Botswana Adventure Teaches Critical Bush Skills To Would-Be Explorers

Want to go on an African adventure while also learning an important set of skills that every explorer should know? If so, then Sanctuary Retreats has just the trip for you. Their exclusive two-night Delta Bush Skills Adventure will take you to Botswana’s legendary Okavango Delta, where you’ll stay at the luxurious Baines’ Camp while learning how to survive in the wilds of Africa.

Located on the banks of the Boro River, which feeds into the Okavango, the camp is an idyllic location for spotting wildlife and catching beautiful sunsets over the African plain. It features just five suites and has a host of amenities including a communal swimming pool and a large wooden deck for spotting lions or hippos that frequently wander by.

But visitors attending the Delta Bush Skills Adventure will have little time for soaking up the scenery. Instead, they’ll be busy acquiring new skills that could help them explore the wilderness in an entirely different way. For example, on the first day of the course they’ll learn how to make traditional spears for fishing and how to create rope from natural materials found in the environment around them. They’ll also learn how to track game, identify edible plants and acquire the skill of polling a mokoro – a dugout canoe that is commonly used by the people who live on the Okavango.

That is just the beginning, however. On day two they’ll also learn how to build a shelter, harvest palm nuts and trap wild game. Local women will instruct them on the fine art of basket weaving, helping them create their own personal souvenir to take home with them too. In the evening they’ll discover how to use the sun and stars to navigate just as the indigenous people have done for centuries.

The African safari has been a staple of travel for decades and Botswana is the perfect destination to experience that classic adventure. If you’re considering a visit yourself but would like to add a unique twist to your journey, then the Delta Bush Skills Adventure just might be what you’re looking for. Not only will you get to experience Africa in a beautiful and amazing setting, but you’ll also get the opportunity to learn some new skills in the process.

Ten random skills Gadling readers learned on trips

It seems like you always learn when you travel. Even if you don’t happen to be picking up the language or attending a professional development session, just being in a new place creates new pathways in your mind and, arguably, makes you smarter. Better still is when you actually learn a skill you didn’t expect to learn.

We asked our readers on Gadling’s Facebook page “What random skill did you learn on a trip?” The answers may surprise you — or, you may have learned the exact same thing yourself! Check out our ten favorites:

1. “How to de-scale and gut a fish.” — Despina

2. “How to hack into your own phone.” — Sherri

3. “How to ‘bark’ like a dingo in a didgeridoo.” — Camilla4. “Learnt to drive on right side of the road!!” — Norton (clearly British)

5. “How to Segway through a city with pedestrians and cars all around.” — Saadia

6. “How to make Mozart balls! And, how to kitesurf.” — Terry

7. “How to outrun Latvian truckers whilst riding a motorbike across the Baltic states?” — Jason

8. “How to meditate.” — Sophia

9. “Not exactly a skill, but I did learn how to do the Thriller dance on a cruise.” — Martha

10. “How to hold on in a massive current 90 feet down while watching a shark feeding frenzy a few feet away. And how to get married. Not sure which was scarier.” — Max

Learn something else? Want to join in the conversation? Visit Gadling on Facebook.

Photo by Annie Scott.

So that’s why they hardly speak English in Spain!

It has always shocked me how little English people speak in Spain. Travel to big cities and generally you can communicate with the locals in English, but in Madrid (for example) you will be lucky to encounter a Madrileño to speak to in English. It’s embarrassing how here you can’t even order a coffee in English at Starbucks!

I think one of the main reasons for its lack of English-speaking capabilities is the fact that Spain is the only country in the world (according to a recent article in the English version of El Pais published by the IHT) that dubs everything. Everything!

The article (which unfortunately isn’t online) also says that Spain has 4,300 cinema screens, making it the country with the highest number of movie theaters per person in Europe. Although now there are a number of Version Original (VO) theaters in the country, they are visited mostly by tourists; Spaniards generally don’t want to read subtitles. When asked, although Spaniards said they prefer to watch films in VO, only 4% of them actually go to cinemas to watch them in VO.

To make a comparison of sorts: I have a lot of Swedish friends, both here and in Sweden. What always surprised me was how well they speak English and how perfectly American their accents are. When I asked them, they all unanimously said it’s because they have grown up watching English-language programs on television as nothing is dubbed. Sweden generally being a rich and cold country, most people have cable and I guess they stay in a lot!

Although English is taught in Spanish schools, it is not uncommon to find it being taught by teachers who can’t really speak English, but they know the grammar. On that note, it’s interesting to think that should Spain not have dubbed programs (initially done under the Franco regime), Spaniards would at least have had basic English communication skills.

The influence of media on the language capabilities of a country is quite fascinating, don’t you think!?