Here’s a peek at Kensington Tours’ Botswana Signature itinerary as told through the tour operator’s Africa director, Gabrielle Nijdam.
What is Botswana’s allure: “Botswana is the shining gem in Southern Africa’s crown and a trailblazer when it comes to conservation, tourism ethics, education, economy and safety—this is why it’s typically a little more expensive to travel in than Kenya, Tanzania or South Africa. The government has regulated camp sizes so Botswana has the lowest room number per hector. One will not find the larger, hotel-like lodges that are found in other Africa countries and in general there are WAY fewer tourists. Botswana offers active travelers the opportunity to get out of their 4X4s for guided walking safaris, canoeing and boating. Botswana has been blessed with the continent’s greatest concentration of African elephants in Chobe and Linyanti. Seventeen percent of the country is set aside for conservation.
“Botswana is one of Africa’s most ecologically diverse countries and boasts four very distinct landscapes:
- Desert: 70 percent of Botswana is made up of the sands of the Kalahari Desert. With the land covered by desert sands, you’d assume that wildlife and vegetation is little but the ecosystem is more of a semi desert—still alive with Kalahari lions, many species of antelope, cheetahs, giraffe, zebra, meerkats and much more.
- Delta: Within this Botswana’s large desert of sand is the planet’s most unique delta, the Okavango, an exotic and otherworldly place of lush natural beauty and diversity where the waters are swallowed by the Kalahari sands every year after passing through the system.
- Great Rivers: The Limpopp River Basin, its waterways and other rivers of Botswana are an unusual aspect that attracts countless wildlife species to what is predominantly a desert country. Some of these rivers meet other rivers whilst some simply sink away into the sands of the Kalahari Desert.
- Salt Pans: Thousands of years ago Botswana was covered in a massive inland lake, the remnants of which are still visible through desert and the the Makgadikgadi Salt pans, an surreal landscape of sand, salt and never ending horizons.”
What makes Kensington’s Botswana Signature tour singular: “It combines three different regions and ecosystem. It’s fantastic all year-round, good for wet and dry season. The culture with the San bushman. As with all Kensington Tours, travelers/agents can customize their itinerary with their dedicated Kensington Botswana Expert to suit ones individual travel style, schedule and budget. It offers eco-friendly safari camps and lodges. It offers the best game viewing all year-round and an amazing budget for Botswana; and clients have the opportunity to delve into Botswana in a variety different ways—mokoro canoeing; by foot on guided hikes; driving in jeep 4×4’s (that often also morph into boats!); and sky safaris (one takes small charter planes from camp to camp, which offer incredible animal sightings and photography opportunities from the air).”
A tour highlight: “Getting up-close and personal with San bushman as you trek the Kalahari, taste the food they forge in the bush, listen to their legends and learn about their traditions and way of life. Canoeing and mokoro canoe trips in the Linyanti Marshlands & Okavango Delta. Walking safaris. Guided nature walks and 4×4 drives in Selinda private wildlife concession & Chief Island. A combination of the best luxury safari camps on offer in Botswana. Includes chauffeured transfers, internal flights. Customization is always a highlight with Kensington—one can easily add on a trip to Victoria Falls, walking with elephants, interacting with lions, add in a trip to Cape Town or finish on the beaches of Mozambique.
Ideal traveler to Botswana with Kensington: “First- or second-time safari-goers; travelers who want to ensure their tourism dollars are being spent responsibly; retirees; fishing enthusiasts; adrenaline adventures; families; those who love luxury and the finer things in life; photographers; and animal conservation enthusiasts.”
For more information, please visit kensingtontours.com.