The race stays in Botswana, but that doesn't mean the traveling is over. Teams drive themselves to a riverbank, where Bates & Anthony do a water-skiing Fast Forward and win the leg by hours. The other teams don't have it quite so easy; a Roadblock requires one member of each team to pole a dugout canoe upriver, with their partner and two small goats as passengers. And as Pam, Wynona, Beth, Joey, and Max (but not so much Caroline) discover, it's pretty tricky.
But they have to get there first. En route, Jennifer gets pulled over for speeding, so the country singers have to drive to the police station, try and fail to pay their ticket with American money, rely on a stranger to take their US dollars and return with local currency, and eventually get back on the road. Joey & Meghan just get lost entirely, utterly bereft without the GPS they claim their entire generation relies on. And Max & Katie can't even find their car after starting the leg in last place, and they also get a speeding ticket, and have a fender-bender, and this is before they even get to do their Speed Bump that involves prepping for and performing a ceremonial dance.
Pam & Winnie remain solidly in second place all the way to the Detour, where they choose to lead a team of donkeys hauling a load of firewood on a sleigh. But when the other two all-female teams show up, they panic and switch to the one where they do a fake safari on horseback, in which they're supposed to identify animal cutouts and then put them in the right order by memory. While they're attempting this, Mona & Beth and Caroline & Jennifer come in second and third respectively, while Chuck & Wynona ace the safari Detour and come in fourth. But Pam & Winnie fail to notice one of the ten animals, so suddenly it's not looking good for them at all.
However, Team Newlywed and Team YouTube don't know this. So after a persistently lost Joey gets lucky enough to be able to follow Max to the Roadblock, the two teams are locked in an increasingly frenzied race for what they think is last place. After rushing through the donkey Detour, Joey & Meghan beat Max & Katie to the mat by seconds, and are stunned to learn that there's still a team out there. Yes, after two tries at the safari task, Pam & Winnie switched tasks again. And now they have to switch to not being in the race any more. I did not see that coming at the beginning of the hour, much as Pam & Winnie did not see that ostrich cutout.
"The Okavango Delta is known as the jewel of Botswana," Phil narrates in voice-over during shots of the river, the Bushmen who inhabit the area, and multiple picture-in-pictures of local wildlife. I suspect he's making that nickname up, because it's also referred to as the Okavango Swamp, and I'm not sure how something can be a jewel and a swamp at the same time. He continues, "This freshwater wetland boasts an extraordinary concentration of wildlife, including Africa's big five." That would apparently be the elephant, the lion, the leopard, the rhino, and the cape buffalo. No, I don't know how the cape buffalo got in there either. Must be the cape. From the safari camp where the teams fetched up at the end of the previous leg, most of the racers stand and gape across the river at the elephants who have come to do their dailies. I think Bates speaks for all of the racers when he reverently whispers, "Africaaah."
Phil goes on, "And on the edge of the Boteti river, Meno a Kwena. This safari camp is the start of the seventh leg in a race around the world." And it's just as short on verbs as all the other starts, apparently. Bates & Anthony won the previous leg, so they're starting this one off at 5:39 AM. Still, it's already full daylight when they rip open their clue, which tells them to drive to Boro Village. First they have to find their way back to where they parked their cars before the Detour the day before, however, and they admit in an interview that it's a little novel for them to be in the lead and thus not to have anyone to follow. Once they get in their car, Anthony talks about their good night's sleep among the animals. Bates agrees that he was counting lions instead of sheep. Oh, look, stock footage of lions!
Pam & Winnie are the second team to begin the leg, at 6:11 AM. Pam interviews that the race requires you to be both smart and strong, and their strength is being smart. Thus their strategy to avoid the pack. And, as Winnie points out to Pam, also to avoid all the animal poo in the parking area. Winnie goes on to say that they race their best when they're on their own, so Pam agrees, "this show should just be about us." "Just let us race the show with no other teams and we'll be fine," Winnie agrees. Did they just ask for a spinoff? In their car, Pam says this is all very Indiana Jones, so I think maybe they're seriously working on a pitch.
Chuck & Wynona start in third place (which still blows my mind) at 6:17 AM. Following Chuck at a jog to the cars, Wynona complains, "You'll wear me out before we even get started." And this is while Chuck is wearing both of their backpacks.