“Once a journey is designed, equipped, and put in process, a new factor enters and takes over. A trip, a safari, an exploration, is an entity different from all other journeys. It has personality, temperament, individuality and uniqueness. A journey is a person in itself: no two are alike. And all plans, safeguards, policing and coercion are fruitless. We find after years of struggle that we do not take a trip: a trip takes us.”
– John Steinbeck
Safaris sweep us into the world of raw beauty, infinite awe and delicious
discoveries. Seeing a furry lion cub’s paw and hearing a three-ton rhinoceros snort simply does that. A special reality results from such shared public experiences and singular personal encounters.
Safaris enter the rare and escape the routine. They provide a guarantee that the traveller’s arena of reference will be challenged, as much as they confirm how the opportunity will expose each of us to a fresh glimmer of our inner self – if we so choose. This will unfold into mindfulness about our interactions with both animals and humans, which in turn will reveal volumes about our very own humanity.
Safaris bring us face to face with new languages, landscapes and locations – and more lions, of course, along with the simply amazing wildlife. So much external magic! Then, along comes the safaris’ internal magic – what each safari provides extremely well – which is to transport us from everyday to exceptional. This will reveal how the experience encompasses, expands and embraces our humanity.
Once snuggly back home and far from predator vs. prey, the safari’s texture will be seen, heard, felt, tasted and sensed, yet again. We will understand how, as Steinbeck wisely states, that to struggle against its imprint is futile.
Our Afrika Safaris advises that an open mind and an accessible heart be the first – and most important – items to bring along on our safari journeys.
The Safari Destination’s “Safari Destination”
“There is something about safari life that makes you forget all your sorrows
and feel as if you had drunk half a bottle of champagne
– bubbling over with heartfelt gratitude for being alive.”
– Isak Dineson, (Karen Blixen), Out of Africa
Our Afrika Safaris’ May 2016 escorted ‘Spirit of Botswana Journey’ will head to landlocked Botswana. Just a bit smaller than Texas, about the size of France, Botswana’s vital wildlife and rigorous conservation policies both validate its moniker in the travel industry as the “safari destination’s safari destination.”
Both these U.N. World Heritage Sites – The Great Kalahari Desert in the south and the Okavango Delta in the north – call Botswana home.
The country’s commitment to ‘high value/low volume’ tourism confirms Botswana as southern Africa’s most expensive safari destination. Yet a considerable amount of Botswana’s natural wealth – 38% – is allocated to national parks, game reserves and preservation areas. Its rigorous wildlife enforcement policies affirm the status that stirs global environmentalists and seduces sophisticated safari travelers.
Africa’s ‘Big Five’ reside here: Cape buffalo, African elephant, African lion, leopard and rhinoceros. Count on seeing giraffe, wildebeest, impala and hyena, as well. Botswana is recognized also for the exceptional bird life.
The Okavango Delta is the world’s largest inland delta. It is both mating site and summer watering hole, until it empties and evaporates into the Kalahari Desert. Botswana maintains a vigorous anti-poaching policy, particularly given that the world’s largest herd of elephants resides in the Chobe Reserve and Game Park’s riverine landscape: some 150,000 animals.
Botswana is stable and prosperous, though sparsely populated. It is Africa’s longest continuous democracy. Its policies and functioning institutions reflect its impressive transition – in less than 50 years – from its former rank as the world’s third poorest country to its current one as an upper middle-income country. It is also the world’s largest producer of diamonds by volume.
Significantly, 2016 will mark Botswana’s 50th Anniversary as a Republic. Our Afrika Safaris will partake in these celebrations.