Another update

Full rivers:

With good rains in Angola highlands over the rainy season the Okavango, Chobe and Zambezi Rivers are all in full flow. The Zambezi has also caused major flooding in Zambia as well.

The photo below, of the Chobe River, was taken last week, by Stanza Mbanga Molaodi of African Bush Lovers Travel & Tours Safaris.

Image may contain: tree, sky, plant, outdoor, nature and water

Present Covid-19 situation for us

Lock down is a thing of the past, however we are still in a State of Emergency, which will still be in place until the end of September.

Botswana has been divided into 9 zones, all movement within a zone is allowed. Movement across zones is by permit only. Basically all businesses are open again and schools go back this week.

On the important side; the sale of alcohol is allowed under strict regulations. We can now buy alcohol from Wednesday’s to Saturday’s. So tomorrow we can enjoy our first lemonade for over 2 months.

The sale of tobacco is still not allowed. But some restrictions have been eased as we are now allowed to buy lighters. 🙂

Weather

We had our first taste of winter here in Letlhakane, late last week, we froze with temperatures dropping under 10C.

I have updated our weather page for those interested. https://ourbots.wordpress.com/letlhakane-weather/

 

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Catch-up

Weather:

Winter is creeping in quickly – Mornings are very chilly. We have already had a few days recording under 15C.

Mopane Tree

Beautiful colours of the Mopane Tree in autumn

The bush is drying out, the Lowveld-cluster Leaf has started loosing its leaves and the autumn colours of the Mopane can be seen all over.

 

It would seem (as should be) that our rainy season has come to an end – even the rain gauge has been packed away for winter. It has been a dismal wet season and it is the second lowest rainfall we have recorded since we have been living here in Botswana (now 8 1/2 years).

See my updated weather page at: https://ourbots.wordpress.com/letlhakane-weather/

Rivers:

With the whole world focusing on the devastating Coronavirus an amazing natural event is easily be overlooked. The waters of the Okavango, Zambezi and Chobe Rivers which comes from the highlands in Angola are at their highest levels for years.

Okavango River:

After travelling some 2000 km from the ‘Water Tower’ in the Angolan highlands, the first waters of 2020 Okavango flood have finally reached Maun. This years floods are the highest recorded for the last 5 years.

Let’s hope that the waters continues into the Boteti River and fills Lake Xau (see: https://ourbots.wordpress.com/2012/09/24/so-where-does-the-boteti-river-go/ )

Zambezi River:

The Zambezi River only just touches Botswana, forming the border between ourselves and Zambia for a distance of 150m – the world’s shortest international border.

However it is in flood – in fact it is rising to levels that makes it the biggest flood since 1977/78. There is now a second wave of the flood en-route and water levels at Chavuma (on the Zambezi at the Zambia/Angola Border) have risen by 523% compared to the same period last year. This could be the biggest flood since the Kariba Dam wall floods of 1958. Kariba will probably fill.

Botswana Coronavirus Update:

Botswana has recorded 24 confirmed cases of the coronavirus and we have unfortunately lost 1 person to the virus. Below is our latest breaking news – which is wonderful.

No photo description available.

We have moved into the easing of lock down restrictions now, however still no tobacco and alcohol

😦

Businesses have started re-opening, but are only allowed 25% of their staff force at this stage.

I have 2 staff, so I am battling to work out which half of which staff member I should have.

 

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Cool lockdown game

Somebody leave a case of beers and a carton of cigarettes at my gate and I will attempt to guess who did it.

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Botswana Memories

81/2 years ago Sue and I arrived in Botswana and haven’t regretted it even once. With the coronavirus shutdown it gives me time to reflect back on the great life we have had and still having here in this wonderful country.

Moving In

Any move is always a stressful time and ours was no different. We moved here in December, with no planned truck to deliver our furniture. Truck companies were rushing to deliver before their Christmas break and that didn’t include our stuff. So we had to camp in our house and this went on until well into January.

Our first Christmas here was somewhat different to what we had become used to and came without a tree or decorations.

A paragraph of my blog at the time reads “Apart from a couple of blow-up Father Christmas’ around town there is not really a Christmas atmosphere at all here in Letlhakane. No Christmas carols and at about 45C Santa will frazzle in his big red suit, but I will leave out a Castle and some biltong for him just in case.”

