There is no denying that game drives and boat cruises are a spectacular way to get up close to wildlife and enjoy great game viewing. However, as safari travel destinations have expanded over the years, there are now more and more specialised safaris which provide an equally unique experience!
Without a doubt there is little that beats a walking safari, to feel the crunch of the ground beneath your feet without the rumble of a vehicle in the background. Many lodges in private concessions within Botswana are able to offer specialised walking safaris with experienced, qualified walking guides. Walking safaris allow you to get close to wildlife in a way that a game drive just can’t compete with, and it also allows you to see the smaller things that are so often missed. Whether it is the lion tracks in the sand, a unique plant that has medicinal purposes or the tiny ants which build giant termite mounds, the smaller things on safari are sometimes some of the most fascinating. Ultimately, on a walk every single one of your senses are heightened, and the thrill of being so close to wildlife is heart pumping.
Photo: Desert & Delta Safaris, Xugana Island Lodge
HORSE RIDING SAFARIS
Most horse riding safaris within Botswana, especially within the Okavango Delta and Makgadikgadi Salt pans, are aimed at experienced riders who can ride at all paces. The thrill of riding so close to wildlife is incredible as most plains game (such as antelope and giraffe) are incredibly relaxed and see you as another animal. Many horse riders will delight in the vast open spaces which are ideal for long canters. To graze alongside Kudu, stand within metres of a curious Giraffe or silently wait as a herd of elephant cross the water in front of you will leave even the most seasoned safari travellers speechless.
Photo: African Horseback Safaris, Okavango Delta
Canoeing within Botswana has become widely popular for adventure enthusiasts, although many lodges stress that while a level of fitness is required it is not extremely physically demanding. One of the most common places to canoe is the Selinda Spillway which lies just North East of the Okavango Delta. In terms of your safari experience, wildlife viewing is spectacular as the riverbanks attract a variety of species. The tranquillity of the waterways, not to mention the vast array of birdlife, will connect you to nature like no other.
Photo: Great Plains, Selinda Canoe Trail
While the usual safari activities are certainly a highlight and not to be missed, if you have a particular interest or hobby then perhaps look at some specialised safaris, it might just give you the trip of a lifetime!