Written by: Willow Alexandria Brough
Here are four reasons why your first holiday in Botswana will be a life-changing experience.
1. It will bring you back to nature
Whether you’re traversing the Makgadikgadi Pans or navigating through the Okavango swamplands, Botswana has an undeniably distinct character. There’s something in the air, something hidden within the layers of dust and something that falls between the drops of rain when the wet season arrives. It’s something raw, something primal, something indescribably wild.
Out in the bush, where the sounds of civilisation can’t reach and the stars still come out at night, this is where we find what many of us have lost. The flames of the campfire take us back to the days when people still where at one with the earth and cherished our connection to nature’s cycle.
Spending time in Botswana will help open your eyes to the role each life form plays and the delicate balance in which we all coexist.
2. It will fill you with a deep respect for the animal kingdom
One of the most common reasons to choose Botswana as a holiday destination is to marvel at its astounding variety of wildlife. Imagine wandering out of your tent in the early morning to find a giraffe snacking from the tree in front of you, or stumbling across an elephant on a walk through the bush.
Alongside rhinos and lions, Botswana is gifted with an incredible abundance of birds and other small creatures that can sometimes go unnoticed. A personal favourite of mine is the warthog. They are unassuming yet they prove to be resilient and always seem to have a sense of purpose with their tails held high in the air. Their weather-beaten faces and protruding tusks are far from glamorous but somehow all their oddities seem to work in their favour, making them rather adorable creatures.
There is also an animal who receives very little credit for his work. This animal is none other than the termite, known worldwide as a pest or an annoyance, and all too often as the villain who ruined your uncle’s lovely wooden porch. We tend to try not to think of them but certain species of termites are busy developing some pretty remarkable projects. Compare the size of these insects to the immense mounds they create – which can reach heights of up to 25 feet. This is all done in spite of being entirely blind and only capable of communicating through pheromones. Termite mounds are one of the most impressive structures made by animals, and nearly everywhere you go on your African journey you’ll be able to spot at least a few of them stretching up towards the sky, like miniature mountains along the horizon.
I could go on for hours listing examples of the wonders of the animal kingdom that await you here, but maybe it’s best if you just come and see for yourself with Lelobu Safaris.
3. You will gain an insight into a culture different from your own
Travel exposes you to a way of life that you may not have experienced before. It often reveals a whole new world for your senses to enjoy – food you’ve never tasted, music sung in languages that are new to your ear, artwork using methods you’ve never seen before.
Whether you’re relaxing on the river in a traditional dugout canoe or trying out basket weaving for the first time, you’re sure to find something outside the realms of your day-to-day life.
You’ll get to know people who were raised in another society and learn about the differences, while also seeing firsthand the similarities that seem to cross all cultural bounds. Listening to the myths and legends that each tribe has passed down through generations can be truly magical. These stories have been told for centuries to teach valuable lessons and have played an important role in moulding belief systems.
While exploring the unknown, it is likely that you’ll be taken out of your comfort zone on more than one occasion, but this is nothing to fear. When we come to realise that our way is not the only one and embrace what we are not used to, we gain a greater perspective of how the world works as a whole. When we learn about each other’s cultures and ways of life, we can reach a deeper understanding of ourselves, those around us, and what it means to be human.
4. You’ll develop a deeper understanding for what’s important in life
Visiting a country that is less developed than your own can fill you with gratitude. Your trip can also serve as a reminder that what many of us consider as necessities are really nothing but luxuries. I never stop being amazed by how innovative people are, whether it’s kids making a game out of an abandoned tyre and a stick, or someone selling jewellery made from recycled cans and bottle tops.
You don’t need to complain about the cracked screen of your smartphone when you watch men and children sit along the edge of the bridge, fishing lines in hand, skilfully trying to bring home dinner.
Africa will challenge your previous perceptions of what abundance really is, whether it stems from stability and wealth or creativity and determination, and whether it should be measured in money or joy. Africa will show you that with hard work you can always make something out of what might appear to be nothing.
- Subscribe to our newsletter.