Sam Bowker: The Grand Tour Diary (2005 - 2006)

This is the archived journal of a 2005-2006 'Grand Tour' around the Eastern Mediterranean and along East Africa, written by Sam Bowker, whilst in search of his PhD topic.

Monday, January 16, 2006

Botswana - Bushbaby Biltong

Dedicated to the Truck Mob

I'm writing from an incredibly slow and unreliable internet cafe by the road in Botswana. Myself and three truck mates beat two other Overland truck groups to this place and we've locked ourselves in place - we're the only ones able to get even a few minutes of email! Huzzah!

Botswana is incredibly flat - the entire country varies in altitude by only a hundred metres. It's covered in scrubland right to the horizon so far. Elephants and giraffes wander across the road and vanish smoothly into the forest within seconds of emerging.

There've been lots of game drives and big animal sightings. Of the Big Five, we've only seen two - Buffalo and Elephant, still waiting on Rhino, Lion and Leopard. But fortunately I've seen them before as a child in Kenya. Plenty of others too - impala, kudu, waterbuck, bushbabies, pythons, vultures, yellow-saddled storks, innumerable exotic birds, servals, hares, mongoose, etc. We had our truck charged by an angry male elephant in musk, who insisted on nonchalantly blocking the road for twenty minutes. Exciting stuff.

And the in-jokes and nicknames are forming rapidly amongst the ten of us on the truck crew. Too many to list here - suffice to say the nickname Doc has stuck for me, and I'm pleased not to suffer the unfortuante titling of Nipples, Sleazy, Dopey, Snorty, or Mr Helen that have been dubbed on others.

Next post hopefully from Tanzania, possibly Livingstone, which is said to be something of an adventure tourism capital.


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