Easy breaks from Cape Town
A two-and-a-half hour flight will land you in Botswana’s Kalahari Desert, a dramatic change from Cape Town’s coastal scenery. But even more spectacular is the region’s Okavango Delta, an oasis in middle of the desert that feeds all kinds of life, including 122 unique species of mammals and 444 recorded bird species.
See the wildlife up close with a ride on a traditional mokoro boat, a narrow dug-out canoe made from sausage or jackal berry trees and steered by a guide with a long wooden pole. The boat tours, either quick day trips or longer excursions that involve camping, often include areas where visitors can disembark for game-viewing walks.
Though most visit Botswana for the wildlife, the country also has many traditional villages worth exploring. Take a tour to Sixaxa, a village about 30 minutes from the main northern town of Maun, to meet the members of the Bayei tribe and learn about their traditional hunting methods, basket-weaving techniques, and music and dance traditions.
Air Botswana has daily nonstop flights to Maun from Cape Town. The Old Bridge Backpackers offers one- to four-night Mokoro cruises starting at 690 Botswana pula, and Bush Travellers Safaris runs cultural day trips to nearby villages.