Monthly Archives: February 2016

A Typical Day On Safari

Your safari activities are often geared around dawn and dusk, the optimum time of  day for game sightings and also the coolest time. This means that the heat of the day is usually at your leisure to relax and siesta back in camp.

Of course every lodge has a slightly different routine best suited to its activities on offer and whether it is located inside a National Park, but the below timeline can be used as a guideline on the type of routine to expect while on safari in Botswana.

05:00 – 6:30 am

Dependent on the time of year (determining sunrise and the weather/temperature) your wake up time will vary but usually takes place between 5:00 am and 06:30 am. Many camps and lodges offer hot tea and coffee in your room to help start your day. This early wake up might not feel like your idea of a holiday at the time…but trust us that these early morning activities are often the setting for your most thrilling wildlife sightings!

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30 minutes later

Meet in the communal area with other guests for a light breakfast, usually consisting of cereals, yoghurts and rusks before heading out on safari.

07:00 am – 10:30 am

Morning safari activity, and the perfect time of day for game viewing as predators are active and it is not yet too hot. The light at this time of day is also beautiful, making for some perfect photograph opportunities.

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10:30 am

Return to camp and have some time at leisure, perhaps freshen up or have a cold drink while excitedly remembering the morning’s adventures.

10:30 – 11:00 am

Brunch / Lunch is served, often consisting of either a full cooked breakfast or a cold lunch with side salads and bread.

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12:00 – 15:30

Siesta. During the heat of the day, this is the perfect time to unwind, catch up on sleep, read a book or just take in the beautiful vistas.

15:30

Afternoon tea is a safari tradition in Botswana! Enjoy hot chocolate, tea and coffee or a cold drink alternative, with delicious cake. Some lodges put on an extravagant selection of both savoury and sweet options.

16:00 – 18:30/19:00

Head out on your afternoon activity. Again this is the perfect time of the day to see wildlife as the temperature has now cooled so the wildlife are more active.

If the lodge you are staying at is in a National Park then you will return to camp before sunset due to the restrictions in place. But if you are staying in a private concession then you can enjoy bush sundowners before night driving back to camp with a spotlight, on the lookout for nocturnal species.

19:00/19:30

Dinner is served back at camp after a busy day on safari. Finally, retire to your room before a restful sleep and a new day begins with new memories to be made.

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Our Top 5 Romantic Lodges – Valentines Special

It’s Valentine’s weekend and a time to celebrate all things about love! Botswana does romance like no other…we are talking private candlelit dinners, bubble baths under the stars and champagne bush breakfasts to name but a few. To celebrate this weekend, we’re highlighting our top 5 romantic lodges which push out all the stops to celebrate romance. If you’re lucky enough to be on safari this weekend, we hope you are thoroughly spoilt!

1. XUDUM OKAVANGO DELTA LODGE (OKAVANGO DELTA)

Xudum is a small, intimate lodge in the Okavango Delta which offers absolute luxury in the bush. Each suite is complete with a private plunge pool and elaborate en suite bathroom. It also has its own upstairs lounge, perfect for relaxing afternoon siestas or to sip a glass of wine, cuddle up and take in the beautiful views. Returning to your room after dinner you might find the bubble bath freshly run, or your bed turned down with a bottle of sparkling wine waiting for you. We won’t ruin the surprises too much, you’ll just have to come and see for yourself!

Photo: &Beyond Xudum

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2. PELO CAMP (OKAVANGO DELTA)

What could be more romantic than spending your holiday on a heart shaped island?! The word ‘Pelo’ means ‘Heart’, and so everything about this lodge is themed around that. As an entirely water based camp, activities are focused on Mokoro Trails, Boating and Walking safaris. This allows you to get extremely close to nature and will surely give you and your loved one an exclusive safari experience. With only 5 safari tents Pelo is able to offer lots of personal touches and is the ideal destination for those looking to escape the rush of everyday life.

