Selinda Reserve, Botswana
The flight from the airstrip in the central Kalahari to the Selinda Reserve took just under an hour in a Pilatus PC12 transport turboprop, followed by a two hour drive to get to the camp site. Normally taking an hour, we stopped to observe a richness of game, educated in beautiful detail by our guide Isaac.
This location was purchased several years ago by Derick and Beverly Joubert, a lovely couple originally from South Africa. They have made their life work the preservation of animals in the wild in Africa. The Big Cats initiative has been supported for several years by National Geographic. The elephant population has increased significantly during their tenure of the 300,000 acre concession but other animals continue to be poached, particularly from neighboring countries where laws are not enforced. Just last month the country of Botswana became the first African country to make it illegal to hunt and kill any wild animals, an enormous victory for the many endangered species. It will take many years to repopulate the leopards, cheetahs, lions, and rhinos that once numbered in the hundreds of thousands.
The Selinda Reserve would be high on our list for places to revisit, as the hospitality was superb, great food, and with each visit the financial situation becomes more secure for the operation. There are now several camp sites operated under the same group, and with the banning of hunting, more will become available for photographic tourism.