With dust in our hair, dirt in our mouths, and showers the only things on our mind, we finally arrived at Camp Xakanaxa after our 5-hour drive from Maun on dusty roads in an open jeep! We were shown to Tent #9, a lovely big tent on wooden floors, with a deck out front looking out over a small channel of water and the marsh.
Our bathroom was attached at the back and had a large opening to the sky and a wonderful big rainfall shower - VERY welcome. We were warned to remove our toiletries from the bathroom and latch the door for protection from monkeys. As Jamie took that welcome shower, there were some monkeys watching over her from a tree. The monkeys had vacated by the time Wayne and I took our showers.
We were also warned to get a guide to walk us to dinner after dark or for any walking off the deck. Why? Because hippos often wandered close. And hippos really don't like people getting between them and the water. In fact, the next night, when Jamie stepped outside the tent onto the deck to call the guide, she heard a rustling and shone her flashlight. Jamie must have scared the heck out of him, because he scuttled off into the reeds at water's edge. Jamie was a bit disconcerted, but he seemed more upset than Jamie!
Drinks were served in the bar under a thatched roof, from the open bar and fridge. The bar area was full of Aussies on a tour from McKay (north from Brisbane). Led by a loud and enthusiastic gentleman named John, we were quickly welcomed into their group. From there, we all headed in to a communal dinner served at a long heavy wooden table. We ended up sitting with a lovely couple from Kansas. Jerry was an entymologist who had been on a volunteer tour in Kenya, then was joined by his wife for safari travel. Great people to talk to.
We walked back to our tent under a sky full of stars and went to bed by candlelight. (The camp only has power until 7:30 in the evening). Lights (such as they were ) out by shortly after 9.
A great day.
by Lib, with contributions from Jamie Gibson