Botswana had been a dream destination of ours for many years. Having been bitten by the Africa bug on a previous journey, there was simply no denying ourselves a return visit. Travel was summoning us loud and clear and within moments we were planning itineraries, packing our bags and answering the call. Through our research, we found Botswana to have a deep and colourful character, rich and varied in culture and landscape – so we booked our ticket to Africa, to adventure, to chasing life-changing experiences.
Planning a trip is where the adventure begins. Determined to self-drive through Botswana, exploring the terrain with time and adventure on our sides and in our hands, we started researching destinations and writing down a bucket list of experiences. The thrill of tracing maps and linking to lodges, activities, landmarks and cultural features of a country is where the foundation of a trip begins – filling in the substance and soaking in the possibilities. It is within this process where one uncovers the soul of a destination – beyond the pictures and into its core. Through our research, we found Botswana to have a deep and colourful character, rich and varied in culture and landscape – so we booked our ticket to Africa, to adventure, to chasing life-changing experiences.
There is a particular aroma to Africa, a mix of earth, heat and grass, rising to greet you as soon as you step off the plane. Collecting our self-drive vehicle, our ‘chariot of adventure’ – we loaded our bags, opened our maps and set off to explore – destination – Camp Kuzuma – a lodge located on the border of both Chobe National Park and Hwange National Park. We had read this location was near an important wildlife corridor – the Seloko Plains – abundant and busy with game moving between the two national parks. Camp Kuzuma fulfilled all of our requirements for an ecologically friendly location – solar panels, organic vegetable garden and a hydroponic system in the making.
Camp Kuzuma is an off-the-grid boutique eco lodge, the type of property we aim to support. We select our travel operators and activity providers based on their impact on the environment – choosing conscious and environmentally friendly properties. Camp Kuzuma fulfilled all of our requirements for an ecologically friendly location – solar panels, organic vegetable garden and a hydroponic system in the making.
We settled into our spacious rooms, with a moment to refresh ourselves before an afternoon game drive. Eager to explore, we headed to the main lodge area to wait for our guide. A herd of elephants were quenching their thirst from the African heat- our first sighting without even leaving the lodge grounds! We watched, mesmerised, watching our dreams turn into a reality right in front of our eyes.
Our guide had to tear us away with the promise of more wildlife encounters accompanied by sunset drinks in the bush. Unable to reject an offer for wine and adventure, we climbed into the vehicle in anticipation of both. The drive through the concession was covered in golden light, creatures great and small gifting us with their presence. We stopped to soak in the view, drinks and snacks laid out – decadence in taste and vista. An African sunset is definitely best paired with wine – we were in our absolute element!
The drive home gifted us with an unexpected guest – the elusive bat eared fox! Spotting his racoon-like face through the savannah, he darted through the grass and straight into our view – gorgeous ears peeking through the last light of day. We observed each other for a moment before he scampered off into dusk. Our guide informed us that although small, he was probably already fully grown – their growth stopping at around 4 months. Pairing for life, it was possible his mate was nearby – an exciting thought even without the sighting.
Heading back to camp, driving into twilight, we already had stories to share around the campfire and it was only day one!
Guest Review – Gianluca Ventura