(The Cape to Cape team just got the signal that Johan has landed safely outside of Gaborone, Botswana. Before taking off this morning he sent this update! Read on…)
Today it was an early start for me – up at 0500. I’d not gotten a lot of sleep, but for a good reason: I got up in the middle of the night to see elephants passing the house where Mark, Brett and I were staying.
I must say that I have enjoyed some fantastic flying in my 26-year career, but today was probably the best ever. I followed Brett in his Tiger Moth at low level over a fantastic landscape. We were basically following the river in the north at the border to Namibia. Hundreds of elephants and big herds of water buffaloes were everywhere.
We took brief stops at Selinda and then Abu. At Abu, breakfast had been arranged at a luxury lodge (2,000 USD per night!) and also to meet some elephants that this Lodge is caring for and attempting to return to the wild. The small elephant in the picture is one of the orphans. Very playful!
Botswana has some spectacular areas for wildlife and tourism. The amount of animals is also very impressive. I must bring the family some day to see this!
After flying, there was the usual fuelling process that took too long in the heat. It was close to 40 degrees and there was no protection to be had from the sun. These conditions make even the slightest exertion very tiring. We were fetched by the Thamalakane River Lodge staff and then went on a riverboat safari – very exclusive – with Brett and his friends, Liana and Cornell, who bought this lodge a few months ago. They are doing a fantastic job bringing this Lodge up to a very good standard. Highly recommended.
Evening dinner and now the blog. Tomorrow (Thursday) it’s a very early start, with pick-up at 0540. We will try to be airborne before 0700 tomorrow. We’re crossing the Kalahari desert all the way to Gabarone – a 4-hour flight with a fuel stop midway at a small airstrip. Fuel has been put out for us, but hidden. Hope it is there tomorrow!