Those who know me personally will already be aware of my deep love for Botswana. It is a country where I have wonderful memories from my childhood, but aside from that it is a country inhabited by the world's most magical creatures - both human beings and animals alike.
Possibly my favourite place to visit is the Chobe National Park, which is an open park spanning Northern Botswana. On my last trip with my family we camped and stayed in a B&B; initially we started off in a campsite in Kazungula, about 10km outside of Kasane, but due to the awful weather that November brings we decided we should treat ourselves to a more sophisticated form of accommodation. The Old House was the perfect place for my family, and I would recommend it in a heartbeat to anyone travelling to this region.
The reason for spending two weeks in Kasane is the wildlife. Lionesses carrying their cubs, herds of elephants crossing a few meters in front of your car, giraffes grazing alongside of you, these are just a few of the everyday sightings you witness in this pocket of pure Africa. As we own a 4x4 vehicle, strategically purchased specifically for trips like this, we entered the National Park by ourselves without having to worry about tour groups. This allowed us to arrive and leave whenever it suited us, and to re-enter more than once a day.
My favourite memory from this specific holiday was stumbling upon a watering hole, above the main section of the Park. Our moment of solitude was disturbed by three different herds of elephants arriving and playing in the mud. So to watch a fully grown male elephant get stuck lying down, and have two fellow herd-members help push and pull him up is a sight I will not easily forget. To hear the glorious trumpeting of pure happiness from these mud-covered animals was enough to give anyone goosebumps. When watching this event you can't help but notice two sides to these beings; their soulfulness and gentle natures are so distinct, yet upon the sight of mud they change into the mental age of a toddler - it is so special to see. This was also the first moment where I saw a newborn elephant. During the week I had encountered a few, but upon seeing this clumsy baby I realised that he really was new to this world.
A final activity that is not to be missed is an evening cruise on the Chobe River. This can easily be organised through your accommodation, and is a way for you to see more water-orientated animals such as the crocodiles and hippos. You will also encounter many birds, my favourite being the African Fish Eagle, during your boat ride. We were lucky enough to see elephants crossing the river before sunset, which is an activity that really portrays their wise demeanours. You end off your day watching the spectacular African sun setting over the river.