Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer

The Hemingway Safari: Nxabexa (Part 9)

The next morning we are going on the mokoro ride. The mokoro is a very narrow little canoe, and they are going out into the swamp with men who use poles to take the canoes on a shallow water safari. You don’t want to get into too deep water, as there are hippos, who are very mean and ugly when you get into their territory. They are also very fast for creatures their size, and lethal. There are also mosquitos.

All in all, I just figure I NEED a quiet morning to myself. I love my sweet husband, and from time to time I just NEED some alone time. Coffee and tea, and small cookies are delivered in a wicker basket at 6:30, even small flasks of milk. AH pours me coffee and gets ready to leave. I am looking forward to a leisurely shower, wash my hair – I know there is a hair dryer. So I go to the shower (zip zip zip zip) and then discover there is no conditioner so I have to go back into the cabin, already dripping wet (zip zip zip zip – zip zip zip zip) and I have to laugh; it is a good thing I am not in a hurry!

I spend the morning reading magazines, updating my little notebook, and I can hear voices as they sail off in front of the cabin in their little Mokoros. There are all sorts of odd noises, including a crashing sound on my tent at odd intervals. As it warms up, I sit out on my deck and meet a young monkey friend. We play a game, he bobs his head up and down and I bob back. Who is imitating whom? He scrambles up the tree, drops onto my tent and slides down, grabs another branch and within seconds is back bobbing at me. Now I understand that crashing sound!

One of the nicest things at Nxebega is that throughout the day, you can hear singing coming from various parts of the camp. There is a safe in our cabin, but since we left Victoria Falls, there have been no locks, just tent flaps – zip zip zip zip. After a while, we no longer even thought about it. Nothing is taken. We even have gotten used to the whole tent flap thing – zip down, zip sideways, step in, zip sideways, zip up. At night, you also zip the outer flaps, so then you have four zips to get in and another four to close back up. And you just do it.

At dinner this night there are two tables, as Nxebega has it’s full capacity of guests- 20 people. AH and I and Angela sit with Ashleigh and Steve, and an Italian couple. It is a lovely evening, full of great conversation. Dinner is a roasted tomato soup, a lamb tagine with couscous (which even AH loves, and he doesn’t usually like lamb) and dessert is a brownie with caramel sauce.

We love being at Nxebaga. We love the genuine hospitality and the beauty of the place. At night, you hear a tinkling sound, it is the painted green frog. Each frog has a slightly different pitch, and when they all sing together, it sounds like wind chimes, or some very modern kind of music. I just love the sound.

In the middle of the night, we can hear elephant sounds, loud loud trumpeting, more than one elephant. The next day, Steve tells us that it sounded like a bull elephant in “must”, but that when a lion attacks an elephant baby, and all the elephants wail and wail, it is truly a horrible sound. We hope never to hear such a tragic sound.

September 19, 2006 - Posted by | Adventure, Africa, Botswana, Travel, Uncategorized

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