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Published: July 21st 2011
As a lover of all things African wildlife I have heard stories and wanted to visit Northern Botswana for years… Northern Botswana did not disappoint and delivered a very “basic” safari/camping experience. The country of Botswana manages tourism tightly and has pushed prices up, to limit the volume of tourists… this means more money for them, and more pristine habitat for animals and humans alike. While this approach helps keep the numbers low, it makes it harder for those on a budget so for this go round we joined a group of 9 others for a camping safari. The campsites were ultra basic, basically a designated spot in the woods with no running water or facilities of any type and we would pitch tents, cook over an open campfire and provide free fertilizer to the park. When joining a large group one hopes for the best but we lucked up and were placed with a great bunch of fellow travelers and enjoyed ourselves. I still never got my wild dog sighting =( which of course means that at some point in the future I have to go back to Southern Africa =) (missed the dogs by about 10 minutes).
While I enjoyed the camping A LOT… after our camping “incident” in the Serengeti (See Serengeti) it seems that I might be doomed to be an insomniac on any and all future African camping excursions… something about the sound of hyenas congregating around your campsite at night wont let me rest thoroughly (although it got better as days progressed). How I envied those who could get a solid nights sleep in the bush… every morning people work up well rested and perky while I spent half the night awake listening to the sounds of the African night. Most of the people in the group could sleep the whole night through and were oblivious to nighttime visitors and to what a hyena even sounded like… must be nice. In the end I would get a decent nights sleep about every third night as I kind of fell into a routine where I would kind of get minimal sleep for 2 nights and then crash on the third.
Highlights of our time in Botswana included:
*Being woken up by Lions roaring about a stones throw away from our tents and then listening to them for about the next 40 minutes
(tried to attach audio).
* Finding two cheetah together and then watching them lounge around and then walk off into dusk together.
*Meeting good peoples and sitting around the campfire listening to our guides war stories and close calls with various wildlife.
* The Kuzungula ferry border crossing from Zambia to Botswana… just one of those travel moments.
*Just being out and about walking the town in Livingston & Maun.
Tear… missing Botswana already…
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