Tracks of Giants Departing on Okavango Kayak trip june 2012 “Am in the thick of the Okavango Delta now.  Have Eli’s coming past our camp most evenings… Everything great and running smoothly.  Miss you STAX” love  from Anton.   Comms from the Tracks of Giants Teamwhile in the Okavango continues to be sporadic apart from short Satellite phone calls to logistics manager Sharon McCallum to report their position and to pass an all- is -well to family and friends.  Since the last posting on the Scenic South Anton has sent us few SMSs – including the one above and a surprise one on Father’s Day.  His SMS was sent from Motsweri Lodge where they were enjoying a rest day and Anton was celebrating with Jack Daniels.  This did not make his mother’s day.  Oh! those apron strings!! 

 The Tracks of Giants team are now in their third week on the `swamps’.  They set off from Guma Lagoon on the Okavanga panhandle on the 5 June in mekoros and switched after 5 days to the kayaks pictured above.  They are scheduled to leave the kayaks at Savuti Camp on about the 26 June. From here Ian McCallum and Ian Michler will continue on foot to Ngoma Bridge supported by the backup team in 4x4s.  See photo below of  the two Ians with seriously loaded kayaks.  For info about the team and the route go to:  Tracks of Giants Ian McCallum &  Ian Michler in Kayaks 19 June 2012http://scenicsouth.co.za//2012/04/tracks-of-giants-expedition-from-the-skeleton-coast-to-cape-vidal/

Today, Sharon sent a short blog from Ian Michler.  Short for two reasons!  Firstly, it was written at 3.00am while Ian was on night watch and secondly it had to be typed on the only means of communication while living out of  kayaks – the satellite phone.

Ian Michler:  “These last two and a bit weeks on the waterways of northern Botswana have without doubt been the most adventurous and exciting part of the TRACKS journey.  While the mekoro leg to Seronga was restful – how can it be anything else when you are being gently poled through such scenic settings, the kayak legs have been somewhat more testing.  At times we have had to beat our way through reed and sedge or drag the kayaks across stretches of shallow or dry land.

But for the most part, paddling conditions have been fantastic with over 30kms being clocked on a number of days. We have passed through vast tracts of true wilderness, most of it almost unbelievably scenic and untrammeled. The number of elephant herds has been incredible – one or two drinking at the river’s edge on almost every bend, with great sightings of buffalo, kudu, lechwe, giraffe and zebra as we have drifted by. 

Tracks of Giants Ian McCallum & Elephant at Duma TauDaily features are the inevitable hippo interactions, some of which have raised the adrenaline levels a notch or two, and then the sense of joy and delight shared around the evening campfire.   We are now camped about 35kms down from the mouth of the Savute Channel, and if all goes to plan, we will reach the Savuti Marsh in three days time.”  More to come…….. watch this space!

OK!  What is going on in this photo taken of Ian McCallum and a wild elephant called George who likes to frequent Duma Tau Lodge.  This calls for a caption – offers please.  The best I could come up with is “I’ll call you back -just want to see if  the reception is better up a tree.”  Or perhaps not!   Ian does not look at all phased!!!  Photographs by Nic Proust of Wilderness Safaris.

Watch a breathtakingly beautiful video of the first leg of the Tracks of Giants Expedition along the Skeleton Coast and up the Hoarasib River by Nic Chevalier at the link below. http://tracksofgiants.org/videos/tracks-of-giants-video-hiking-the-skeleton-coast

Tracks of Giants Departure to Savuti Channel  june 2012

For an account of the first 1000kms go to: http://scenicsouth.co.za//2012/05/tracks-of-giants-the-first-1000kms/

KimK 21 June 2012