Luxury in the African Bush: On Safari in Botswana, Africa

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Originally Published in (DestinAsian Magazine)

The Kalahari Desert of Botswana Africa may not seem like a place where you might find any kind of luxury. But within the lush, Okavango alluvial plains are creature comforts only a luxe traveler could appreciate.

The name “Kalahari” comes from the Setswana word Kgalagadi, meaning “the great thirst.” The San – the Bushmen of this desert – accept this without question. For 30,000 years they have survived here according to rules dictated by the absence of water.

The official currency of Botswana is pula. It means, of course, “water.” In a parched world, nothing has more value. It is a curious counterpoint for a nation in which 85 percent of the country is as dry as burnt wheat toast.

The emptiness of the Kalahari spreads across an area roughly the size of France. But in the Okavango Delta, there are nearly three-dozen tented safari camps scattered throughout the alluvial plain. These are not “tents” in the usual sense of that word. Camps like Xigera, Duba Plains and Selinda are gorgeous retreats in canvas.