Things not to do
Elephant rides have long been a feature of vacations in SE Asia – but we were pretty surprised to discover that elephant back safaris are taking off in Botswana, too. There is no long history of captive, working elephants in Africa – this industry has sprung up purely to please tourists. If you’re wondering how they tame the world’s largest land animal, the answer is: brutally. Avoid it.
Hug a cub, walk with lions… sadly, interacting with these cuddly cats is not quite as cute as we’d like to think. Habituated lions can rarely be released into the wild – so once they become too big to play with they may well end up being sold onto lucrative canned hunting reserves – where they’ll be shot. Don’t fuel the trade by paying to play.
Botswana really knows how to do luxury – it has some of the world’s most exclusive lodges. While comfort is good – this is your vacation after all – once you get to the gold taps and grand piano stage, it all just gets a bit silly. You’ll be so immersed in your desert palace, you’ll miss the real five star treat: your wonderful wilderness surroundings.