My Botswana Adventure by Lisa Pfitzer

22 August 2018

I felt at home with SafariFRANK. My holiday was perfectly planned down to the smallest detail.

Name:

Lisa Pfitzer

Time of Travel:

June/July 2018

Destinations and type of safari:

– Oddballs’ Camp: a little paradise in the heart of the Okavango Delta (4 days)

– Nxai Pan National Park & Kubu Island (4 days, guided self-drive)

– Bush Ways Leopard Safari (17 days, Tented Safari)

(Kalahari, Okavango Delta, Moremi, Savuti, Chobe)

– Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe (4 days)

 

3 words describing your trip

I am often told that I cant keep things short (…. Proof follows in the questions below)

So I don’t think that I could sum up my holiday with 3 words…

Your favourite place and why?

First Impressions count! The same applies to countries! And the first impression I had of Botswana… was gigantic. My destination: Oddballs’ Camp, in the heart of the Okavango Delta.

As soon as I arrived, I jumped into a mokoro with my guide and off I went on an adventure. We had only been in the boat for five minutes, when I saw a hippo out the water to my left and an elephant in the water to my right. I didn’t know where to look first…

After we landed on Chiefs Island, the safety rules were explained to me:

– Never run in the bush – only food runs!

And right after we left, I was already put to the test. Something was running in the high grass next to me, I couldn’t see it. I stared into the grass absolutely petrified, my guide was just watching me. I stopped moving, probably stopped breathing too…

I had passed the test. My guide had already recognized that the sound was an impala moving alongside us. On this day we saw numerous Impala. And while the setting sun bathed the beautiful landscape around me in golden light, my guide brought me back to camp. Here I could enjoy the sunset over the Okavango.

I slept in a tent on a wooden deck. And as soon as it got dark, it got loud. Thousands of crickets and frogs started singing their night song…

But in the middle of the night another sound broke through the chirping of the crickets. Something big ran through the water, right in front of my tent! I knew immediately that it had to be an elephant and risked a look out of my tent. I couldn’t see him, yet I knew he had to be close. Right next to my tent a huge bush protruded into the water and small waves surrounded the branches that reached into the water. The elephant had to be standing right behind the bush.

I sat on the small veranda in front of my tent and listened into the night until the cold forced me back into the tent.

On the second day my guide and I went on another bush walk. For a long time we trudged through grass and sand until we received a message by radio. We turned around and rushed through the bush, dodging trees and branches and scaring up numerous impalas…

And suddenly we see an elephant in the tall grass, less than 50 meters away… we walk further… past the elephant. I wonder where we are going and after rushing through the bush for another 10 minutes, I dare to ask the question: What did the people on the radio see?

The answer: A lion!

I asked, are we running after a lion right now???

In principle, it is not recommended to ask the question if you do not want to hear the answer!

Of course we followed a lion. A slightly sick feeling appeared in my stomach and as we continued to follow the lion many things went through my mind.

e.g. From Gesa’s book I knew that the guides in South Africa are armed with a rifle on walking safaris.

We had… a pocket knife!?!

But anyway, we keep following the lion. We climb up a termite hill and observe the clearing on which the lion was sighted. The lion’s gone, we missed him.

I don’t know if I was sad or happy about it…

Strangely enough, I always felt safe with my guide, even when we were chasing the lion. He was not a man of great words, just explaining the things that had to be said. Nevertheless, he was a deeply friendly man who radiated an unbelievable calm.

Funny thing: he had a pronounced right-left weakness. If he pointed at an elephant to my right, I could assume that the elephant was standing somewhere at an angle of 360° from me.

And although he knew neither right nor left and had no watch, he led me every day in the mokoro and on foot through untamed wilderness without a map and we always arrived exactly 10 minutes before lunch back at camp…

Yes, Oddballs’ is a little paradise in the middle of the Okavango Delta. Even though I was at many other places in Botswana that were as beautiful, it remains true: the first impression counts. And that was my first impression of Botswana!

 

 

What was your best wildlife encounter?

In Moremi Game Reserve, we discovered a lioness with a cub one morning. We watched them as more and more cars joined us. Suddenly the mother grew smaller and smaller, pressing herself into the grass … she had discovered her prey … a Red Lechwe antelope, less than 100 meters away. Everyone in the car was holding their breaths, no one was making a sound. We waited … and waited. The lioness did not move. But suddenly the antelope disappeared from the sight. The lioness now used the cars to get closer to the antelope. And she made it to only 20 meters between her and the antelope. We could hardly believe our luck, from this distance the lioness was sure to succeed … If it was not for her cub who was seen by the antelope. The antelope gave a warning call and ran for her life with the cub chasing from far behind.

 

Unfortunately, we do not see a successful hunt that day. That afternoon we also saw a leopard cub. It lay quiet in the high grass and watched us. No trace of the mother. After watching the baby for a LONG TIME, we saw she wasn’t alone. In the bush next door was the mother leopard who finally got up and climbed to the top of the tree. There was sat, illuminated by the sunset and looking far into the distance.

 

Would you recommend this safari and if so why?

Definitely!!! I never thought it would be so breathtaking to discover the animals of Africa in their wild environment. The 17-day safari with Bush Ways was a tented safari. Even though I slept rather modestly every night in the tent, as I get claustrophobic in the sleeping bag, I would not have traded my tent for a lodge anywhere in the world. It’s a great feeling to build your own tent in a beautiful landscape. This allows a safari experience far away from mass tourism. And the sounds of the night are indescribable. I could hear lions, leopards, wild dogs, hyenas … A priceless experience.

How were your guides?

All friendly, competent and equipped with a sixth sense, they have brought me closer to their country in a way that I could not have imagined.

 

What was your experience with safariFRANK and its partners?

I felt at home with SafariFRANK. My holiday was perfectly planned down to the smallest detail.

What’s on your Africa bucket list?

AFRICA!!!!

More comments?

Thank you for 4 unforgettable weeks in Botswana!

 

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