Botswana: Day 2 – Nata to Maun

We left Nata Lodge after a hearty breakfast on Friday 8 June and travelled 10 kms to the small town of Nata.  We filled up with diesel and headed west towards Maun which is situated on the edge of the Okavango Delta.

File:Okavango Delta map.png

We travelled through very dry and flat countryside towards Gweta.  The veld on either side of the road was over-grazed.  We passed through a small village called Seroga.  Although Botswana has a population of only two million people, it does seem fairly populated when you drive through.  This is because most of the villages and settlements of the Batswana people are on the sides of the roads.  The land away from the roads has very few human settlements.  Botswana has a very small population when compared to other African countries.

We passed a lot of vultures feeding on a donkey carcass.  The vehicle that had killed the donkey was standing on the side of the road.  it was a stark reminder of what can happen to an unwary driver on the roads in Botswana.  Animals roam freely over the roads and are often the cause of accidents.

About 30 km from Gweta we noticed that the countryside had changed.   The grass was more lush and we saw some palm trees.  We passed Planet Baobab which is another of the many lodges and camps all over Botswana.  Although when contacted, many of them say they are fully booked, they are often empty on arrival during the off peak season.  Many of them take temporary bookings from tour agents, only to find that the agents cancel at the last minute and they are left without guests.

At 1 pm we arrived at Drifters Camp on the banks of the Boteti River, which forms part of the Okavango Delta.  Here we had a lovely lunch prepared by the staff at Drifters Camp.

This is the Boteti River, which flows from the Okavango Delta.  In the rainy season it flows into the Makgadikgadi Pan.

Maun, Botswana

We arrived in Maun in the late afternoon.  It is a bustling town with an eclectic mix of modern and mud buildings.  We filled up with fuel in Maun.  During our fuel stop one of our party had their camera equipment, laptop and money stolen while refueling.  There are hawkers who distract the driver and passengers while their friends quietly help themselves to your luggage.  There is a lot of theft in Botswana and it is advisable to always watch your vehicle and make sure you lock it while filling the tank.

We drove across the Okavango River to the Island Safari Lodge on the edge of Maun.

This peaceful lodge, on the banks of the Okavango, was an oasis of quiet after the busy town of Maun.

We watched someone get a lift across the river.

Small craft were going up and down the river with tourists or carrying out business.