Monthly Recap: Month 1

We have now been on the road for 1 month! It is hard to believe, at times feeling like way more than a month and at times feeling like way less. We plan to do a recap every month to summarize and then reflect.

Countries visited: 5 (Egypt, South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Namibia) – though two of those countries were visited for less than a day (12 hour layover in Cairo and Victoria Falls).

*Countries looked at: 2 (We stood across the border and reached our hands into Zambia on our Vic Falls trip, and we looked across the river into Angola at N’kwazi camp in the Caprivi Strip, Namibia)

Beds Slept In: 3 (One of those was our Self-Drive Safari tent which we set up 18 times!!)

Top Moments:

~We both agree that our first top moment was coming across the “Hippo Pool” in Moremi Game Reserve on our way to Khwai campsite. We had been stressing about the deep sandy roads we had been driving, but when we found this secluded spot and climbed into the blind to observe a large pool with many hippos sleeping and feeding, all the stress melted away. We were also thrilled to see the hippos!

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~We were so thrilled that our plan to visit Victoria Falls came together smoothly and that we were taken in by a large family of South Africans during the day.

~We both loved Etosha National Park! One of our favorite times was our afternoon game drive there where we came across a waterhole where we observed several elephants drinking, bathing, and playing. When we arrived, one elephant was in the middle of the pool, up to his head, and he was rolling around, clearly reveling in the water. As we watched, another elephant joined the first and they played with each other, climbing on each other’s backs and entwining trunks. At first we thought that they were mating? But a little later a third, much smaller elephant joined in so we weren’t sure.

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Runners up for Top Moments:

~Despite being exhausted after hours of deep sand driving, we decided to go out for an evening game drive at Savuti camp in Chobe National Park. We were so glad we did. We turned onto a side road which would take us to some rock paintings and we saw a car stopped ahead of us. They were observing a lion sleeping under a tree right next to the road! We were so thrilled to see our very first lion!

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~After a week in the wilds of Botswana staying at wild campsites, driving on deep sandy roads, and meeting hyenas, we were excited to finally make it to Kasane, where we stayed at Chobe Safari Lodge. First we were so happy to have access to internet to be in contact with family and friends, but we also loved their riverside bar. We would sit there with our St. Louis Exports (a Botswana beer) and watch the sunset over the Chobe River. What made this extra special was the elephants feeding in the water on the other side.

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~After two windy, miserable nights leading up to our camp at Sesriem in Namibia and a horrible, windy morning, we finally made it to Dead Vlei (see upcoming post) which was exactly what we had been waiting for the whole trip. Phew.

Items Missing, Broken, Discarded, or Added:

1. Eric’s watch is broken. The battery died. He is very sad.
2. Eric’s camera is almost broken. There was an unfortunate incident where it fell out of the car in the deep sand. Luckily, it was not on this list as lost which it was very nearly. But since that time, it hasn’t worked quite right.
3. New bar of soap purchased!

Packing Update:

We have not made any changes to our bag contents. We only wish that we had some more warm clothing for this safari portion of the trip.

Books Read: (Have you read any of these??)

Della has read The Covenant by James Michener, Adrenaline by John Bendict, Adrift by Erica Conroy, The Advocate by Teresa Burrell
Eric had read The Stand by Stephan King and Starfish by Peter Watts
Eric and Della have BOTH read Dreamers of the Day by Mary Doria Russell, Kaffir Boy by Mark Mathabane, Born Free by Joy Adamson, The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith, Morality for Beautiful Girls (the 3rd book in the No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series) by Alexander McCall Smith, and The Kalahari Typing School For Men (the 4th book!) by Alexander McCall Smith. (We read the No. 1 Ladies’ books out loud to each other while we drove across Botswana – very appropriate!)

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21 thoughts on “Monthly Recap: Month 1

  1. Loving following your trip!

    So glad you read from the No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series while you were in Botswana. Also Kaffir Boy. If you are still in a South Africa frame of mind, Nadine Gordimer’s books are quite wonderful. You probably know she passed away in mid-July. Try July’s People, or A Sport of Nature (though it’s hard to name my favorites among her many works.)

    Be well, and enjoy —
    Judie (from Belmont, MA)

  2. RIP in peace Eric’s watch!!
    congratulations soap!
    That is a ton of books lol. Are you sure aren’t sending us google images and just sitting in a hotel reading all day? (:

  3. That sunset is gorgeous. As for reading, which belong on our must read list? I’ve read The Covenant and Dreamers of the Day, maybe Born Free as well.

  4. Glad to catch up with your updates! The pictures of the whole month (and the details of how Hennie provided for you) are great. Haven’t read any of those books, but we have Michener books in both hard copy and on Kindle. Eric, you’d better catch up to Della in the book-reading quick!

  5. Glad to hear about your adventures! Sounds like you guys are having a good time and seeing some really cool things. I’ve read the first two books of The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series and The Stand. I’m surprised Eric hadn’t read The Stand before now, classic King. How did you like the other books in the Smith series?

    • I had actually read The Stand before! But I wanted Della to read it so we brought the book along. And Iit had been a while since I read it so I read it again.

      Books 3 and 4 of the series were good. Definitely a nice, light-hearted series for sure. My only slight complaint was that the “cases” get a little more vague.

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