Ultimate Botswana: Walking Heli-Safari
Combine the purity of the walking safari with the thrill of helicopter rides and take your adventure in the bush to the next level.
"Andrea did a wonderful job designing an itinerary to suit three generations of diverse interests, and was flexible and responsive to last minute changes and requests. He showed us many hidden treasures of this beautiful region that would have missed we're it not for him."
- Heather on her journey in Italy
A possible, beautiful itinerary for you
An Easy Start
You arrive in Maun. From there, a small aircraft takes you to an airstrip in an area maps seem to gloss over. How could they describe the richness and the vastness of Botswana, how could they capture all the nuance, the fluctuation and the change of the floodplain? They can’t, so they simply write “Okavango”. You arrive at a decked camp the most civilised it’ll get for the next few days. You meet your guide for a briefing and go over your state-of-the-art equipment. It’s all you need to survive in the wild and you’ll have to carry it on your backpack. It seems like a serious affair. Later over drinks and laughs in the sundowner you realise it’s all fun, serious fund mind!, but fun nevertheless.
Now It Truly Begins
The pale dawn is quickly subsiding to a bleeding sky. Only the dramatic colours and the sudden noise of the helicopter disturb the peace at camp. It’s time to go! You fly over the riverine forests and swamps. No land vehicle has ever disturbed this landscape and but a few explorers of old perhaps ventured here on foot. You helicopter lands near the bemused zebra that are not at all habituated to humans. You start on you way, through bush whose only trails are those made by the wildlife. You soon get into the rhythm and begin to walk silently, almost effortlessly through the wild. The signs in the bush become more audible and your tracker leads you to a pride of lions. To be so close, with nothing in between, fills you with awe. Read more
After a first night under the stars, you continue making your way through the bush. Today, you are supposed to reach an area close to a waterway. The helicopter will pick you there and take you on the next leg of the adventure. In the late morning you meet an elephant bull. It’s a magnificent sight. You are really close but you also need to exercise caution. When get going again, it’s already getting a bit late and your guide urges you to quicken the pace. There is something exhilarating about it. You reach the heli just in time and head to the next destination. After a few hours walking you set camp again. It’s your second night under the stars.
A Camp in the Middle of Nowhere
You could get used to waking up like this. It is simply refreshing to open your eyes and see herds of wildlife passing by. Today you will reach a tented camp, as luxurious as it gets around these parts. In contrast, it is positively 5-star! A warm, lamp-lit dinner by the water, and a soft bed. But to earn those comforts you’ll have to get through a tough day of trekking ahead, and all the wonders of the bush it contains.
Leaving camp, you venture into the bush. The area where you’ll walk today is special. Big cats abound, not only lions but also cheetah. In fact, it is their kingdom and it has remained undisturbed. As the day progresses, you notice that your backpack is no longer heavy, and though your feet are a bit sore they have come into their own. It’s as if we were made for this. And so, you’ve been conquered by Africa.
The day is coming to an end and you still find yourself in the middle of nowhere. You wonder how you’re going to get back in time for your flight tomorrow. But those concerns belong to another mindset. As such, you are truly surprised when you find a table set for you in the middle of a plain. It’s such a surprise, and an epic sundowner.
The night was memorable, telling stories by the fire, listening to the song of the wild. Early in the morning, the helicopter picks you up. You fly in hours over the distances that took you days to cover on foot. But you know they are not the same. Only those who have been there can tell.