An adventure in Botswana in southern Africa

An adventure in Botswana in southern Africa

AN ADVENTURE IN BOTSWANA

I love it when friends/family share their travel adventures. I am so pleased that we have this amazing adventure to read about. I was lucky enough to live in Botswana over 20 years ago and I think it is a country everyone should have the privilege of visiting. If after reading this post it still isn’t on your bucket list then I will be simply amazed! Thanks to Pauline for sharing her experience of an adventure in Botswana with us.

Our adventure in Botswana


“Do you think you will cope with wild camping?” asked my husband, Kevin, when he’d found a safari holiday.”Botswana is meant to be the jewel in the crown of safaris” and this trip also included 2 days at Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe. “
Could I do it? At 63 was this a bit mad? Wild camping? No facilities? Camp bed in a tent with wild animals roaming outside?
Well in for a penny, in for a pound so they say and I can tell you, it was the best decision ever! We experienced THE most amazing trip in a section of this huge country the size of France with a population of just over 2 million people and 200,000 elephants!  
  • The elephants

elephants
The magnificent elephant!! We saw them daily. We saw them having a mud bath to protect their skin against sunburn and parasites. We witnessed almost 80 cows cross the River Chobe with their trunks in the air and supporting their babies as the sun sank in the sky and nighttime descended. It was quite breathtaking.
bull-elephant
 This male bull was within 50 metres of where we were standing, when we were on a walking safari. It was shaking a
 palm tree with his trunk and tusks, to release the fruit and seeds to eat.
  • The accommodation

 Yes our accommodation was a bit basic, but we had good food cooked on camp fires in the company of a fantastic group of 11 like minded enthusiasts of wild adventure. 
tent-in-the-african-bush
 Our tent with the ‘ bushy bushy’ toilet in the background! We even had a bushy shower with hot water from the fire.
 Luxury.
fire
children
 The wood for the fires were bought from local people on the roadside during our travels. 
 The cold early mornings, were well worth it, for the immersion into this stunning natural world which included vast 
 plains, huge starry skies, the Okavango Delta, enormous expanse of salt pans and incredible sunsets.
salt-pans

sunrise-at-the-salt-pans-in-botswana

  • The wild animals

Of course the real highlights which made this the most memorable of experiences was finding and watching the behaviours of the most beautiful wild animals in their natural habitats, thanks to our very experienced tour guide Sam and knowledge of our bushman Vasco.

cheetah

 We later saw this cheetah catch an impala.
kill
We were reminded the real world is all about survival …..not Disney!!
lion
The male lion stalking a herd of Buffaloes.
female-lion
The female lion about to chase off the cheetah!!
hyena
We heard these creatures roaming around our tents at night!!! Hyenas can weigh up to 80kg! I wasn’t keen to get up for the loo in the night!
impala
 The graceful Impala. We saw lots of different antelopes too including steenboks, Kudus, Tsessebe, Roan and Sable
 antelopes.
giraffe
The magnificent statuesque giraffes. The tallest animal in the world. At a full gallop, they can reach speeds of 55 km/h.
How to choose from my 1000+ photographs! Almost impossible. so those are just a few of the animals we saw. Of particular note, on an evening boat trip on the Chobe River, we encountered crocodiles basking on the waters edge as well as a huge range of birds who graced us with their beauty.
crocodile
chobe
bird
  • And the experiences continued!!

Have you ever tried punting on the river Cam in Cambridge? Try poling Mokoros ( canoes) through the only inland delta in the world, with guidance from the expert local people! Unforgettable.

punt

On our last night in the delta with these wonderful people, our guides and ‘polers’ regaled us with their traditional songs and dances and we all joined in with a song to remember the beauty of Africa.

round-the-campfire

  •  Zimbabwe

Two days in Zimbabwe enabled us to see the magnificent Victoria Falls on foot and with a birds eye view by helicopter.

