EPIC ROAD'S SAFARI BLOG

Entries in botswana (2)

Tuesday
Jul012014

Southern Africa's Original Tribe: Botswana's San Bushman


botswana safari

For 80,000 years the San people, known as the Bushmen, have thrived in the Kalahari Desert. These traditional hunter-gatherers are believed to be the original inhabitants of southern Africa, spanning across Botswana, Namibia, Angola, Zambia, Zimbabwe, and South Africa. The San are one of the populations from which all modern humans descend, and their culture is just as vibrant today.

The Bushmen communicate through a variety of distinct languages that are all based on clicking sounds, which can be represented in writing using a variety of symbols. Women often act as the leaders of their family unit and are not required to be gatherers -- many hunt too! It is an incredibly important part of San upbringing that their children’s only responsibility is to play and explore, because they view youth as an important time to enjoy life’s many offerings.

One of the San’s best-known rituals is the Trance Dance which allows, through trance, the ability to harness spiritual powers that can be used to heal sickness, bring luck to hunting, and even command rain to end a drought. It is believed that the dancing and traditional ornaments they wear, such as dancing rattles, draw in spirits from the night. A great deal of ancient San depicts this exact tradition, proving the Bushmen’s long-term trust in its powers.

While the San Bushmen are lively people who honor their culture, they are not completely free from modern struggles. They have been oppressed time and time again, being evicted from their land and feeling the force of society to conform to more modern practices. Regardless, they continue to protect and live off the incredible land they love and have called home for thousands of years, the Kalahari Desert.

Visiting the Bushmen

San Camp: With white fabric tents dotting the incredible multicolor skyline of the Makgadikgadi Salt Pans, San Camp is certainly one of the most chic and remote locations in Botswana.  The land itself is the remnants of a lake that was once larger than Switzerland, but dried up thousands of years ago. It left behind one of the world’s largest salt flats, an absolutely stunning natural wonder. Guests are allowed to accompany the San Bushmen on an authentic hunt and observe the ritualistic methods that are used as well as the colorful spirit of the people.

Jack’s Camp: This camp is an uber luxurious oasis amidst the remote wilderness and heat of the Kalahari Desert. Jack’s Camp offers walking tours that meld the curiosity of world travelers with expert knowledge of the Bushmen. They share their favorite local places to spot meerkat families, hyenas, and other fascinating wildlife that inhabit this glorious desert. You will also have the opportunity to visit a remote cattle post to learn more about traditional Botswanan culture. When it comes time to settle in at the lodge, enjoy the grand 1940’s Hemmingway style plush decor and private, spacious tents overlooking the expansive landscape.

Tau Pan Camp: Located in the center of the Kalahari Game Reserve, this campsite provides an eco-friendly stay on the edge of an ancient sand dune. With its rare views and fantastic history, Tau Pan is for those who want a fully immersive experience. Enjoy a nature walk with the Bushmen who will expose you to some of Africa’s best game viewing, and teach you their tried and true ways of surviving in this intense climate. Get the chance to see a local watering hole and the abundance of wildlife that flock to it!

Friday
May032013

Epic Road's Most Romantic Honeymoon Safaris

romantic honeymoon safari

Whether you're looking to relax together in the utmost elegant luxury, or to strengthen your bond over thrilling natural adventures, Epic Road has the most romantic trip for you. 

Rwanda: Trekking with Gorillas

With less than 800 mountain gorillas remaining in the wild, the time to see them is now. Ascend the slopes of Rwanda’s dormant volcanoes into dense, misty green forest, and come face-to-face with the great ape who shares 95% of our DNA. Be amazed by the eerily familiar behavior of these intelligent, charismatic and endangered apes as they eat, nap, and play in family groups.

Cape Town, South Africa: Jet-set holiday

Cape Town is the most European of African cities–a true melting pot, molded by Dutch and English imperialism, and deeply infused by the indigenous African cultures. The glittering skyscrapers that stretch towards the cloud-wreathed peak of Table Mountain are punctuated by the shouts of children in the townships and the call of the muezzin from the mosque. In one day, you can experience dazzling landscapes, visit cutting-edge art galleries, and enjoy a world-class meal made from the region’s many farms and vineyards.

Serengeti Plains, Tanzania: Africa's vast plains and you

Experience the Africa of storybooks and documentaries of the Serengeti Plains. Wide open savannahs, herds of wildebeest and big cats tracking them down. Zebras, elephants, lions, cheetahs, rhinos, giraffes and you. Reminiscent of a bygone era, Singita Sabora Tented Camp dishes up lavish doses of romance, exploration and intrigue. It's location on a private reserve in the Serengeti will often make you feel like you’re the only one on the planet. Alone to experience Africa’s vastness.

Arctic Circle: Northern Lights

The delicate, painterly wash of the Aurora Borealis is worth staying up for. Nestle close with your loved one outside of your safari-style luxury igloo while the sky lights up in psychedelic pinks and greens. In the morning, helicopter over the ice floes in search of a mother polar bear with her cubs, and the rare Torngat caribou herds. When night falls, settle once again into the warmth and luxury of your own personal igloo.

Mozambique Archipelago: Lost in the Indian Ocean

Aside from the wonderful staff on Mozambique’s Vamizi Island, who provide everything—shade, lunch, drinks, snorkeling equipment—don’t expect to see a soul. In this most remote, pristine setting, you and your loved one can dive with whales, dolphins, turtles, giant parrotfish, and manta rays, fish for your dinner, explore the island’s conservation activities with the World Wildlife Fund, or simply lie on the beach and let your worries be washed away by the island’s beauty and gentle surf.

Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe: Wonders of the World

Few natural sights are as arresting as the massive Victoria Falls, the biggest waterfall in the world and one of Africa’s top draws. Less known however, are the wonders that surround the waterfall in this rich and diverse regions—one of Africa’s most beautiful. Swim in the thrilling precariousness of Victoria Falls’ Devil’s pool. Lounge beside hippos as they bathe in the great Zambezi River. Bungee jump next to the awesome, powerful Falls. Safari on the back of an elephant. This is romance at its most exciting.

Namibia and Botswana: Animal Adventure

The Kalahari Desert, stretching across Namibia and Botswana, is Africa’s oldest, unchanged landscape. This land of epic dunes, volcanic mountains, and prolific plains is also home to some of Africa’s most luxury safari lodges. In addition to spectacular landscapes—vast deserts with thousand-foot sand dunes and a coastline strewn with bleached whalebones and ancient shipwrecks. Stay at the Serra Cafema Camp in the northwest corner of Kakaoland to enjoy the mars-like landscape in luxury. Then head to greener Botswana’s Okavango Delta, where you can spot some of Earth’s most adorable creatures (giraffes, elephants, zebra, wild dog, hippopotami, lions, and leopards) gather at the rich floodplains near Selinda Camp.

Stellenbosch and Franschoek, South Africa: Food and Wine

Few regions on earth rival the gustatory bounty of South Africa’s Western Cape. This is the heart of Africa’s farm-to-table movement, a veritable eden of vegetable garden’s, sheep farms, vineyards, orchards, and even apiaries. Feast your eyes and stomach on the best that culinary Africa has to offer—from famous fine dining to over one hundred wine cellars open to the public.