Like any job, mine has its upsides and downsides. A Botswana safari in the Okavango Delta at the start of one of the best floods in recent years was definitely one of the upsides!
I was being hosted by Ker & Downey which is a well-established Botswana safari company focusing on the 4+/5 star market. I visited each of its four camps in the Okavango Delta – Shinde Camp and Footsteps Camp in the northern Okavango, Camp Okuti in the Moremi Game Reserve and the Kanana Camp in the watery southern Okavango Delta.
One of the things I liked about the Ker & Downey safari camps was that each was very different – no “cookie cutter safari” here (which is what we call it when you go from one tented camp to a very similar tented camp over and over again). Yet each demonstrated the same high service ethic with friendly and obliging staff and the standard of guiding was also uniformly good.
If you want to take your family on a Botswana Safari look no further than the Young Explorers programme. This is a specially designed family safari that allows families the opportunity to discover the wonders of the African wilderness together, without the distractions of modern day stresses and modern day technology.
It’s headed up by Paul Moleseng, a well known guide whose patience, understanding and expertise makes for the rarest of teachers. He’s someone who can impart often complex information in a way that is practical, fun, interactive and relevant. Young Explorers takes children from 7 years upwards (although, on a child-by-child basis, it has been known to accommodate younger children).
This family friendly Botswana safari can be done at either the Footsteps Camp (in the Okavango Delta) or at Saile Tented Camp (in the Linyanti. Region.) Most families would opt to do a three night family safari in one of these areas, but we can combine both of these areas for a longer family safari. We can certainly tailor make a programme to suit the size and age of your family.
The treetop canopy tour is a great soft adventure excursion for the whole family. We did the one in the indigenous forest of the Tsitsikamma. But you can also do a similar excursion in the Drakensberg, the Magaliesberg and the Magoebaskloof near Tzaeen.
So what’s it all about and will you enjoy it? Here’s our more personal take on the trip. . .
In a nutshell, you arrive Storms River village where you are met and given a safety briefing. You are then kitted up with harness, ropes, helmet and take a short 4 x 4 ride to the start of the forest tour. The tour consists of using ten ziplines to whizz you from one treetop platform to another. The ziplines start quite gently both in terms of degree of descent and length (and thus potential speed) and build up to an impressive 110 metres. The treetop platforms are like giant treehouses, but much higher off the ground than those you ever built as children. Another attractive feature is that not one single nail has been hammered into the trees. The construction has been build using ropes and pulleys in a very innovative manner.