Idyllic place that teems with wildlife
gloomy, though. Late one night, one of my colleagues and I were enjoying nightcaps outside our tent when two male lions strolled past about 20m away. The camp isn’t fenced and the next morning their tracks were all over the boma.
Apart from enjoying the myriad elephants spotted on game drives, I was greatly entertained by a family of dwarf mongooses that had taken an old anthill as their home.
A lantern-lit braai at the base of an ancient baobab while the last “super” moon of 2016 glowed above was a highlight of the stay. The first leg of our trip from Tuskers to Xobega was conducted by vehicle via Moremi Game Reserve. Moremi is enormous, rugged and – at that time of year – hot and dusty.
Like anywhere else with a surfeit of standing water, it is a wildlife paradise with all the usual southern African suspects but with the addition of indigenous red lechwe and the super-shy sitatunga.
There are nearly 500 bird species, which made the two “twitchers” in the vehicle very happy, but our enthusiasm was not shared by the other occupants at the end of the eight-hour excursion. I had to contend with a great deal of muttering as I focused on a beautiful African hawk eagle.
I had the last laugh on the river, though, when we spotted a broadbilled roller, the “leopard” of the Botswana bird world in terms of elusiveness. The iced gins would just have to wait.
• Get to Tuskers Bush Camp and Xobega Island Camp by flying into Maun with SA Airlink from Johannesburg (daily) or Cape Town (five times a week). Xobega can be accessed by Mack Air charter from Maun. For details, see www.sundestinations. co.za
PLUSH: A tent interior at Xobega Island Camp.