grasses, filling up sandy burrows, wrapping round tree trunks,
spilling onto roads. Floodwaters from heavy rain in Angolan highlands
are pushing into Botswana's northern waterways. Channel beds that
have been dry for more than twenty years are being tickled into life
by fingers, arms, whole torsos of clean clear water. Flocks of birds
mark the headway. Bands of marabou storks stand sentinel - a flock of
pelicans wheels in settling amongst the marabou, waiting for the fish
that must follow.
The Okavango River forms the worlds only inland delta in the kalahari
basin of Botswana. It is a miracle of life as a whole pulsing vibrant
river fans out forming islands and oxbows before disappearing into the
sand. From space it looks something like a birds foot. From the air
it is a wonderland of blues, greens, white sand, herds of animals -
great and small, patterned and plain, and great flocks of birds.
Water is life and here a myriad of life forms exist under the water,
on the water, at the edges, in the forests and plains surrounding the
water, and in the air above.
In all the old photograph albums of people who have lived for years in
Botswana there are the inevitable photos of floodwaters - saturated
grasslands and forests, overflowing pans; in a desert country the
arrival of new water is far more interesting than the world events
happening far away. It has to be recorded, measured, discussed.
To the east of the Okavango is the Kwando River that flows through the
Selinda area into Lake Zibidianja and then on to Linyanti and the
The two rivers are linked by a dry channel bed known as the Selinda
With recent water levels rising water has been pushing into the
Spillway again from both sides. Speculation is rife as to whether the
two shall meet again this year. It is 27 years since the Spillway last
flowed in any direction. The tradition is to light a fire in the
middle - when they are close - and let the floodwaters put out the
fire. Progress is being watched carefully and wagers are being taken.
ok geography lesson over for today. I hope i can upload some pictures
of water, then we are off to the Spillway to see how far the water is.