After a noisy night in Makgadikgadi it’s time to head to Moremi, Third Bridge with a quick supply stop in Maun. Third Bridge is so called because you cross, you guessed it 3 bridges to get there. The last has a slightly deep water crossing after a log bridge. But that’s for the morning.
The drive to Third Bridge is long and through game reserves which means Elephants and other wildlife at any and all corners so slow going and pockets of deep sand just to make it interesting. This is my first experience with a shared campsite. Until now I’ve had my own spot in a camp site. Whether it be just a plot or more luxurious with it’s own ablution block (very rare) but me on that campsite. Third Bridge I now share one spot. Interesting. Luckily my co-campers for the first night are Czechs (we’ll ignore the next night campers). The home land, excellent. Martin I hope Namibia was as amazing as I said it would be. The first night the Lions were on a kill. You could hear whatever it was they were killing most of the night plus the battling hippos everywhere as waterholes dotted the lands. And of course hyenas whooping. The hyenas at Third Bridge are quite brazen. One in particular not only sniffed and licked the vehicle like others in the past but then proceeded to shake it too! And other campers just next door for good measure. Not sure if he’s trying to shake something loose or get in but he must have been big to be able to shimmy my bakkie!
Very early start, at the crack of dawn, no driving in the dark. At least not in my car. Headed east towards the lions. First challenge Third Bridge and the water crossing. Hold your breath and go, not too bad, not too deep. Piece of cake. And then after about 30 minutes the lake in the middle of the road where the lions surely are. No way am I going into that. Rules are you need to walk the water before you can cross it with your car so you’re not surprised if it swallows your car. I was not going into that deep water alone at dawn. Sheepishly I turned around. Turns out the male lions were just passed that on a giraffe kill. But I was smart to turn around. As the campers at site 5, a small convoy of 4 vehicles I think went forth. One drowned his VW. Gerard I hope it started again in the AM. The water was quite deep glad I turned around.
Instead I happened upon a clearing between two forested areas. Don’t ask me where because I have no idea where. I was wondering and ambling about. I saw a small herd of elephants and parked. There were babies amongst them and those are always fun to watch. But what happened instead I’m still trying to wrap my head around. The herd of about 20 came by the vehicle. Only then did I notice the row after row after row 3 deep in front and back of me. Hundreds of elephants of every age and size. All surrounding the car. Peacefully going about their business not minding me one bit. I held my breath at first, as they approached. These massive behemoths just swallowed my bakkie in their bulk as the calmly walked by. It was surreal, they just kept coming. I couldn’t take a picture there were just too many. Every time I thought I was good to move more would emerge from the right cross over and disappear to the left. It’s amazing how something that large can so easily disappear meters away from you. Wow! Just wow! And then a southern ground hornbill family. Lions would have been good but this was beyond imaging.
A quick beer with my new friends at camp site 5 and off to bed for a early start to drive to Magothlo along the River Khwai.