Today’s featured post was provided by Nicola, writing for Opulent Africa. When I was younger, I was lucky enough to go on a trip to Botswana’s Okavango Delta, which was one of the most incredible safari experiences I’ve ever had. I’m sure today’s adventure idea will appeal to many of you, gender aside!
As soon as we reach the age of toddlerhood a big divide in gender specific interest starts to unfold. Little girls might sit playing for hours with dollies and prams, whilst their male counterparts charge around the garden, climb trees, swing from ropes and generally fall and bounce back.
That’s not to say there aren't a fair few tomboy’s charging around with them, or boys preferring to play along more domesticated themes, but in general little boys are often Tarzan’s in the making.
These traits usually pervade into adulthood to some degree. So it’s no wonder that the ultimate vacation for a group of adventurous guys can easily be based around an African safari.
Where better to base such an exploratory adventure than on a Botswana safari in the Okavango Delta and the Makgadikgadi pans. Starting out in Botswana’s seasonally flooded pristine Okavango Delta a multitude of activities are available.
For the fearless, one can Mokoro (a traditionally dugout canoe) along the waterways and narrowing sparkling channels, careful not to bob along into a hippo or crocodile, but nevertheless enjoying some fabulous game viewing as elephants dot the banks. Alternatively ‘tiger fishing’ often comes out towards the top (catch and release policy) with man’s ever competitive edge surfacing for an afternoon.
Moving away from the Delta’s glistening reed lined channels there are land activities such as day and night game drives in the Kwedi Plains where you can seek out the nocturnal animals with a spotlight and tracker. Night Game Drives ignite the adrenalin easily as eyes, either cowering or focusing intently on prey, pop out of the dark undergrowth. If you fancy staying out overnight in a hide or ‘fly-camping’ for a few nights this too adds to the building excitement of viewing Botswana’s diverse array of animals.
In comparison and as a compliment to the Delta, there are the Makgadikgadi Pans which were formed from the remains of an ancient super lake that has receded and during the dry season leaves simply a glistening salt layer on top of a dry cracked and barren surface. With expansive salt pans stretching far into the horizon, a Kikoi on your head and the rumble of a nearby quad bike warming its engine, it’s clear to see the attraction of blasting through to the other side on an apocalyptic adventure.
With a light backpack it’s possible to camp out under Botswana’s beautiful night sky as stars twinkle brightly through the boughs of huge Baobab trees that you can lay beneath. These trees hold a story too as they are often studded with the bullet holes of past explorers using the trees to ‘sight’ their rifles.
For the more bird-loving male...it’s best to visit during the wet season, when tens of thousands of flamingos arrive in their droves to enjoy the shallow waters that form on the pans, for the rich pickings of algae and brine shrimp. In addition to being hauntingly beautiful, seasonally sustaining wildlife and being tempting to quad bike around, the Makgadikgadi pans are rich in archaeology, with thousands of stone-age tools being re-covered from the surface.
Botswana, it seems, can offer a very rugged experience of Africa that can scratch the itch of any boy looking to test his adventure skills.
Thanks to Nicola for providing today’s post. Have you been on safari in Africa? I’d love to hear your experiences in the comments below!