“This was hands down the best trip of my life. It was my number one bucket list trip since I was younger, and it far exceeded any expectation I had just within the first two days! I loved the animals, scenery, staff and surprises along the way. I was blown away by the amount of wildlife we saw during our jeep safaris, boat cruises and in the mokoros.

Mokoro in Botswana

More than anything, I wanted to see a giraffe. Yes, I wanted to encounter the “Big 5” and other wildlife as well, but I love giraffes, and that was the top animal I longed to see. Before we booked this safari, my sister asked our Nat Hab Adventure Specialist about whether we were guaranteed to see one. The Adventure Specialist, without hesitation, told her, “Oh yes. She will see giraffes.” I booked the trip right then.

Baby giraffe in Botswana

Well, on the very first day, we went for a sundowner boat cruise after meeting the other five people on our trip. No sooner had we started than someone yelled, “Giraffe!” I looked up, and straight ahead of us on the shore was a GIRAFFE! A giraffe on the very first day, our first animal sighting! I remember thinking, “Are you kidding me?!” I’m not ashamed to admit I started crying. My dream was finally a reality.

Open mouthed hippo at a water hole in Botswana

We had only been here a couple of hours, and Botswana had already exceeded my expectations. We saw elephants at the water’s edge and also some hippos. You know that scene where John Hammond says, “Welcome to Jurassic Park!” and it pans to an open field with a water hole and tons of different dinosaurs hanging around. Replace dinosaurs with elephants, hippos, birds and giraffes, and that’s exactly what it felt and looked like.

Elephant in the wetlands in Botswana

The trip just got better with each passing day, as if that was even possible. I could say, “Welcome to Giraffic Park!” with the number of giraffes I saw on this trip!

Giraffes take a drink in Botswana

Male lion in the sun in Botswana

On top of all that, our Expedition Leader, Victor, was amazing! He did everything he could to make sure we saw as many animals and sights as possible. He was a great tracker as well. Victor would see lion prints and let us know if they were fresh or not, and if they were, he would track them until BAM, we came upon a lion! He always put us in the best position for taking pictures as well. Our guide was a big reason this was the best trip of my life.

Botswana is absolutely beautiful. Africa is a special place, and it is very true what people that have been to this place say—it’s life-changing. It truly is. I want to go back. I have to go back. I will go back. I’m already planning on it.”

— By Keri Cinquina | Secluded Botswana Safari


A baby elephant follows her mother in Botswana

A portrait of a hyena in Botswana

Rhinos grazing in Botswana

An elephant swims in a water hole in Botswana

A honeybadger in Botswana

An African buffalo with a bird perched on his back in Botswana

Two hippos with their mouths wide open in a lake in Botswana

A giraffe and zebras in the trees in Botswana

All photos © Keri Cinquina