1a. Okavango Pan Handle: A lodge in the Okavango Delta: Drotsky Cabins Lodge

After undergoing the border formalities where for once we had very friendly border guards, the truck drove south along the Okavango river towards Shakawe.

From Bagani into the Okavango and back...

From Bagani into the Okavango and back…

In Mohembo West, just after crossing the border, there was room to change money or to get some snacks or beverages from the local supermarket. When standing outdoors in the sun, I saw this little boy playing and it struck me immediately how inventive these children or their parents were in creating toys:

The empty beverage bottles were welcome as passangers too 🙂

Now the truck drove onwards to Skawe where we arrived in the early afternoon and here we would spent some days at Drotsky Cabin Lodge which I’ll give a 5 out of 5 stars rating, for their great cabins, their awesome location in the middle of nature, for the luxury of a swimming pool and beautiful gardens and a private ferry boat towards my cabin which was on the river bank and for sheer friendliness and knowing how to please 😀

Drotskys Cabin Lodge

Drotsky’s Cabins on the western panhandle of the Okavango Delta near Shakawe in the north-western corner of Botswana, is one of the original pioneer lodges in the country and is especially popular with tourists keen on fishing and/or birding.
Drotsky’s Cabins is a family business, and since it has been around for a long time, its owners and staff are extremely knowledgeable about the Shakawe area, as well as the flora and fauna of this part of the Okavango Delta in Botswana.

The entire lodge was recently rebuild and is therefore in excellent condition.

The bar at Drotsky’s Cabins is frequented by both locals and tourists, so you are guaranteed to hear some fascinating stories about the Shakawe region of the Okavango Delta in Botswana.

The papyrus channels and lush vegetation of the river make Drotsky’s Cabins a perfect venue for fishing and birdwatching. Also be on the lookout for hippos and crocs in the Okavango River.

The river boasts seventeen species of fish – most notable however, are the tiger fish and bream.

Apart from many opportunities to view birds and some wildlife of the Shakawe area in Botswana, the lodge also offers plenty of rest and relaxation.

Birds

Green Bee eater / Cormorant & Greater Blue Eared Starling

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The swimming pool is the perfect place to catch up on all the reading you’ve missed out on.

Botswana’s famous barbel run takes place sometime between August to October and Drotsky’s Cabins in the Okavango Delta is the place to experience this phenomenon. The fish congregate in schools of thousands. The fish then swim upstream, slapping their tails on the water as they swim through the thick papyrus reeds in the river. Apparently this slapping noise disorientates the smaller species of fish in the Okavango River and they become easy prey. The noise and frenzy attracts lots of birds, as well as tiger fish – so if it’s tiger fish you are after, come to Drotsky’s Cabins.

The location

Drotsky’s Cabins or Lodge is situated about 10 km south of Shakawe on the Maun road.  Be on the lookout for a sign post on the left side of the road as you travel towards the south?.

Although the sand on the road can be quite thick, it is possible to reach Drotsky’s Cabins in a normal 2WD car.
GPS
18 25 58.01S
21 51 97.03E

Accomodation

The ten luxury cabins as well as the restaurant area at Drotsky Cabins have been built on stilts, so if the annual floods occur, the lodge could be surrounded by water. The cabins are set amongst indigenous thorn trees. Each cabin is en-suite, and is equipped with air-conditioner, satellite TV and double bed.

Mayor TIP

Only two of the original six A-frame chalets overlooking the wide Okavango River are still in use. These chalets are simple, clean and comfortable, and exude the charm of years gone by. They are the only two chalets at the lodge where children under 12 years can share with their parents as they have a second floor deck with 2 extra single beds.

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Where the ten luxury cabins are undoubtedly more luxurious and close to an outdoor garden pool, the two A-frame chalets have another thing that would make them much more attractive too outdoor, nature, rest seeking and wildlife/birdlife photographers… They are located on the Okavango river bank and in the early morning and evening you’ll see lots of wildlife like monkees, abundat birdlife and croques directly in the vicinity.

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Another plus of the cabins on the riverbank was that it meant a boat ride on the Okavango River whenever it became dark, to reach the cabins. In day time a forest path lead from the cabins to the lodge.

During these “ferry” boat trips and during a beautiful boat cruise (of which I’ll write my next a blog) on the okavango river it became clear that this area was abundant with all sorts of wildlife and especially birdlife…

 

Pied Kingfisher

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Crocodile

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Jacana

The jacanas (sometimes referred to as Jesus birds or lily trotters) are a group of tropical waders in the family Jacanidae. They are found worldwide within the tropical zone. See Etymology below for pronunciation.

Eight species of jacana are known from six genera. The fossil record of this family is restricted to a recent fossil of the wattled jacana from Brazil and a Pliocene fossil of an extinct species, Jacana farrandi, from Florida. A fossil from Miocene rocks in the Czech Republic was assigned to this family, but more recent analysis disputes the placement and moves the species to the Coraciidae.

They are identifiable by their huge feet and claws which enable them to walk on floating vegetation in the shallow lakes that are their preferred habitat. They have sharp bills and rounded wings, and many species also have wattles on their foreheads.

In terms of sexual size dimorphism, female Jacanas are larger than the males. The latter, as in some other wader families like the phalaropes, take responsibility for incubation, and some species (notably the northern jacana) are polyandrous. However, adults of both sexes look identical, as with most shorebirds. They construct relatively flimsy nests on floating vegetation, and lay eggs with dark irregular lines on their shells, providing camouflage amongst water weeds.

Their diet consists of insects and other invertebrates picked from the floating vegetation or the water’s surface.

Most species are sedentary, but the pheasant-tailed jacana migrates from the north of its range into peninsular India and southeast Asia.

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And after returning from my cabin to the lodge by ferry boat, when dusk came, I watched how several bushbucks came from the thickets, first very nervous and careful, but then knowing there were some yummy goodies waiting for them at the edge of the thickets near the huge waranda of the lodge, they started to show and eat.

After dinner I drank a beer in the lodge and then asked for a ferry boat driver to returmn me to my cabin…

At night the Okavango was even more beautiful than I had imagined…

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Then I went in for a shower and slept on the top floor of my cabin, listening to faint animal cries and the peaceful sound of the Okavango floating by…

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Interested in visiting Drotskys too? Than check their website at: http://www.drotskycabins.com/#amenities

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