We love highlighting the trips our Luxury Travel Consultants take. After each journey, they come back with a wealth of knowledge they are eager to share. Today we’re taking a look at a trip Tiffany took to Botswana earlier in 2016, where she stayed in some of the best camps in Botswana.
My Botswana safari started in the Makgadikgadi Pans at Jack’s Camp, an eclectic yet elegant permanent camp, co-owned by Botswana’s rock star guide Ralph Bousfield. While the camp itself is incredible for its luxury accommodations and cuisine, it really shines for the unique activities available, marking is as one of the best camps in Botswana.
Jack’s Camp is such a special place. It is located in an incredibly vast, undeveloped area. Because of that, the stargazing alone is unreal. I was there in time to see the tail end of the zebra migration from the Okavango Delta. It’s the second largest migration in Africa hosting 35 – 75,000 zebra and wildebeest traveling through Makgadikgadi.
There’s also the opportunity to get up close to a group of habituated meerkats living near the camp. Having a wild meerkat perch itself on your head in search of predators is definitely a once in a lifetime experience.
The Zu’/hoasi Bushmen interaction is a special activity both for guests and the longevity of the tribal culture that has become very minimized in southern Africa. They share their incredible knowledge of plants, animal behaviors, and survival skills that have allowed them to live in the harsh environment.
They stay in high demand, but having Ralph or Super as a guide really tops the entire experience!
After two days at Jack’s Camp, I traveled to the Selinda Reserve for a two night stay at Selinda Camp. It’s hard to beat the luxury of Selinda Camp. In true Great Plains fashion, Selinda Camp offers an incredible location set, excellent cuisine, incomparable wine and beverage selections, and guides that aren’t only knowledgeable with wildlife but also photography. It is a great place for novice or experienced photographers. Each tented suite has a pair of Swarovski binoculars for guest use which are great for those who have chosen to travel without or haven’t yet invested in an advanced set.
I then went to Shinde in the Okavango Delta. The classic tented safari camp is one of the best camps in Botswana and offers many different safari activities. In addition to game drives and walking safaris, its location in the Delta really lends itself to boat and mokoro safaris. And communal dining means you’ll meet interesting people from all around the world and share fun stories from the day’s events.
In terms of creature comforts, Belmond Eagle Island Lodge has some of the most luxurious accommodations in Botswana (i.e. lighting, wifi, fixtures, a/c, etc.). The style is more in line with a South African lodge. For people who want to experience the Okavango Delta but aren’t ready for a tented accommodations, it’s a nice option. And while you’re there, a scenic helicopter flight is a must! It’s an incredible way to get an overview of the Okavango and you can spot some game from above. It’s a fascinating experience.
I finished my Botswana safari at two of Shinde’s sister properties – Okuti and Kanana. At Okuti, the staff is some of the best I’ve ever met on safari! I felt like family here. Like Shinde, dining is communal and you really leave feeling like family. The game viewing at Okuti was also incredible. I never felt like we were in the National Park because we hardly saw other vehicles.
And Kanana, located in the remote inner reaches of the Delta is the best place to mokoro. Their heronry is incredible, so this is a great property for birders. However, all other resident game is great as well. We even had an elephant hanging out five feet from our tent. We watched with amazement from our deck and tent “windows” for what seemed like hours. At Kanana, pre-booked guests can also enjoy their sleep out deck at no additional charge, which is unique in Botswana. Just like at Okuti, the staff were excellent.
Thanks, Tiffany, for all of your insight into some of the best camps in Botswana. For more information, you can contact her at Ker & Downey. To stay up to date on all our online content, follow us on Facebook and Twitter.