Botswana – best escape for me and my teenagers

by MMC
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I was invited to experience a safari with Feline Fields in Botswana. The school holidays were approaching with not much on the horizon for my two children other than the prospect of spending more time in front of a screen. So I took them.

It turned out to be the perfect escape for teenagers!

What made this trip so special was experiencing two completely different safari destinations in one trip: the pristine wilderness of the Okavango Delta and the plains of the ancient Kalahari.

Digital detox in nature

Feline Field Khwai Tented Camp, Okavango Delta

Arriving via helicopter transfer from Maun was a great way to increase my kids’ excitement levels! We landed 15 minutes later in a wild and exciting location filled with abundant wildlife in the 200,000 hectare Khwai Conservancy. The abundant Khwai River and riparian forests support abundant wildlife typical of the Khwai region.

Bell canvas tents are very unique and different from any other safari tents I have experienced. Sumptuous and spacious and very comfortable with an en suite bathroom furnished with a simple copper sink, flushing toilet and a large shower bucket filled each morning with hot water. Honeymooners would love it here too: the wonderfully intimate tents have a very feminine atmosphere and exude romance!

There is no electricity, which really allows you to immerse yourself in every element of the environment and reflect on the beauty around you. Without device distractions, my kids had no choice but to immerse themselves in nature. After the initial shock of digital removal, they came out of their shells and became curious about their surroundings. They noticed the smallest details and wanted to know more….

I especially loved that you choose how to spend your time at Feline Fields Khwai Tented Camp, at your own pace. You say what you want to do and when. Morning, evening or day game drives are available, as are mokoro tours, boat safaris, catch-and-release fishing and daily walking safari activities, all led by incredible local rangers and guides. We did it all, saw some great sightings and had some great photographic moments.

It’s a trend! Disconnect and reconnect

Don’t underestimate how little touches can make you feel very spoiled and cared for. The food was spectacular! Simple, without excess, creative with lots of choice, and the team who took care of us were absolutely charming.

I’ve seen a lot of attentive service on my safaris, but a well-timed sunset cocktail floating towards my mokoro aboard an inner tube as the sun ignited the river, is at the top of my list! Our stay was peppered with many imaginative touches like this. It was 100% food for the soul!

Feline Fields The Lodge, Kalahari

Sad to leave the idyllic aquatic paradise of Khwai, we were nonetheless excited to head by helicopter to Feline Fields’ second property – The Lodge. A secluded retreat in the Kalahari in Botswana. This wilderness area only welcomes a handful of visitors each year, making it an ideal destination for a very private and peaceful African getaway.

I was really pleasantly surprised! The lodge is designed with exclusivity and privacy at its heart. The suites are located on the edge of the forest, the suites are far enough from each other to make you feel like you are in your own private home in the African wilderness! The suites were like an oasis with a magnificent view of the endless savannah. Designed without walls to bring the Kalahari closer, we dined on raised decks and each sunrise and sunset immersed us further into the restful arms of the African bush.

Ruby and I loved our welcoming Africology essential oil massage upon arrival, then spent the afternoon lazing around the incredible lap pool. Again, it’s up to you how you spend your time here. You can explore the surrounding area on fatbikes, hit a few golf balls on the rather quirky driving range or if you feel like playing, there’s a tennis court in the middle of nowhere. Pretty weird and random, but somehow it works!

However, what The Lodge is really known for is horseback riding. The vast open plains make it the perfect environment for riding wild and free! There are horses for all levels and you can ride whenever you want and for as long as you want.

The owner of The Lodge and Khwai Tented Camp is passionate about sustainability and Feline Field’s core philosophy is rooted in the empowerment and upliftment of local people.

On our first evening, a group of Kalahari bushmen joined us around the fire in the camp lapa. Chatting freely through an interpreter, we were able to ask questions about their way of life and their adaptation to modern times. The next morning we accompanied the family group on a 2 hour walk deep into the bush where they showed us their traditional survival techniques. It was fascinating! The area is isolated and sparse with little or no water, so it is not known for its big game or massive herds, but walking alongside people who know and understand the bush made every little sighting a discovery fascinating to us!

That evening we experienced a trance dance around the fire. The colors, the sounds, the rhythm, the rhythm, the heat and the dust were simply transporting and certainly an experience that my children and I will never forget!

It’s the perfect place to switch off, slow down, contemplate and reconnect with what really matters.

Often, when planning an African safari, one’s knee-jerk reaction is to want to spend time on a beach or river after a rigorous safari, but after our incredible “downtime” in this isolated outpost and totally unexpected from the Kalahari, I can recommend The Lodge as the perfect post-safari destination to relax and connect.

If you are curious to know more and how to include these destinations in your trip to Africa, do not hesitate to contact me at liesl@africansafaris.com

See the virtual itinerary HERE

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