Great Plains' new Botswana tours transform guests into explorers

Guests on the Great Plains Expedition Botswana safari will help catalog leopards in the Selinda Reserve. Photo Credit: Courtesy of Great Plains Expeditions
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Dereck Joubert, CEO of Great Plains Conservation, and his wife, Beverly, will be launching a new range of conservation expeditions in Botswana.

The expeditions will be about discovery-based adventures, as opposed to ticking off a checklist, and will contribute to science by cataloguing events and wildlife. Travelers will relive the golden era of expeditions and experience how the explorers of old navigated and camped in the early-19th century -- albeit with the luxury of a private chef, expert staff and modern communications.

In the spirit of a genuine expedition, travelers will not only have the chance to truly connect with nature and lose themselves in the essence of what Africa truly offers explorers, but they will also be involved in meaningful conservation work and data collection. In this scientific element of the expedition, travelers will support the team to count elephants, hippos, log GPS coordinates of dens, pangolin sightings, nests of large raptors and note elephant carcasses. In addition, by using DNA collection kits, pattern analysis tools and software to identify leopard and painted dogs, guests will be collecting important data that will contribute to the understanding of future conservation efforts.

• Related: Remote and wild Zimbabwe with Great Plains

On the launch of the new Great Plains Expeditions – Botswana safari experience, Dereck Joubert says: "There really is nothing like feeling like the first explorer in an area and doing it for a reason. To collect data, to soak up the adventure and to be authentic. Sitting under billions of stars around a fire, while lions roar in the distance, and sharing that excitement and promise of tomorrow. That is what we want to share with you through these expeditions."

Travelers will explore the western and central regions of the private Selinda Reserve as they travel along the Selinda Spillway, which provides two vastly different wildlife and natural experiences and is home to the highest density of elephants globally. As guests travel along the winding channels, they will be able to explore some of Africa's most incredible buffalo and elephant concentrations peppered with sightings of painted dogs, lions and cheetah, sable and roan antelope. This area is one of the most remote places in northern Botswana where the smell of the earth and vegetation, the calls and signs of almost forgotten days of authentic wildness still exist.

The Great Plains Expedition -- Botswana tour is a mobile, four-night cross-country safari (with stays at three overnight camps) and will be available from Aug. 1 until Oct. 31 and again from mid-May until the end of October 2022 (eight guests max on each expedition).

Each expedition will incorporate driving, photography, guided tracking walks, sleeping and dining out under the stars and canoeing along the Selinda Spillway (water levels dependent).

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