The Oddballs Overnight Camping experience
After spending at least one night at Oddballs’, acclimatizing, you will set off for a minimum of two nights, and for as many as you like, into the Okavango in a dug-out canoe with your camping equipment and guide. The peace and tranquility, the regular and soporific thrust of your guides long ngashi, by which you are propelled, the gentle rustle of water and lily-pads, the crystal clear water beneath you, the warm sun overhead – all these will frame the many sensations that will flood through you as you make your gentle progress. As you thread your way through floodplains fringed with islands, ancient trees will mark your passage, as will tiny reed-frogs, imperious fish eagles, and a host of other living creatures, large and small. Bee-eaters hawk from the reed-beds, red lechwe will pause in their grazing to observe you, hippo will grunt in the lagoons, and the crocodiles you don’t see will see you. As the day passes your guide will select an island to camp on. Beaching the dug-out he will assist with the erection of your tent, the gathering of firewood, the collection of water, and the general establishment of your campsite in a spot conducive to your safety and comfort. As the afternoon mellows he will take you for a walk over the island, viewing birds, game, and the spectacular scenery for which the Okavango is renowned. On your return in the evening the fire will be set and, with your guide’s assistance, you will prepare your evening meal over the open coals, under a sky spangled with stars. An early rise the following morning, some light refreshment, and another exploratory walk will be followed by a late breakfast and a siesta, or perhaps a chance to read or research some of the fascinating things you have seen on your walks. And so the days pass, in idyllic and sometimes exciting fashion, as the modern world fades and your priorities realign themselves with your soul, and the company of a man whose life and experience is so different from your own becomes a revelation in itself. On the final day of your trail you will return to Oddballs’, again for a minimum of one night, and again to acclimatize. This time, however, your frame of mind will be very different indeed, and rather than becoming used to the idea of a wild adventure, it is the challenges of civilisation that you will need to learn to face again.