums tied together with an outboard.
    We cruised the Kalahari scrubland and the banks of the Botiti looking for animals. We saw elephant, steenbok, kudu, giraffe, wildebeest, hippopotamus, jackal, zebra, vultures and numerous other interesting birds.
    When we stopped for lunch we were parked on the edge of the river near a herd of elephants who were drinking/playing in it. We were also near a tree that had been used as a post bath scratching tree. We were preparing our lunch at the front of the land cruiser when an elephant popped over the bank, obviously heading to his favourite tree for a bit of a scratch. We were instructed to stand very still, which we did. The elephant stared at us in a curious way. He didn't look aggressive but it was still a tense moment. He eventually moved on up the sand bank. Most of the elephants in the national park are male this year. It is because conditions have been dry and the females and babies don't migrate when it is like that. Because the groups we were encountering were all male we could get quite close to them. They had no reason to be aggressive as it was not mating season and there were no female elephants around.
    We arrived back in camp at about 5:30pm after being out since 8am. The evening dinners are lovely here - the table is always set nicely and the food is very nice. The people who work here are extremely hospitable and the Batswanans very friendly in general. There is low crime here in Botswana and as a consequence you feel quite safe.
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