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Located in the northwest part of Botswana is Shakawe, a tourist best friend. a village at the start of the Okavango Delta, covered with greens and a beautiful river, gateway into the country or out depending on one’s travel plans, its closeness to Namibia makes things pretty easy for a return trip.
My 6 days stay in Shakawe was the best time, I know getting away mostly is for relaxing and refreshing but for me, I was all over, trying to experience as much as possible in that short time, making connections as fast as I could. What was supposed to be a two night’s stay turned into five nights, I was not satisfied, I needed more time.
HOW TO GET THERE
The fastest way to get to Shakawe will be flying. I used a bus from Maun 6 hours drive and one can always drive a private car, the road is bad so a 4X4 will be much required.
THE VILLAGE AND PEOPLE
It is a growing village but still got its rich culture, the people are of all kinds of tribes and culture, mainly by the Hambukushu and Herero tribe, with fishing as their source of food, as of now some of the languages spoken are; Mbukushu, Sesarwa, Tswana, Herero, English, Seyei. It’s fascinating to see how they are still holding on to their culture. The village is quite simple really, there is nothing much to do in the shopping center but you will still get what you need. A very simple, calm, slow life, a dream destination to gather your thoughts kind of village. Nightlife with a few bars mostly dominated by locals, with lodges in the area, the one I went to for dinner and drinks is the Shakawe River Lodge, situated a few feet from the river, it does not disappoint. Everything was on point, from the location, food, architecture, and service, I recommend this to anyone.
THE RIVERS AND FERRY
On the first day, I went to a nearby village called Mohembo, very close to Shakawe, i used a taxi to get around and they cost around $2 a trip. These is where there is a ferry station to cross to other villages,I had my joy ride on the ferry, I went 3 times, maybe 4, don’t judge, felt like a kid again and I took some good shots too. I was not satisfied with the photos even though they were great, I wanted more water and more vegetation, I wanted the pictures to speak Delta without me explaining where I took them and I was not getting that, because the delta by the ferry station is a bit dried up than I remembered.
So a day after the ferry trip I discovered the Shakawe river, well a local friend took me there lol, he called it his chill spot, I was not ready for it, I had no camera, my phone was on low battery, I just wanted the next day to start already so that I can go back prepared, same time, same sunset, with a bridge enough for people to move around and sit, a true relaxing spot. Some people use it to have their drinks, I went there once to have my lunch. There is just something about nature and flowing water that calms every storm in me.
About 40 km from Shakawe is the Tsodilo Hills AKA the mountain of the gods, a historic place that is thoughtfully structured and I learned a ton. Going there was never on my list of things to do, mostly because I did not have a car to go there, funny enough, it was highly recommended by a gentle person I crossed paths with and even suggested that I cycle to the hills, if only I was that active and fit, anyway I managed to go, best decision I made on this trip. I say this because I turned down a boat cruise safari offer, well the thing is I love water, I really do, from far, do you get me, there got to be a safe distance between me and a river. I have never been on a boat nor cruised before, when my friends go, I stay behind and liquor up, when they come back i will be ready for the night. But this time I regret turning down this offer, I mean I could have cried and screamed while cruising away, I could have experienced and saw the real delta, its islands, the pictures I could have taken, the thrill,ayyy :(,en ough about that, lets back to where I went,the hills.
There are charges that one has to know about before going, the entrance fee; for a citizen of Botswana=P10 Non-citizen=P50, the tracks; rhino track=P120 which we took and the rest tracks are P175 each, which is by the way paid to the guides, quite pricey I must admit but I guess they have their reasons,, overall I had a wonderful time. I walked the long trail, saw the paintings on the rocks, our guide explained and schooled us and then we went into the museum which was well detailed with historic information.
what to bring
- food/snacks (it’s a long journey, inside and the trip from and to)
- Bring someone with you’ll need a partner or four for this tour
- comfortable gear, it’s quite a walk, a bit of a hike kind of landscape(you’ll want to be comfortable)