Whispers of the Wild




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    EDEN Luxury Travel, The Steamill, Steamill Street, Chester, Cheshire CH3 5AN

    Telephone
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    27 King Street, Knutsford, Cheshire WA16 6DW

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    01565 656000

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    Our travel boutique embraces a flexible work environment.
    Visit us in-person Tuesday to Thursday, 9:30am to 5:00pm.
    Our dedicated team also works remotely on Mondays and Fridays,
    ensuring seamless support throughout the week.

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    Whispers of the Wild

     

    "Watching Savage Kingdom weekly and following the Marsh pride in the harsh terrains and endless waters of the Okavango has always made Botswana a top destination on my list to experience first-hand. It's now easily accessible, with daily flights from both Johannesburg and Cape Town, making it an ideal destination to combine with other parts of Africa."

    Eden original

    Words by LOUISE FURNISS

    The Allure of the Okavango

    Soak up safari vistas in unforgettable ways…

     

    The Allure of the Okavango

    “Watching Savage Kingdom weekly and following the Marsh pride in the harsh terrains and endless waters of the Okavango has always made Botswana a top destination on my list to experience first-hand.

    It’s now easily accessible, with daily flights from both Johannesburg and Cape Town, making it an ideal destination to combine with other parts of Africa.

    Landing in the Wild

    Landing at Maun Airport, the difference is immediately palpable. No little shops or cafes – just straight down to business. The only hustle and bustle comes from people in khaki gear waiting to board smaller aircraft to take them into the wilds of Botswana.

    Unparalleled Wilderness

    Botswana is one of the least densely populated countries in the world. Flying over it, the absence of fences, boundaries, houses or cars is striking. All you see is vast wilderness and herds below, as if you’ve been transported to a different world.

    Home to over 130,000 elephants, Botswana is also the best place to see meerkats up close. When the floods arrive in May, the Okavango Delta, one of the seven natural wonders of the world, transforms the landscape into a breathtaking oasis. This sets it apart from other safari destinations, making for a completely unique experience.

    The Okavango Delta’s Magic

    Gliding along the Okavango Delta in a traditional Mokoro, with elephants and crocodiles within reach, is both terrifying and exhilarating. You feel truly alone with nature, without the boundaries of fences, as if you’ve stepped into a dream. This unpredictability adds to the thrill – you just never know what you’ll see and when, making each moment a treasure.

    On land, during one of the game drives, I had the absolute pleasure of seeing two lionesses with their cubs for the first time, a sight that took my breath away. But the pinnacle was enjoying breakfast on my terrace while witnessing a pack of 26 wild dogs gathering for their catch, a scene straight out of a nature documentary.

    From the palm-covered islands of the Delta to the salt pans of the Makgadikgadi region, Botswana is the ultimate destination for those seeking wild yet pristine, unfenced surroundings, were nature reigns supreme.

     

    Planning your Botswana Adventure

    Why does it cost more than South Africa?

    Botswana’s parks and game reserves are some of the most well-protected in the world, which of course comes at a cost. The focus on sustainable and low-impact tourism also contributes to the price, ensuring that this pristine wilderness remains untouched for generations to come.

    Best time to visit?

    June to September is the best time, as the waters have arrived, filling the Okavango and creating a lush paradise. Travel is possible year-round, but most people prefer to experience the Delta in its full glory, when the landscape comes alive with vibrant colours and abundance of wildlife.

    Safety?

    Botswana is very safe, aside from the abundance of wild animals. Rangers keep you extremely safe, and camp guidelines on what to do and not do are well-enforced. It also has the most stable economy in Africa, and the people are welcoming, making you feel right at home in this unfamiliar land.

    Transfer flights in Botswana?

    Botswana is a large country, roughly the size of France. Transfers from Maun to camps can be as short as 10 minutes or up to 45 minutes to Chobe National Park, each flight offering a unique perspective of the stunning landscape below.

    Ideal stay duration?

    The average stay is between six and seven nights but, with the diverse terrain and landscapes that seem to go on forever, you’ll find yourself wishing you could stay longer. Experiencing at least two camps in different locations is highly recommended to fully immerse yourself in the magic of Botswana.

     

    A touch of luxury in the wild

    I was fortunate to experience the Belmond lodges on this trip – Savute Elephant Lodge in Chobe National Park and Eagle Island Lodge in the Okavango Delta, both offering a touch of luxury in the heart of the wilderness.

    Savute Elephant Lodge, with its incredible natural landscapes and diverse terrain – from lush thickets to dry savannahs and marsh areas – is perfect for starting your journey. During the dry season (June to October), large herds of elephants congregate at the lodge’s watering hole, creating a breathtaking spectacle. The staff are exceptionally friendly and welcoming, and make you feel like part of the family.

    Eagle Island Lodge is more exclusive, situated on its own private island, deep in the Botswana wetlands, in the heart of the Okavango Delta. The views from the lodge absolutely blew me away – elephants, buffalo and zebras at the watering hole as far as the eye could see… it was as if I had stepped into a painting!

    One morning, I woke to an elephant drinking from my pool, a surreal moment I’ll never forget! You really could just stay at the lodge and still feel like you’re on safari, surrounded by the wonders of nature. Ideal for water-based safaris in the Okavango, Eagle Lodge is a truly special experience that will leave you enchanted.

    Start planning your EDEN Luxury Holiday by getting in touch with one of our Travel Directors.

    Start planning your EDEN Luxury Holiday by getting in touch with one of our Travel Directors.

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