Visiting Botswana is a life-changing experience. It is a journey that not only exposes you to a way of life you may not have experienced before, but also reveals a whole new way of connecting to nature that one will be hard-pressed to find anywhere else in the world.
Botswana is a landlocked country in Southern Africa with an irrefutably distinct character. Spending time here opens ones eyes to a magical balance in which humans and animals coexist and the very specific and important role that each and every life form plays in the circle of life. It is a country that everyone should experience at least once in their lifetime. There is something in the air in Botswana, a wild sense of primal existence that really makes one feel the heartbeat of Africa and its oneness with all that inhabit the land. Whether exploring the wild bushveld, the ever-changing river channels of the Okavango Delta, or the vast desert landscapes, one will be exposed to safari excellence of the most magical quality. I recently had the opportunity to visit this pristine country and experience some of the breath-taking locations for myself. One particular location, nestled in the heart of the bushveld, that stole my heart was Tuskers Bush Camp – a tented safari camp that lies between the Nxai Pan National Park in the east of Botswana and the renowned Moremi Game Reserve in the west.
Moremi is a renowned wildlife hotspot. Lion, leopard, cheetah, wild dog, and spotted and brown hyena, are some of the top predator species that are recurrently seen in this bushveld paradise. The birdlife in Botswana is also no exception to the amazing collection of wild creatures that call this beautiful country home.
Having spent a few days exploring the intricate river channels of the magnificent Okavango Delta, I was whisked away on a charter flight to the dusty town of Maun and collected at the airport by my guide for the next few days, Mot. A warm, friendly and enthusiastic smile greeted me as I entered the airport from the landing strip and we were soon on the bumpy road in our sturdy safari vehicle, headed to Tuskers Bush Camp. Less than an hour and a half of driving through the quaint town and into the private concession on the border of Moremi (with a few animal siting’s along the way), we arrived to a warm welcome from the staff who sang beautifully to us and offered us a refreshing welcome drink before showing us to our tents for the next few days.
Located amongst large Kalahari Acacia trees, the six Meru-style tents (large and rectangular with openings at front, and sometimes rear, and usually a covered verandah) offer guests ultimate seclusion and privacy from one another while being completely open to the abundant wildlife that is free to roam in and out of the camp. With magnificent views of the veld, the eco-friendly, solar-powered tents all have en suite bathrooms which, keeping to the sustainable nature of all camps in Botswana, are equipped with heated bucket showers and flush toilets – a luxury for those coming from a mobile safari as we had! The tents are all equipped with complimentary bath products and all the amenities one would expect from top-class accommodation. The neutral colours and décor complement the look and feel of the bountiful bushveld and a sense of understated luxury is felt throughout the camp. After a refreshing cool shower, we headed to the boma/bar for an ice-cold gin and tonic and a bit of game viewing. The camp is small and unobtrusive, which makes it a perfect hide-away to retreat to and immerse oneself in the natural flora and fauna that is so plentiful. It is a truly sublime location. The main dining tent, boma, bar and fire-pit all overlook a bustling waterhole that serves as a regular drinking spot for all kinds of wild animals. Regular siting’s of elephant, kudu, giraffe and buffalo can be enjoyed whilst relaxing in the open air and sipping on a cold drink. As wild and untamed as it is, there is a mutual respect and unspoken understanding between man and animal in the air.
We head out for our sunset game drive around the network of pans in the concession, led by our professional and enthusiastic guide, Mot. Game drives are offered each morning and afternoon and guests may also opt for walking safaris which are a great way of really connecting with the bush and all it’s less obvious crawly creatures and abundant flora. These afternoon drives end in night drives with a spotlight back to camp to search for the more illusive nocturnal animals. Guests’ comfort is Tuskers number one priority and one is free to opt for whatever one wants in terms of activities and itineraries. The afternoon and early morning game drives were spectacular and the concession is teeming with diverse wildlife, plant life and bird life that is spectacular to witness. We were so privileged during our stay and each and every game drive was jam-packed with incredible siting’s and surprises, narrated and explained by Mot who educated us on all we encountered. And, of course, there are few things in the world that can beat the hues of red, purple and blue that permeate the African sky indicating the beginning and the end of a glorious day.
Meals at Tuskers are a wonderful opportunity to connect. Hearty breakfasts, light lunches and home-cooked dinners are all served in the main dining tent by the warm, friendly staff who sing in celebration and gratitude for the meals and the coming together of the guests. It is a special time for all. We completed each evening with some fire-side chatter and a night-cap before getting escorted to our tents where we could fall asleep to the symphony of the bush and the occasional visitor making an appearance right outside the tent.
Having spent a large part of my years exploring the bushveld in and around South Africa, I pride myself on knowing when I have encountered a real gem. Not only will Botswana undoubtedly leave its magical imprint on you for the rest of your days but Tuskers Bush Camp will most definitely be a highlight of that imprint. If Botswana is not on your travel radar, it really should be. It is an intriguing, enchanted land filled with mystery, old traditions, exceptionally friendly people and the most extensive diversity of wildlife one can imagine. Visiting Botswana is a life-changing experience. It is a journey that not only exposes you to a way of life you may not have experienced before, but also reveals a whole new way of connecting to nature that one will be hard-pressed to find anywhere else in the world. Tuskers Bush Camp embodies all these things – a true jewel in the African bushveld.
For more information, visit www.tuskerslodge.co.za
Text © Julie Graham | Images © Sun Destinations
The climate in Botswana brings very hot, dry periods (September, October), and also very wet seasons (December-February). Winter (June, July, August) packs cold nights and mild, dry days, while November to February is hot and wet.
Temperatures in summer soar as high as 40°C bringing Tuskers bush camp warm nights and humidity levels fluctuating between 50% and 80%. The average annual rainfall is 450mm and most of it falls between December and March in the form of heavy afternoon thunderstorms.
In contrast, the winter nights can drop to barely above freezing in the Delta and the desert, although daytime temperatures at this time of year are mild to warm.