After our very exciting flight over the Okavango Delta in a small aircraft (see previous post), we packed up our campsite in Maun and headed northeastwards, towards the next stop on our trip. Just over 60km from Maun, in the conservancy managed by the Sankuyo Tshwaragano Community, are the Kaziikini Community Camp and Campsite. These are managed by the community and have quite basic facilities, but they do offer that authentic bush experience. No jacuzzi’s or massage services available, but the sights and night-time sounds of the African bush are just fantastic.

Siting of our camp in area with a rather ominous name, but we were still feeling brave

For those who have not (yet?) travelled to this part of the world: Note that the campsites, and the game reserves themselves, are not fenced. The reserves are surrounded by “conservancy” areas and we were camping in one of those. It means that animals are free to roam (also through the campsite, if they feel like it…) and one needs to be a bit careful when going to the toilet at night. Or alternatively, use a nearby tree or crouch behind the vehicle, depending on your level of bravery (or urgency). In any case, toilet visits become “buddy experiences” because you don’t want to be out there alone. (Of course you could also argue that a clever predator could get two for the price of one…)

One-man welcoming committee – a Southern Yellow-Billed Hornbill

Although there was an ablution block already constructed, this was apparently not yet functioning and we used the more open-air facilities that were a short walk away: a collection of outdoor toilets and showers, somewhat screened (but not roofed), with most taps mostly working, all surrounded by a wobbly wire fence that would not have stopped a thirsty sheep, never mind any elephant. Even so, the facilities were very welcome.

By now, setting up camp was a well-rehearsed routine, achieved in 15 minutes or so. Everyone knew their specific task. We then drove to the “Reception” office (a thatched rondawel a few hundreds of metres away) and purchased some firewood, before settling down for a board game.

Thinking strategically during a game of Carcassonne, surrounded by our camping clutter
Life is full of questions: 1- What is that spot on the bonnet? 2- Should I sit in that chair, or not? 3 – Where is that bloody toothbrush?

In this part of the world, the sun sets quickly, it just drops vertically into the trees on the horizon and then, before you know it, it’s dark. Time to get into the dinner routine, assisted by a variety of light sources. Here too, we all slotted into our preferred tasks – it must be said that A is very good at creating delicious dishes out of a quite random selection of ingredients and this evening was no exception. I can’t remember what we ate, but it was very good!

On this trip, A was our favourite chef, with the rest of us just providing assistance (or just taking pictures)

After dinner and an hour or so around the campfire, we settled into our respective beds and fell asleep while listening to the sounds of the bush – straining our ears to identify every sound, hoping to hear something exciting, but also hoping that it would not be too exciting… When you have to answer the call of nature at night, in the bush, excitement is something that you can do without!

Even in the bush, with rather rustic facilities, a gentleman needs to be well-groomed

2 thoughts on “Kaziikini

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