Late October, the dry sweltering heat of Maun, Botswana is a bit more intense than I had imagined. Maun is the closest drop off point for the Okavango Delta, a place full of adventure seeking folks of all kinds. Accents and languages echo through the background, the smell of sweat is heavy in the air, this is exciting.
Our next photography workshop and African Safari in the Okavango Delta is set for April, a perfect time of the year for Photographers. April is a great time in the Delta as it is during the in-between time, the transition from summer to winter. A little rain is still possible, but normally its not for long periods of time. The landscape is still green and very photogenic. Best of all, the temperatures are comfortable.
The same old slow moving lines and restless people waiting to get their passports stamped, Welcome to Botswana. I love small airports, especially in Africa, they just have adventure flowing out of every corner. No terminals, no gift shops, no baggage conveyer belts, just busy people, noisy fans, and confusion.
The breeze, a blast of hot air that is drying the sweat on my face as fast as it appears. Just adds to my level of excitement to be visiting one of the most remote and wild safari locations in the world. This is so amazing! Introductions to our bush pilot were brief, he had things to do to prepare for our short 30 min flight to camp.
The tar of the runway was glimmering in every direction. The heat was flowing through the souls of my shoes, burning my feet. I knew I would need permission from the pilot to mount my GoPro on the planes' wing. He was totally for it, "No problem", he said.
I cleaned the wing strut off with a lens cleaner and attached my Go Pro, hoping it would not end up dislodging and falling hundreds of feet, to be left behind someplace in the Okavango Delta. I can only imagine an unsuspecting lion coming across it, or maybe a bushman finding it, just like in the movie ,"The God's Must Be Crazy".
The pilot was all of 22 years of age. He rambled out the safety instructions, showed us where the first aid kit, fire extinguisher, and emergency water were stowed. He promised to close his door at take off, it was just too hot to close the door til it was absolutely necessary. A bumpy and rough take off, I can see for miles and miles from the small window of the bush plane. So far so good, my Go Pro is still in place, the wind and heat hitting the bracket will be quite intense.
I've been in lots of float and bush planes but this was my first time to fly over the Delta. I was excited to see the terrain from the air, especially with the possibility of seeing wildlife from above, picture elephants. I could not image what a 5 ton, 13 foot tall animal would look like from 3000 feet above the ground.
The reaches of the Kalahari desert were very evident, huge pockets of sand and desert Lala palms covered the area. Occasionally succumbing to the green swampy looking expanses of water and marsh grasses. The Delta is an outstanding visual of the realities of water and desert coming together, creating life and its supporting eco system. Soon enough I would learn just how different the Delta looks from the ground.
For now I am just taking it all in from the air, a stunning and almost unreal place full of sense and wonder. I love this place, I love this feeling, I can not wait to share it with the world. I look forward to many African Safaris and Photography Workshops in the Okavango Delta. Okavango Delta Photo Workshop