Getting around Botswana: 3 modes of local transport

When you go on safari in Botswana, chances are you'll take a few different modes of transport. Here's a closer look at three of them:

Safari truck
Primarily, you'll be based in your safari vehicle. These differ from trip to trip, but most will be partially or fully open, giving you uninterrupted views of the animals and landscapes.

On my recent trip, I did the Botswana in Depth (Reverse) tour with Peregrine. On the first day our guide turned up in what was to become a reliable and familiar friend over the next two weeks - the "Green Machine". It became our second home, with each of us choosing a seat and promptly filling the seat pockets with tripods, spare camera batteries, water bottles and sunscreen. We even had our own blankets, which were folded and waiting on our seats each morning to help keep the chill at bay!

For 13 days our sturdy truck took us through flooded roads, soft sand and deep into the heart of Botswana where we were able to get up close and personal with cheetahs, lions, elephants, leopards and more.

Light aircraft
An optional extra on our trip was to take a light aircraft flight over the Okavango Delta. I'd never been on a small plane before, so I was a bit nervous. But once we got up in the air all my fears went out the window as I looked out over some of the most breathtaking scenery imaginable.

The sun snaked its way through the capillary-like streams, winding river canals and pools spotted with gigantic water lilies. I was amazed at how vast it was.

Stretching for over 15,000 square kilometres, the Delta spreads before you in a maze of flooded grasslands crisscrossed with channels, dotted with islands, and teeming with wildlife. We only flew about 250 metres above the ground, so we had a clear view of elephants, giraffes and buffaloes going about their daily activity below.

Before leaving for Botswana, I spoke to a lot of people who said they would be nervous about floating down the Okavango Delta in a mokoro. I have to admit, I was one of them. But when we arrived at the boating station, I decided there was no way I was going to miss out on this experience.

The station was teeming with people, and there was a real buzz in the air as locals wandered past clutching the long wooden poles they use to propel you down the river. Mokoros are traditionally carved from wood, but nowadays many are made from fibreglass as a way to conserve the trees. We climbed in, and set off down the river.

Despite the fact there seemed to be loads of boats all coming and going, once we were out on the water there was very little traffic. The sun warmed our skin as we glided through reeds, water sage and waterlilies; the silence broken only by the pole slicing through the water and the birds calling overhead.

It was amazing to think that only yesterday I was soaring high above the Delta, and today I was smack bang in the middle of it.

What sort of transport have you taken on your trips around the world? Leave a comment below, then head to Twitter and Facebook to share your thoughts with the rest of the Peregrine community.

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