March 8: Nxamaseri Lodge -> Meno a Kwena

Today Anna and Iver transferred to Nxai Pan Camp, while I went to a different camp, Meno a Kwena; we would reunite at camp Kalahari in three days.

We drove back to Maun on the horrible road and met a driver at the airport who took me and three women, travel agents from South Africa, to the Meno a Kwena camp. This camp is perched high on a cliff overlooking the Boteti River; my tent had a veranda where I could look down on the river, which is almost dry, after a prolonged drought. But water is coming, as we saw at Nxamaseri; originating in Angola, it flows south, eventually reaching the Delta.

My Room at Meno a Kwena
The Dry Boteti River from my Veranda

The late afternoon activity was a cultural bush walk with a group of about 10 traditional San People or Bushmen, dressed in leather and animal skins, carrying bows and arrows. I was the only guest on the walk, the others opting to skip it due to the heat. They stopped at various points and one of them would expound about a plant’s uses in their distinctive language full of clicks and pops: which one brings good luck, which one cures stomach-ache, malaria, etc. A large bulb yields glue for making weapons. They demonstrated finding a scorpion burrow, digging it out, and playing with it. Hint: carefully grasp it by the end of the tail where the stinger is located. They showed how to quickly make a fire with two sticks (friction); and played a game around the fire like Rochambeau (Rock, Paper, Scissors.) Three men/boys danced around the fire, stamping their feet, wearing rattles made from moth pupae shells, while the others chanted. It was like the National Geographic magazines of my youth.

  • Making Fire (photo by Iver)

Nice dinner under the stars with several other guests. Orion and the Southern Cross were evident.

March 7: Nxamaseri Lodge

March 9: Meno a Kwena