I have to admit: I have not yet been on a safari experience as adventurous as the one I am about to embark on in Botswana. I have been told by Africa experts (whose ranks I aspire to join as I gain more and more experiences and forge partnerships with the best in both safari AND conservation and community inclusion practices) that one visit to Africa is not enough.
A Safari in Botswana: The Best of the Best of Sheer Wildlife Experiences and Sightings
In fact, there are many luxury eco safari experiences to explore, in varying landscapes. South Africa and Tanzania are the door openers; a magnitude of different scenes await in other destinations.
One of those, arguably the best of those for sheer animal and bird life, is an African Safari in Botswana.
Before I was invited there by Wilderness Safaris, I knew the country had a model conservation policy, which in some ways is threatened by politics. I knew elephant populations were large, that efforts to save both white and black rhinos existed here.
And now I am going. And I can only imagine what it will be like.
Watery Landscape and Life on the River
I envision a watery landscape, navigable by mokoro, the hulled boat moved by a pole through shallow depths, and ask myself …
- How close will we be to elephants? Or water buffalo? And hippo?
- How will we see the other species of the Big Five?
- Will jaguars (always elusive on my other safaris) be visible in trees?
- Will lions roam in grasslands?
- Will giraffe and zebra wander in large herds?
All these things I dream in my mind’s eye.
All seems watery (I know the Kalahari is also in Botswana, but I am not going there this time).
Luxury Adventure Camping
We will mostly fly in a bush plane from camp to camp. I am staying in some adventure camps (I imagine them as ultra-exposed to the wild landscape – will it be too much?) and luxury camps that are truly leave no trace, so those methods of providing top level services, comfort and amenities fascinate me. Will it all feel like I am camping? Certainly not in a hotel.
A Safari in Botswana – A Visual Journey
Watch the Boswana – A Visual Journey video on YouTube.
Out of Africa Experience
So I am excited by the adventure of going to a place I can see images and video of but can not comprehend the whole. I think I will feel like it is an Out of Africa type experience. The planes will be small, but not open cockpit and not fly as low I don’t believe. I think there will be great sundowners. I think the animals will be very close. I imagine local communities to be small and their villages … well, I cannot imagine that at all. I can’t wait to meet people and learn what it is to embrace the bounty of the land that draws commerce from visitors, not mining or selling off to farmland or natural resource extraction.
The Ultimate Wildlife Experience
In short, Botswana seems like the ultimate wildlife experience, which for many is part of the draw of this bucket list safari destination. I know it will be different. Even with all my preparation, I still wonder how it will compare to the iconic Great Migration. But, ultimately, I have an inkling that this may be one of my life’s top adventures, and that Botswana awaits to teach and touch me, not just show me.
If you’d like to have more ease in your travel planning in 2019, I’d love to help!
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