June 13, 2024


Red Hot Food

Botswana Mobile Safari

Camping’s not my thing. Experiences to date have been limited to the odd night supervising the children in the garden. So it was with some anxiety that I set off for Northern Botswana to spend five nights in a tent. I needn’t have worried. All my fears (and there were many) were swept away within ten minutes of arriving at our first camp site. Set among trees and looking out over a dry floodplain in the Moremi Game Reserve, our six tents were well equipped with proper beds and bathrooms and were very comfortable.

The camp staff were great fun, extremely knowledgeable and perfect hosts. The early mornings and late afternoons were spent on game drives in the park, where we were treated to a wonderful variety of birds and animals. Our guide too was excellent. There was a constant stream of interesting facts and figures, and not once did I feel we compromised safety in order to get close to any animal.

After two nights, we moved to a simple ‘fly camp’ on an island in the Okavango Delta. After drifting up and down river channels during the day, we arrived at a tiny wooded island, where just our bed rolls and mosquito nets were to be our accommodation for the night. A sundowner on a nearby lagoon, supper and then sleeping under the stars, listening to strange noises, is something I shall not forget in a hurry. I had expected to feel very vulnerable with just a thin piece of netting between me and a lot of things with big teeth. But I was amazed how safe I felt once zipped into my ‘home for the night’, well hidden under the duvet.

We left the island to spend another two nights back in Moremi. This time the camp site was next to a large lagoon, and as we arrived in the late afternoon we had to wait for a huge herd of elephant to cross our path on their way to drink and play in the water.

I couldn’t have been more wrong in my initial ideas about a mobile safari. I had imagined danger at every turn, uncomfortable nights and ordinary food. In fact, I had a wonderful experience. I never once felt in any danger, but there was plenty of excitement. The food was fantastic – how our cook managed to produce what he did over an open fire is a mystery. And as for uncomfortable … showering in the open air and sleeping under canvas, trying to work out what’s making that noise outside the tent, beats any five star hotel. I can’t wait to go again.