Botswana - Great Wildlife
by Günther Eichhorn
In July/August 2016 I visited two countries in southern Africa (Namibia and Botswana), and one country in Central Africa (Zambia). The trip was organized by Go2Africa. I was very happy with the organization, everything worked like clockwork.
I spent nine nights on a tented safari in Botswana. I flew from Windhoek to Maun. From Maun I flew to the Xakanaxa airstrip in a Cessna 206. It was a nice flight over the Okavango Delta.
The Okavango Delta are a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The Botswana tour was organized by Letaka Safaris. It was a tented safari. Before the trip I was wondering a bit what it would be like to spend nine nights in a tent. It turned out to be a very nice and comfortable trip. The tents are big, high enough to stand in them, with a nice bed and lots of room. Behind the tent was an attached enclosure with a shower and toilet. The shower was a big bucket with a shower head at the bottom. The crew would bring hot water in the afternoon (it was too cold in the morning) for a nice hot shower. The toilet was a hole in the ground with a toilet seat above it. The crew provided a small bucket with ash from the fire and a small shovel to cover the toilet to prevent odors. It worked very well.
The food throughout the trip was excellent. The cook was fantastic and produced varied meals, all very good. The crew on a whole was very good, very attentive. For instance they provided warm water every morning, hot water for the shower in the afternoon, drinking water all the time. Everything was included in the price, including the beer. There was a refrigerator on the Landrover, so we always had cold soft drinks and beer.
Every morning we went on a game drive for about four hours. Back at the camp we had lunch and some time off. Around 15:30 we started another game drive till sunset. In the Khwai region we were allowed to continue the game drive into the night to watch nocturnal animals.
There were six other guests on the trip, a family of four and one couple. The couple were bird watchers. Between the very knowledgeable guide/driver and the birdwatchers, I could identify essentially all birds that I saw.
From the Xakanaxa airstrip we drove to the first camp site in the Moremi Game Reserve, only a short drive, where we spent three nights.
After the third night we had a morning game drive, then continued north to the Khwai Concession Area, where we spent two nights. The drive is about 60 km (37 miles). At Khwai we had a lot of wildlife get really close to camp. A couple of elephants walked past us only about 20 m (70 ft) away. In the evening we heard a lion roar. He then walked past our tent, as close as 50 m (160 ft) from our camp. It was fantastic.
After the second night at Khwai, we drove further north to Savuti in the Chobe National Park, a drive of about 100 km (60 miles), for three nights at Savuti.
After the three nights at Savuti we drove to Kasane on the Chobe River, a long drive of 170 km (106 miles). In Kasane we went on a river cruise to observe wildlife along the river. I spent one more night in Kasane, then continued on to Zambia for the continuation of my trip.
The Letaka Safari was excellent. Everything went very well, the crew was fantastic, we saw a lot of wildlife. The only problem I had was my own doing: I didn't have warm enough clothes with me. It was winter there, the temperatures at night were around 4-5°C (39-41°F). Sleeping was OK, I had blankets. But the morning game drive was very uncomfortable. I didn't have warm gloves or a warm enough jacket or a wool hat. I froze during those morning game drives.