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Go Mobile in Botswana

Go Mobile in Botswana

If you have ever written off Botswana as an unaffordable dream, think all over again. It is not all designer-chic safari lodges wherever you fork out up to £400 a evening for the luxury of air-conditioned tents the sizing of tithe barns. You can however enjoy the safari of a life span for fifty percent the value – and get closer to the true Africa.

How? Cellular camping safaris are the respond to, as I have just identified on a marvellous 8-night time jaunt by means of the Moremi Sport Reserve with Letaka Safaris. Letaka is the Setswana word for the tall phragmites reeds that expand all around the margins of the Delta lagoons – as a result the business identify preferred by Brent and Grant Reed – aka the Letaka Brothers.

Now in their early 30s, the pair grew up in South Africa where by they acquired a enthusiasm for birds and snakes but always dreamed of the greater activity to be uncovered in neighbouring Botswana.

Right now Botswana is their dwelling, and with Brent or Grant as your manual Letaka Safaris are turning out to be a byword for observing wild Africa the way it should be done, sleeping under canvas with a cell tenting outfit who seriously know the ropes.

There had been 6 of us on safari: me and my spouse, my brother and his wife, and a couple of friends we might recognized for decades. Alongside one another we manufactured up the perfect quantities to fill the open Toyota Land-Cruiser that was waiting around for us at Xakanaxa’s dusty airstrip.

Right here we met Brent, the more mature Letaka Brother, who would be our information and driver, and alongside one another we set off by the dry September woodlands to our to start with campsite at Bodumatau – The Area the place the Lion Roars.

My spouse and I are outdated safari fingers, but the other folks were new to cell camping and I observed them staring in dismay at the dome tents, uninteresting brown and travel-stained, in which they would slumber for the subsequent 8 nights. The glimpse on their faces reported it all. Oh my God!

I could almost listen to their thoughts as they ducked by means of the doorways to examine their tents. Every single 1 was tall enough to stand up in, and furnished with twin beds but practically nothing extra, leaving just enough house to stow their baggage. Outdoors, underneath the awning, were a few fundamental necessities: canvas washbowls, khaki towels and a mirror, and powering each individual tent, sheltered by a canvas wall on poles, was the luxury of an en-suite loo with a plastic throne. No creeping outside with a torch and loo roll on this safari!

And bit by bit, a single by one, I could see my safari companions chill out. It was (for them) the unforeseen bliss of a scorching bucket shower that commenced it. Then the magic of beverages by the campfire kicked in, as the sparks flew up to sign up for the stars and scops owls chirruped in the velvet darkness. And finally the lamp-lit dinner – a 3-system affair with a sumptuous hen casserole as the primary dish – served together by fantastic South African wines that tasted all the much better for getting incorporated in the price.

No person – myself bundled – experienced reckoned on consuming so nicely on a cell safari. But that was because Brent had signed up Frank Nkiwane to prepare dinner for us. Frank, a significant, jolly Zimbabwean, learnt his trade at an Italian restaurant in Bulawayo, and for my funds he’s the very best bush chef in Botswana.

In all, we stayed at a few private campsites and each a person was diverse. Our to start with camp at Dumatau was established in a feverberry grove overlooking a lagoon where by fish eagles cried and hippos grunted outside of the reeds. Our 2nd camp lay in the shade of a camelthorn acacia forest not considerably from the Khwai River with its bateleur eagles, malachite kingfishers and breeding herds of elephants. And at Maya Pools, our very last camp, dominated by a sausage tree whose crimson flowers carpeted the ground, we noticed a stunning male leopard and had been frequented in wide daylight by a superb old lion, a single of the two resident males of the Useless Tree Delight.

By the stop of the trip everybody had come to be a cell tenting convert. They experienced uncovered that a vacation stripped of all trivia and unnecessary trappings can be just as sweet as any 5-star lodge experience that a tent is basically a protected position in which to rest and stow your gear while you are living exterior in the sunshine and the wind, sharing the limitless woods and floodplains of the Moremi with the lions and elephants that walked pretty much nightly by means of our camp.

Earlier mentioned all, what my safari companions identified had been the real luxuries of mobile camping not only the incredibly hot showers and chilled sundowners, the exact same-day laundry and fantastic foods that Frank conjured up on beds of hot wooden ash, but the priceless joys of exclusive campsites, the full liberty that comes with acquiring your have non-public auto, and in hiring one particular of Botswana’s most respected guides to reveal the magic of the Moremi.