victoria-falls

victoria-falls-from-the-helicopter
A truly memorable trip.
 Thanks to a great group of people who we shared the experience with.
group-of-summer-2016-in-botswana an adventure in botswana
 From left to right:
Di, Carina, Nina, Tony, Sam and Vasco ( kneeling), Phil, Sue, Paul, Pauline ( me), Andrew,  Kevin and David.
~~~~~~~~~~~
Thank-you Pauline for telling us about your amazing adventure in Botswana.
For those of you who have not been to southern Africa I can only further endorse Pauline’s experiences – it is truly a magnificent part of the world.

Pin – an adventure in Botswana

Botswana

Botswana

 Have you been to southern Africa or is it a bucket list destination? Would you like an adventure in Botswana?

49 Comments

  1. Linda Tallett
    September 22, 2016 / 12:03 pm

    Great post about Botswana Tracy/Pauline. Just need to persuade hubby to visit now but as there’s so much to photograph there he should be happy! Now there’s yet another place to visit on my ever-growing bucket list ??

    • Pauline
      September 25, 2016 / 6:04 pm

      Sorry Linda I meant to respond earlier. It is a photographer’s paradise. My camera isn’t super dooper BUT I got some fantastic shots of which I am really proud. I’m currently putting together a photobook.

  2. Arianne
    September 22, 2016 / 7:29 pm

    Such a great read! I am inspired to visit now! Love it

    • Pauline
      September 22, 2016 / 9:08 pm

      It truly was the holiday of a lifetime Arianne

  3. September 22, 2016 / 8:03 pm

    Oh wow – this sounds awesome! I was all in until I read about the Hyenas outside the tent at night!! I’d be terrified!

  4. Pauline
    September 22, 2016 / 9:11 pm

    Honestly Alex it felt very safe inside the tent. It really was awesome.

  5. September 23, 2016 / 4:40 pm

    Sounds like a great experience. I’ve heard so many amazing stories about abundant wildlife in Botswana and also Victoria waterfalls. Will have to put it on the list for sure.

    • Pauline
      September 25, 2016 / 5:53 pm

      Good idea. It should be on everyone’s bucket list Jurga. It was incredible seeing so many wonderful animals in their natural habitat.

  6. September 23, 2016 / 5:01 pm

    What an amazing experience! It looks like you guys had a blast camping and seeing all those animals in the wild. Also, Victoria Falls looks absolutely incredible. Thanks for sharing your photos! #FlyawayFriday

    • Pauline
      September 25, 2016 / 5:58 pm

      Victoria falls are spectacular Flo. If you can I’d recommend doing the helicopter flight.
      And yes we all got on really well. It was such fun.

  7. September 23, 2016 / 9:05 pm

    What an incredible experience! Brave to sleep with all those animals around, I must admit. Wow. The giraffes would have been magnificent to view though, they’re one of my favourite animals. But the hyenas – I would not have slept! Holiday of a lifetime that’s for sure!

    • Pauline
      September 25, 2016 / 6:01 pm

      I loved the giraffes too Juliette. SUCH elegant and mesmerising creatures to watch. As for the camping – well if I can do it anyone can! I put my trust in the experts who were with us.

    • September 25, 2016 / 6:54 pm

      Thanks for following my blog on bloglovin’
      The photographs are beautiful aren’t they – making me want to visit Botswana soon!

  8. September 25, 2016 / 4:16 pm

    This looks amazing! Wild life, waterfalls, canoes at the inland delta… out of this world! thanks for sharing! #FlyawayFriday

  9. September 25, 2016 / 6:35 pm

    Oh wow that looks gorgeous! I would LOVE to sleep with the animals around even if it means I may get attacked, haha. The photos are stunning, too! Thank you so much for joining #FlyAwayFriday, see you in 2 weeks!

    • September 25, 2016 / 6:59 pm

      Its an amazing think to do – the guys know what they are doing and as long as you follow their advice you will be safe (once on a game drive a family were really noisy when we had a herd of elephants crossing the road in front of us and ,despite, numerous attempts by the guide to keep them quiet – with no luck- we were charged by the matriarch….a scary moment!!) see you in 2 weeks!!

  10. October 3, 2016 / 6:52 am

    I went this summer and LOVED it. I had a similar experience with seeing all of the wildlife and Victoria Falls. It was absolutely stunning. Your pictures totally took me back to that adventure.

    • Pauline
      October 15, 2016 / 10:10 am

      I keep looking at the photos. I’m In the process of making a photobook and I’ll probably create a canvas of the Mokoro and sunset and one of the Cheetah and her cub.

  11. October 3, 2016 / 3:20 pm

    Love this!! I’m dying to do a safari trip!! Thank you for sharing on #FlyAwayFriday and can’t wait to see what you post this week!!

  12. February 17, 2017 / 2:04 pm

    This looks great. I’d LOVE to do something like this. And I can’t believe how many wild animals they saw up close, including cheetahs and lions! I may be a little scared to be sleeping in such a basic tent like that when them roaming so close by! Or to go out to use the “bathroom” LOL. But still, this looks like such an amazing adventure and I’d love to experience that.

  13. February 17, 2017 / 3:03 pm

    Thanks for sharing. We didn’t have much information about Botswana. Bookmarked it. 🙂 Btw the Delta photo is really stunning. The colours are just breathtaking.

  14. February 17, 2017 / 3:12 pm

    Incredible! Victoria Falls is on my bucket list and I’d love to see giraffes in the wild. I adore giraffes.

  15. February 17, 2017 / 5:24 pm

    That photo of the Mokoros is gorgeous! Botswana is a country I’ve been curious about and seeing all the wildlife you came across confirms it as a must for my first African adventure. Good on you for embracing the adventure, you definitely seem to have been rewarded!
