By Walton G. Eller, Sr.
1Jacob the Immiqrant, 2John Jacob, 3Joseph, 4Jacob, 5James Jacob, 6James Granville, 7Alvis Guthrie, 8Walton G. Eller, Sr. 9Walton G. Eller, Jr.
The trip to Botswana, Africa was planned in July 1992 for May 1993 by my son Walton G. (Butch) Eller, Jr. and myself. This was a seven day safari which included seven species of animals, bird shooting and fishing. From the middle of May until October is winter time in Botswana. Botswana is located north of the Union of South Africa and is the oldest Republic in Africa. The area we were to go on the safari is north of the Kalahari Desert in an area called the Okavango Wetland. Our safari was from May 6 through May 12 and since this was the beginning of winter we didn't know exactly what type of clothing to take along. Needless to say we both took too many.
My son flew up from Houston May 2, 1993 spent the night with his mother and me before leaving for New York City the morning of May 3rd., we arrived in New York City about 4 P.M. and left there at 7 P.M. on a 747 of the South African Airline. The flight to Johannsburg was 13 1/2 hours non stop. We arrived about 3:30 P.M. on the 4th of May. Spent the night at the Sun Hotel at the airport. We didn't get much sleep, Butch and I were both so excited about this once in a life time trip. We left the next morning on Botswana Airline for Maun, Botswana, arriving there about 10:30 A.M. and was met by our safari guide Mark Kyriacou, a third generation Botswanian of Greek ancestry and his wife Mary Lou, an American lady from Houston, Texas. We were taken to the safari headquarters where we changed into our hunting clothes and 2 1/2 hours later we were in the "bush" our hunting camp. Most of the animals are protected and only certain species are permitted to be hunted. The seven species were the Cape Buffalo, the Impala, the Tsessche, the Kudo, the Lechwe (the last four are of the antelope family) the Wart hog and Zebra. We brought back trophies of everything except the Zebra. Butch or I just couldn't bring ourselves to shoot a Zebra. We did get to bird hunt also but since we spent 3 days looking for the Cape Buffalo we never did get to fish. We did see and take pictures of many typical African animal, elephants, hippos, giraffes, wild dogs, etc. Our trip was great, the time did fly by and it was time to go home. The flight back was 17 hours due to the jet stream and a stop at Isle de Sol (Cape Verda Islands) to refuel. We had a 4 hour lay over in New York City before leaving for home (Fort Worth, TX) arriving at 3:00 P.M. on Friday the 14th 1993. This was a trip I will long remember and an experience of a life time.