Imagine welcoming the new year in the wilds of Botswana with Ultimate Adventures. Tour leader Simon Steadman gives us the lowdown on their Botswana adventure. It’s up for grabs when you buy the second edition Traveller’s Atlas Southern Africa.
When the world gets ready to greet 2023, one of our Tracks4Africa users will be on the Botswana adventure of a lifetime. Wild camping, unspoiled nature and wildlife sightings await. Ten days and three iconic wilderness destinations beckon.
Read more: Win a Botswana adventure with the new Atlas
Simon Steadman of Ultimate Adventures explains why Botswana, why New Year and why you won’t want to miss out.
What can overlanders expect at this time of the year?
The best part about visiting Botswana in December is that it is not as busy as at other times of the year. The weather is not as hot as everyone thinks it is as it is the start of the rainy season. You get a few cloudy days and now and again an afternoon thundershower which keeps it nice and cool. The vegetation is beautiful and green. This does make game viewing a little more challenging with the bush being thicker. However, we still have amazing sightings at this time of the year.
What do you love about wild camping in Botswana?
There’s something very different about camping in unfenced areas in Botswana. It really brings you closer to nature and immerses you in a true wilderness experience. The thrill of having lions walk through your campsite is something you can’t explain until you have experienced it yourself.
Do you have safety rules for unfenced camping?
We always give a full safety briefing on how to behave when camping in an unfenced area. Safety is paramount on all of our guided tours and we want everyone to have a safe and memorable experience. The main rules when camping in an unfenced wildlife area is to show respect to all of the wildlife, no matter how big or small, and to act with common sense. Do not antagonise or approach any wildlife and always remain calm. And the biggest one is DO NOT RUN. EVER!
What are the road conditions like on this trip?
This tour has quite a variety of road conditions to test your off-road driving skills. It varies from bumpy gravel to deep sand tracks to water crossings and sticky mud. As a rule, we only ever tackle an obstacle on tour if we really have to in order to get where we are going. If there is a way around an obstacle, we will always take that route. There is no need to go looking for trouble while overlanding!
Which campsite on this tour is your favourite?
Due to many great wildlife encounters in the Khwai area, I would say Magotho campsite is the most special for me. It is also situated close to the Khwai River which attracts wildlife all year round.
Do you have an unforgettable moment from a previous trip?
I have many great memories from camping in Botswana’s wildlife areas but the one that delivers the best moments for me is the Okavango Delta. On numerous occasions I have had lions in the campsite. One of the best recent memories I have is of a pack of wild dogs hunting impala right around our campsite in the Khwai area. We were able to spend two hours with the pack as they hunted a few times and stayed close to the camp. It was an amazing experience.
Win a Botswana Adventure
One lucky Tracks4Africa user will win two places on the Ultimate Botswana Adventure with Ultimate Adventures. The tour runs 28 December 2022 to 6 January 2023 and takes in the Okavango Delta, Savuti and Chobe National Park. To enter the lucky draw, purchase the new Traveller’s Atlas Southern Africa from the T4A online shop by 30 June 2022. Learn more.
What’s inside the Traveller’s Atlas?
The second edition of our Traveller’s Atlas Southern Africa is bigger and better. Across 223 map pages you will find a detailed road network of 518,350km. All roads show distance and travel time, making it perfect for trip planning. The Atlas also features border crossings with opening times, lodges and campsites and traveller services like fuel stations.
Main image: Lions in the Okavango Delta, picture by Hp Baumeler, Wikimedia