The Essentials: Botswana

Okavango Delta delight: Exploring by mokoro.
Okavango Delta delight: Exploring by mokoro. Abercrombie & Kent

Bush Bound: Three ways to get wild in Botswana.

Living with Elephants, a nonprofit committed to creating a harmonious relationship between people and pachyderms, is one of the organizations you’ll meet with on Abercrombie & Kent’s ten-day Botswana tour. You’ll also visit a village where A&K trained locals to become bike mechanics, refurbishing used bicycles for children who need to get to school. Accommodations include swanky lodges such as the newly revamped Sanctuary Chief’s Camp in the Okavango Delta. (Above: The Geoffrey Kent Luxury Suite at Sanctuary Chief’s Camp.)

Virtuoso’s on-site tour provider, Wilderness Safaris, can work with your travel advisor to craft a customizable ten-day Botswana program that includes experiences such as a guided walk in the Kalahari with members of the local San Bushmen clans. Guests can also spy wildlife in the Okavango Delta aboard a mokoro and explore the woodland habitats of the private Linyanti Concession. Wilderness Safaris allocates a portion of its revenue to its Wildlife Trust, which supports conservation projects, and also closes some of its camps each year to host underpriv-
ileged local youth and teach them about wildlife conservation. (Above: San Bushmen in the Kalahari. Credit: Dana Allen/
Wilderness Safaris.)

Five days cruising the crocodile- and hippo-laden waters of Botswana’s Chobe River highlight AmaWaterways’ southern Africa journey. Before boarding the 28-passenger Zambezi Queen, you’ll spend three nights in Cape Town and then cap off the ten-day journey with a two-night stay in Zimbabwe to behold breathtaking Victoria Falls. Near Chobe National Park, you’ll meet with locals to learn about their day-to-day life, including the value of wells that supply fresh water to their villages. (Above: Suite views on the Zambezi Queen.)