Saturday, 29 December 2007

Moremi - Day 2

Relaxing at the 3rd Bridge campsite
Nerves are running high this morning.  Everyone that Dru has spoken to says the roads are muddy and they’ve all got stuck at least once.  One of the 2 guys from SA who arrived late last night at Audi campsite said it was the worst day of his life… really not something you want to hear when you haven’t started yet…  Still, they got stuck and managed to get themselves out and so we’re hopeful that we’ll be able to do that too.  And there seems to be a lot of people around so help should be at hand.  In Maun right now looking for ice before we head for South Gate – one of the entrances to Moremi.  Managed to get some ice at the campsite, but looking for more – we’re gonna be in the park for 5 days without a freezer, so need as much ice as possible…

Marabou stork
 Much later…

Well – Dru and I have been wondering what all the fuss has been about!!!  Nervous when we got to South Gate with the road ahead.  South Gate is about 100km from Maun on a graded road, and it was pretty tough going just to get there because of the recent rains.  When we hit the first mud hole on that road, it sent shivers down our spine – what were we getting into?  But made the road to the gate with the car still in one piece and without getting stuck… yet…
At South Gate, we met a convoy of 2 Saffie cars, who seem to be the guys that are supposed to take our campsite, so hinted at them to look for us if we got stuck – all in good fun of course, but you never know – a friendly word may work out well in the end – and Dru’s the master when it comes to friendly chats ;) 

South Gate entrance

Sitting here now at 3rd Bridge, we can’t believe that we’re actually here – we have a spotted hyena patrolling the area, he’s been through our campsite 3 times at least already and no doubt will be back to scavenge when we’re in our tent.  And thank goodness for the roof tent – the baboons attacked our ground tent while we were doing a sundowner drive – they ripped the small front zip, part of the tent and put a rip in the fly sheet – the little bastards (and some not so little).  Not sure if they managed to actually get into the tent since nothing was taken, but just the thought that they managed to create a hole big enough to get in is very annoying.   

And the cheek of them – they sat in the branches dropping the fruit of the sausage tree down on us – and that fruit is hard! Luckily we aren’t camped under it; otherwise a couple of headaches are in store!  So now the tent has been masked with tape and hopefully their curiosity has been satisfied, and they’ll leave us alone for the next few days – very much doubt it though – apparently the 3rd Bridge baboons are pretty notorious.

Trying (unsuccessfully) to get a good photo of the leopard

The highlight of course today has been the leopard – and not one, but 2!  A major highlight – we had just got in – 12km from the gate and Dru spotted a leopard on the road – only to find that there were 2 of them, a mating pair we presume.  The leopards didn’t stay long; we only managed to get a couple of crappy shots in, but still majorly worth the sighting. 

The rest of the game viewing was pretty tame compared to that, though we did see Tsessebee twice, which is quite rare.  Also saw baby giraffe and baby zebra, which was very cool to see, especially the baby zebra trying to get someone to play with him.

As for the roads, the 58km (or is it 50km?) was tough, but definitely not as either of us had built up in our minds.  There were a couple of bad patches, where 4 wheel drive had to be engaged, but otherwise we reached 3rd Bridge without much of a hassle – and thankfully only saw 2 elephants along the way.  A major bonus for us – we were nervous about them, and everyone has been telling us that there are hundreds around the park.  It still took us about 5 hours to reach the campsite though, but at least we’re here…

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