I stumbled off my plane feeling the ache that an overnight flight leaves on a body designed for a starring role in the BFG, not the seats of economy class. But almost instantly, I was in the air again, this time buffeted by storm clouds as Botswana’s weather welcomed me.
The Kalahari Desert soon appeared below and we coasted down to land on the compacted red sand. Dragging myself into the waiting 4×4, I started to snooze. A hot towel on arrival revived me slightly, but I was still ready for bed.
Sue, my host, had other ideas, however. We had just four days to explore a large chunk of Botswana, so time was short. The essence of Sue’s welcome briefing was “You can sleep when you’re back at your desk.”
What followed was a spectacular safari through some of Botswana’s most diverse landscapes. From the salt pans of the Kalahari, I flew north to the wetlands of the Okavango Delta and then the mopane woodland of the Linyanti. Sleep was at a premium, but wildlife certainly was not.