Game Drives are the most common African safari activity. They are how you go deep into the bush to see the animals, and it is the focus of most safaris. But did you know that there are other unique African safari activities that can enrich your experience?
You do not have to spend all your time in a vehicle while on safari. You can experience the beauty, tranquility, and awe-inspiring majesty of Moremi Game Reserve, the Okavango Delta, and Chobe National Park in a variety of ways.
8 Unique African Safari Activities
In Botswana and with Brave Africa, eight amazing African safari experiences can help you enjoy the widest breadth of landscapes and wildlife possible. They will make your safari worth it!
Let’s take a look at what they are and how you can enjoy them.
1. Walking Safaris
Walking safaris are a back-to-basics approach to safari. You leave the car and follow your guide into the bush on foot. This way of exploring Botswana gives you a far deeper and more intimate connection with the landscape and the animals.
A walking safari is not about spotting a lot of wildlife. It’s about experiencing nature in a more personal way. During your walk, you’ll discover a new kind of peace and connection with the bush. You’ll listen to the wind as it rustles through the trees, birds calling to each other, and more that you’d never notice in a vehicle.
On a walking safari, you can also track animals through areas a vehicle could never go. Your guide will make sure you are downwind and then take you right up to a herd of elephants, a pride of lions, or an obstinacy of buffalo.
Don’t worry; the chances of finding yourself in a scary situation are rare. Walking safaris are only completed by Level 3 guides who have the experience and training necessary to keep you safe.
A highly qualified Level 3 guide is an expert in tracking and animal behavior. They know when and how to approach animals, where to walk, and how to handle almost any situation. On top of that, your guide is always armed on a walking safari.
This is a “just in case” measure that is available as a last resort if something goes wrong. However, neither of our Level 3 guides have ever had to fire their weapon in a combined 20 years of guiding.
How to Schedule a Walking Safari
When you book a safari with Brave Africa, we automatically include walking safaris while in Khwai. To ensure a walking safari is on your to-do list, let us know during the booking process so we can plan appropriately.
2. Mokoro Safari (Canoe Safari)
The most serene, sublime, and unique African safari activity is the mokoro safari—dug-out canoe safari. It is like no other experience in the bush and offers a fascinating way to explore the beauty of Botswana up close and personal.
Only available in the Okavango Delta, a traditional mokoro safari is absolutely enchanting. You’ll take a journey through reed-lined channels in a handcrafted canoe, propelled with poles and guided by local experts.
From the vantage point of the water, everything becomes larger and grander. Trees will tower overhead as you glide in relative silence through the peaceful waters. With no engine noise, you’ll be able to hear everything from the croak of the smallest frog to the grunts of hippos, bird song, and watery footsteps.
The biggest joy of a mokoro safari is how you take in the surreal and stunning beauty of the Okavango Delta. While seeing animals is possible, it’s more about the peace that you’ll enjoy.
How to Schedule a Mokoro Safari
At Brave Africa, we offer mokoro safaris in Khwai and Xakanaxa (Moremi Game Reserve). It is included in the price of your trip. All you have to do is let us know that this is something you would enjoy, and we’ll schedule your trip at a suitably scenic location.
3. Boating Safari
Another type of water activity is the boating safari, which takes place on a motorized boat. This is a great African safari activity for exploring the vast waterways of the Okavango Delta and going where vehicles can’t.
There are over 17,000 square kilometers of pristine wilderness—including a labyrinth of channels and lagoons—in the Okavango Delta. And Boating safaris are a classic way to see as much as possible while enjoying game viewing and birding from the water.
How to Schedule a Boating Safari
Boating safaris rely on high water levels. If the water is too low, the boats cannot go out. If a boating safari is important to you, we recommend going out during green or shoulder season, when there’s more water around.
We offer boating safaris only in Xakanaxa (Moremi Game Reserve), and they are subject to weather and availability. Let the Brave Africa team know that you are interested in a boating safari when booking so we can schedule your trip accordingly.
4. Night Drives
Most of the time, your game drives will take place between sunrise and sunset. However, when we are in Khwai, you’ll have the opportunity to go on night drives. This unique African safari activity keeps you out after the sun has set to explore the bush in total darkness.
Equipped with a spotlight, your guide will drive around the bush and point out creatures that you’ll rarely see in the light of day. There’s an opportunity to see bushbabies, porcupines, pangolins, aardvarks, springhares, honey badgers, and more.
How to Schedule a Night Drive
Your Brave Africa guide will automatically take your car out on night drives while you’re in Khwai. However, it’s always a good idea to mention that this is something you’d enjoy while on safari so that we know to plan appropriately.
