Botswana

Botswana
19 September 2019 Marco Donati
In Travel

Hello everyone, I’d like to share with you one of the best travels I’ve ever done in my life.

I strongly believe that travelling is life’s most enriching experience. I’ve always been going around visiting different places, but I had this one dream travel since I was a little child, Africa.

Last winter I’ve been for the first time in South Africa and it was just incredibly beautiful. I couldn’t wait much before going back to Africa, and that’s why I’ve been travelling to Botswana on August and I still can’t believe what my eyes have seen. The most beautiful place I’ve ever been by far, exceeding all my expectations. Botswana has the most beautiful wildlife, landscapes and community I’ve ever experienced.
Here is how our typical day used to be:
Every morning, me and my boyfriend, use to wake up at 6.00 am have breakfast and went on our jeep for the morning game drive.
It usually lasted around four hours, with a little break halfway for a coffee in the middle of the Savanna. Our guide used to find the best spots to stop and enjoy the beautiful view. We would then get back to the lodge, have lunch and some time to relax. During that time we usually would do yoga, have a massage or simply enjoy the breathtaking view from our lodge.
The afternoon safari used to run exactly as the morning safari, with the exception that we used to have a glass of wine instead of coffee!!

How does a game drive work?

During game drives the guide that has been assigned to you at your arrival, stays with you during all your permanence. The aim is to see as many animals as possible, of course everyone has its own “ preferences” and the guide tries to satisfy everyone. The beauty about the game drives is that you never know what to expect! You can see nothing for hours and then suddenly meet a lion’s pride. Botswana has such a broad area and animals are completely free to go wherever they want with no fences or any restrictions. The incredible stands exactly there, nobody knows if you are going to actually see something, but when you do the excitement and the deep emotion you feel in that moment it’s unreplaceable and the good part is that you never get tired of it. Every time you see an animal it’s different, your emotion changes and adopts a thousand different shades of amusement, surprisement or it can even be frightening.
We saw animals simply sleeping or walking, but also running or silently trying to hunt, we also so them eating, playing and fighting with each other.
Every time it’s like the first time and each time you just get emotionally closer to animals as you learn to know them and respect them. Guides aren’t only there to show you around and try to find the best situations or the rarest animals; guides instaur a bond with the tourists as they get you through this amazing experience by teaching you each animal’s particularity,habit, temperament, and try to answer any curiosity you might have on the species. This brings the visitor to blend into nature feeling part of the biggest drawing.
We personally changed two lodges in Botswana, and met two different guides. Both of them were highly qualified guides with a deep level of knowledge, however we got really close to our first guide, Action.
Action really took a place in our hearts due to the passion he used to put in each single game drive ( even if he does them every day since 6 years) just to make sure we would be able to see all the big fives and more.
Even though we actually saw more animals and rarest situations with our second guide (that was brilliant by the way), we still can’t get over the love for the wildlife that Action passed on to us.

What are the big five?

A brief introduction to the big five is due; these are the five more “dangerous” animals of the Savanna. Please don’t take me wrong, they aren’t dangerous because they attack humans for their own pleasure, no animal is aggressive or would ever attack with no reason. These are the most dangerous animals because if a man was to fight in a one to one with one of them, it would be extremely unlikely for him to win over.
The “big five” label has been given by the hunters, as these five beautiful animals were the most dangerous to hunt: lion, leopard, elephant, rhino, buffalo.

My suggestions:

  1. Travel to Africa
  2. Learn as much as you can about Africa’s wildlife.
  3. Visit as many country as possible as each of them is completely different.
  4. Travel with one or few people, choose the ones you really love because you really want to share this experience with them.
  5. HAVE A PHOTO CAMERA !! You would really regret not having one, you will take pictures all the time believe me, even in your own room as animals love to come and visit once in a while.
  6. Pack light and bring the most comfortable clothes
  7. If your lodge allows you to, go and have a walking safari! I did it and I loved it, we learnt a lot about traces and how to recognize animals through them.
  8. Never ever miss a game drive as you would really regret it, it could be the time you could bump into your favorite animal!
  9. In your free time try to move as much as possible ( gym, yoga, etc) even if you are tired as it could be the only time you have and 9 hours seated a day can become quite intense!
  10. Enjoy every single minute of your stay, as when you’ll come back you will really experience nostalgia for Africa.

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