Beautiful Botswana: it’s not an attempt to work an easy alliterative heading, it’s quite literally the theme song of my most recent travels to Botswana! Touching down at Gunn’s Camp, Moremi, you’re welcomed with a choir of lusty voices. “Beautiful Botswana” is sung around the fire, as the night sky comes alive and the fireflies come out to play. After losing track of the time in true African bush style for a few days, it proved to be a fitting soundtrack for our trip.
Deep in the delta
The Okavango Delta has been on my bucket list for as long as I can remember and if you’re looking for an authentic safari experience, with the added benefit of using the waterways to spot game, the Delta should get added to the top of your own list and fast! A week here and you’ll soon be used to everything we know and love about the bush – early morning game drives (or walks), an overwhelming sense of calm and, of course, sundowners with the staple of gin and tonic.
Flights into Maun aren’t known for being the most reasonable and I’ve done both a self-drive option and flight into Botswana, so it’s entirely dependent on your budget and time. Botswana itself has so much to explore, from mobile tented camps in the wildest places, to Chobe National Park, Kasane and Maun. There’s enough Botswana flavour to keep your activity list full without even venturing too deep into the delta. For this trip though, we decided to spoil ourselves and, after a fun 48 hours exploring Maun, we flew into the place that stole my heart when I visited it a few years back: Gunn’s Camp.
The short flight also offers more opportunity to see the famous Botswana waterways (and one of the world wonders), as well as the many estuaries and heart-stoppingly beautiful, lush green pockets that make up the Okavango Delta.
Flying over herds of elephant and antelope, with the buzz you’ll get when your pilot goes in low for a closer look, makes you feel like you’re in your very own Out of Africa movie moment. But Botswana – and the Delta specifically – has more soul to it than just incredible sights and game.
The people of this country are pretty much the warmest hosts you’ll ever encounter, the pride for their country shining through with every opportunity they get to showcase their culture, cuisine and share stories of the crazy wildlife encounters they’ve experienced. There are a host of options, accommodation-wise, in Botswana and you’ll definitely be able to find a perfect fit for your preference and budget. From roughing it with the ever-popular rise of remote, tented, mobile camps to the various options in Chobe Park or the luxe lodges that cover the Delta specifically. There’s bound to be something tailor-made for you!
This place is all about getting back to basics – rising slowly with the background calls of the wild as your choice morning alarm and being present in every moment and colour change of every setting sun. It’s about taking the time to soak in your surroundings and appreciate not just spotting the adrenaline-spiking game on foot, but also re-learning the things you usually forget to notice. It’s also a bird lovers’ paradise and, whether you’re on foot, cruising by on a boat or ticking off a traditional ‘mokoro’ ride from the never-ending bucket-list, I can promise that there’ll be quite a few of those “Pinch me!” travel moments deep in the delta.