I joined Claudio for a coffee before I set out alone on my way to Kwai, our next destination. The 140 km track was supposed to be extremely soft sandy and dusty.
A track I don’t want to drive in hot conditions with 12 other vehicles. A track I shouldn’t drive alone in case I get stuck. But I had full faith in Zimba’s abilities and my driving skills. And that was exactly how it worked out. There are some tough soft sand sections, up to one km long I would guess. Zimba passed with honors, floating over the sand without issues. What a car! I was hoping that I don’t have to stop for any reason.
I just passed Savuti camp, where a heavy safari vehicle and trailer got stuck. Zimba’s winch and strength were needed once more to get 3 Ozzie’s and a German girl to Kwai.
The scenery changed often and quickly. From dry, high reed grass,
I was in open space with scattered trees a few km down the track.
In some patches, the sand was so fine, that it covered bushes like Christmas trees. Driving in these conditions alone means that I had no chance of Wildlife spotting. The track needed my full attention. I almost collided with an elephant mother who was just about to cross the path with her young one. They veered back in the bush to cross as I passed. Phew, an accident with an elephant was not on my bucket list. Mababe gate was eventually reached and was a welcome coffee stop.
This section was even drier and dusty. Almost looking like a moonscape, dead trees lined the horizon.
A herd of zebras used the track as their highway, whirling up dust with their hooves.
The Kwai river flows permanently, a steady supply of water. The combination of lush swampy lagoons and rivers to dust-dry pans attracts a lot of wildlife. And it was here that I had some amazing animal encounters, being able to watch and photograph them up close and personal. Elephants were the main objects, as expected, but there were a few surprises too. There are plenty of tracks to explore in this area, which lies in between the lower Chobe and Moremi National Park.
I met Zimba’s uncle first. An American film crew was filming wildlife documentaries. From there on I took 350 photos within a few hours. My adrenaline got pumping plenty of times in amazement and excitement. Just wow.
Ending this spectacular day was yet another red sunset over the lagoons.
At some stage, the reflections off the single tree on the opposite site looked like a lamp, holding a light bulb. The lagoon wasn’t far from our campsite, as one by one the Italian convoy passed. ‘Did you see any wildlife?’ was asked. I didn’t really know what exactly to reply but said that they will see it on tonight’s photo show. Arriving at Kwai community camp after dark, the fire was blazing already.
My heart was still pumping adrenaline through my body, what a day.
The meanwhile annual photo show after dinner caused some commotion within. A well served ‘Spritz’ settled my nerves. I was anxious about tomorrow’s adventure.