Photo: Wilderness Safaris, Pelo Camp

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3. SAN CAMP (MAKGADIKGADI SALT PANS)

Located on the incredible moon-like environment of the Makgadikgadi Salt Pans, San Camp offers breath taking luxury accommodation in idyllic white tents. With nothing to see but miles and miles of salt flats, this is the perfect destination to spend some quality time with your loved one. Whether its candlelit dinners under one of the most incredible star spangled ceilings of all time, or perhaps enjoying some fun photo opportunities with the semi-habituated Meerkats, San Camp go the extra mile to offer special experiences for guests.

Photo: Uncharted Africa, San Camp

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4. BAINES CAMP (OKAVANGO DELTA)

Baines Camp prides itself on attention to detail and exclusive, romantic experiences for guests. A popular activity is the “star bed” where you can sleep under the stars on your deck, with only a mosquito net between you and the wild. If you’re celebrating your honeymoon or a special occasion, open air bubble baths can be arranged. Baines Camp is also able to offer the incredible and unique experience of walking with elephants which is something that will leave you with memories to last a lifetime. Marvel at these majestic animals as you walk alongside them and interact with them.

Photo: Sanctuary Retreats, Baines Camp

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5. ZARAFA CAMP (SELINDA)

Zarafa oozes luxury and style, offering a high end service to guests. The camp is located in the Selinda Reserve, just North East of the Okavango Delta and a unique wildlife area. With décor in earthy tones, inviting private plunge pools and decadent lounges, the suites offer comfort like no other. Due to the small size of the lodge, personal touches are a frequent feature. Enjoy private bush dinners under the stars with the whoop of hyena as your soundtrack, or perhaps a glass of wine overlooking the sunset on your private deck. There are more surprises too, but we won’t give those away just yet…

Photo: Great Plains, Zarafa Camp

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SPECIALISED SAFARIS- there’s more to safaris than game drives!

There is no denying that game drives and boat cruises are a spectacular way to get up close to wildlife and enjoy great game viewing. However, as safari travel destinations have expanded over the years, there are now more and more specialised safaris which provide an equally unique experience!

WALKING SAFARIS

Without a doubt there is little that beats a walking safari, to feel the crunch of the ground beneath your feet without the rumble of a vehicle in the background. Many lodges in private concessions within Botswana are able to offer specialised walking safaris with experienced, qualified walking guides. Walking safaris allow you to get close to wildlife in a way that a game drive just can’t compete with, and it also allows you to see the smaller things that are so often missed. Whether it is the lion tracks in the sand, a unique plant that has medicinal purposes or the tiny ants which build giant termite mounds, the smaller things on safari are sometimes some of the most fascinating. Ultimately, on a walk every single one of your senses are heightened, and the thrill of being so close to wildlife is heart pumping.

Photo: Desert & Delta Safaris, Xugana Island Lodge

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HORSE RIDING SAFARIS

Most horse riding safaris within Botswana, especially within the Okavango Delta and Makgadikgadi Salt pans, are aimed at experienced riders who can ride at all paces. The thrill of riding so close to wildlife is incredible as most plains game (such as antelope and giraffe) are incredibly relaxed and see you as another animal. Many horse riders will delight in the vast open spaces which are ideal for long canters. To graze alongside Kudu, stand within metres of a curious Giraffe or silently wait as a herd of elephant cross the water in front of you will leave even the most seasoned safari travellers speechless.

Photo: African Horseback Safaris, Okavango Delta

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CANOEING SAFARIS

Canoeing within Botswana has become widely popular for adventure enthusiasts, although many lodges stress that while a level of fitness is required it is not extremely physically demanding. One of the most common places to canoe is the Selinda Spillway which lies just North East of the Okavango Delta. In terms of your safari experience, wildlife viewing is spectacular as the riverbanks attract a variety of species. The tranquillity of the waterways, not to mention the vast array of birdlife, will connect you to nature like no other.

Photo: Great Plains, Selinda Canoe Trail

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While the usual safari activities are certainly a highlight and not to be missed, if you have a particular interest or hobby then perhaps look at some specialised safaris, it might just give you the trip of a lifetime!