In December we were delighted to have a family join us on a Botswana safari all the way from Slovakia. The family of five maximised their trip out from Europe and visited some of the country’s most iconic areas, starting with the inimitable Okavango Delta, crossing over to the Kalahari Central Game reserve and ending with a few days relaxing on the banks of the Chobe River.
We asked them what it was like to travel for a safari right now, during a global pandemic.
1. Where in Botswana did you travel to and why?
After a very tough year which affected us all, we wanted to enjoy our time together as a family in untouched nature. Our biggest aim was to observe animals in their natural habitat without any distractions.
So, we got advice from experts at Under One Botswana Sky and they curated a two-week family-friendly itinerary for us. We spent three nights each at the Kwando Safaris Pom Pom and Splash Camp in the Okavango Delta, Tau Pan Camp in the Central Kalahari and ended with three nights at Chobe Safari Lodge.
2. You two are doctors – what was the toughest part about getting there?
The most stressful thing was waiting at home for the results of PCR tests before our flights! It is necessary to thoroughly prepare for long flight transfers – especially when travelling with kids – so we had to make sure we had enough stocks of masks and disinfectant, basic drugs in case of a headache. We also packed spare clothes in our hand luggage.
3. What was the highlight of your trip?
We saw so much more than we expected. In Slovakia, you usually have to be very lucky to see and observe wildlife up close. So we were amazed about the intimate, but safe, encounters we had in the game drive vehicles.
4. Any favorite sightings?
When I asked the children, they said they liked everything. The same applies to us! We lived and experienced every moment intensely. Observing the nature and behaviour of animals in their natural environment is very liberating.
Whether it’s herds of antelope and zebras, giraffes, elephants or hippos, or the confident movement of lions, leopards, wild dogs, cheetah and hyenas.
5. Any surprises out on safari?
We were most amazed by the amount of knowledge the expert guides shared with us. They tirelessly explained everything to us – geography, zoology, botany, animal tracking.
6. How did your children feel about travelling and new airport protocols?
Children must be able to understand cautious behaviour today. They must also be of the age to be prepared in advance for possible complications and disappointments. It is important to be aware of the level of travel risk. We also had insurance for medical expenses in the event of hospitalization and in the event of illness from COVID-19 to cover any quarantine accommodation and meals.
Also read: Wild Child: Safari-Inspired Schooling
The risk is not much higher than if you stayed at home, moving to the places where you normally go. Of course, you can stay at home without contact with other people, but coronavirus COVID-19 is not the only pathogen in the world to be feared. We couldn’t do that at all. It is necessary to protect yourself, and especially in public transport always (after all, you can catch not only the coronavirus there). So wearing a mask and frequent hand disinfection are the key.
We found people of Botswana very disciplined and cautious in terms of following all health and safety regulations.
8. Any advice for others?
Prepare thoroughly in advance. From the necessary vaccinations, through to prophylaxis for malaria, to the pack correctly. Study the conditions of entry into the countries you will pass through, but most importantly, get advice from people who know the country well!
Book a family safari to Botswana
Book with your dedicated Under One Botswana Sky reservations consultant or via firstname.lastname@example.org
Also read: When is it safe to book my next safari?