Walking with elephants in the Botswana wilderness

Dominique has kayaked across lagoons in the Philippines, trekked jungles in Indonesia, climbed mountains in Colombia and danced Tango in Argentina. She has a travel CV we’re all a bit envious of. This time, however, she’s ticked off a true childhood dream. After joining us as our VIP travel planner in 2018, there was one thing we were sure of: Dominique was going to Africa. And it was in Africa that she brought this dream to life.

We’ll let her tell you about that, though.

Words: Dominique Dashwood-Quaye

“Botswana absolutely blew me away, not just the incredible animal encounters, but also arriving to each new area in light aircraft and enjoying a scenic heli transfer which gave a birds-eye view of the sheer beauty and variety of the landscape (I have footage of this if you want to see!).

When you think of going on safari you imagine the big five, which yes, is one of the key draws, not only on game drives but also through beautiful experiences like “sleeping” out on a star bed overlooking where the elephants sleep, staying awake pretty much all night listening to their gentle sounds and straining your eyes to try and see them through the darkness. But then there are also the other smaller encounters that stay with you. Like getting up close and personal with the meerkats in the Makgadikgadi Salt Pans, lying on the floor with them and having their curiosity get the better of them as they venture closer and closer to you. Just so magical.

This was my first time to Africa but it certainly won’t be my last, every day is different and each camp can deliver a totally unique experience. You’re welcomed with such warmth, the trackers and guides have a wealth of knowledge to share with you and their stories are fascinating, whether they are telling you about the migration or moments they have had in their years in the bush – it is a whole other world. The special moments they create for you – whether this is pulling up to have a beautiful sundowner set up by the edge of a watering hole or a picnic with a herd of elephants in the background – are moments that will stay with you and add to the magic of Africa.”

It just never gets old

Dominique is a special part of our team and whenever one of us returns from a trip, we love to sit down and hear about the experience and stories we’ve had. This sharing culture is something that helps us better understand what we do and why we do it. It’s what helps us sperate ourselves from the rest. It’s the we are human message you hear us talking about. Because at the end of the day it all comes back to the person (or people) we’re sharing this fun journey with.

What next?

As you’ve just seen, Botswana is home to some epic wildlife. Our guides and team on the ground are some of the most knowledgeable and insightful guides in Africa. If like Dominique you have Africa at the top of your list and want to learn more have a look at our insiders guide here.

Looking for your own magical moment?

Botswana is full of them. From the Makgadikgadi Pans to the Okavango Delta this place is a wilderness utopia. We’ve carefully crafted and refined some of the most immersive wilderness experiences in Africa with our team on the ground here. Ready to meet Kathy and the herd? Start your Black Tomato journey today.