From being woken by birdsong to ending round the campfire and spotting a feast of wildlife inbetween, Africa travel specialist Nick Prentice recalls how a day on safari in Botswana is a thrill from start to finish…
With an alarm call of birds singing in the trees and the odd bellowing hippo, it’s time to rise and shine! Mornings in Africa are truly something special. Forget your typical dreary-eyed coffee and cornflakes routine, the anticipation of the day ahead is enough to make anyone spring out of bed. On your typical safari, the excitement would generally begin once you set off on your game drive. Not in Botswana though, as just walking from your tent to the main camp area is an experience in itself, with the odd friendly elephant often joining you on your morning stroll!
After a tasty treat to kick-start the day (yes, you’ll probably be putting on some weight on this trip!), it’s time to head out on your game drive. If you’ve been on safari before, you’ll understand just how incredible the experience is. The things you might see over the next few hours you’ll simply never forget – will you be in amongst a pride of lions? Or will you spot wild dogs on the run? Or perhaps a cheetah stalking its prey? These memories will last a lifetime!
9.00am – 3.30pm
You’ve probably worked up quite the appetite while out in the bush, so how about some brunch? You may think that being so remote in the wild the food may be a little more basic but you’d be wrong. There’s just about everything you could wish for! Whether you’re watching the waist or indulging, there’s something for everyone. Depending on which side of that scale you’re on, the rest of the morning will then be yours to be as active or inactive as you wish. You may want to have a dip in the pool or go for a spa treatment, or the more adventurous can potentially head out on foot for a walking safari. This is an amazing experience – your guide will show you how to track animals and also highlight some of the smaller creatures that can pass you by when in the vehicle.
Following another feast at lunch, the midday heat will be behind you and it’ll be time to head out on your afternoon game drive. With everything coming to life and the predators out on the prowl, this is prime time for some amazing sightings, so make sure you have your camera at the ready! With the iconic scene of the African sun slipping below the horizon, this is the perfect moment to soak it all in with a drink in hand. This will certainly be a gin and tonic to remember!
As night falls, it’s time to head back to the lodge. Keep your eyes peeled en route though as the nocturnal creatures will just be emerging. From porcupines to honey badgers, aardvarks to bush babies, this is a whole different world!
Once back at the lodge, you’ll find the camp fire lit. Grab yourself a drink, take a seat and share the amazing safari stories that you’ll no doubt be retelling for years to come. After wining and dining under a sky full of stars, you’ll retire back to your tent to settle in and listen to the animal calls around you.
A Botswanan safari genuinely is one of the most magical holidays you could ever wish for, and something everyone should experience at least once.