We opted for a scenic tour in Maun, Botswana which was hosted by Mack Air (Maun is the third largest city in Botswana and is the tourist capital). After clearing security, we were escorted to our plane, and greeted by our pilot, Amber. As you can imagine, we were thrilled to have a woman pilot! Our plane was a tiny six seater, but Amber made sure our take off, 45 minute flight, and landing were smooth.
We completed a loop above the Okavango Delta, about 500 feet above the ground. The Okavango Delta is an UNESCO site and is one of the only major interior deltas that do not flow into the ocean. The delta is home to some of the world’s most endangered species of large mammals, including the cheetah, rhinoceros, African wild dog, and lion. This area is part of the African Rift Valley System. Five minutes into the flight, we passed over the buffalo fence, which we actually drove through today in our morning 4X4 drive to our next camp. The fence is designed to protect livestock from hoof and mouth disease and separates Maun from the Okavango Delta and stretches across the country and serves to protect the delta. Since the winter is the dry season, we did not see much at first, a lone elephant or so. The dry season runs from May to October and the wet season (summer) runs from November to April. But once we got further over the delta and near the lush green areas, we saw so much! Herds of elephants. A giant herd of buffalo. Impala and zebra and giraffe. Large groups of hippos hanging out in the pools. And rhinos! Amber circled back so we could get a better view of the rhinos.
The flight was awesome. The landscape was gorgeous and although it was hard to photograph the animals, it was amazing to have a birds eye view of the delta. We had a great time! (If you look close, you might see elephants, rhinos, buffalo, and other animals in the photos!!)
Today we arrived at Khwai guesthouse, situated between Chobe National Park and Moremi Game Reserve. This property is owned by the safari company, Bush Ways, they own a number of camps in the region. Once again, this lodge is amazing. This camp is solar powered and super cute, and we are already excited as we were told elephants come into the camp at night and the other morning, a guest spotted a leopard. We are resting up and then doing a game drive later this afternoon.