AAC Journey Specialist Sara was recently reminiscing about her last trip to Botswana where she and her husband enjoyed the incredible wildlife, scenery and luxurious camps. She was once again wowed by the exclusivity of high-end Botswana safaris, where camps are spread out among the vast wilderness areas, resulting in few tourists in any one place, making for a special and private safari experience. Here are her top 5 safari activities you can enjoy on a Botswana safari.
I have a hard time getting up early at home but waking up at 5am is always manageable when I know there is a game drive in my immediate future. After a delicious shot of espresso and a quick pastry, I’m ready to take in the remote and beautiful wilderness of Botswana in a vehicle looking for wildlife. The magic of a vivid sunrise can’t be captured properly in a photo and the crisp air is a reminder that I’m back in Africa and on an epic adventure. A game drive is the most efficient way to find an abundance of wildlife and cover serious ground to see an array of ecosystems. My first game drive on my recent trip to Botswana did not disappoint when I saw 4 of the ‘Big 5’ in one afternoon!
One of my favorite afternoons in Botswana was spent on a mokoro excursion. Game drives from a vehicle focus on the big wildlife and mammals. The mokoro was a chance to slow down and see Botswana from a new perspective. Gliding through the water in this traditional dugout canoe was peaceful and stunningly beautiful. The people of Botswana used mokoros to navigate the waterways from place to place for fishing, trading and visiting neighbors. Today, mokoros provide the best avenue for seeing plants, frogs and fish as well as a way to connect with your surroundings and appreciate this amazing country and its history.
If you want to step things up a notch from a mokoro, I recommend a motorized boat ride through the channels of the Okavango Delta. The reeds are high, and I felt like I was in a special hidden tunnel of gorgeous waterways. The scenery was fantastic, the water clear and the ride was fun. It was the perfect way to relax at the end of the day. Watching the sunset out in the wilds of the Delta with a gin & tonic then returning to a luxurious camp like Vumbura Plains doesn’t get any better.
I appreciated my walking safari during our trip for its close connection to nature and the environment. Here, the guides get to show off their true skills, identifying small animals, plants and their uses and tracks and signs, tying entire ecosystems together. Best of all, seeing animals in the distance on foot was an awesome and humbling experience.
After an array of activities, I took a morning to sleep in and enjoy my beautiful accommodation with an ‘armchair’ safari. Mombo Camp had an abundance of wildlife passing by camp throughout the day and with its luxurious tents, it was the perfect place to stay back and watch safari come to me. I needed a bit of patience, but the reward of seeing warthogs, elephants and giraffes from my deck was certainly worth the wait. All I needed to do was grab my binoculars, sit back, relax and enjoy!
Vumbura Plains motorboat and elephant at Mombo Camp photos courtesy Wilderness Safaris