After relatively nice temperatures in Tanzania we arrive to sweltering temperatures in Botswana. Kasane, a small town in the north, our safari starting point is 35C and rising. There is no breeze and the heat is suffocating. We walk all morning at a slow pace and there is no shade. Back at the hotel it is all we can do to remain upright while we waste away the afternoon in the shade.
We leave early in the morning to avoid the heat of the day. It is maybe only 30C when we start. As we travel on the highway in our no sides, no windows, safari vehicle the temperature rises quickly. The hot air that blows by us only exasperates the problem. We try to drink because it is not only the heat but the wind that sucks us dry.
In the afternoon it rains a bit and the temperature moderates. The next couple of days in Chobe National Park are again hot with small amounts of afternoon rain to keep things livable.
Heading south-west to Khwai Conservation Area and the clouds roll in. It is nice to be protected from the glaring sun and the cover keeps the temperatures nice enough for a t-shirt and we do not sweat too much. We get to camp around noon and the thunder starts.
By the 4pm game drive it is pouring. Debbie dons an extra layer, I put on my jacket, we both hunker under our rain ponchos and for 3 hours the rain comes down in buckets. The temperature drops to about 20C and with the nature’s wind and the breeze of being in an open moving vehicle is it chilly. We are again officially warm weather wiennies.
We run into the first rain that amounts to anything in Botswana. The thunder is a low throated rolling rumble. Unlike the prairies where there is a sudden very loud clap, loud enough to knock you out of your chair. The noise here is more like you hear on the shoreline of an ocean. It’s loud enough but it starts with a low grumbly kind of boom, gets louder and then rolls across the landscape, the sound decaying over quite a long span of time. Thunder is another interesting aspect of the constant audio sound track that is being played out constantly as the safari movie plays on.
The clouds here provide another sort of visual drama. For the most part, they are similar to the clouds that form across our prairies, but they provide the backdrop for spectacular sunsets almost every evening, orange, red, yellow, purple, with the sun streaking through like a bible picture. They are of every shape and colour and we wish our photos could capture their drama. The colours are not quite so vivid with the sunrises but the clouds help with the drama there too and they are worth a stop in the routine for a look. We are starting to read the clouds, from which direction they come and which ones bring rain.