On Safari in Southern Africa by Private Air

  • 12-day journey through South Africa, Botswana, and Zambia by private air
  • Explore private game reserves, the Okavango Delta, and Victoria Falls.

Field Notes


What's it like to travel with National Geographic? Take a look at these reports from the field.

By Bill Branch
September 2006

We’ve passed through especially magnificent scenery on game drives in Botswana and South Africa. We have seen more than 200 species of birds, as well as lions and leopards at rest or with cubs. Hyenas occupied a den close to our lodge, allowing us a close viewing of social interactions and young pups. Elephants reminded us of ourselves as we watched them play and feed, seek company, and attend to their kin. Their battles reflect our own, especially as they fashion the landscape for good or bad by virtue of their strength and numbers.

Victoria Falls is the best I have seen it for many years, with rainbows linked in a dance of sun and spray. This evening the air is warm and clear. We dine on the banks of the Zambezi under a full moon and are treated to a partial lunar eclipse. Our local hosts build a large boma fire and bring out traditional drums. We all throw ourselves into the fun, dancing and learning to tap basic rhythms. We stay by the river well into the night.

We will leave Africa with fond memories of the stunning landscape, of vivid stars and intense sunsets, of cheerful people and magnificent wildlife. Africa is precious yet threatened. Our challenge is to find ways in which humans and animals can live here together, so that we can protect the last of the world’s megafauna.