Far away from everything but with the ones we cherish the most,
Lost in magnificent landscapes,
By total strangers whom have gone through unbelievable journeys,
We share with you in this post our top 5 bush camps among the 24 nights that we’ve spent under the stars in Botswana.
#1 : Third bridge in Moremi
Have you ever been stuck in the mud a 100 meters away from an elephant herd? Well this is how we’re starting our journey towards Moremi!
While I get out of the car to deflate the tires, Marie scrutinizes the bush around us for large predators… and there are a lot in the Delta! We’re happy to see that the elephants do not seem to be bothered by us. I have to admit that I am quite relieved when the tires are deflated to 1,2 bars so I quickly start the engine, low range, diflock and here we go, riding towards our bush camp in “Third Bridge”.
Luckily for us, the first bridge doesn’t collapse under our Fortuner and Metalian trailer’ weight. But we’re not the only heavy stuff around: we suddenly have to stop to let dozens and dozens of buffalos cross our track 200 meters ahead of us. We enjoy the moment in a beautiful orange sunset light.
We finally reach our bush camp around 18H00. The rangers give us the briefing: baboons, hippos, hyenas, hippos will be our neighbors. Apparently the baboons can be quite aggressive towards the tents if the smell food inside. To be on the safe side, it is highly recommended to go to the ablutions by car, especially with small kids.
Kids are now sleeping in the tent, so we enjoy a small amarula drink to relax, listening to the music of the bush… and around 23H00, the “music of the bush” turns out to go quite loud: indeed, a huge hippo is walking and chewing 20 meters from us.
The next day, after bush schooling the kids, we cross the so-called “Third bridge”. As the level of the water is rising up to the bottom of the doors, we decide that we’ll get a snorkel shortly.
GPS coordinates: Latitude: 19° 14.322’S / Longitude: 23° 21.333’E
#2 : Kwai in Moremi
Imagine a hide located more than 7 or 8 meters high, with a view on a huge natural pool of water. In the water you can see dozens of hippos, outside the water, a variety of antelopes and birds…. It is lunchtime and you’re hungry. Well this is the situation we’re in right now!
So we decide to bring up our tables, chairs and food, to have our picnic in the middle of that beautiful place and enjoy the show of mother nature (with all safety precautions of course).
It is hard to leave this place but we have to go to our next bush camp in Kwaï. After some interesting water crossing, we’re reaching the camp. The sun is going down and we’re late for school today. So we set up the camp quickly and our teacher (Marie) gets the books and start the lesson. Everything is going fine until a hyena shows up right next to our classroom! Every time it comes to our tent we chase it away but it keeps on coming back, even close to our fire.
The next morning, vervet monkeys are everywhere in our camp, looking for food: good morning fox! Our kids chase them away, under our close protection…
GPS coordinates: Latitude : 19° 10.278’S / Longitude : 23° 45.231’E
See how we set up our camp to protect our tribe from when lions or hyenas are wondering around:
#3 : Savuti
Everywhere we look we see huge plains covered with zebras, antelopes, elephants and girafes… Our toyota and Metalian trailer cross the few river beds and deep soft sand spots easily. As soon as our camp is set up, lions and hyenas start playing their music… But we won’t see them that night. The next day, we go looking for them. And we find a pack of lions and cubs 10 meters from a small track: magic encounter! As soon as our baby starts crying, all the lioness suddenly rise and start staring at us. We’re happy not to be on foot.
We loved the protective wall of the ablution: 3 meters deep to prevent the elephants to come in for the water. Be aware not to sleep close to the generator as it is quite noisy…
GPS coordinates: Latitude : 18° 34.001’S / Longitude : 24° 3.844’E
Our encounters around the camp site:
#4 : Ihaha in Chobe (our best one)
Chobe national park, 11000 km2, more than 50000 elephants. Don’t try to count, it’s a lot of big guys per square meter, we can tell you !
And when they decide to pay you a visit at night, you feel very small indeed !
SO when our tribe put up the camp on the edge of the Chobe river, we were expecting the unexpected…. And it happened after night fall!
This site offers magnificent sunsets. There is an ablution block (although not well looked after). Watch out for the crocs and hippos, they’re never far away…
We had visitors next to our tent:
#5 : Kalahari
Have you ever slept in a tent, only 800 meters from 2 big lions ? Well, we have !
In the Kalahari, we pitched up our camp in the middle of the wild. We tried to be as quiet as possible, and very careful.
Here, there is no fence, no guard, lions are at home and we are only their guests.
The camp sites are very simple; they still have a toilets and a bucket for the showers (don’t forget to bring your own water).
We had a wonderful family experience!
GPS coordinates: Latitude : 21° 14.749’S / Longitude : 23° 35.488’E
The kids have fallen asleep listening to the lions roaring:
And here is our itinerary; you can zoom all the way and maybe you’ll see us 😉 Our top bush camps are marked by green arrows: