The term “bucket list” might be a fairly modern addition to people’s vernaculars, but it’s hard to deny that most would include at least one dream holiday.
For many, the chance to get close to nature they’ve only previously seen in zoos or on documentaries is simply too good to pass up, which is why African safaris are such timelessly popular getaways.
There are, of course, plenty to choose from, but one destination that stands out for its sheer beauty and variety of wildlife is the sub-Saharan nation of Botswana, home to more elephants than anywhere else on the planet. But if our tusked friends don’t float your boat, there are plenty of other faunal attractions besides them.
The ten-day trip, run by Peregrine and operated by Flight Centre, will actually begin at Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe, but after a day visiting the world’s largest waterfall, you’ll head down the Zambezi River and across the border to Chobe National Park.
Famous for its abundance of buffalo, zebras, elephants, impala and other roaming beasts, Chobe is one of the most sought-after safari hotspots on the continent. You’ll have the chance to take two game drives here, just make sure you charge your camera before you head out. As an added bonus, a cruise down the Chobe River will also be set up, giving birdwatchers the ultimate treat thanks to the variety of species there, including saddle-billed storks, malachite kingfishers, fish eagles and bee-eaters.
If you can tear yourself away, the next stop will be Makgadikgadi Pans, where you’ll have chance to discover this immense salt flat and unwind in a rustic chalet in the Nata Lodge oasis.
And no trip to Botswana would be complete without heading to the Okavango Delta, one of Africa’s premier wildlife habitats. The Unesco World Heritage Site is home to some of the planet’s most endangered large mammals, including the cheetah and both the white and black rhino. You’ll stay on a cosy houseboat in the middle of the delta and be taken out in traditional mokoro canoes to discover the array of natural canals, lakes, swamps and islands that make up this naturally stunning region.
A fitting finale to this trip (if you overlook the visit to your departure point in Windhoek, Namibia) will see you spend the night in Ghanzi, “the capital of the Kalahari”.
Here, you’ll stay in a camp owned and run by San Bushmen who will offer an unforgettable insight into their way of life through storytelling and dance.
From Dhs23,999 per person. Visit www.flightcentre.ae for departure dates and to book.