Assault of the Wild Canines at Elephant Sands in Botswana
“I wouldn’t put your tent there.” The information warned me.
“Why?” I enquired.
“When the elephants come via within the evening they use these bushes as scratching posts” as he factors to the acacia tree subsequent to my tent. “Chances are high they gained’t see you and there can be fairly a large number to scrub up within the morning.”
“Honest sufficient.” I responded as I took my tent and moved it a bit additional away from the little spiky shrubs.
It was at this level I knew I used to be in a particular place.
Coming your manner on this submit – click on to develop ->
Welcome to Elephant Sands Campsite
I feel Botswana is commonly neglected as a vacation spot as folks flock to its extra well-known Sothern neighbour, South Africa. Nonetheless, it is a good factor because it has many secrets and techniques ready to be found and can also be ranked as Africa’s 2nd most secure nation.
The nation is house to some superb locations to get pleasure from an superior recreation drive together with the Makgadikgadi pans, Okavango Delta, Chobe river, and the place this submit is about, the Elephant Sands Lodge. and campsite
Positioned within the Northern wilderness, because the title suggests, it’s a implausible place to get near wild elephants in Africa.
My go to to Elephant Sands, in Nata, was as a part of an overland tour I used to be taking via Africa, from Livingstone in Zambia, the place I had simply been leaping into Satan’s Pool, to Johannesburg the place I might catch my flight house.
I figured having the ultimate leg of my African Journey a part of an organized tour. I might be way more more likely to get to the airport on time slightly than counting on public transport.
Provided that the final practice I caught arrived greater than 24 hours late, I believed it was a superb plan.
On this submit, I wish to share with you some details about Elephant Sands Tenting and the superior wildlife present I had a front-row seat to as wild canine confronted down a heard of elephants whereas there.
It at all times begins with a bloody tent
As with most stops on these safaris, the primary job after arriving is placing up the tents. After a couple of days, it turns into a actual ache within the arse. I might love to have the ability to say I obtained higher at it every day and it obtained simpler . . . but it surely didn’t.
Fortunately I may depend on the assistance of a few of the others in my safari group. On reflection, it will need to have been that I had a foul tent.
One other tenting ability I additionally didn’t grasp was selecting the best spot. A day earlier I had managed to camp on an ants nest and was nonetheless discovering tons of of the little buggers hitching together with me.
With the bottom exhausting and dusty, if I hadn’t been so poor, due to a whole lack of budgeting ability, I might have definitely ended up in one among Elephant Sand’s lodges slightly than my ant-ridden tent.
After receiving the very welcome security recommendation, I lastly selected a secure place to pitch my tent earlier than heading to the bar space for a few well-earned beers and a spot of elephant watching.
The Elephant Sands watering gap
The campsite . . . and extra importantly campsite bar . . . sits on a raised terrace space with a swimming pool and positioned about 20 metres away from a watering gap utilized by wild elephants.
When our group arrived there will need to have been at the very least 12 wild elephants, bathing, spraying and normally having a fairly good time.
They’d typically inquisitively wander over to us, inside touching distance, I needed to preserve reminding myself that they’re wild elephants, so though I actually wished to seize some trunk, I believed I greatest err on the aspect of warning.
Expertise Elephant Sands Campsite, Botswana, for your self
The assault of the wild canine remains to be to come back, however first I wished to share a bit extra details about Elephant Sands and how one can go to.
As I discussed at first of this piece, I used to be there on an in a single day cease as a part of a five-day organised tour that began in Livingstone, Zambia, however if you’re not on a tour, it’s positively attainable to book for.
The Eco-lodge is about amongst a 16000 hectare non-public conservation space. There are not any fences or partitions which suggests the entire wild guests can freely roam so that you count on to see something throughout your keep.
The easiest way to investigate about booking is by way of the contact kind on their web site, or by emailing email@example.com. You may specify dates if you recognize if you wish to be there or additionally use it for normal enquiries.
There’s tenting or primary lodges accessible. We have been tenting among the many acacia bushes and it was such a surreal feeling to wake within the darkness of the evening figuring out that it’s only a skinny piece of canvas between you and the almighty beasts.
