Last February, there was a special ballooning event at Balloon Fiesta Park in Albuquerque, to celebrate Valentine's Day.......a friends and lovers ballon rally. In keeping with the Valentine's Day theme, this balloon was there and since I am a Valentine's baby, I had to get a picture of it.
So, we were now leaving Chobe National Park and heading to the Okavango Delta, also in Botswana, the largest inland delta in the world. All of our in country flights were on small aircraft. I am not a huge fan of small planes, but my desire to see Africa was greater than my dislike of small planes.
There's not a lot of head room in these planes.
The delta comes into view.
As soon as we get off the plane, we go out on a game drive. Here is one of the hundreds of termite mounds we saw on the trip. This type of termite does not eat wood. It cultivates a fungus type substance that it eats. As tall as the mound appears above ground, it is twice that size underground.
Hippos are seen in this water hole.
Here's another hippo, disappearing into the delta grasses.
This is a red lechwe. Look at that shiny coat.
Lunch was set up for us out in the delta. This area overlooked the pond where the hippos were.
An elephant sighting as we head to camp.
My home in the Delta.
Looking out to the Delta from my deck. Just beyond that railing is where an elephant appeared my first night in camp, happily munching away on a bush. If I had been standing on that deck, I could have reached out and touched him. I turned out the lights in my tent, sat on the edge of my bed and watched the elephant for about 45 minutes. We had very early wake up calls in the morning and I kept telling myself, "Karen, you have got to go to bed." But then I'd say, "But when is the next time you're going to have an elephant outside your front door?" So I kept watching until it finally disappeared along the side of my tent and then I went to bed. It was one of many, many special moments that took place on this journey.
The lodge at the camp in the Delta. Every meal in every lodge during the trip, there were cloth tablecloths and napkins on the table. I don't do that very often at home! Lol. A pretty classy way of roughing it.
Off on another game drive. The wet season had ended just a few weeks before we arrived, so there was still a lot of water around which also meant a lot of beautiful water birds.
This is a saddle billed stork.
Our first sighting of lions. It was quite an exciting moment when we came across this pride.
The following shot is my favorite picture from the entire trip.
A few more lion shots.
We come across some more elephants.
You can see, in this shot, how close we are to the animals.
Lily pads in one of the water holes.
A beautiful iridescent bird. I have no idea what kind it is.
One of our land rovers crosses a water hole.
Once the dry season ends, most of this water will be gone.
It had been another wonderful day, viewing the magnificent African wildlife, living wild and free the way nature intended.
Prior to our afternoon game drive in Chobe National Park, we had our daily, Learning and Discovery event. Two ladies from a nearby village came and gave a basket weaving demonstration. They showed us the plants they used for dyes and how they wove their baskets. They also brought a table full of baskets, made by them and other ladies in their village, for us to purchase, if we chose to do so. I bought 2 woven bracelets for my 13 year old granddaughter, a basket with a lid as a birthday gift for a friend and a woven plate for myself.
Our sundowners game drive brought more sightings of amazing animals.
This Baobab tree clearly shows the damage done to these trees by elephants. Eventually, the lower trunk will so weaken that the tree becomes top heavy and will fall over. This tree is not dead. It was late fall there and it had lost its leaves for the season.
And, the most amazing sunset....just like nearly every picture you have ever seen of Africa. What a beautiful way to end a wonderful day.