A honeymoon on safari in botswana is a wild start to married life – mirror online

We are bobbing about like a loose balloon beneath a blazing African sun as our pilot nonchalantly turns and asks if I can check the runway below for lions .

But as the only other passenger on the tiny four-seater plane was Laura, my bride of a few days, I crossed my fingers, gritted my teeth and faked ­nonchalance as I scanned the airstrip below.

Our short flight had taken us up high above the most vast, varied and wildlife-abundant wetlands on the planet – Botswana’s majestic Okavango Delta.

Taking off from Maun, a town known as the gateway to this majestic oasis, we gazed upon herds of elephants padding across the patchwork of islands and streams that make up the delta.

Crunchy chicken fingers recipe We watched in wonder as giraffe and zebra grazed far below us.

As Laura and I stumbled from the craft he could hardly wait to begin our education. Restaurant style chicken fingers Given his father and grandfather had been guides here for several decades before him, there was nothing this man has ever failed to spot, explain or track if it happens to be in his ­backyard.

En route to Sanctuary Baines’ Camp, he pointed out a baby bull elephant bulldozing through trees and to troops of vervet monkeys and chacma baboons scampering through trees with their tiny offspring clinging on for dear life.

Crouching in long grass 100 metres away was a spotted hyena. Baked breaded chicken fingers As it popped its head up, we saw its beady eyes fix on a possible quarry as it briefly weighed up the effort needed to hunt it down.

But, as Max told us, this animal is the ultimate scavenger and would soon sniff out inviting dinner smells wafting from the camp and start to creep our way.

As we pull up, the entire staff gives us a tremendous reception with traditional singing and dancing and a cool drink. Breaded chicken fingers baked Set among trees overlooking a lagoon, the camp has just five suites – each with its own private deck where couples can enjoy hot baths, candles and flutes of champagne under the stars.

Each suite is so spacious it feels like a house and the view from the shower of animals in the river is a fine start to the day. Buttermilk fried chicken fingers Where else can you bath beside elephants and hippos?

But it’s not just human couples who find this a romantic setting. Chicken fingers recipe oven As we are guided to the camp’s open fire veranda for an aperitif, we are unnerved by a cacophony of grunts. How to make chicken fingers like restaurants As we sip our gin and tonics the noises grow ever louder.

Chuckling to himself at the shock on our faces, Max tells us a pair of amorous hippos have wandered off into the trees for a spot of privacy. How do you make chicken fingers Over the next few days, we are blessed to see a cheetah cub curled up in a tree, foraging warthogs and giraffe and fleeing impala.

On the third day Max takes a call on his radio and tells us to hold on as he drives at speed across bumpy terrain. Recipes with chicken fingers Around here, such jumps and thuds are called the African Massage. How to make baked chicken fingers We thunder through the bush. Side dishes for chicken fingers And then, there he is – the King of the Jungle.

Beneath an ancient tree growing from a termite mound, a male lion lies snoozing in the shade, stirring only to raise an eyebrow and briefly observe his visitors. What to make with chicken fingers We were so close we could hear him and the female lying beside him breathing. Four fingers chicken recipe For density of animals and stunning sights, nothing beats the Okavango as a safari holiday.

With no sea to flow into, the water from the heavy December rains transforms the land right where it falls, giving life to the most dazzling array of wild creatures on earth.

Baines’ offers guests the chance to walk with elephants. How to cook chicken fingers in the oven We got up close to orphaned jumbos Jabu, Thembi and Morula from the Living With Elephants Foundation, enjoying afternoon tea as they slobbered on our shoulders.

The hardest part of our honeymoon was tearing ourselves away from this wonderful resort to make our way back to the airstrip and the awaiting Cessna.

Top tip: Fly on one of the chartered flights from Maun – the gateway to the delta – on one of the many Cessna planes available for hire at the airport and spot lions and elephants in their natural habitat.

Must do: Take a memorable sunset ride down the river in a mokoro – a carved-out wooden raft. Homemade deep fried chicken fingers The guides navigate through narrow tunnels in thickets of papyrus plants and floating fields of white and gold lilies. What goes with chicken fingers It’s the prefect way to enjoy the delta’s amazing birdlife.

Where to stay: A night at Sanctuary Baines’ Camp starts at £670pp and at Sanctuary Sussi & Chuma from £580pp including all meals, drinks, park fees, game drives and return airstrip transfers. Chicken fingers homemade sanctuaryretreats.com 01242 546609

Getting there: British Airways return fares from Heathrow to Johannesburg start at £571. Are chicken fingers bad for you ba.com Internal flights to Maun from Johannesburg with South African Airways start at £300 return. Chicken fingers recipe indian flysaa.com