Are you seeking a ferociously good holiday? Then its time to jump into an open roof safari vehicle and let your senses run wild as you rattle and bounce across the dry savannah plains in search of Africa’s most famed wildlife.
The word “safari” conjures thoughts of adventure, noble lions, big open spaces, khaki and a place that’s wild and untamed.
Back in May I was fortunate enough to go on a camping safari in Botswana, with my sister, exploring the Okavango Delta, Moremi and Chobe National Park.
The three nights we spent camping (yes in a pitched tent) in the middle of the National Park was by far one of the most amazing experiences of my life. No fences between us and the animals, just a deep respect for these wild creatures, a strict adherence to the park rules combined with an awareness to never let down our guard. One small mistake and we could have been dinner.
At night we had lions stalk out our site and hyenas sniff the perimeter of our tent while hippos grunted and loudly munched on green leaves within spitting distance of our heads. Yes this was all happening outside the tent while my sister and I were balled up in a foetal position not sure whether to cry, scream out to our guide or focus on some relaxation breathing techniques.
Our guide Moses often looked at us with bemusement; he had a talent for reading animal behaviour but was ingenious in predicting what a city slicker would do next. Yes I made all the rookie mistakes like thinking I would spot a lion as soon as we drove into the reserve, deliberately not wearing khaki to avoid looking like a wannabe and thinking that every rustle in the bush was an animal wanting to eat me.
However I’m happy to report I took my rookie errors in my stride. Looking back I realise I’m now just a little bit wiser on what to do and what not to do while on safari. So here are my top 8 tips for other safari virgins: