Caprivi Strip, 2014 Part 5

by david on March 27, 2015

First full day on the boat, Morning Magic


The water was hot for showers at 7:00 AM. Janice was up and took full advantage of the fresh supply. While she was getting ready for the day’s activities, I quickly dressed and tried to be the first one on deck. I eased out of our cabin and tiptoed my way up the stairs to the main deck.  I saw no one and was pleased to be the first on deck. I had come to enjoy a small dose of quiet and solitude as my coffee worked its magic. Normally, when in Africa, I would enjoy the cup around the smoldering ashes and smoke of last night’s fire. That particular morning, it was from the deck of a boat, a pleasant option in its own right. The thought of being too early for coffee had not occurred to me before now, and a small twinge of anxiety ran through my mind until I spotted a carafe over in the corner. The heft I felt when I lifted it belayed any potential disaster and I smiled to myself as the contents sloshed around inside. The aroma and steam rising from the first cup of coffee in the morning is another of life’s simple pleasures. Enjoying it in the quiet of the early morning from a new setting on a houseboat in the Chobe river made it that much better. I took my first sip of the black ambrosia and headed toward the bow of the boat. I slid open one of the doors and stepped out in the grey predawn of an African morning.

I had slept hard last night and was having a difficult time shaking the cobwebs that had sprouted up between my ears. The coffee was working, but it was the wildlife walking down to the water that caught my attention and shook the rest of the stupor out of my system. The first were impala working their way down to the water. They came in groups of twos and threes, some drinking and others on the ever-necessary lookout for danger. Before the impala had finished, I noticed a troop of baboons approaching the drinking spot from the right. Their approach made the impala a little nervous, forcing them to move down a little further until they eventually left the water and melted back into the veld. As the baboons finished up, some zebra took their spot and so it went one group after another for three more cups of coffee. A few more of my fellow passengers joined me, and aside from a nod of the head or a muffled “morning”, no words were necessary to communicate. The only interruption in the quietness was the sliding of the glass door as someone new came or went. Next thing I knew it was 8:00 and time for breakfast.

The breakfast buffet contained a nice spread of meats, cereal, fresh fruit, muffins, milk and juice. We could also order eggs any way we wanted and add bacon and toast to them. I was already starting to slosh from all the coffee but managed to make room. Today’s morning excursion was going to be to a local village, with game viewing along the way….

An early morning drink An early morning drink



A most excellent ram.  A most excellent ram.


There goes the neighborhood.  The baboon troop moves in. There goes the neighborhood. The baboon troop moves in.


Uh ho look who's coming. Uh-ho look who’s coming.



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