Elephant Sands Tenting Amenities
- Swimming pool
- Restaurant – serving breakfast, lunch and dinner
- Curio store
- Laundry service
- Photo voltaic powered showers
A number of different issues to pay attention to. The lodges tdo not have energy sockets within the, so if it is advisable to cost any devices or gizmos, you’ll want to do that on the bar, so plan forward. There’s very restricted cellphone reception, so let your family members know you’re off the grid, and there are not any followers or air-con within the rooms.
Mosquito nets are supplied within the lodges, however greatest nonetheless to deliver some repellent for the evenings.
Lastly, it is a quote from their web site that I really like and it sums the expertise up in a nutshel:
Our campsite & lodge are unfenced; all animals roam freely which suggests you possibly can count on to see something. All the time deliver a superb torch or headlamp with you if you don’t want to bump right into a shopping big in your approach to the toilet
Elephant Sands Botswana charges
There are 20 en-suite tents and eight en-suite chalets with views over the watering gap. The worth of lodging (June 2020) is as follows:
- Household chalet (1 d/mattress, 2 single beds) – Botswana Pula 1690 ($140)
- Twin chalet (2 S/beds) – BWP1320 ($110)
- Single chalet – BWP910 ($75)
- Added mattress – BWP200 ($16)
- Tenting – BWP120 ($10)
Please word, these costs are topic to alter, you possibly can examine the web site for essentially the most up-to-date charges and pictures of the lodging.
Keep in mind to additionally embrace the worth of meals which is separate and there’s no self-catering choice:
- Breakfast – BWP90 ($7.50)
- Dinner – BWP160 ($13)
- Lunch is an a la carte choice so the worth will range
Elephant Sands Map
Elephant Sands is positioned within the ominously named Northern Wilderness near the Zimbabwe border.
Assault of the African wild canine
So now you’re all in control on the lodging, let’s get again to those canine!
Unbeknownst to me, I had picked the perfect time to go to Botswana, simply on the finish of the dry season the place animals are attempting their greatest to search out any water supply they’ll, which led to this nice present.
It was whereas watching the elephants I seen one thing on the horizon, smaller than an elephant. Then a second and a 3rd, it was a pack of untamed canine and so they wished what the elephants had . . . the water.
A few the wild canine approached, however the elephants didn’t wish to share and chased them off. I believed that’s fairly cool, wild canine are fairly uncommon to see.
Wild canine lurk within the bushes, want I may have taken a greater picture
However earlier than I may get my subsequent beer I heard a commotion as the entire pack, round 25 canine, charged the watering gap.
Startled, the elephants retreated and stood again, watching the canine. Each on occasion an elephant would make a half-hearted try to scare the canine away, working in the direction of them, trumpeting and placing on a present. However it will take only one canine to growl and stand its floor and the elephant would slink again off.
The elephants struggle again
Nonetheless, after about 10 minutes of watching the canine, they determined sufficient was sufficient.
A bunch of them charged collectively because the canine stood agency, however this time, as two pulled up, the third elephant, a bull and the largest of the bunch stored on going, water and canine flew in each route!
The remainder of the elephants noticed their alternative and dashed into the water.
With no different choice, the canine retreated. For some time they hung round, it appeared they have been devising a brand new plan, however one thing occurred within the pack and so they grew to become extra enthusiastic about combating one another versus the elephants and disappeared over the horizon.
I couldn’t imagine how fortunate I used to be to witness that and I didn’t even must go on a safari journey to do it.
Properly, I used to be on a safari, however you recognize what I imply, a kind of recreation drives into the nationwide parks with a lot of folks in safari jackets crammed right into a small Jeep.
It was like one thing straight out of a wildlife documentary, proper in entrance of me, with chilly beer accessible!
Because the elephants settled again into their routine of spraying, bathing and customarily lazing round, I lastly obtained that second beer and was handled to a beautiful sundown whereas sipping and questioning if my tent actually was far sufficient away from these acacia bushes.
Uncover extra from my African Journey
If you need to know extra about my journey via Africa, an bold try at solo journey for the primary time, you should buy my superior journey diary on Amazon.
Easy methods to Clear Your Underwear in Africa chronicles my journey, the highs, lows and hangovers in addition to meting out a lot of helpful recommendation for first-time travellers. There could even be some nice little nuggets in there for travelling execs as properly.
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