Christine W. was initially drawn to Botswana through the stories in the “No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency” series (novels that take place in Botswana). And every summer during a visit to Grandma’s house, she and her children watch “The Gods Must Be Crazy,” a comedy about a Kalahari bushman who accidentally encounters civilization. It’s safe to say that going on an African safari in Botswana was on her bucket list!
With Acanela’s help, Christine recently took her dream trip to Botswana. Here’s what she had to say about her experience.
Our exceptional guide Tony made our trip! He was an amazing tracker and driver, and he took us right to the animals. We were able to observe them in their natural habitat with little awareness of our presence on their part. They were accustomed to the Land Rover, and Tony was always conscious of them and when we needed to leave.
We changed camp every couple of days. This allowed us to move to new areas of the Okavango Delta and notice the differences in the animals and land there.
Other than the fact that our tent was set up for us, our meals were prepared, and our campfire was started, we experienced true camping throughout the trip. (So if you go on this trip, make sure to bring a head lamp, towel or washcloth, first-aid kit, and a good attitude!) It was amazing to taste the dishes that Ben and Jackie cooked up for us using only a campfire. We also had some super desserts.
The best part of camping — other than the nightly campfire and the delicious dinners — was the night sky. We had never seen the Southern Cross, and the sky was immense and very black with thousands of stars. The Milky Way was very clear. It was awesome to be away from civilization.
We could even hear the sounds of the animals at night. One night, an elephant walked by our tent. I could hear his steps and the crunching of branches overhead. And on the last day, Tony tracked the lion that we had heard throughout the previous night. We followed him across the grassland to his pride, where we found 20 lions walking in front and around us in the Land Rover. It was an experience I will not forget.
We added a night to our trip so we could visit Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe and Zambia (I loved the sight of the falls, especially in Zimbabwe!). I also know that, on Tony’s recommendation, our fellow travelers added one last night in Botswana, where they went on a sunset boat cruise on the Zambezi River. They saw an elephant herd swim across the river, which sounded absolutely magical.
To anyone planning on taking this trip, keep in mind that you’ll be driving on sand, not paved roads, so you’ll get an “African massage” (the rattle you feel while riding in the Land Rover) on a daily basis. Also, this is a cash economy, so bring more US dollars than you think you’ll need, and exchange money in Botswana (which you can do in Maun). Keep in mind that there are very few towns after Maun and they do not have much, so if you want to shop, leave time in Kasane or when you get to Zambia.
Overall, it was an incredible African safari. I particularly loved the Moremi and Savuti game reserves, where we saw fewer people and lots of animals. I can’t say enough good things about Tony, and I’ll never forget the adventures I had!
Thank you for your beautiful review, Christine. Botswana really is otherworldly, and we’re so glad that you finally got the chance to visit!
If you’d like to embark on an African safari just like Christine’s, book our Botswana trip today. Alternatively, if you’d like to visit a different wildlife destination in Africa, check out our trips to Namibia, Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, or South Africa.