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Botswana Safari, Solo Female Travel:
While we still have lockdown, closed borders and quarantines, I have been looking back at the top trips of my life. Since I started solo travel at age sixteen, I have had lots of adventures and misadventures. If I had to give it a title, I would call my life’s travels as “From Crocodiles to Cholera”. Having been to North Africa from Morocco to Egypt, sub-Sahara Africa was still on my bucket list. In my student days, I had explored the chance to be a volunteer English language teacher in Nairobi, Kenya. After lots of research and juggling my budget, I saw that I would run out of cash before graduating if I had travel and living expenses abroad added to university costs.
Years later I began dreaming again of Africa. Rather than East Africa, I began looking at Botswana and Zimbabwe. For me, Zimbabwe was more familiar from my political science studies. The turbulent history of North and South Rhodesia covered decades until Zimbabwe and its northern neighbor, Zambia, gained independence. The two countries are divided by the Zambezi River. Tourists have been drawn for decades to both sides for safaris with wildlife viewing “up close and personal”. (Before planning on lots of selfies, see our recent blog on “Wildlife Safety”. It actually works both ways: You need to take care that you are not in harm’s way. As unusual as it seems, I previously had a neighbor who sadly had a young family member killed by a lion. Humans can also be a danger to certain species giving diseases to wildlife in certain areas. So always ask before assuming that your trip to a wildlife preserve is your own petting zoo!
Getting there: UK/120 degrees/Me as co-pilot and pilot from Out of Africa landing on grass.Air Zim, Air Botswana, currency form.
Botswana is a very rich country as a leader in producing diamonds. Okavanga on horseback.
Victoria Falls, lions at 8 PM in the evening. Footbridge breaking.
Day trip to Zambia
Giraffe in my hallway.
Dinner: Aussie couple, “For a Yank, you are a long way from home”).
(Alternative Chobe and Chobe River)
“Sprawling across more than 5,000 square miles, the lush Okavango Delta is truly unlike any other place on Earth. The fan-shaped “Jewel of the Kalahari” beckons wildlife and adventurers alike with its diverse terrain. In landscapes where elands play, birds wing overhead, and even rare black rhinoceros thrive, you’ll explore by land and by mokoro dugout canoe, enjoying the rich flora and fauna from an array of perspectives. Perhaps you’ll even spot Africa’s famed Big Five, all of which can be found in the lively delta. And throughout your entire journey, you’ll be accompanied by expert driver-guides and a local Trip Experience Leader, who will give you unique cultural insights and act as your eyes and ears on safari.”
OAT: “After settling into our tents, we’ll get our first glimpse of one of the world’s largest inland deltas on a late-afternoon game-viewing drive. Covering a vast 5,700 square miles, the delta is home to a rich array of species and terrains.”
“Today, we’ll rise before the sun and depart camp by 6am for an early start on our discoveries of the Okavango Delta, where we’ll spend the next three days. Each year, nearly 3 trillion gallons of water pour into the delta, and none of it flows out again into rivers. With less than 6 feet of height variation across its thousands of square miles, the delta holds the water like a vast pool in season. That huge volume is all simply evaporated or absorbed by the thirsty earth. Yet there are also times when parts of the delta become arid plains, where moisture is scarce. That’s because it is nestled in the Kalahari Desert, and its seasons fluctuate wildly from heavy rain in African summer that causes flooding, to the hot spring seasons that parch the land.”
OAT Travel: Budget friendly
Ker and Downey: Luxury
Zebras, giraffes, reeboks? Elephants
Ker and Downey”: “To those who get off the beaten track in Botswana, a dynamic experience awaits. This LuxVenture® Trip pushes the boundaries of traditional travel by taking you, quite literally to new heights – showing intrepid travelers new experiences in some of the world’s most off-the-grid areas. Ignite the adventurer in you by taking to the skies for a helicopter flip over the Okavango Delta, game viewing by vehicle, foot, horseback, boat, mokoro, and quad-bike, and engaging meaningfully in cultural and conservation-minded initiatives. From learning survival skills with the San Bushman in the white-washed Makgadikgadi Salt Pans, to understanding how local employment initiatives can change lives, to dining in the bush with semi-habituated elephants, this trip will become a memory to share for a lifetime.”