“The experiences you have with Great Plains Conservation will be with you forever. Just like those precious few you keep in your wallet, personal albums, weathered as they may become — all unforgettable.
A journey like this is life-changing. We want you to choose well.” recommends Dereck Joubert, CEO of Great Plains Conservation and National Geographic Explorer.
“It should all start with understanding shared values and knowing what we stand for. This allows us to develop, earn and deepen your trust in us and mutual respect.
A simple set of my values are centred around kindness, compassion, trust, empathy, and mutual respect for everything. So, you will find our guides moving quietly through the bush, respecting wildlife and your privacy, but with sensitivity to what you may want to learn. You can expect gentle interaction, a smile, and understanding your needs to be quiet or informed. Our guides are trained to offer you a short lesson on photography or birds. There will also be times when they will talk of the hunting strategy of the leopard you see in front of you. Mostly you will be taken on a journey where each day is exciting and different, meaningful and authentic.
Beverly and my journey started in Botswana. As we were both born in Africa, we felt that we needed to go on a personal quest to find the continent’s soul. We initially settled in the Selinda Reserve before ending up in the Duba Plains Reserve. This remains our current home.
These are two distinct and fascinating areas of Botswana, presenting some fantastic safari opportunities. In the north, the Selinda Reserve bristles with elephants and painted dogs (wild dogs) with great leopards and lions. It is here that David Livingstone camped for months. In our Duba Plains Reserve, one finds Okavango Delta swamp swimming lions hunting day and night. The birdlife in both areas is superb!
Both these private areas are my top picks, representing the best Botswana wildlife viewing and safari experiences.
Beverly and I have made films in both places. Relentless Enemies, The Last Lions and our Okavango River of Dreams series, all filmed in the Duba Plains Reserve. Wildlife Warriors, Birth of a Pride, Reflections on Elephants in and around the Selinda Reserve.
A golden rule of thumb is that if an area has good predator numbers like lions and leopards (like we have), there will be good numbers of plains game like antelope and other species such as elephants to view. Predators are territorial; they don’t migrate. I would have no hesitation, considering our high predator numbers in both areas, in suggesting you combine these wet and dry regions of Botswana at any time during the year.
Also, consider staying longer. There is no need to be packing and unpacking your suitcase every two nights. Rushing from one location to another is not conducive at all to enjoying a perfect safari. Basing yourself for a more extended period at a camp not only allows you to relax on your safari but also ensures you get a more meaningful understanding of all of Africa’s most iconic species. Not only those that seem to be the poster kids of the wildlife world.
It is all you need. It is all I need for that perfect safari.”
Botswana is a country of diverse beauty, outstanding wildlife and offers an array of landscapes found nowhere else on earth and uniquely adapted flora and fauna. From the channels of the Okavango Delta, the world’s only inland delta, to the banks of the Selinda Spillway teeming with elephants, to the vast salt pans of the Makgadikgadi. This varied landscape also lends itself to various safaris to experience the country, from wildlife drives to guided bush walks to canoes and boating, all of which are available when staying with Great Plains Conservation.
Botswana is a country for travellers who value remoteness and exclusivity, with vast tracts of pristine wilderness home to healthy wildlife populations and an often explosive mix of predator and prey. Great Plains Conservation’s camps in Botswana epitomise the wonder that the country has to offer. We have several camps and experiences spread across almost 400,000 acres of private, conserved land. Some of which communities lease to us. Some areas were former hunting concessions converted and protected by Great Plains Conservation more than a decade ago.