Just before my trip while I was packing my bags, I got this familiar feeling of butterflies in my tummy. I was preparing for my long journey ahead through Botswana to Zimbabwe for the next 16 days.
So off I went and joined the JENMAN tour called the Botswana Untouched, as I waited in anticipation for that highlight of my trip that I knew would make my whole trip worth it.
Highlight 1: Khama Rhino Sanctuary
As we made our way from Johannesburg to Serowe within 3 days, we visited the Khama Rhino Sanctuary. I truly found peace in my heart for the Rhino’s. I didn’t realize how strong I felt about the rhinos and the protection of rhinos until I came here and saw them healthy, and in their own space. Our group sat in that vehicle in awe to witness the peace and the protected environment the rhino’s are in.
Highlight 2: Makgadikgadi Pans
As we made our way to Gweta, we drove through the Makgadikgadi Pans, and we got the opportunity to stop and appreciate the salt pans.
Highlight 3: Mokoro Trip
And off to Maun we go, where we meet the rest of our group equaling to 12 people on tour, plus two amazing guides!! We drive on, until we reach our next activity called the Mokoro Trip. A “mokoro” is a type of dugout canoe that the local people used as a means of travel on the Okavango Delta. I was really nervous about this activity, but it ended up being one of the best experiences of my life. We saw crocodiles, water lilies, and lots of water spiders. One particular water spider couldn’t resist from jumping in the mokoro and really wanted to climb all over me. Eeeekkkkk.
Highlight 4: Bedouin Bush Camp, African Luxury Hideaways
I never thought that I, Miss city girl, would shower under a bucket shower. This camp was a true bush experience that I will never forget. The unique Bedouin camp with no electricity offering fantastic food, the friendly and dedicated staff, the views of the waterholes and the animals, and this untouched area of Botswana just warmed my heart and made it an unforgettable experience.
Highlight 5: The meals prepared by the guide
What I found amazing, is how a man (our guide Malven) can make the most creative meals I have ever seen, in the bush, with resources being insufficient. He made the meals look so simple and quick, yet so delicious and healthy.
Highlight 6: The free roaming WILD animals
I realized that Botswana truly is untouched, when I noticed that none of the parks in Botswana have fences. The animals are free to roam wherever they want to, even between countries. Here we are driving on a dirt road between two destinations, and there in the distance are two male lions resting on the road. We drive up to them, literally 5 meters away from us. The appreciation I met when I got so close to those lions was breathtaking. I couldn’t stop smiling for the rest of the day.
Highlight 7: Chobe National Park
We slowly made our way to Kasane which is at the top of Chobe National Park. This journey was long in the open game drive vehicle, but when we arrived at Chobe Safari Lodge, I could hear the angels singing in my ears. It felt like heaven. The views of the Chobe River was extraordinary, sharing the border line of Botswana and Namibia. We ended off our stay in Chobe with a 3 hour boat cruise which is worth every minute.
Highlight 8: Victoria Falls
Mosi-oa-Tunya or Victoria Falls, “the Smoke that Thunders” was the most magical part of my trip. It literally is the greatest sheet of falling water that I have ever seen. I made sure I got to the furthest point closest to the falls, where I experienced that MAGIC. My clothes got soaking wet, but it was all worth it.
Highlight 9: The people I met in the group
Sometimes it’s really difficult to organize the tour group dynamics correctly, because people differ. I was so fortunate to spend this journey with 7 Americans, 2 Australians, and 2 Canadians and our guides from Botswana and Zimbabwe. All the memories I have of this journey includes each and every one of them. I am so blessed that I can bring home friendships and fantastic experiences we had as a group.
Highlight 10: Elephants Eye in Hwange, African Luxury Hideaways
I said goodbye to my group and journeyed to Hwange, where I stayed at the luxurious Elephants Eye. Wow, if you want value for money, and pure luxury on your holiday, you have to make Elephants Eye your destination. This lodge is an Eco friendly environment, un-spoilt, and roaming with animals especially elephants.
The presentation and delicious cuisine triggered all of my taste buds especially when they spoilt us with a surprise bush dinner at the waterhole. I couldn’t resist as I ended off my journey with a few body massages at the brand new “Jwapi Spa”.