Elephants, lions and crocodiles: travelling across Botswana, from the Okavango Delta to Victoria Falls
Thinking of booking an African safari? You’d probably hope for a few things: a stress-free guided tour, bearable weather. Not to mention a decent view of the Big Five, Africa’s most famous animals – the lion, leopard, rhino, elephant and buffalo. Watching a lion in the wild is a breath-taking experience, but what if you could do even better? Many have described a safari in Botswana as the ‘greatest show on Earth’. It’s a land like no other, teeming with beautiful, endangered wildlife.
Most of Botswana’s national parks have at least four of the Big Five, and there’s many of them: almost a third of the entire country is officially protected land. The united efforts of its people to conserve its flora and fauna have paid off. A third of Africa’s elephants live in Botswana. Protecting wildlife is a key factor in Botswana’s tourism policy, so visitor numbers are limited. To venture on safari there is to be lost in wilderness, with few people, and where animals usually seen through a zoo fence roam freely.
If you embark on a Botswana safari, Maun is your first base. A frontier town that’s rapidly urbanised in the last few decades, it’s a mix of modern and traditional, with hotels, shopping malls and bars, while herdsmen still bring cattle to sell in the markets. Travellers usually spend a night here, stocking up on fuel and supplies, before setting out to the Okavango Delta.