If you are looking for a real bush experience go to Khwai Development Trust. Why? Imagine sleeping in a tent and being able to listen to lions in the wild growling around you throughout the night. I can promise you, a better wildlife experience than that does not exist. Spot the big five and become one with nature while you are ‘glamping’ in the bush at Khwai Development Trust!
How to organise this trip?
You can rent a 4×4 jeep, buy camping and cooking gear and fetch a travel partner. I recommend going with a travel partner because if something happens between lions in the wild you wouldn’t want to be alone. As I am travelling solo and already have so much luggage I didn’t wanted to buy more. The simplest and most comfortable option for me was to go with Mosu Safari Tours.
There are a lot of advantages to booking with them. To begin with, everything is taken care of … your camping gear, blankets and food; and there is a professional guide to take you on game drives. Out there in the bush, there are no ablution facilities so if you are keen on having a shower or using a toilet then go with Mosu Safari Tours as that is all brought along on the tour. Another bonus is that the guide knows the way around the park and you will learn a lot about the African wildlife!
Khwai Development Trust
Khwai Development Trust lies between the Moremi Game Reserve and the Chobe National Park. This amazing wildlife spot is run by the local community as part of a conservation and sustainability programme. There are three camping areas, Magotho, Sable Ally and Matswere and as this is the least known park in Botswana, that means more animals for yourself! Did I already mention you can spot the big five here?!
Don’t expect camping sites like you’d find in Europe. Out here the camping sites are literally in the middle of the wild where you set up camp in the middle of nowhere with wildlife all around you.
Setting up camp in the bush.
Game Drives and Tea Breaks
After a bumpy ride into the camp, it was time for a cup of tea and biscuits. The crew, existing of a chef and a guide, set up the table in no time. There you are sitting in the middle of the bush with a cup of tea in your hand, knowing that at any minute a wild animal could wander through – amazing!
At the end of the afternoon, it was time for the first game drive. Predators are more active during the night and early morning when the day is cool. But remember, everything is a gamble in the bush and it all comes down to luck!
Yes, a lion only 2 meters away
I had only one wish, to spot lions in the wild! Today was my lucky day. After just five minutes we found a lion sleeping in the high grass. I was just two meters away from him. This male lion was beautiful! I could see it was a big boss with a stunning long mane.
My day was already perfect but I went along to spot more. The break at the lake was magical. With the sunset as a backdrop, I watched hippos in the water and an elephant passing by. Pure moments of joy!
Growling lions in the wild made my night one to remember
After a night filled with the sounds of three growling lions, I just couldn’t wait to go out and try and find these magnificent animals. The guide found lion tracks next to our camp. While I had been sleeping in the tent a lion had passed right by, wow! Unfortunately, we didn’t find them but I did get to see a rare sighting of a leopard watching over its freshly caught impala breakfast.
Another great experience was to encounter zebras, giraffes and elephants from very close by.
Do you know those rare moments in life when you look around and feel truly blessed and amazed with life? I had many of these moments during my stay in Khwai Development Trust. The best part: my guide and I were generally the only ones in the presence of these wonderful animals, so special!
Glamping in the bush between lions in the wild
I love adventure but I must say the whole glamping experience with Mosu Safari Tours made the whole trip even more perfect! After a game drive, I came back to camp to find my tent ready with an actual stretcher and a mattress for extra comfort. Another appreciated luxury was the toilet at the back of my tent! You certainly don’t want to get out of your tent in the dark of night to do your thing in the bush with lions in the wild wondering around! The hot outdoor shower was the highlight of it all; freshening up while watching the monkeys play around, quite entertaining.
Fine dining in the wild
The food was another amazing part of this trip. After my hot outdoor shower, I was invited to sit down to a three-course dinner in our own dining tent. While the sun left behind amazing colours which filled the African sky, I was enjoying the view while eating freshly made corn soup as a starter. The second course, beef stew with vegetables and pap (a local dish), heavenly! How did the chef manage to prepare such an exquisite dinner? It all happens on the camp fire.
After dessert, it was tea and warming up time around the campfire while the guide from Mosu Safari Tours told the most incredible stories about the wildlife. Occasionally I looked up at the millions of flickering stars and I needed to pinch myself, what a dream!
Looking for more travel inspiration? Read about exploring the South African safari life.