Parched riverbeds and shriveled savanna provide your first glimpses of Botswana’s wilderness. Kgalagadi is so dry that local folklore suggests the rivers only run once a century. It’s desolate and empty, yet the battle for survival makes for fascinating first safari encounters. Elephants dig beneath the withered channels, expertly uncovering underground streams and sharing the bounty with a herd of cute babies and relieved mothers. Thirsty nomads migrate across the evocative landscape, their shapes easily picked out along the horizon. They’re heading for the permanent waterholes, and that’s where you’ll go on your Botswana game drive. A kudu herd look to have timed their arrival perfectly, lapping up the muddy water in peace. But turn around and three prowling lionesses have decided to join the party. When you first arrive in Botswana, a light aircraft will take you from Maun to Kgalagadi, where you're welcomed by a game-filled off-road transfer to the delightfully secluded camp.
You’ll see nature’s finest mammals in Kgalagadi, but you won’t see other tourists. Like most of Botswana, these vast national parks are open spaces that are explored by just a handful of visitors. It’s very different from the more famous parks of East Africa or Kruger, where there are often other safari trucks in your line of vision. It’s you, your partner, and a wonderful array of wildlife. As a campfire crackles you dine outside, the table illuminated by moonlight while a few antelope rustle in the nearby bushes. Today sets the tone for the whole trip; serene, sublime, and filled with intimate moments.