In November Chris went on a pre travel trade show (Botswana Travel and Tourism Expo) whistle stop tour with Desert & Delta Safaris to Botswana.

On arriving into 34 degree Maun Airport at approx 13h00 after an 11 hour flight from Heathrow and further 2 hour flight from Johannesburg the trip started with a dash across the road for a much needed cold beer (St Louis) at Capello’s and where the rest of our group of 6 tour operators from different parts of the World congregated.

Once gathered we did not know the rest of the day would in fact be a Botswana decathlon of events:

This started with boarding a light aircraft charter flight with safari Air into the heart of the Okavango Delta. On arrival at Camp Okavango Airstrip it was off for a Site inspection of the Camp before heading to the jetty where a boat was waiting for us for a safari in the Okavango Delta. Our luggage went one way to our accommodation for that night hopefully and we went the other.

Our decathlon was in full flow and next up was to cool off with a swim in the clear waters of one of the Delta lagoons. This resulted in a race through the waters to see which tour operator still had the stamina after our long travels. We continued our cruise, passing some amazing wildlife including elephants, water buck, hippo and a few scaly crocs basking in the sunshine (Did we really just swim in the Okavango Delta?) to come around a bend and to find our dugout canoes (Traditional Mokoro’s as they are called locally) for our next event to be punted along by our guides through various narrow channels of the Delta.

What an experience to be low on the water below the reeds and stealthily gliding along seeing many hidden bird species, a monitor lizard and other antelope hiding in the grasses. Next up was an afternoon game drive in one of the customised safari vehicles during which we were rewarded with a stop for drinks consisting of well deserved gin and tonics and other welcome refreshments. Or marathon was however not ending there as we were then taken on a guided bush walk past a dazzle of Zebra and a few wharthog burrowing for grubs. We continued into the evening for a night drive, which was well rewarded by sighting a couple of Leopard cubs that had been left whilst their mother was out hunting for prey.

Our final event which saw some of our members now flagging (we can forgive them as they had a 23 hour flight previously from New Zealand and other far corners of the World) was to stop in the middle of the bush where dinner had been set up under the light of the moon and lanterns hanging from branches of nearby trees, enjoyed with a friendly welcome from the Xugana Island Lodge staff choir. Some dinner and dancing pursued before finally being escorted to our Lodge where we were re-united with our luggage before finally calling it a hard day’s work and needed pillows.

The following morning was an early start with our next charter flight to Leroo La Tau where once again we were welcomed with some incredible Desert & Delta Safaris hospitality and game viewing experiences.

The following 2 days followed with a drive to a nearby village and school, boat cruise on the Boteti River, further game drives and visits of the other camps in the DDS circuit, Xakanxa Camp, Camp Moremi and an overnight stay at Savute Safari Lodge where we were in search of the famous marsh pride of Lions.

Our final stop took us to Chobe Game Lodge and the business part of the trip for the following few days. I am not sure I have ever been driven to a conference each day in an open safari vehicle with game viewing en route. This is truly the best way to be conducting business in what must be the most relaxed environment for such an event – Botswana Travel and Tourism Expo (BTTE).

Thank You Desert Delta Safaris and Botswana Tourism. I am certainly privileged to be offered the opportunity to visit your amazing country.