How to experience Botswana the cazenove+loyd way
Botswana is an phenomenally diverse, landlocked country in the heart of the African continent. The Kalahari Desert covers much of the land, with the infamous Okavango Delta offering a fantastic wetland area within this arid landscape, which of course, attracts a plethora of animals. In the north-west is the Linyanti Wildlife Reserve, home to the Savute Channel, a flowing river also drawing in a vast array of game.
There are a host of fantastic camps in these areas. Over the years, we have handpicked those that we feel work perfectly for our clients. Whether you are travelling as a family and want to be under one ‘canvas’ roof or as a couple looking for that little bit more privacy – there is, without a doubt, something for everyone.
Each of these ecosystems are easily accessed by light aircraft, meaning you waste no time travelling from place to place, with the added bonus of having a bird’s eye view of the spectacular landscape. We reveal four breathtaking ways to experience Botswana and make the most of your time in this incredible country:
1. RIDING IN THE MAKGADIKGADI PANS, KALAHARI DESERT
David Foot runs horse safaris through various different parts of Botswana, but most famously, around the Makgadikgadi’s breathtaking saltpans. Below, he tells us why this experience is so special to him:
“Riding on and along the edge of the vast Makgadikgadi Pans is one of life’s great adventures. Throughout the year, it gives me a wonderful sense of freedom and such exhilaration. There is all the space you need and the ground is so perfect for the horses. Then, in December, to top it all off, the vast herds of wildebeest and zebra arrive on the edge of the pans, followed by the attendant lions and cheetah. April or May is Southern Africa’s largest remaining wildlife migration with tens of thousands of wildebeest and zebra leaving the Boteti River and arriving on the edge of the pans to feed on the extensive grasslands. Soon the zebra and wildebeest will move on but then the pans will be dry and we will be able to venture out into the middle of them and, with the horses, sleep out under the stars. If the meerkats are not the highlight of your safari, then this surely will be. There are not many places in the world where the silence is so silent that you can hear your own blood circulating and, at dawn, see the curvature of our precious earth.”
2. BOATING IN THE OKAVANGO DELTA
In April, the Delta is looking green and lush, and at this time, the water lilies come into full bloom, creating stunning carpets of blue and white flowers. At this time, many animals are wading through the water channels seeking the new shoots coming through. Whether you are in a boat or more traditional mokoro, spending time exploring the vast network of channels and lagoons in the Delta is a must. Here, you really get to appreciate the smaller creatures and birds far away from the hum of a vehicle. Being on the water allows you to view the animals from astonishingly close quarters. Who can forget coming across an elephant as you turn a corner, realising just how small you really are?
3. GAME DRIVES IN THE LINYANTI WILDLIFE RESERVE
The Linyanti is renowned for its vast herds of elephant. In fact, during the winter months, densities of elephant are the highest found anywhere in the world. There is also an abundance of other species from prides of lion, packs of wild dog, spotted hyena, cheetah and the elusive leopard to spot. As you can imagine, this area is an incredibly rewarding safari destination, so is a must-have addition to any itinerary.
4. FLYING OVER THE OKAVANGO DELTA IN A HELICOPTER
Seeing Botswana, particularly the magnificent Okavango Delta, from the air is something you will never forget. Many of our favourite lodges now offer a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to soar in a helicopter, flying high and then dipping down low over the watery wonderland, spotting herds of elephant and buffalo as you go. We would highly recommend this amazing experience; it is as exhilarating as it is spectacular.