An excellent adventure safari covering all Botswana highlights incl. the Okavango Delta and the Moremi Game reserve. Not for the faint hearted, wild camping in the African bush!
While lots of the camps in the Delta are upmarket, there are some great community-based rough camping options. You just pitch up on an island with locals as polers and guides, and share this natural wonder with its elephants, hippos, eagles, tiny frogs and dark camp nights with a million stars. It's an assault on all your senses and as far from city life as you can get.
Etsha, on the west road, is a string of small, friendly villages set up by former Angolan refugees, and the community trust runs trips of as many days as you want to stunningly beautiful locations away from any car, plane or motorboat. Our Etsha guides knew everything there was to know about the place and how best to experience it. We went from Guma Lagoon camp, 11km off the metal road, but there are other places to be picked up or to get help arranging things.
Etsha Villages midway on the road between Caprivi and Maun. Easily reached too from Namibia.
Oddballs camp is a camp in the Okavango Delta with great mokoro trips.
It is seen as a budget option for the Okavango.
Loved Dumela Botswana that arranged the trip.
These flat bottomed, dug out canoes are a different way to see the Okavango Delta. You can pass through the lily beds so smoothly that you barely disturb the flowers, let alone the wildlife.
Great if you want to see something like the elusive sitatunga - a small deer-like mammal light enough to live on the waterways' foliage; potentially terrifying when you run into the crocs or hippos that lurk around.
Memorable either way.
One of the biggest game reserves in Botswana. Best bit - elephants hanging around the campsite at night, hippos laughing, the sound of the lions and other big cats hunting. Watch out for the hyenas, which, apparently, are attracted to smelly shoes and which definitely like the bins. And they have weird scary eyes that shine when your torch lands on them.
Our camping trip was organised through Jolly Boys Backbackers. Quite basic but so much to see it hardly mattered. All food and drink provided for. Elephants walked through our camp on the last night - quite an experience.
Chobe is full of water so the herds of elephants are a sight to behold taking you back to a pre-historic era. Also many hippos and the lions are strong due to the amount of prey available. Some beautiful birdlife too - lilac crested rolo's, fish eagles. The baboons are also fun to watch as well.
I went to Botswana in January and stayed in the south at Tuli Lodge - an hour and a half flight from Jo'burg. It was a great time of year to go as it’s the rainy season so although the south is dry we saw plenty of elephants, giraffes, wart hogs, a lion on the first safari and a python on the last. Plenty of herds of Impala, Zebra, Elan and Kudo.
We also stayed at Craigs (organised though Tuli) and we walked there which meant you get to track the animals, get close to the birdlife and flora and fauna. On the walking trip we saw a Black Mamba - something to remember. Craigs is an unfenced camping ground so isolated and with an air of excitement. Steve our guide was excellent. Sundowners every night at a different spot to watch the sunset.
Other highlights included visiting the orphanage in Tuli which has been built by the owner of Tuli Lodge and a quick trip to Victoria Falls.
Our two-week trip felt much longer as you get so much into a day. This was my first safari and I’m now planning a trip to Namibia.
Hot tip: extremely romantic.
Floating along in a dugout canoe, you could almost drop off but every now and then a hippo pops up out of the water nearby, snorts and wakes you up. As well as scary big hippos you'll see crocodiles, elephants, you might see a lion (you'll definitely hear them hunting at night if you camp near the river), buffalo, wildebeest, lots of antelope, honey badgers ... it's been a few years but it was properly wild when I went.
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