Sundown Standoff in the Xakanaka Lagoon

We get to the dock and our guide is wrangling a pontoon boat into position. This looks fun already. Nice clear day with the sun getting ready to drop.

We load up and the boat gets moving through the narrow channel inlet. Just thirty seconds into it, we come around a corner and there is a large bush elephant blocking our way forward. He’s not thrilled that we’re in the way. “Whoa! Back it up!”

Fortunately, the elephant is in water up to it’s belly. Just enough water to ward off a charge… maybe? It’s a life threatening situation so we get a round of beers going. Ahhh… we’re kinda close to this elephant.

The driver nudges the boat forward and the elephant reacts by backing up slowly. It’s flapping it’s ears and raising it’s trunk at us. Soon it spins around and starts moving away. But at the same time it’s shitting in the water. Getting crop dusted by crazy stinky elepharts wasn’t on my to-do list today. Dah, it’s nasty.

Being uncomfortably close to the elephant does offer a nice photo op.

The elephant gets testy and spins around again to face us, trunk up and ears splayed wide. “Ok, big guy. Easy now.” Our driver backs off, gauging if it will come at us or not. He revs forward a bit in a ballsy challenge, indicating that we’re not backing down. The elephant scoffs and continues backing up.

He spins around again but keeps an eye on us warily. Eventually he moves on and disappears into the bush. (Which, in my mind, means elephants and hippos can basically appear out of nowhere at any time while we’re in here.)

“Well that was fun and terrifying.”

With the elephant out of the way our guide opens’r up a bit more and we start making some headway through the channel.


We glide by some other camps and boat docks and then the Xakanaxa Lagoon opens up in front of us. The scenery is magic. Golden hour plus the water offering a mirror reflection. Serene and perfect.

Boat Dude points out a Fish Eagle standing at the edge of the water. On watch for some dinner. Good sized birb.

We keep heading out into deeper waters, eyes peeled for signs of animals. The scenery is so outstanding that the pics just don’t stop the whole time.

The sun starts to dip to the horizon and colors of orange and red come alive in the water and sky. “This looks nuts, dude.” “Ya, it’s something else.”

We offer a beer to our driver, “Want a Windhoek, my man?” “Yes. Please. That is perfect for this.”

Indeed. There are Sundowners and then there’s this heavy dose of majesty on the Okavango Delta.

“Classic. African red sun reflected in the water.” Our driver has probably done this hundreds of times but he’s still enjoying it. “And a pic of you too, man.” “Yeah, thanks so much for this. It’s truly amazing.”

Made a Windhoek commercial right here.

We kick it a bit longer, enjoying the beers as the sun gets deeper into the red. Sunsets seem to last forever here.

“Ok, we must go. We are losing the light.” Boat Dude spins us around and blasts back across the lagoon.

Mark and I decide to up the stupid and do the ride back from the roof.

We go passed the other camps and docks to the narrow channels that led us here.

On the way we spot a couple of hippos. They’re easily scared off by the boat and duck under the water… and under the grass? And disappear. “The young males are shy.”

“Soooooo… sunset boat tour was a good idea.” “You certainly don’t see this every day.”

The Xakanaxa Camp and sunset boat tour were both excellent suggestions from the nose-picking girl at the Moremi Game Reserve’s South Gate. Kudos to her.

We get back to the dock and are super pumped. High fives and shakes for our boat captain. “Thank-you so much, man.” “Seriously, that was legendary stuff.”

“Let’s get back to camp and see if any animals fucked with the mattress Jamie left out.” “Oh right. Wouldn’t be surprised.”

We ride our boat high back to camp and get eager for the night’s feast.

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