The Caprivi Strip, Namibia

A little dated but…

Our first night in the Caprivi Strip in Namibia, we stayed right on the banks of the Okavango River in Rundu. Though the view of the river and Angola on the other side was beautiful, we decided to escape the bug-infested campsite the next day.

We arrived at Ngepi Camp on the Okavango River, an eclectic campsite with a strong liberal lean and an ablution tour, as well as a swimming pool in the Okavango River (fenced from the crocs and hippos, of course)… See for yourself!

Lounging on the Okavango

Lounging on the Okavango


Bush shower!

Bush shower!

His and hers... all in one

Notice the padlock on the men’s side

Next river destination was the Kwando River, the beginnings of the more well-known Chobe River in the Okavango Delta. Our lunch spot was on an island, reachable only via a small boat ride. Zipping at river level through the maze of tall reeds, we encountered a troupe of hippos native to the area. As we passed by, one cheeky hippo followed us with his gaze… before dunking under the water. Our driver drove our boat a little further up… and good thing he did, because the hippo proceeded to jump out of the water right where we were a few seconds ago, so high that we could see his legs. The troublemaker had tried to flip our boat!

The local troublemakers

The local bullies

Having had enough excitement for the day, we wound up at an extremely secluded camp, with our site right by the riverbed. We were unwinding over a beer and chatting about the hippos, when we noticed a pair of eyes hovering above the water, slowly encroaching upon our campsite.

"Hippo! Get to the car!"

“Hippo! Get to the car!”

Beers still in hand, we bolted to the PPE and dog-piled in the backseat.

What then commenced was a debate on appropriate action steps while the giant hippo rose from the water and began dinner 3 feet away from us. Eugene wanted to shine lights on the animal. I vetoed. He shined the lights anyway. Alpheus inquired about his camera flash. I lamented on the spilled beer and my leg cramp. Eugene yelled that we were talking too loudly.

When the hippo strolled into the nearby bushes, we dashed for our respective shelters for the night and resolved only to emerge if necessary.

Morning cruise picked us up at our campsite

Morning cruise boat picked us up right at our campsite… exactly where the hippo had risen a mere 12 hours earlier

The following day, we camped again on the Kwando River a few hundred kilometers south and retired to the roof tent when the sky was still a beautiful blue, though we only glanced at some lightning and storm clouds a ways away.

Should’ve paid a bit more attention, as an hour later, it was pouring inside our tent.

We tried frantically to sop up water with our towels, but it became clear that it was a temporary band-aid. {At this approximate moment in time, Alpheus also realized his tent’s waterproofing had worn off.} Hopes of a respite withered as the rain continued. It was the beginning of one memorable night, which would end in an uncomfortably soggy morning and a quick group decision to outrun the rainclouds.

To Zambia!



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