Yesterday (Thursday) I woke up at 05:00 to be able to avoid the heat mid day. We had a small breakfast at the Thamalakane River Lodge, then me and Brett got a ride with the friendly owners Leana and Cornel to the Maun airport.
Paying fees and filing the flight plan went ok, and slightly after 07:00 we got airborne. We did a fairly straight line between Maun and Gaborone. Not much to follow when it comes to visual references. Kalahari is defined as a desert and is very flat and covered with bushes and some trees here and there. “A wonderful nothing” one could say! We saw few animals as this period is extra dry.
I was yet again following Brett in his Tiger Moth, just relaxing and enjoying the view and the ride.
We landed at the private airstrip Tsama after 1:45 flying time. A gravel strip in the middle of nowhere literally speaking.
Short break with refill of breakfast – anchovies, eggs, muffin, water and coffee! The hidden fuel was still there – so Brett refueled another 3 jerry cans and 60 liters fuel. I was fine with my full tanks from Maun (210 liters…)
Airborne again and another low flying and 2:25 to Gaborone with a nice slight tailwind.
I got really hot and tired, so it was a relief to get back on ground. Waiting for us was Mark in his Husky aeroplane, and Kate – the girlfriend of Brett.
After lunch the poor Moth got a wash, she was really dirty from the engine leaking oil and the dust.
We were a team of 5 people washing her. A young instructor popped up and helped out as well. The four wings and the fuselage are now shining again!
Back to Brett’s house and got a good rest in his guest house, I was quite exhausted.
In the evening we were all invited to Kent Nilsson, the Swedish Honorary Consul of Gaborone. I was the guest of honor and got the meet 25 guests, among them the U. S Ambassador of Botswana. The President of Botswana himself was also invited, but had other obligations. I was told that the President is also a pilot and very interested in all types of flying. Good to hear!
The evening was informal and very pleasant. I got to show some videos and photos from Cape to Cape and the flying. I might have talked for an hour about the project and my thoughts about what I have learned. It seemed very appreciated.
The internet has been a little bit of a problem, so I am running a bit behind on the updates.
I will have to tell you more about the rhino walk I did early this morning. And I also got some maintenance done during the afternoon today.
The plan tomorrow is to reach Johannesburg, South Africa!