Only a handful of places in the world hold a special place in my heart, and Botswana has certainly become one of them. The adventure started in Chobe National Park, which is situated at the northern portion of Botswana, and continued onwards to the Savuti and Moremi National Parks, on the outskirts of the Okavango Delta.
Our small group of travelers boarded a dusty 4x4 in the morning to set out into the park to observe the wildlife that calls this immense national park home. We traveled for what seemed like an eternity, our vehicle maneuvering across dusty trails and far-reaching grasslands, until we finally caught glimpse of wildlife on the horizon. We approached slowly, not wanting to interrupt the natural beauty of the experience as we came across a small family of giraffes, casually grazing on the bushwillow trees. As we approached, we were given wary looks at first until they recognized that we weren’t a threat and they continued to graze. Their long towering frames and beautiful spots were a sight to behold and my camera was firing non-stop to capture the moment.
That’s one thing that I’ve come to appreciate during my travels - some of these incredible experiences last for the briefest of moments, but a good photo or video helps to refresh the memory - almost renewing the experience so you relive the memory again and again!
Giraffes weren’t the only incredible animals we saw that day. We also saw herds of elephants, zebras, hippos, and a plethora of other native African animals as we continued to explore the massive grasslands of Botswana. As we departed the park we even caught a glimpse of a lion family, casually on the prowl for their dinner. It was an incredible experience.
Unfortunately we only had a couple of days to explore the national park, but each of those days was filled with incredible animal encounters - everything from cheetahs hiding away in the tall grass, zebras casually running across the grasslands, lions on the prowl for their prey, or hippos bursting out from under the water. In some ways my camera can’t do the experience justice and my mind’s mental snapshots will always call back these memories, reminding me of the incredible things we got to see during our short visit to Botswana. I have to come back here.
On our final day in Southern Africa, we made a stop in nearby Zambia to visit the most majestic falls in all of Africa, Victoria Falls. Victoria Falls never ceases to amaze me. I had the opportunity to visit the falls 2 years ago - and it was one of the highlights of my time in Africa. Victoria Falls is the largest waterfall in the world and is one of the seven natural wonders of the world. One of the unique things about our visit this year was that we were also able to visit a special spot at the top of the falls called Angel’s pool. This small pool of water sits atop the massive falls, right on the very edge of the drop! It certainly was not for the faint of heart as we were able to jump in the pool and swim right at the very edge of Victoria Falls.
If given the chance, everyone should add a visit to Africa to the top of their bucket list. Africa continues to make the top of my travel list over and over again, and I just can’t resist coming back.