Beautiful Botswana! Part two.

After spending four spectacular days in the Delta, we made our way home via the Makgadikgadi Pans and the quirky and utterly charming Planet Baobab.
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The vast Makgadikgadi Pans National Park, with its shimmering salt pans and endless horizons, offers views and landscapes I’ve never encountered before.  It really is a magnificent place, and when there’s more rain about, there are flocks of flamingos and pelicans which make the pans their home for the summer months.
Planet Baobab offers excursions into the pans, with visits to habituated meerkats (more petite than I thought they would be) and winter nights sleeping out under an enormous canopy of stars (definitely something to return for!).
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I fell in love with the camp.  More of a budget option compared to its more famous sibling Jack’s Camp, Planet Baobab offers a fun, stylish and comfortable stay in this dry, beautiful part of the world.  The enormous, sparkling pool and eccentric open-air bar were highlights for me, as well as the many huge, ancient baobabs scattered around the camp.
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IMG_9463A magic moment was discovering a hammock strung up under an enormous baobab near our chalet.  This beautiful tree must’ve been 2000 (3000?) years old, and swinging beneath its majestic boughs (and imagining all it had witnessed!) made me feel very small, very calm, and very grateful.
All travel via Made in Africa Tours & Safaris.

Beautiful Botswana! Part one

My first time to Botswana, and I was lucky enough to spend four days in a luxury lodge in the Okavango Delta, and two blissful nights in the Makgadikgadi Pans!
We started our journey with one night en route to Maun at the Khama Rhino Sanctuary.  It was utterly wonderful to see so many rhino safe and sound, and flourishing, when our rhinos in SA are being poached at such a devastating rate.
We spent two scorching days in Maun (think mid-40s during the day!), with sadly not a raindrop in sight.  (The drought is as severe in Bots as it is in South Africa.)  And then it was onto a very small plane and off to Pom Pom Camp in the Delta!
Botswana has been on my must-do list for years and years, so I was incredibly excited to see the spectacle of the Delta, and to do it from some pretty fabulous accommodation. Luxury permanent tents, high thread count sheets, an outdoor shower, delicious food, exceptional guides, and views for miles over floodplains that every day delivered elephant, red lechwe, tsessebe, bushbuck, monkeys and heaps of birds.  The mornings were filled with excitement as we studied the tracks of animals that had made their way through the camp in the night,  a few metres from our tents – hippos, buffalo, ellies, lion and hyena!
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The Delta really is magnificent, and offers such a completely unique bush experience – pristine wilderness, enormous floodplains, towering ilala palms and snaking water channels.
We visited in the wet or green season, which usually means high temperatures and thunderstorms.  We certainly had blistering temperatures, but because of the drought, the area was the driest anyone has seen it in years.  Although there was thankfully still some water around, the area was more ‘savannah’ than ‘watery wonderland’, and we were limited to game drives and short mokoro excursions.  Luckily the game viewing was still exceptional!
A classic Delta experience is a mekoro ride through the reed-lined channels.  We managed to find some water, albeit pretty shallow.  The slow poling through the clear water, and viewing the Delta from just above water level, really is something special.
Just one reason to go back would be to experience the serenity of a mekoro trip when there’s plenty of water!
Part two, and the stunning Makgadikgadi Pans, over here.
All travel via Made in Africa Tours & Safaris.