I had the chance to go on an amazing vacation this past August. Part of it was an 8- day safari in Botswana. The beauty of visiting countries in different continents is that mostly likely they will be vastly different than your own. That is certainly true with Botswana. While 80% of the country is the Kalahari Desert, water and lusher lands cover the northeast part. With access to water and vegetation, it is no wonder that the Okavango Delta area has the world’s largest elephant population.
Safari “life” is not necessarily the most relaxing of vacations. While it offers you access to incredible wild life, including elephants that know no boundaries and can often be found eating right outside your tent, it is a pretty rigorous schedule. Your wake up call, literally someone walking by your tent and shouting, “good morning”, is at 6 am. Breakfast is at 6:30 and your morning drive of 5 hours starts at 7. The drive, obviously the reason you are there, is in an open sided (sometimes open topped) vehicle that must be rugged as you are basically off-roading it the whole time; being bounced around to the point where you need to hang on. Lunch follows and a short break before the 4-hour afternoon drive starts at 3:30. After dinner, there is always time for a drink about the fire, but that doesn’t last too long as 6 am is coming fast.
You know what ISN’T typically part of Safari life? Technology. Phones. Radios. Interwebs. It’s true. Once we landed in Botswana, I was 8 days off the grid. There is electricity, so we had lights (most of the time) and hot water (though mostly solar heated) and outlets to charge phones and e-readers, but generally it was you and nature. And, I think that’s the way you want it to be. I was surprised by how easy it was for me to give up considering that I am generally working with at least 2 devices at a time. But, given what I got in return, I would do that trade off again in a heartbeat.
Would you do it?
Would you go off the grid for a week? Have you done it? Will you do it again? Can you do it even when it is available?