News & Reviews Africa Botswana Botswana 2024 trip

Welcome, welcome, to my third escapade to Botswana.  I wanted to return to this beautiful country, not just for their world-renowned airport, but to have ticked the boxes on their luxury offerings.  Mission accomplished.  My place in history is cemented.  I am the luxury conquerer of Botswana.  Bow down to me!

Botswana has taken a high-end approach to tourism, which translates in layman’s terms to “we bringing the financial pain”.  And due to said expense, there are a lot of luxury camps – most of them less than a 30-minute plane or helicopter ride apart.  It makes it ideal for lodge hopping, allowing you to be in an entirely different topography within ten minutes and opening the opportunity for an incredible itinerary of multiple lodges, offering vastly different experiences with minimal hassle.  I don’t feel anywhere else in Africa provides it at the same scale as Botswana, although South Africa comes closest.

This time, my focus was on Jao, the last Wilderness Premier Camp I had yet to visit.  I tossed Mombo into the mix, too, as my last safari there was so devoid of predators, I might as well have been in a vegan retreat.  It seems I was the only soul to ever walk away from Mombo without a single wildlife tale, prompting me to dive back in pursuit of witnessing the circle of life in full HD.  Whilst there, I decided to return to Great Plains, even though my experience is not the finest, and I may have once described Ol Donyo as looking like it was designed by an asteroid smashing into a chalk plant.  Still, we all deserve second chances, right?

In classic “me” style, I practically stepped off the plane in Johannesburg and immediately caught some bug that knocked me out for the first few days of the trip.  There I was, thinking my Mombo curse had struck again, doubting I’d even make it to one game drive.  The folks at Wilderness were stellar, with a doctor regularly in contact, and despite the silent prayers of a few hotel managers, I did indeed pull through.  But just when I thought I was in the clear, a stomach bug decided to join the party, just to really emphasise how great travel can be.  I know I’m a travel agent, and I’m supposed to tell you everything is brilliant, so we all know the real culprit: flying—just endless, regurgitated gems flowing into your mouth for 12 hours.

Anywho, I’m fine, thanks for asking.

So this was the itinerary, and reviews are forthcoming:  Jao, Mombo, Duba Plains and the recently opened Sitatunga Private Island.

Stay tuned.

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Tom Cahalan

Written by Tom Cahalan on 22nd Feb '24

Dorsia Travel’s co-founder Tom Cahalan’s take on travel is reliably candid. Here’s his take on what’s good, bad, and luxurious.

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