Why am I going to participate in an African safari in Botswana?? Simply because Botswana one of the top destinations for a traditional safari with tons of variation. The country is renowned for its abundance of big game wildlife thanks to numerous conservation efforts to keep its areas pristine.
The green, watery Okavango Delta is the heart of reasons to go and has been referred to as an Eden. The country also has rolling savannah grasslands, semi-desert of the Kalahari, and the teeming elephant paradise of the Chobe. Rivers and floodplains allow viewing from various water craft ranging from pontoons and motorboats to special dugouts powered by man. Here, free from competing vehicles, you can have extraordinary animal and bird sightings in areas where you feel most secluded. Sounds like heaven to me!
But there is another reason….
I chose to experience Botswana with Wilderness Safaris as my adventure vacation because their ethos is to drive conservation and community preservation through the commerce their high-end safaris brings.
The company is dedicated to responsible ecotourism in Africa. Its vision: to be Africa’s leading ecotourism organization, creating life-changing journeys to build sustainable conservation economies and inspire positive action.
An Extra-Special African Safari Experience in Botswana
Because Wilderness Safaris preserves huge swaths of environmentally pristine areas through purchase and leasing from local communities; they can offer immersive experiences where you feel you are the only one around for miles, and in truth, you are.
In addition, they have many initiatives, and travelers can opt to participate in exciting research and conservation projects if they choose.
Safari Planning Tip: It is always best to work with a travel safari specialist when planning your vacation to find the right experience for you. Ask me – I can help! ~Theresa Jackson
Where My Journey is Taking Me: Adventure Camps to Luxury Lodges.
You can choose your travel style to match your safari dreams!
I am going to experience all 3 levels of safari accommodation experiences; you can pick your own favorite style on your safari.
Linyanti River region in Chobe National Park
I will stay in canvas tent with full view of the river. A real adventurer’s experience, with comfort- rustic, but not roughing it.
- This is where large herds of elephants are! Excellent year-round wildlife-viewing – game and predators. Red lechwe, zebra, giraffe, lion, leopard, cheetah, wild dog and spotted hyaena are some of the other species that can be found in the area.
- A birder’s paradise, recognized as an IBA (Important Bird Area).
Day and night game drives, guided walks and seasonal boating.
The camps, DumaTau (“roar of the lion”) is involved in elephant research and the possible impact high numbers have on the vegetation and other animal species.
Then I fly by bush plane to the Okavango Delta
This is the emerald Eden, the only place in Africa to do a mokoro safari! It is where the floodplains have created a beautiful labyrinth of waterways, lagoons and islands. Game viewing during a mokoro safari is unsurpassed wildlife from the biggest to the smallest, in lush scenery.
What is a Mokoro?
A mokoro is essentially a dug-out canoe. In the old days this was made by cutting down a tree, hollowing it out, and shaping it into a boat. Today, these craft are manufactured from molded fiberglass. They last forever with far less environmental impact.
Pelo is a tented, mobile camp on a small island in the waters of the Delta- another adventurer’s camp experience.
- Pelo means “heart”, the shape of the island also refers to its location deep in the Okavango Delta
- The open, shallow floodplains make this the perfect place for activities in a mokoro, a flat-bottomed wooden boat guided by poling.
- The chance to see elephant, hippo, crocodile and lechwe, as well as the exciting and rare sitatunga.
- Birding is outstanding, with specials like lesser jacana, slaty egret and wattled crane readily spotted.
Next I am transported by boat to Hunda Island in the Jao Concession of the Okavango Delta.
Here is one of the most diverse wildlife viewing in Botswana. Because of the palatable grasses and productive mopane and acacia woodlands, the vegetation lures many species of plains game.
A classic tented camp called Tubu Tree. These are raised off the ground, as are the walkways in the camp, to minimize the impact. This is a great situation for families because of the increased level of comfort, and the well-rounded experiences the camps in this level provide. I will have my own deck and the camp has a swimming pool (raised as well). There are outdoor seating areas to have a drink and gather with others at day’s end.
- High concentrations of zebra and wildebeest attract the big predators such as lion, leopard and spotted hyena.
- Birding is just as impressive as wildlife viewing. Being in the drier parts, I can expect to see Crimson-breasted Shrike, Dickinson’s Kestrel and Meyer’s Parrot.
Day and night game drives, guided nature walks, seasonal boating and mokoro.
Boarding a bush plane again, I fly to Abu
Here, I am invited to meet the Abu elephants, get a glimpse of their world and learn about their lives. Becoming a part of an African elephant herd is an extraordinary privilege that my hosts will share with me.
A Premier lodge of luxury and exclusivity, I will stay in a luxurious tent with an en-suite bathroom with indoor and outdoor shower, an outdoor copper bath, and a generous elevated deck. The lounge and dining tent have breathtaking views over the scenic lagoon. Other features include a well-stocked library and study, gym and swimming pool.
- The whole premise on which Abu is based is that of elephant research.
- I could sleep in the Star Bed near the elephant boma and be lulled to sleep by the rumblings of the elephants.
- I expect to see buffalo, hippo, red lechwe, zebra and giraffe. The dominant carnivores in the area are lion and hyaena with occasional sightings of leopard and wild dog.
- For bird enthusiasts, some 380 different species can be found here.
Elephants, day and night game drives, guided walks, seasonal mokoro rides and scenic flights.
From Abu, I fly again by bush plane to my last stay in the Vumbura Reserve.
Located north of Botswana’s Moremi National Park, it is a series of large floodplains dotted with small palm islands and interspersed with large forested areas. The reserve is well known for wonderfully varied and high densities of game.
An ultimate luxury camp with elevated en-suite bedrooms each, all with sala, outdoor shower, private deck and plunge pool. In the public areas, the raised dining, lounge and bar area are tucked beneath the canopy of large shady trees. Throughout the camp, the furnishings and design offer a unique contemporary feel with an emphasis on relaxation and style. Home to a spectacular variety of wildlife, Vumbura Plains provides the quintessential Okavango experience.
- Vumbura Plains Camp is part of a ground-breaking partnership that brings the benefits of ecotourism to five rural villages.
- The concession is hugely diverse with floodplains, wooded islands, mopane woodland and Okavango waterways.
- Woodland-loving antelope like sable and kudu roam side by side with water-loving red lechwe and reedbuck. The diversity of prey species results in a wide variety of predators: from lion and spotted hyaena, to leopard, and occasionally cheetah and wild dog.
- The diversity is a boon for keen birders with rosy-throated longclaw, black coucal and wattled crane.
Explore the varied habitats by open 4×4 vehicle (day and night) or on foot. Seasonal boating and mokoro trips are possible, subject to water levels.
If you’d like to have more ease in your travel planning in 2019, I’d love to help!
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