A safari and wildlife-filled itinerary.
Botswana has an inimitable quality about it. It’s draped in an intense golden hour, the people are gracious and have the sort of energy you want to bottle up, the food is fresh and delicious (and you *know* made with love), and the wildlife is truly a special sight to see. It’s the sort of place you know you’ll visit again in your lifetime, because, honestly, once isn’t enough. I was lucky enough to visit the African country and wanted to share my highlights with you in what I think is a dreamy five-day itinerary.
Botswana’s capital, a metropolitan hub, is likely the starting point of your trip. Diamonds are big business here and this city hosts trade shows annually, which is why there’s a plethora of corporate buildings and hotels. But nestled between the glass towers are a few gems, like Caravela Portugese Restaurant. I know, I know, why eat Portugese when you’re in Botswana? But it was recommended by our local guide and was a true winner with some truly delicious garb (I had the best chicken parm of my life) and it featured local cuisine options that were devoured by our table. The service is friendly, as you’ll find throughout the entire country, and the vibe is just right. It’s a perfect way to settle in for your first night in Botswana.
Mack Air Flight
The most common way for tourists to get around to the remote areas of Botswana is with a chartered flight. The planes are small, and your luggage must be soft sided to fit at the tailend of the eight-seater but the experience is in itself, just that, an experience. The views of the African landscape—snacking rivers, salt flats from parched lakes, and you might just spot a diamond mine—stretch into the horizon. I suggest booking a ticket at the crack of dawn as it makes for a smoother flight and to seize as much of the day when you get to your lodge.
Double Tracks Africa
It isn’t a bad idea to enlist the help of some pros when you’re traveling to Botswana. And no one crafts a better itinerary (and pampering) than the local guides at Double Tracks Africa. From a surprise greeting at Kasane airport to pairing you up with incredible safari guides, and all the details in between.
A short drive from the airport, Jackalberry Lodge is nestled right at the edge of the Chobe River, where hippos and buffalo often graze at sunset. The lodge sits on stilts and winding pathways connect each large luxury tent (that also features an outdoor-ish shower). There’s a tempting infinity pool that goes great with an ice-cold bottle of St. Louis Lager, a local beer. The staff and service are impeccable and I can bet you’ll never want to leave.
Afternoon Game Drive
Once you’ve settled into your suite and changed into your khaki get up, it’ll be time to go on your afternoon safari at the Chobe National Park. It’s an unfenced reserve that spans over 11,700 square kilometers, so herds of elephants, zebras, giraffes, buffalo, and lions migrate freely to the river for a drink. You may spot the elusive leopard and see pods of hippo humps peeking out of the water as you drive by the river bank. And making stops for impala crossings is a regular occurrence.
Shop the Look
You’d be remiss if you didn’t take advantage of some pool time and to finish off a few chapters of your favorite book. You’re on vacation, after all.
Shop the Look
Emme ParsonsSusan $395
Supergoop!Unseen Sunscreen SPF 40 $34
Floating Lunch at The Raft
Board your fully stocked boat on the Chobe River, and cruise by hippos and crocodiles near the Namibia border. You’re going to get an amazing musical welcome from the lovely staff at The Raft, a floating restaurant in the middle of the river. A casual meal of tasty barbecue and ice-cold beer is the perfect way to take in the 360-degree nature that surrounds you.
Sunset River Safari
After lunch, hop back on your boat to see the amazing wildlife from the water. Champagne and snacks (if you have any room after lunch) up the experience. You’ll get up close and personal with hippos and buffalo and might even spot a herd of elephants taking an evening bath. The pièce de résistance is that African sunset. Nothing compares.
Red glowing lanterns light a path to a lovely tablescape in the bush of Jackalberry Chobe lodge. Dine on the delicious menu, and listen to the soothing cacophony of nocturnal wildlife in the distance.
Shop the Look
Mother of PearlDelphine Shirt $297
NeousPhippium Leather Sandals $233
HermèsFaubourg Rainbow Twilly $170
An amazing way to close out every night is at Jackalberry’s bonfire. Tip: Order a plate of cheese and a bottle of wine, and leave your phone behind.
Morning Game Drive
The great thing about doing a drive at different times of day is that you’ll spot different animals throughout the four hours. Nature is never boring.