Botswana lies on the borders of South Africa, up north from us. It also borders Zimbabwe, Angola, Namibia, Mocambique and is entirely landlocked. It’s a 2 hour international flight from Johannesburg to Maun.
I fly with local and US friends on Saturday 16th April to Maun, two weeks today! Truly, a going into the unknown, as is any going into the bush, the wilderness. It is a going outside but also inside into our own wilderness of the psyche and it seems that some connections are made while in that liminal space –
We overnight in Maun – the next day or 2 we are on water, transported by mokoros, those dug-out, flat bottomed canoes carved from wood. We’ll be on the Okavango Delta … a man will be standing at the top end of the mokoro, poling/navigating us – probably two passengers per boat – with his oar. And we take in the sights and the sounds –
I think I will die and (hopefully) go to heaven if I hear the cry of the fish eagle. If I also see it swoop from high to take a fish in the water in its talons and soar up again to its high perch, it will be heaven all over again – I don’t think I’d care too much if a hippo or a croc in the water suddenly decided it had its eye on me –
I don’t know why this has such a strong primal feel for me – but the pure animal cry of it gives me goose-bumps –
The waterways are filled with lilies of all colours – this one from google: ‘almay stock’ on the Okavango
I’ve been there before, each time a soulful replenishing experience. The last time was 6 or 7 years ago with my friend Liz, here in Johannesburg. The time before was many years ago, maybe 20 years or so – a prize that my husband won from entering a medical competition – and the time before that was 26 years ago – many many elephants outside our tent on their way to the water hole –
My US friends arrive on Thursday 14th April. Susan Schwartz, Jungian Analyst from Phoenix, Az., will give a talk to the Jung Centre here in Johannesburg on Friday 15th April: ‘Longing to Belong – Otherness, Culture and Jungian Psychology’ – and then we fly out the next day. My husband is not coming as he is too fearful of contracting malaria.
After 2 days on the delta (probably camping overnight in tents on the banks with a fire and guard on watch all night long, to warn any wild animals of getting too close – and perhaps each of us if we’re brave may elect to keep watch in the dead of night) we return to Maun from where we overland to Khwai. I don’t know much about this at this stage. We’re there for 4 nights I think. We’re all in the hands of my nephew David S, son of my late half-brother David who lived in Maun for all of his adult life –
I hope to visit the tree at which he is buried, on the banks of the delta, at his home in Maun and pay my respects. And to see Anne, his widow who lives there –
Botswana – two weeks to go –