    David recently posted…Elsewhere in the Czech Republic: Beyond PragueMy Profile

  16. February 17, 2017 / 7:17 pm

    I’d love to visit Botswana – ever since I was a boy I have dreamed of witnessing the majestic beasts that roam the African savannah’ Your pictures of all the animals are so lovely. Lucky you!

  17. February 19, 2017 / 9:58 am

    I’ve never been to Africa except for Morocco. This looks really amazing! Could be a next destination! thanks for sharing

  18. February 19, 2017 / 5:01 pm

    This is amazing!! I have the same hesitations about going to deep Africa as I have loads of health conditions but this has inspired me to take the plunge 😀 Thanks for sharing
    Sarah recently posted…What Spirituality Means In The Modern WorldMy Profile

  19. February 19, 2017 / 8:58 pm

    Just amazing to see all those gorgeous animals up close. I am especially partial to the elephants. Botswana was never on my radar, but I may have rethink that after reading your post. Zimbabwe would be pretty cool too, loved to see those falls!
    Lisa recently posted…Take Time To Visit Our National Parks This YearMy Profile

  20. February 19, 2017 / 10:46 pm

    Thanks for sharing your experience in Botswana and Zimbabwe! I’m glad to hear that you had such a good trip. Also, really beautiful photo of the canoeing at sunset – love it!

    I’m going to leave a small piece of constructive criticism (I hope that’s okay!). You talked about singing and dancing to remember the “beauty of Africa”, and I want to point this out because a lot of travel writers have the tendency to homogenize the continent of Africa and think of it as one country/one culture. I know that’s not what your intention was here, but I personally like to be direct with language – why not say “the beauty of Botswana” or even more specifically the region in Botswana that you were in? As you are well aware, Africa is an incredibly diverse continent and the beauty of Botswana is probably incredibly different than the beauty of, say, Morocco. Food for thought! Anyway, thanks for giving me the space to dialogue, I would be happy discuss further as well!

    Wishing you the best in all of your travels!
    Alissa recently posted…My Travel Goals And Plans For 2017 (And Beyond!)My Profile

  21. February 20, 2017 / 7:33 pm

    Such an incredible experience – this is one of my dream destinations and seeing all the wildlife would make it such a magical trip for me. Cheetah is my favourite animal and seeing it in its natural habitat is one of the top items on my bucket list

  22. February 20, 2017 / 11:39 pm

    Seems wonderful! Was there no fences around the campsite then, that it was a bit scary going to the loo at night? I would love to experience this. All these majestic animals in their natural habitat. Just stunning! And what about that helicopter ride? Very lucky indeed! How much did it end up costing all up?

  23. February 21, 2017 / 5:32 pm

    You’re right, it’s now on my bucket list after reading your post. Love all the wildlife that you saw! Good thing I enjoy camping!
    ThriftyTrails recently posted…Nara PhotoblogMy Profile

  24. February 23, 2017 / 10:40 pm

    Looks like an incredible camping adventure. Seeing the wildlife up close like this must have been a once in a lifetime experience. I know some people from Zimbabwe and thy have told me some great stories.

  25. February 24, 2017 / 5:32 am

    Ahhhhh Botswana, such a beautiful place to visit, as indeed most of Africa is to be fair! I visited Botswana as part of a 2 month overland expedition and yes, I bush camped as well – it was a cheap and easy way of getting around so I bit the bullet lol. The game drives and cruises down Chobe river are amazing, some of my favourite elephant photos are from this park and I also had 1000’s of photos to choose from (I am always very prolific with my animal photography!). I also travelled to Vic Falls twice and remember it’s beauty and power very well. Thank you for sharing your story and bringing back wonderful memories! #feetdotravel

  26. February 26, 2017 / 10:07 am

    That was really some adventure. Botswana’s rich wildlife is sometimes overshadowed by many tourist. The wildlife images are well captured. And some are in live action. Would Love to experience wildlife camping in Botswana.

  27. March 3, 2017 / 3:22 am

    Amazing experience! Africa, particularly African safari is indeed on my travel bucket list but because of the costs factor, I’m not sure when will I get the chance to go for this incredible once-in-a-lifetime experience. Wow, hyenas roaming around outside your tent, hope your tent was zipped up 🙂 Cheers! #farawayfiles

  28. March 4, 2017 / 10:06 pm

    Tracy I laid my early “bushy bushy” camping experiences to rest a long time ago but I think I could be coaxed out of retirement for this experience. All those animals in their natural habitat would be such a treat and that magical sunset is to die for. Thanks for sharing on #FarawayFiles
    Katy Clarke recently posted…5 Incredible reasons why every foodie should stopover in DubaiMy Profile

  29. March 6, 2017 / 1:33 pm

    Botswana is the country I’d most like to visit for a safari. I’d love to try polling a mokoros although my punting skills leave a lot to be desired! Great to read this on #FarawayFiles
    Clare (Suitcases and Sandcastles) recently posted…Faraway Files #20My Profile

  30. WOW. Seriously an adventure. I like the idea of it being very raw with the natural camping – but I love camping! Thank you for sharing this wonderful experience with #FarawayFiles – truly amazing.

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