When you think of safari, a few key countries spring to mind. Kenya, Uganda, Namibia, South Africa and latterly, Botswana. Arriving late to the safari tourism industry party but with gusto, Botswana’s Chobe National Park is internationally famous. Drawing in visitors from across the globe, it combines wildlife with progressive ideas like all-woman guides to pioneering green-friendly accommodation. With that success has come crowds, however, including jeeps encircling the Okavango Delta, making a visit to the country’s lush waterways sometimes difficult to fully enjoy. Fear not – there is another way to experience the wetlands of Botswana.
For a long stay in the country, the rest of the nation can be reached through a good quality travel guide; for the waterways, you need a little bit of inside knowledge of the land and survival basics to last through long days.
The Fundamentals of Spending the Day Out
Due to its position on the map, Botswana is a warm country. Temperatures can rise up to a 25 degree average in January, and seasonal precipitation is the cause of the lush vegetation that you’ll experience throughout the wildlife zones. Make sure you prepare accordingly, and check ahead for weather. Take into consideration, too, the fundamentals of every outdoors trip. Make sure you’re aware of the dangers in the wilderness areas, plan a good route and let your relatives or accommodation owners know of your plans. Take stock of what sustenance you’ll need through the day and build a supply of appropriate food, but don’t overburden yourself. Use outdoors equipment appropriate to your trip and consider how that trip might evolve over the course of the day – will there be blazing sun? Showers? Where issues happen, report it quickly to the relevant authorities and helpful parties, and reassess your plans to stay safe.
Botswana’s Unique Waterways
The Okavango Delta is well known in Botswana but is only a small part of the waterway story in Botswana. Instead of heading straight to the delta, make your start in the wetlands of Linyanti. From here, you can use a canoe to travel around this glorious wetland scene, or alternatively travel on foot and by boat. Linyanti is a UNESCO protected site and home to some of the most stunning and varied birdlife available anywhere on the planet. On the dry lands, you’ll also find huge groups of wild dogs, lions, leopards and more classic African wildlife.
From Linyanti, using a canoe you will be able to traverse the entire distance of the lush Selinda Spillway. Selinda is curious in that, until a few years ago, it was dry and dusty. Mysterious floods took water back to the river in recent years, and created a living link between Okavango and Linyanti. Being mindful of any issues with motion sickness, you can easily spend a full day canoeing. Be wary of the hot sun during the midday hours, but in cooler and wetter months the trip can be wonderfully relaxing. Along the banks of the Selinda Spillway you will find yet more wildlife, and be able to experience a relaxing day as compared to the backdrop of heavy queues snaking around Chobe.
Botswana is growing in pure popularity due to the enchanting nature and methods of its national parks. Consider ditching the ground for the water and experience the wilds in a totally new way.
This article originally appeared on Demand Africa.
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