Caprivi Strip, 2014 Part 3

by david on March 23, 2015

Katima to Kasane to the Boat

 

I had managed a little sleep during the night and almost felt human enough to eat breakfast. I felt badly for Janice as my discomfort had been responsible for a whole series of grunts, hisses, and assorted other noises in the night. She had not slept well either. Bless her heart – she insisted I go to breakfast with her, and I am glad I did. There were fresh eggs, fried just right, with lots of bacon, toast and jam. (Did I mention lots and lots of bacon?) It was comfort food from home, and it really hit the spot and did wonders for my mood.

It had been prearranged with our host to leave my guns there as we had several border crossings to go through before we got to the riverboat, which was our home for the next several days. They were also kind enough to allow us to leave the bag with all of the gifts as well. Janice and spent the rest of the morning going through our bags and weeding out anything we did not need for this section of our trip. When it was all said and done, we had gotten rid of one more bag. Just when I think things are going well, hint #6a from my book reared its ugly head. In a nutshell, hint #6a reminds us that in Africa anything can happen in the blink of an eye, so expect the unexpected as it is usually just around the corner. What was “around the corner” for us was our driver from the B&B to the boat passport had expired, and with all of our border crossings this would not work. After our host had scared us half to death with this information, he added that our driver was his brother-in-law and he would be taking his brother-in-law’s place as his passport was valid. I was glad to hear that, but I wish he would have reversed the order of his announcements.

We were to leave at 11:00 AM to be at our destination by 12:30 PM for a 1:00 departure to the ship, giving us a half hour to spare. This turned out to be fortuitous, as the trip soon became sort of complicated. Fasten your seatbelt and come along for the ride.

We had about a 30-minute ride to the Namibian/Botswana border, and that part went fine. Here is where the convoluted part comes in. We had to stop at the Namibian station and fill out exit paperwork and get exit stamps. Back in the truck to drive 30 yards to the guard post and show him the paperwork. Once approved, there we drove across the bridge and the Chobe river to the Botswana side. On the Botswana side of the Chobe, we stopped at the guard post. We exited the truck, walked through some anti-hoof and mouth disease solution, and got back in the truck to drive through a larger batch of anti-hoof and mouth solution, and then up the hill to customs and immigration. The passport line was incredibly long and ate up our half-hour buffer.  The drive to Kasane was nice. The road runs the length of Chobe national park. Since we were making all possible haste, wildlife viewing is somewhat limited. Nonetheless, we saw considerable wildlife. When we got to Kasane, we finally found the border post on the river and met up with our transport to the houseboat. While our luggage was headed to the motor launch, we went to Botswana customs and immigration, and we got Botswana exit stamps for our passports. After completing the Botswana exit procedure, we bid our previous night’s host farewell. We firmed up the time for him to pick us up for the return trip. Down to the river and into the launch we went. It was only a short ride across the river to a dirt bank, where our pilot beached the boat. He pointed up the hill and explained that the Namibian customs and immigrations outpost is only a short ways up the hill. From our point of view, and since we had no idea of where we were going, it looked like we were walking out into the veld. Thank goodness that feeling was cut short as a metal-roofed block building appeared after only a few hundred yards. The building was, in fact, the customs outpost. We actually walked straight up to the desk, where we once again filled out paperwork and were stamped back into Namibia. All in all, in what should have been an hour and a half, we went through two border crossings, four border stations, eight border checkpoints, eight different forms, and four passport stamps. Now the fun could begin.

The Fish Eagles Nest was comfortable and accommodating.  The Fish Eagles Nest was comfortable and accommodating.

 

A very large hollow baobab tree.  A very large hollow baobab tree.

 

On the road from Katima to Kasane On the road from Katima to Kasane

 

 

There is a border post where?  "Just walk up the hill and into the jungle".  There is a border post where? “Just walk up the hill and into the jungle”.

 

A very nice official sign for a border post.  Smack dab in the middle of no where. A very nice official sign for a border post. Smack dab in the middle of no where.

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