Moving into a desert also had some adaptations and in my post 10 Ways Of Knowing You Live In A Desert

Point 1, which amused friends and family, was “There are more bottles of water in the fridge than beers”

This would also be point 1 if I wrote a post “10 Ways of knowing You are Coming to an End of a Lockdown”

Exploring the area

Lekhubu (Kubu) Island, Orapa Game Park and the Boteti River to follow soon…

 

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Botswana: Coronavirus update

Our president announced last night that we are going into a 3 week gradual relaxation of shut down regulations.

The first week 1 May – 7 May remains at full regulations as we presently know it. Week 2 – certain restrictions will be removed and week 3 the remaining regulations will be lifted. So by 22nd May we will hopefully be totally out of lock down. This of course is dependent on no new cases.

Botswana has had 22 positive cases of the virus and 1 death.

Our drinks and cigarettes have run out and our fridge is looking very dismal. The sale of drinks was banned about a week before our shutdown started. It was for 30 days and that “ended” yesterday, but with the shutdown this was extended  – our stocks did last until day 29.

I see that the latest thing is to, on social media,  challenge people to do things and nominate others. So – I challenge all reading this post to send drinks and cigarettes, you have to complete this challenge by sunset today. In fact cigarettes in 5 minutes. 🙂 🙂 I wish.

 

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Botswana and Coronavirus, plus more

Day 4 of our 28 day shut down. Botswana now has 6 cases, but still only 1 death. People here are adhering to the shutdown, which is really great.

As far as we go: None of the mines have closed in Botswana so Sue is still working, more at home than at the mine, however.

Both of us have permits to travel to The Plot, which is a great relief. We are restricted in our movements though. We can leave home at 7h30 and have to be back home by 16h30.

Okavango and Zambezi Rivers in flood.

Reports are coming through that the Okavango River is flooding in Namibia and the highest it has been for the last 5 years. This is wonderful news for the Okavango Delta, which was very very low last year.

Hopefully the delta will overflow and water will flow in the Boteti River again.

The Zambezi is also in flood and has reached the highest levels since 1977. There is a second wave coming through which is a big as the first wave and could be the biggest flood since 1958.

Above: Sue and Bonnie after a hard mornings work in Cailie’s Cove.

Note the bottles of water 🙂

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Botswana and Coronavirus

I often felt that living in central Botswana that the rest of the world could end and we won’t even know about. But with the world corona crisis, this could be further from my thoughts as the virus has reached our country.

Unfortunately we now have 4 confirmed cases and 1 death. This has led to a positive reaction by our President Mokgweetsi Masisi to announce a state of emergency and a total shut down for 28 days, starting at midnight tonight, Thursday, 2nd April.

The lock down on the sale of alcohol started last Saturday, which was meant to be for 30 days. So this I assume is now automatically extended to 36 days.

Panic buying is happening at all shops and I must confess that I was one who has done it twice. The first was for our animals, we have to have enough animal feed before/if the agricultural shops close.

The second, I class not as panic buying, but critical buying, that being of lemonades (ok, beers and other drinks) to see us through.

Our fridge at day zero

 

 

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A stunning snake in Cailie’s Cove

Boomslang Botswana

This lovely female boomslang (tree snake) was spotted by Sue while we were sitting in Cailie’s cove. It glided through the trees effortlessly and disappeared with its brilliant camouflage from time to time.

The Boomslang is generally found in trees, as its name suggests  but may descend to the ground to bask or to cross to another tree as we witnessed.

Although it is classed as “very dangerous”,  in trees it is not a threat to humans as it is extremely reluctant to bite and bites are rare.

It feeds on birds, nestlings, frogs, lizards and occasionally on small mammals.

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A Tribute to Cailie

On Saturday we had a memorial for Cailie and a planting in her remembrance garden – Cailie’s Cove

The Gardening team in action:

Sue’s words for the garden                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  There is one more angel in heaven there is one more star in the sky.

We will often sit in your garden and think of you

Remembering all our wonderful moments

Our sadness will become a smile

For being in your garden of remembrance

Will be our favorite place to be

For we know in our hearts

That you will be sitting next to us

Sue and my tribute:

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Car Park Garden

Sue and I needed to go to Gaborone, which also allowed us to visit a nursery and buy plants and trees for Cailie’s Cove – a remembrance garden for my daughter Cailin.

It was a warm day in Gaborone and the plants we had purchased were in the back of car – so not good. When we got to the hotel we were staying at, Sue reversed the car into a parking. We opened the tail gate of our mini bus, took out some plants and put them around us and we sat at the back of the car with a bottle of wine.

Cailie’s Cove in transit

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