We had the opportunity to spend the holidays in the Botswana bush this year.  Not surprisingly, we were reminded that what makes the holidays the holidays are the traditions and build-up associated with the big day, as well as the people you spend it with.  To us it didn’t feel much like Christmas as we were in Christmas carole withdrawal, we didn’t step foot in a mall, the weather was hot and dry and our families and friends were thousands of miles away.

However, our hosts at Savuti Camp in Botswana did a helluva job of celebrating Christmas and we were thankful to spending both Christmas Eve and Christmas with such entertaining people.

Christmas Party!

Our Christmas Party Hosts

For Christmas Eve, all the guests and all the staff dined together in the outdoor gathering area – the boma.  It was fun to sit outside under the stars and meet folks from all other the world.  The camps are so remote that staff work for 3 months straight and then have one month off so even though some were in their home country, they too were hundreds of miles away from family.  However unlike at home, we learned that moments before we arrived for dinner the staff had had to shew away a hyena that had helped himself to the small candies on the table!

On Christmas we kicked off the day with an early morning game drive.  Normally Christmas morning is spent nursing a mild hangover and opening our stockings, but this year we were hanging with elephants and giraffes and ostriches.  The group devised an animal-focused version of 12 Days of Christmas, based on our sightings that day.

Christmas Elephants

Christmas dinner was delicious with many of the fixins’ we get at home – turkey, mashed potatoes, veggies, rolls.  Oh, and champagne – lots of it.  The Savuti staff had a little Christmas tree (more like a dead branch) that they had decorated with lights.  One of our tour group members had given us all flashing necklaces (thanks Carolyn!) and we were spoiled with little wrapped presents both in our room as well as on the table at dinner.

Christmas on safari!

Though absolutely nothing like Christmas as we know it, we had an absolutely wonderful couple of days and we are sure to remember Christmas 2010 for the rest of our lives.

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