Coronation Street star Sue Cleaver has described going on a Botswana safari as the ‘holy grail’ of holidays.
Writing in the Daily Mail Ms Cleaver talks about her lifelong dream of visiting Africa and her excitement at finally getting to travel to this majestic continent.
The holiday didn’t disappoint, almost immediately Ms Cleaver was confronted by Africa’s legendary wildlife – in this case an elephant enjoying a cooling dip in her resort’s pool.
Ms Cleaver was visiting the Okavango Basin, an area of 3.2 million acres, which, when flooded during the rainy season, becomes a gleaming expanses of semi-permanent water and tiny islands.
Botswana is rich in wildlife and Ms Cleaver was able to spot lions, giraffes, wildebeest and impalas, among other creatures.
Busy days tracking the area’s wildlife were followed by evenings discussing her adventures with other guests, while a family of bats nesting outside her room provided the Corrie star with endless entertainment.
One day Ms Cleaver found herself following a leopard and her cub for three hours, while a pleasant afternoon was wiled away on a mokoro, ‘a traditional dug-out canoe that drifts lazily on the crystal-clear waters, with the only sounds being the breezes in the reeds, exotic birdsong and frogs.’
However, it was the elephants that were the real stars of the trip. Cared for by Doug and Sandi Groves and the Living With Elephants Foundation, each had its own distinct personality.
‘To become personally acquainted, observe and interact with these silent beauties was one of the most joyous experiences of my life,’ said Ms Cleaver.
A night spent sleeping on the terrace amid the sounds of the bush capped off a memorable holiday.