In 1994 Web Marketing Coordinator Haley Beham traveled to Botswana with her family. She writes about that first trip and why she fell in love with the country below.
It’s hard to believe that 19 years have passed since I visited Botswana for the first time with my family. My sister and I were hardly old enough to stay in the camps, but from that moment, we knew Botswana and the entire continent of Africa would forever be written on our hearts. It’s because of that first trip we developed a travel bug and the desire to one day work at Ker & Downey. It opened our eyes to a world we had only read about in world geography and the stacks of National Geographic that sat in the den. One journey to Botswana and we were in love with the country and her people.
The video below is an excellent introduction to Botswana. The winding papyrus-lined channels, fields of flowering lily pads, beautiful faces of the people, and serenity of the private open spaces brings me back to the Botswana I fell in love with. Enjoy the video and take that journey with me.
For travelers searching for a truly authentic Africa safari, they need not look any farther than to Botswana. The country enjoys economic and political stability, making it safe for travelers, and has adopted a concept of “low-volume” tourism, with most concessions restricting the number of guests to 20 or less. In comparison to other African countries, it is relatively small, but considered one of the last untouched areas of Africa, with 39 percent of the country protected by national parks and reserves. Some of the most extraordinary ecosystems on the earth are found in the land of the desert and delta and because the life-giving Okavango Delta and Chobe River provide a year-round water supply, 85 species of mammals and over 1,075 species of bird are found in this wildlife sanctuary, creating one of the best game-viewing opportunities in Africa.
In February 2013, the Okavango Delta was declared one of the seven wonders of Africa. The beauty and significance of this unique region is best experienced by mokoro, or dug out canoe, as you glide over the waters of the Okavango Delta, with only the sounds of the rustling reeds breaking the silence as you slide past them. The air is still and quiet from the mokoro as you search out elephants bathing in the water or try to spot the elusive Pel’s fishing owl, exclusive heronry, and migratory birds. A private open 4×4 vehicle safari promises excellent game viewing as you seek out larger game. Impala, lechwe, hippo, elephant, and lion, among others, all consider the delta home, while a walking safari allows you to get up close to the animals.
A safari in Botswana is a great first introduction into the wonder that Africa holds, but its varied and abundant wildlife keeps travelers coming back time after time. One trip is all it takes to fall in love. One trip will create a stirring in your soul, beckoning you back to the beloved country.
Interested in safari to Botswana? Consider Ker & Downey’s Wonders of the Okavango Delta, Botswana Discover, Botswana’s Big 5: 5 Properties, 5 Ecosystems, and On Safari in Southern Africa journeys, which feature Ker & Downey Botswana’s Kanana, Okuti, and Shinde properties as shown in the video.