Advisor Adventures

A Safari Adventure in Botswana

Michelle Ellis, Luxury Travel Advisor with Provident Travel, journeyed to Botswana this past December with Adventures Africa (a Virtuoso On-Site). Their lodge stays were hosted by Wilderness Safaris, which has many safari camps in Botswana and elsewhere in Africa. We asked Ellis to share her experiences in Botswana.

African Elephants, Botswana

What did you do in Botswana?

We stayed at four beautiful safari camps and got to see several others in the Okavango Delta, an inland river delta in northern Botswana that is known for its incredible wildlife viewing.

We went on game drives or guided nature walks early each day and then again in the evenings. I saw a variety of wildlife, from hippos to elephants to zebras. In the Okavango Delta, you can do safaris in different ways, from walking safaris to game drives to river safaris.

What are the accommodations like?

Each safari camp is different. The word “camp” is a bit deceiving, as these are very comfortable accommodations, from villas to lodges to en suite tents. Some were ultra-luxurious.

My safari suite at Jao Camp, for example, was around 1,000 square feet with an open-plan design, handcrafted furniture and a sala, a large open living room that is perfect for afternoon siestas. The camps range in size from six guest rooms to 20, and each has everything you need, including Wi-Fi.

Lodging accommodations in Botswana - bed


Lodging accommodations in Botswana - living area and stairs leading to bedroom
Lodging accommodations in Botswana - bathroom
Lodging accommodations in Botswana - bed overlooks Safari
Lodging accommodations in Botswana - table with decorations
A group of tourists posing with safari vehicle, Botswana

What did you like about your trip?

The food was unbelievable, but the best part was the service and the staff at the camps. They wanted you to be happy, so they were constantly working to make sure everything was fantastic and personalized. The guides were very friendly. The safari vehicles were comfortable, and they tried to make each day memorable with unique experiences along the way.


I also really liked all the little surprises that our guides and the staff put together for us. For example, we would think we were driving back to the lodge for lunch, but then we’d pull off to find they had a picnic all set out for us. Other times, we had sundowners out in the bush at the perfect time for sunset. They’d put out a big spread with drinks and food. One time, we watched the sunset alongside a herd of elephants. Another time, we were on canoes, and as we paddled, we found they had a floating picnic waiting for us in another canoe as the sun went down.

Picnic table and chairs and tour guide, Botswana safari


Lion, Botswana safari

The other amazing thing was how close we were to wildlife. We went some days without seeing another safari vehicle. Because of that, the animals didn’t care about us, and they even came right up to the vehicle on some occasions. It was unbelievable how close we could get to them and remain safe.


Lioness and cubs, Botswana safari
Sunset over water, Botswana
Botswana Safari picnic on the water
Lioness drinking water, Botswana safari

What are your top tips for travelers who want to visit Botswana?

Packing light is important. You can do laundry along the way at the lodges. It’s good to remember that while you’re staying in luxurious accommodations, you’re still in Africa with open air and occasional bugs. You’ll want a good camera, but today’s new smartphones can take excellent photos.


What type of traveler is a good fit for this trip?

This trip is good for those who want a little bit of adventure—but in a luxurious way. You need to be open to embracing as much of the culture as you can. The timetable is a little different from what you might be used to. You leave at 5:30 a.m. or 6 a.m. when the animals are out, and then you go out again at sunset. You must work around the animals’ schedule.

You were recently named a 2023 Condé Nast Travel Specialist, which is quite an honor. What areas of travel do you specialize in?

I was named a Condé Nast Travel Specialist for Europe, Central and South America as well as for family and adventure travel. However, I’m happy to help with travel anywhere in the world.

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