Blimey! It’s Botswana! 21-23 April

We are now in Elephant Sands, 50km north of Nata, Botswana.

85km to Kasane
110km to “A touch of Africa”, Pandamatenga
155km to Elephant Sands, north of Nata

19,003km so far

We crossed the border using the Kazangula ferry, at a point where Zambia meets Botswana but also Namibia and Zimbabwe.
It was already dark and we immediately saw warthogs, a pack of bandit mongooses (like meerkats) and after passing a sign that said “wildlife corridor- drive with caution at night”, an elephant grazing.

Scare stories from the locals about elephants and lions were a little worrying but we carried on.
And that first day, a huge elephant crossed our path. We kept our distance, but he turned to face me and stared. The adrenaline rose in my body but he did nothing and we pressed on.

That night, a guide called Gary told us that the elephants will “mock-charge” a couple of times which involves flapping their ears and running a few steps towards you. A third time and they may lower their ears and tuck in their trunk which is a full charge and they won’t stop so you need to get the hell out of there. If you have a lion charge at you, you must stand your ground, as they will stop a foot away and back off. He had done this 4 times and said it’s very scary but if you run you are mincemeat.

That night we camped and were visited by jackals and hyenas who sniffed around our tents. They are just curious and if you stay in your tent you are perfectly safe.

The next day, we saw more elephants late in the afternoon, and one big one quite close up turned towards me as I passed. I was ready to start sprinting but it ran away from me! Clearly I am a big scary man.

All day we had been looking but we didn’t see any lions. At least we didn’t get eaten!

We stayed at “elephant sands”. And an elephant visited the water hole to drink. Also we met some great people who bought us beers, and one lovely couple paid for us to have the best breakfast we have had in Africa.

South Africa is not far now, but Alex and I are splitting up again as he wants to see Namibia.

I will finish with a brief poem:

Cycling is good for your heart,
And travel is good for your soul,
Going alone builds your courage,
But with bike travel with friends? – well that’s best of all.

Please keep the donations coming by going to the “donate here” tab on this site. I promise to get to Cape Town soon!

-the thirsty cyclist