If you are looking for a private wilderness, rich in wildlife without the crowds, head for Botswana. The country has taken a deliberate decision to pursue a low volume, high value model of tourism, ensuring that it has a minimal adverse impact on the environment and visitors can explore in relative seclusion. Each fabulous camp accommodates just a handful of guests, so you really do feel you are in the wild.
No one goes on safari to look at other people, or to hear the rumble of someone else’s jeep. If you want to guarantee that you’ll have the wilderness to yourself, the obvious choice is Botswana. It’s not because it is difficult to get to or because the wildlife is any less rich: far from it, in fact. Botswana has one of the highest concentrations of game in Africa! The exclusivity is a conscious choice from those behind the country’s tourism development plans. They want you to be able to have a true wilderness experience, for the landscape to be protected, and for the animals and birds to be undisturbed. To ensure that this remains the case, they strictly limit the number of lodges and camps which can be built.
In Botswana, it’s not uncommon to find a camp with just half a dozen tented suites. Gomoti Plains Camp is a prime example; staying here it feels like you have a piece of this beautiful country alongside the seasonal waterway all to yourself. The number of staff far outweigh the number of guests, so there’s always someone on hand to meet your needs. Your first visitor in the morning will arrive at daybreak with a steaming pot of fresh coffee or tea, to raise you from your slumber in time for an early game drive. There are numerous guides, trackers, and polers, an accomplished culinary team, and even a masseuse! This is surely the true definition of luxury in the bush.
One of the most exclusive places to stay in Botswana is in the Kwando Concession. This huge reserve is larger than the famed Masai Mara, but remarkably there are only two camps here. It’s inspiring to set out on a walk or drive along the winding Kwando River knowing that you won’t see anyone else all day. You can choose to stay either at Lagoon Camp or at the equally striking Lebala Camp. Both offer spacious, exceptionally comfortable accommodation, and a thrilling and diverse activity programme, not to mention world class levels of service.