I recently got back from a trip to Botswana, where I spent time in Kasane, the Savuti Marsh area and then embarked on a Letaka mobile camping safari in the Khwai concession.
My trip started in the town of Kasane on the banks of the Chobe River which serves as the northern entrance to the Chobe National Park. The park is famed for its large population of elephants (estimated to be around 85,000 during the dry season) and over 450 recorded species of birds, making it a hotspot for birders.
Game-viewing in Chobe is done by land vehicle and by boat. Our optional Chobe Wildlife Excursion includes a 3-hour game-viewing boat ride along the Chobe River, an ideal habitat for water-dependent animals such as hippos, crocodiles and waterbuck as well as other game along the riverbanks. The excursion also includes a 3-hour game drive in an open-air safari vehicle into the park where you can spot elephant, buffalo, antelope, lion, leopard, giraffe and other game.
Up close and personal!
A monitor lizard snacking on a dead catfish.
Hippo swimming in the Chobe River.
Buffalo on the Chobe riverbanks.
The sun setting on this lone giraffe.
Leaving the Chobe riverfront behind, we made our way down to Savuti. The Savuti Marsh area is located on the western stretch of the Chobe National Park, famed for its big game and rich birdlife. We were lucky to spot three males from the Savuti Marsh lion pride.
The lions were patrolling with their bellies visibly full, presumably having recently feasted on a kill.
Nearby was a thirsty giraffe, who swiftly and smartly began walking away upon hearing the lions’ loud grunts.
Other animals we spotted in Savuti included hippos, elephants, buffalo and leopard tortoises. We then flew to Khwai by light aircraft. The Khwai Concession is situated in the north east of the Okavango Delta and is adjacent to the Moremi Game Reserve. Here we were taken to our campsite where we were assigned tents for the next few days.
A Letaka Mobile Tented Safari is an adventurous way of experiencing Botswana’s wildlife. With a maximum of seven guests, you are very well looked-after by a guide, chef and up to two general staff. Mornings in the bush start early, getting up around 5am before sunrise, for a simple breakfast of toast, cereal, fruit and hot drinks, followed by a game viewing excursion (usually a game drive). After the sun is up, you will stop in a picturesque spot for a tea, coffee and biscuit break, later returning to camp for an early lunch – a hearty main accompanied by salads. The rest of the afternoon is free to read or relax. In the late afternoon, you head out for a second game drive, returning to camp for a simple but tasty three-course meal, enjoyed under the stars with the fire crackling in the background.
The Khwai Concession is a private concession, meaning guides are permitted to do night game drives after dark. With his spotlight, the guide pointed out nocturnal animals such as South African springhare, foxes and serval. We spotted cats, elephants, zebras, hyenas and wild dogs in the Khwai Concession.
A female lion taking a break from feeding her two lion cubs.
Our guide estimated the lion cubs to be around 3 weeks old.
We also came across two leopards who had just finished mating. The male was relaxing in and around the bushes.
The female acting coy.
A cackle of hyenas grooming their cubs at their den.
The national animal of Botswana.
My trip came to an end as we packed up for our drive to Maun. Minutes after pulling out onto the main road, a pack of wild dogs trotted past our vehicle. Botswana is considered to have the largest population of wild dogs in the world, with more than 700 of the presumed 3000 left.
If you’d like to experience game drives, boat rides, beautiful lodges and mobile camping for yourself, click here to browse our Botswana holidays or call 020 7263 3000 to speak to an expert.