Safari’s and Covid 19

I had hoped that I would be soon be packing my bags for another camping safari in the wildlife wonderland that is Botswana’s Okavango Delta.

Unfortunately, Covid 19 has put paid to that plan. South Africa and Botswana are both on the UK’s Red list of countries at present and travel is prohibited. Disappointing as this is, it was utterly predictable with the way this horrendous virus has spread around the planet.

On the plus side, I have moved my travel plans, and will keep my fingers crossed that I, along with my great friend and travelling companion Malcolm, will find ourselves camping in the Okavango in May of 2022.

It is worth noting that in countries like Botswana, a large part of the economy is highly dependant on revenue generated by tourism, and in particular eco / conservation / wildlife tourism. Many safari companies have sadly gone to the wall during the Covid pandemic resulting in the loss of income for so many families. As the virus took hold, the safari business simply collapsed.

The absence of tourists travelling through the bush, enjoying the wildlife, has meant that poachers have had an almost free reign targeting species like rhino, elephant and many, many more. The eyes and presence of the safari tourists and their guides are one of the biggest deterrents to poaching. So for the sake of the wildlife, we need the safari industry to get back on its feet as soon as possible, and in doing so, provide desperately needed incomes for the workers involved in the industry.

Having done two camping safaris, there is no chance of doing a safari any other way in the future. It is an experience that once sampled, just has to be repeated. I cannot wait to spend days with the creatures of the delta, and then at night to fall asleep to the sounds of lions roaring, hyenas whooping and howling, hippos grunting and farting and unidentified creatures scurrying around outside the tent.

So, vaccines and reduced risk of Covid permitting, I will be back here blogging at the end of May, regaling new adventures of life under canvas, amongst the amazing wildlife in the heart of the watery wilderness of the Okavango Delta.

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