Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Back to Basics

Sunset Feb 10 Chobe River

Let's face it much as we can be away from this and still have a good life, we need it.We need the energy that comes from the rising sun, the setting sun,the full moon - heck, even a moon that is so far from full yet is beautifully placed in the sky. Basics..

I have been away - not physically from the town - but away from writing to you..and Kiddy has been catching up on her blog page for her Holland tour! While I have been away, I have seen sights such as this sunset, I have heard the early morning bird calls, the same birds,calling again, in the evening. There s a world that we hear from time to time in our daily routines, mostly we don't hear it. It's a world that you go to "on holiday", when you "have time off". Yes, that's true. But it is still there every other minute of your life.

Come out and enjoy it with us!!

A good friend is arriving, for the third visit in the last five years, in the last quarter of March. We will travel to the Kalahari and Makgadikgadi Salt Pans. We will find many amazing things in our travels..and we will let you know about those. 3 years ago Bill and Susan Oliver arrived here, for a Kalahari was even more spectacular than I could have wished for...and them! You have seen some of their photos on this blog.

For those who have been here, you will know that Africa has its very own "call-sign", its very own heart beat..once you hear this, you cannot lose it again. It either finds you (wherever you are tucked away) or you are drawn to find it.. I think that is the one thing that tries to tell you :"GET BACK TO BASICS"

Town is quiet at the moment - isn't this the point where I started the blog from?? - and we notice it.It's a pleasure, in a way. I had a simple yet tasty lunch at one of the lodges today..and caught up with three friends for nearly an hour..none of whom I would have seen for another 3 weeks had I not stopped there today. I even went into the bank and service was so good/quick, I could remain a client of their's for a while longer! (Not that we have much choice in this town).

I see a happy's our Jack Russell, Marti, asleep. I have happy memories of today, and I know that we are blessed with friends who make our basic life, all the more worthwhile.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Wonderful People

tuck shop and bar Kwhai Village,Moremi

Chobe river camp and Toff with Jens way back when

Tonight I am sitting alone here - in Kasane, in our simple little home - having said goodbye two days ago to our friends Bill and Susan Oliver, who had visited us for two weeks. They have been on three safaris with us over the years, and have now become good friends who have anchored themseves a place in Botswana where they can visit year after year. Also, in the last month, Kiddy has been away, in Holland. The two weeks with Bill and Susan here, flew by. Now it is empty again.

I have reflected on the many, many people who have travelled with Kiddy and I over the last eleven years - from the early days in Gaborone when we endlessly tracked the Kalahari in southern and Central Botswana - to the last few years when we visited Kalahari, Moremi Reserve and Chobe Park. People who, in the space of a safari together, become friends, not guests or clients! Danish, American, English, Dutch, German, Norwegian, Slovakian, Austrian, why, even South Africans!

Today, to all of you, I take my hat off and thank you for being such wonderful people. We both thank you for the contact that you keep with us and hope to see you again in this beautiful country.

Maybe that is one of the big differences that we offer - we are not a marketing organisation selling safaris; we are not a travel agent, or a person who has a bit of experience and decides that they will make a living out of selling Botswana and the region as a safari or travel destination.

We are the owners, the operators, the marketers, the guides, the planners and the companions. We are US. We offer you our companionship. knowledge and guidance first hand while you travel with us. We are here in Botswana, on the ground - we are Ultimate Africa Safaris.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Pans around Pandamatenga

I must remember to find out what the name Pandamatenga means, or from where it originates. There Are a Lot of pans - water pans - in the area. These are fairly shallow, normally circular, depressions which hold rain water. They provide easy, accessible watering spots for wild animalsand often extend this service well into the dry season, after the rains have stopped.

Yesterday we visited one - locally named "Gary's Pan" - and it was beautiful. Our hosts and friends, Frans and Mandy Hobart (owners of Touch of Africa Lodge) and Gary (not of the Pan), their manager. Gary provided us with a most scrumptious lunch in the bush, prepared over open coal fire, of stuffed pumpkin (chicken and mushroom filling), cabbage stuffed with cheese and garlic. After many jibes about the fact that I had been responsible for not packing enough drinks (beer!), we had a lovely relaxing meal before heading back to the Lodge. Marty (our Jack Russell) had a most amazing time playing with sticks in the long grass and splashing through the water at the Pan's edge.