Fireside

Children Love The Okavango!

Posted on May 19, 2010 - 08:24 PM

Pema and Reed FrogChildren love the Okavango! The vibrancy, the freedom, the obvious rawness of the natural environment throbbing with life is very often closer to the child-state than it is to adulthood. The view that ‘they’re still too young to appreciate it’ could not be further from the truth. We believe it especially important, in this day and age, that kids have access to the natural world, and to be in an environment in which they are forced to direct their attention to the wider world, and away from hand-held electronic devices and computer screens – to stretch their eyes to the distance, to experience smells other than fried fumes and fumes, to experience the heightened sense of awareness that comes with the knowledge of life and death around you, to let their imaginations take wing, to consider possibilities unconsidered. And we love children. African societies place enormous store in children as a measure of the future’s possibilities, and our guides are no exception. They revel in the readiness of children to embrace new experiences and to learn, and they revel in the opportunity to be a conduit of knowledge. Our policy at Delta Camp and Oddballs’ of having a maximum of two guests per guide affords unrivalled opportunities for families and children to interact with the fantastical, very real world we live in and love. Bring them on!


Super Flood 2010

Posted on May 17, 2010 - 10:12 AM

Okavango Flood Chart 2010Living in the Okavango one accepts the vagaries of nature – if one were not prepared to do so this would not be the place to live. As challenging as it is not to be able to control one’s environment, it is also a pleasure and an increasingly rare privilege to live close to nature, to experience her whims and her cycles of renewal and regeneration and, of course, the death and decay that precede them. Living close to the earth is nourishment for the soul.
 
Inextricably linked to this existence are the seminal events – the once-in-a-lifetime occurrences that are a stark reminder that Mother Nature marches to her own drum. The world seems to have had a spate of these in recent years – earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanic eruptions that have challenged our belief in our ‘right’ to employ our technology as we see fit, lashing storms….and the great Okavango flood of 2010. We had a big on in 1984, but this is shaping up to be more like the flood of 1956, the flood that drowned Harry Riley and Harold de Kock, two of the Okavango’s pioneers, submerged the only bridge between Maun and the rest of the world, and caused mayhem to the few people that then lived here.
 
What is different today is that the Okavango plays host to an economically important tourism industry, and Maun has grown beyond all recognition into the commercial and administrative centre for the vast north west of Botswana. Airstrips that serve lodges are daily being submerged. Lodges themselves are becoming unusable and many houses in and around Maun are under threat. What is good news for the ecology is turning out to be bad news for the economy. I’m not convinced that this is not as it should be -  a reality check in our modern world of acquisitiveness and ‘return’. I’ll show you a turn, and it’s in the weather. In fact maybe you should come here and see it for yourself. One vast oasis of crystal clear, uncontaminated water, fresh from the Angolan highlands, soaking into the Kalahari desert sands, pouring nutrients into arid soils, creating secure environments for all manner of living things, and taking the breath with its sheer beauty. The Okavango in flood, again and properly at last. It’s been a long wait.