Botswana trip report

Managing founder on the move: Botswana bound

Botswana trip report

My time in South Luangwa was all too short but luckily for me, I was off to Botswana! We are always on the lookout for the next adventure and with the close proximity to Zambia, we often have clients looking to tie in some of the most famous wildlife spots in the world! So, I packed up my binos and headed for one of the most well-known safari spots in Africa.

Arriving into Maun Town I was warmly welcomed by my great friends ‘Fran and Downey’ one of the legends behind the Botswana experts Ker & Downey.  Fran has made an effort to come and visit us in Malawi several times so this time I let her play tour guide to take me around her home turf! With 4 brief nights, she set to the task and we went quite literally flying off to the Kalahari. Botswana blew me away and not just because it was windy!!

flying around botswana

Completely different to all I had experienced in Zambia & Malawi, I loved the unique landscapes and wildlife of the Kalahari from the many species of antelope I hadn’t seen before to the almost Australasian looking desert landscape. Our first night was in the newly renovated Dinaka Camp which was so wild, classy and special, with our game drive delayed one morning from Simba and the boys wandering around camp to the resident honey badger causing havoc in the bins at night-just wow!

I loved that the lodge had its own bunkers and hides showcasing the spectacular wildlife up close and personal. The lookout sunset deck was one of my favourite spots to sit and watch the sun go down and listen to the nocturnal animals start to stir and of course enjoy week 2 of the all-important sundowner! Completely different to what I had experienced before I think it makes a unique combination with some of the parks we have here in our part of Africa and I am eager to get my fellow explorers out there.

leopard in Bots

I was totally spoilt with our little group from Fran the mastermind behind the trip to Amy, Dinaka’s interior designer – to Riana & Ryk who tagged along for the adventure completing our epic little pride. If the company wasn’t fantastic enough I got to feel like an absolute ROCKSTAR being flown from camp to camp-who needs road transfers?! Not only were the flights a quick way to get to each area without losing any time they gave incredible views of the landscapes and wildlife below!

We headed to the Okavango Delta which is not dissimilar to the national parks in Zambia from the wildlife to the combination of water activities. Of course here you swap the canoes for the unique mokoros. These were awesome and combined with a classic unbeatable African sunset, it made for an unforgettable trip. My favourite of the camps we saw here was Shinde, namely for the wonderful scenery.

sundowner botswana

Once again we can’t stress enough, the importance of good staff in making or breaking a trip. Which is the purpose of all these educational trips (not just to boost my Instagram numbers! The staff at Ker & Downey were truly top notch, from the excellent guides to the magical hosts and entertaining dancers! They were so professional, welcoming and friendly giving me one of the best trips I’ve had. Botswana truly lives up to its hype, with its small attention to detail such as the amazing photography arms on all the vehicles, the large compartments in front of your seat in the vehicles to put cameras/ water bottles etc, and only having 4 pax per vehicle etc all help make it the world famous destination it has become!

Watch this space for some incredible itineraries combining these epic destinations. Bring on The Kafue and Lower Zambezi SOON #ThisIsLife.

You can read my recent South Luangwa report, here.

mike varndell

Mike was born in Zimbabwe but raised in Malawi having ventured across the globe working in the finance industry he realised he wanted a life of adventure. He threw in the towel in London and travelled across South America before the lure of home called and he moved back to Malawi. Realising a gap in the market he set up Malawian Style 8 years ago creating exciting adventures across the warm heart of Africa. With a keen passion for uniting like minds and showcasing this beautiful continent, he continues to strive to get tourists to visit his home nation.