5. Khwai Village Visits
Visiting Khwai Village is one of the highlights of going on safari in Khwai, Botswana. It’s one of the things that makes this area so unique. The local villagers actively manage and run the Khwai Concession through the Khwai Development Trust, having transformed their old hunting grounds into an area for eco-tourism.
You can go on a tour of Khwai Village to see first-hand how communities live, speak to villagers, and learn about their traditional way of life. You’ll learn a little about local bushman culture as well as basket weaving within the African community. And all proceeds from tourism in the Khwai Concession go directly to helping the local people and local projects!
How to Schedule a Khwai Village Visit
We need to communicate with the village in advance of your visit to ensure that the community is available for guest visits. When you schedule your safari with Brave Africa, mention that you would be interested in a Khwai Village visit and we’ll do our best to accommodate you.
6. Bread Making Over the Fire
If one day you feel like sticking around camp for a little while, you can learn how to bake a fresh loaf of bread over the fire. Working alongside our chef, you’ll discover what it takes to transform the fire pit into a working oven. It’s a technique that’s been perfected in Africa over the years, and if we say so ourselves, it’s delicious.
How to Schedule Bread Making
If you’re feeling unwell one day or you want to plan some time off in the middle of your safari, you can ask your guide about bread making. As long as we have time to plan with our chef, and it’s not on a camp move day, we can set up a fantastic bread making experience.
Unsurprisingly, the night sky in Botswana is spectacular. You are out in the middle of nowhere with little to no light pollution. What that means is that you can witness a dizzying array of stars. It’s an awe-inspiring sight.
On nights with little to no moon, you can stay out late to see the Milky Way really shine! Our guides can give you a lesson on stargazing with a telescope and special laser pointer. If you’ve never seen the sky in the southern hemisphere, or even if you have, stargazing in Botswana’s bush is jaw-dropping.
How to Schedule Stargazing
You can stargaze anytime while on safari with Brave Africa. Almost every night offers amazing cosmic splendor. However, if stargazing is high up on your list, your guide will take you out on the best night possible when clouds are unlikely, and the moon is dark.
8. Junior Guides
Kids on safari can get bored. The good news is that, at Brave Africa, we’ve crafted a bunch of Junior Guides activities to keep your kids entertained. These unique African safari activities are kid-specific and designed to teach your kids a love of nature and animals. We want to help them discover respect for Africa and all it has to offer.
Our Junior Guides will learn:
- Tracking and Survival Skills: They’ll learn how to explore and survive the African bush from our expert guides, including how to identify and follow animal tracks, understand wildlife spoors, make fire by friction, and the medicinal uses of plants.
- Safari Vehicle Skills: With parent approval, your kids can sit on our guide’s lap and learn how to drive through the bush. In addition, they’ll learn how to use the vehicle radio to communicate with camp and run the spotlight at night to find animals in the dark.
- Wildlife Art: If your child is an artist, they’ll love our wildlife art and drawing opportunities. Our guides will find a beautiful spot in the wild with animals nearby and then give them a chance to draw what they.
- Traditional Botswana Sling Shooting: Slingshots are very valuable tools in the African bush, and they’re lots of fun for kids. Our expert guides will teach your kids all about sling shooting and give them a chance to practice their skills on cans.
- Brave Africa Passport: We’ve crafted a one-of-a-kind Brave Africa passport for your kids to commemorate their entire safari experience. They’ll collect stickers for every animal, activity, and camp they experience on safari.
How to Junior Guides
If you have kids, we’ll automatically schedule your family for Junior Guides activities throughout your trip. As parents, you’ll have full control over what you’d like your kids to participate in and what you’d like to skip. We’ll work with your family throughout your safari vacation to make sure everyone leaves happy.
More Amazing Safari Experiences
All of the unique African safari activities we mentioned above are included in the price of your Brave Africa safari. All you have to do is let us know which experiences you are interested in, and we will do our best to make it all happen.
However, there are some extra safari experiences that are available for an additional fee. Brave Africa or your travel agent can help make these possible.
- Helicopter Flights: There are a few operators in the Okavango Delta that offer scenic helicopter flights so that you can witness Botswana from the air.
- Hot Air Balloons: From April to September, you can go on a hot air balloon safari at darn. It’s one of the best ways to get a 360-degree birds-eye view of Botswana.
- Horse Riding Safaris: Only available for experienced riders, there are a few operators who offer safaris by horseback.
- ATV Safari: In Nxai Pan and Makgadikgadi Pans, you can experience one-of-a-kind ATV safaris.