Today I entered my 21st country!!! My parents and I crossed the border of Botswana to go to Chobe National Park. We had a lovely morning boating on the Chobe river - saw dozens of hippo, crocodiles, elephants, hundreds of birds, giraffe, impala, kudu, mongoose, etc. etc. In the afternoon we took a game drive.
The border crossing was fascinating - my mom counted over 70 trucks waiting to cross from Zambia to Botswana. At this crossing, you have to cross a river to go from one country to the other, but they have not yet built a bridge. Instead, they have one ferry which runs back and forth across the river, meaning that only one truck can cross at a time. Apparently trucks have to wait 3 or 4 days or even a week before they can get their supplies across the border. Also, just as the ferry pulls away, as many people as possible jump on to it, with their luggage and supplies on their backs and heads, in order to cross into the other country. It was fascinating to watch.
We, on the other hand, had a private motor boat from the tour company take us from one side to the other - no lines, no jumping. It is such a conflicting feeling to see one reality taking place right in front of our eyes while at the same time living an entirely different one.
The biggest stress to me all day was the fact that my passport only has two pages left in it, which I am reserving for my Uganda/Rwanda travels, and every place we went today was STAMP HAPPY -- every time we got to a border post I started sweating and pointing furiously at little places where I wanted them to stamp. I fortunately made it through with my two pages in tact, but I have stamps covering literally every other inch of my passport.
Tomorrow we are headed back to South Africa!