Admiring the Jewel of the Kalahari

The morning was a flurry of activity, a rush of packing, squeezing, zipping and sealing. By some miracle, I made it to the boarding gate and eventually found my seat, finally getting a chance to catch my breath. I gazed out of the window, peering through the slight haze, at the expanse of the pure nature that lay just beyond the fence of the airport, once again touched by how amazing the world is. After a very short flight, I made my way off the plane, once again feet touching soil they have never touched before.

It was an amazing airport, nothing like I had imagined. With a white diamond-like roof, sleek silver and white interior, and a breathtaking ivory sculpture as a centrepiece, it was all sorts of amazing. As I exited the airport, I gazed at a view I was becoming accustomed to. The vast expanse of browns and greens, making me realize why the stereotypical Africa is portrayed the way it is. My abode for the duration of my short stay was none other than the Peermont Walmont at the Grand Palm, and I was well and truly blown away by the sheer class of it.

The hotel has a foyer that would not be out-of-place in Las Vegas, with gold and marble finishes. The room itself also far surpassed my expectations, and had shades of minty green and chocolate-brown, with hints of white. While it was a room worth hibernating in, my true purpose lay outside the hotel. Known as the jewel of the Kalahari, it is a place that is well-known to many, and revered for the wetlands and permanent wildlife that resides there. It is none other than the Okavango Delta.

The activity I was recommended, was one I had never heard of before, and I was slightly apprehensive. It was a canoe safari. Upon arrival at the tributary we would be canoeing on, I was welcomed by the guide, who told me that some deer had been spotted earlier that day and it may be my lucky day. I was also told that we were not riding in a canoe, but a traditional canoe like vessel, called a Mokoro. I was nervous but quite excited as I hopped on the small boat, praying that we meet at least one animal. Not long after we left, did we come across something I had never expected to see, but was glad I was lucky enough to observe. With a huge dark head and ears like car doors, trunk playfully snorting water, and 2 glorious white tusks of ivory, it was none other than an African elephant. On this sunny, gloriously warm day, it seemed to be having the time of its life, submerged up to its neck, cooling off in the water while munching on some juicy reeds. We just gazed in awe at this miracle of creation, until it decided that it did not appreciate intruders staring while it bathed, leaving us to admire the expanse of this magnificent wonder as the sun began to go down, giving us a cue that it was time to head to the hotel.

Famished from my episode of bush-whacking, I decided to try a traditional meal at the very classy restaurant, adjacent to the foyer. The meal I chose was one that sounded very filling, and caused me to drool at the thought of it. It was called Seswaa, and was very aromatic, made with boiled meat, maize meal and a variety of greens. Within minutes, I was sitting with an empty bowl, feeling very satisfied

Eventually, my eyelids grew heavy and I went to my room to get rest before my next adventure. Listening to the sounds of nature, with the soft hum of laughter and talking from the restaurant, I realized that I am on the adventure of a lifetime, hoping it never ends. Today was nothing short of superb. This was Botswana…And it was magnificent.



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