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Specialist safari operators Signature Safaris are helping to support a new project to get the children of Botswana to school safely, alongside the country’s elephants.

The new initiative helps local children get to school safely by avoiding paths often walked by their largest neighbors, elephants. City dwellers never need to worry about such a thing on their daily commutes, but in Okavango Delta panhandle sharing your walking route to school with an elephant is an everyday reality.

The new buses provide the perfect solution to a problem that has been troubling the residents in the area for a long time. Along the panhandle are villages, schools and clinics, but it is also a stretch that is frequented by wild African elephants. The route that is so widely used by humans and elephants alike has unfortunately resulted in fatalities, so the new bus service is a much needed addition to the area.

The initiative acts as part of a wider plan for tourism in Africa to help mitigate the human-wildlife conflict of the area. The strategy celebrates the elephants that are part of Botswana’s heritage and acknowledges all the benefits they have brought to the country’s thriving tourism industry.

The buses themselves have been adorned with beautiful illustrations of the majestic beasts and equipped with educational material so that they promote the crucial message that humans can find ways to live alongside wildlife and mutually benefit.

During the school day, the buses are also used to transport clinic patients and doctors to where they need to go, benefiting every part of the community.

Visitors to Mapula Lodge with Signature Safaris will be helping to fund this initiative along with a number of other charity organisations to help the bus- es run smoothly.

Mapula Lodge offers visitors the opportunity to see the bus in action as well as being the ideal base to explore this special region of Botswana. Located in a concession North of Vum- burra, this quiet area of the Okavango Delta offers safaris at a leisurely pace meaning you get a real sense of tranquillity and a chance to enjoy the diverse range of wildlife.

Accommodation is set under the shade of trees, compromising of nine canvas-and-thatch cottages – spaced for privacy. The sunken deck area and fire pit are a must for the quintessential sundowner.

Activities in the area include game drives, traditional mokoro or boating safaris through lily-filled channels of the Delta, fishing and exploring the area on a soaring helicopter or hot air balloon flight.

Signature Safaris use their passion for Africa and its wildlife to design bespoke once in a lifetime holiday itineraries for their clients. They can be contacted at or 01342 811787

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