The thing you notice about the Kavango region is the endlessly long, straight roads. You expect it in Nebraska or Kansas, but somehow here the roads seem surprising. The main road running east-west through this region bordering Namibia’s northern border with Angola is well-maintained and passes village after village of thatched huts, reed fences, yellow grass, cows, and occasional goats and donkeys. Near every village someone is flagging you down, hoping you’ll stop and give them a ride.
Occasionally a sign will appear to remind you why you need to stay alert on these roads. Running into a cow or donkey (the latter have a habit of sleeping on the road) can drastically shorten your vacation. Running into an elephant is a whole different story.
Radiating from the main road every so often are packed earth roads, frequently with signs asking you to limit your speed to 100 kilometers per hour – in fact 60-70 kph is probably the best you can do between villages. Kids wave as you pass, and either kids, or women in bright dresses seem to be forever carrying things up and down the road. The most common item being carried is a container filled with water. The men can usually be seen working in the village – you’ll sometimes spot men carrying a load, but usually it’s a younger guy walking with a girl he’s got his eye on.
Another scene that repeats indefinitely is the brush fire. Coming from the States, you think of the forest fires that can devastate acre after acre in a flash – yet here everyone seems unconcerned, and the brush fires seem much more orderly. Which is a good thing, because I didn’t see any fire trucks, and it’s tough to put out a fire one 5 liter jug of water at a time.