10th to 31st August 2022 Real Desert experience with San (Bushmen) Men followed by Okavango Delta and Chobe National Park.
You arrive in Maun on the 9th August 2022 and we collect you and take you to The Waterfront to relax after your flights. Swim, sleep, read, enjoy the ambience here.
On the 11th August 2022 we collect you at 10am and we drive under 4 hours to
to our camp which will be set up at Nxai Pan. Part of the great Makgadikgadi complex, Nxai Pan National Park covers an area of 2,100 km2, and comprises several larger pans which were once ancient salt lakes. These larger pans are now grassed, and are scattered with islands of acacia trees, and smaller pans that fill with water during the rainy season – thus providing rich resources for wildlife. Seven huge, gnarled baobab trees, named after the 19th century explorer Thomas Baines, are situated on an island overlooking and surrounded by the white, crusty Kudiakam Pan. Baines stood here over a hundred years ago and painted this otherworldly scene. It has essentially remained unchanged. Nxai Pan is at its best for game viewing if you want masses of animals, between December and April when many antelope have their young. In the dry season the waterhole is the place to be and often supplies amazing sunset shots of Elephants, Giraffe and sometimes even Lion, silhouetted by the setting sun. The area attracts large numbers of Springbok and Gemsbok drawn to the short sweet grasses that grow on the pan.
We will settle into our camp here briefly before heading out for a game drive ending up at the Waterhole for sunset and a sundowner.
12th and 13th August Full day Nxai Pan
14th August 2022. We have a last game drive at Nxai and then drive to Baines Baobabs for morning tea and a break.
Then to the gate and we briefly inflate our tyres for a short drive down the tar road to the Entrance Gate to Makgadikgadi Pans NP where we check in again. With an area of 3 900 km2 – incorporates the western end of Ntwetwe Pan, extensive grasslands and acacia woodland. At its northern boundary, it meets the Nxai Pan National Park, separated only by the Nata-Maun Road. The Boteti River last flowed in 1992 and started flowing again past Khumaga in early 2009. It stopped flowing again in 2018. During the dry season, the Boteti River in the Makgadikgadi Pans National Park thrives with activity as literally thousands of Zebra and Wildebeest vie for water, when the deep pools in the river have dried DWNP use 3 solar power Boreholes so the animals have water to drink and the Hippo’s a place to submerge.
We use one of the 3 BOGA Operator sites here, away from other people at night. Be warned do to the proximity of Khumaga Village and the state of the Electric Fence that the Elephants had no respect for, you will also see some cattle inside the park..
Our staff will by now be ahead of us to set up our camp we will drive through to The exit gate Khumaga to fill our water and have our picnic lunch., before driving back to our exclusive campsite away from other people.
After settling in. Evening drive along the Boteti river, we don’t know if this mysterious river will be flowing or not
15th and 16th August two full days at Makgadikgadi Pans NP we will probably have early drives then return to camp and in the heat of the day find a vantage point along the river in order to see the maximum number of Zebra this area is renowned for.
17th August we have a last game drive and fill our water tank here before meeting our back up team at the gate and crossing the Boteti – if it is flowing, by ferry
and driving via Khumaga Village and then Rakops Village to Matswere Gate the entrance to the vast Central Kalahari Game Reserve (CKGR) where we will have our picnic lunch at the gate. We then drive about 4 hrs to our remote site far from anyone else and “close” to the Letiahau Waterhole, where our camp will be set up for 4 nights. After dropping our luggage and water/wood trailer we will go out for a short drive and listen to the Cry of the Kalahari over sundowners.
18th, 19th and 20th August 2022 Central Kalahari Game Reserve – One of the remotest and most unspoiled parts of Africa, the Northern part of this park is one of the prime game viewing areas in Botswana. This is the largest Game Reserve in Botswana covering 52,800 km2. Nothing prepares you for the immensity of this reserve, nor its wild, mysterious beauty. There is the immediate impression of unending space, and having the entire reserve to yourself. Waist-high golden grasses seem to stretch interminably, punctuated by dwarfed trees and scrub bushes. Wide and empty pans appear as vast white stretches of saucer-flat earth, meeting a soft, blue-white sky. At night the stars utterly dominate the land; their brilliance and immediacy are totally arresting. The dry season amazes with seeing what these desert adapted animals can endure- most survive for months with no surface water to drink, getting moisture from vegetation such as tsamma melons, tubers that are dug up and dew. Our Fun and personable San Trackers will show you how these, the first people, survive. During the dry season water is non-existent in the park, all water used by us must be bought in by us, as the only potable water is available is at the entrance gates and often they have none. he roads. Deception Valley – made famous by Mark and Delia Owens book, ‘Cry of the Kalahari’. Three amazing free days in the vast wilderness that is the Kalahari, we may drive for many km on our game drives or just be guided by our San trackers who will share their wisdom and knowledge with you on how to survive in this incredibly harsh yet beautiful environment.
21st August 2022 we have a big breakfast before loading luggage etc and game driving out of the CKGR (this will take 4 hours at least) and then driving via Makalamabedi Village to The Waterfront in Maun, on the banks of the Thamalakane River. We will have a picnic lunch with us and should arrive in Maun around 2.30pm.
Optional extra this afternoon is a 45 minute flight over the Okavango Delta.
22nd August 2022 – We will leave the Waterfront around 10am and will drive approx. 3 hours to the entrance of Moremi Game Reserve where we have a picnic lunch and check into the park. We then drive another 2 hours to Xini Lagoon where our trusty back up team has gone ahead and set up camp for 3 nights, in this special part of the Okavango Delta.
On the 25th August 2022 we will have a last early game drive around Xini Lagoon before leaving Moremi with our back up team and driving via Khwai Village, into Chobe National Park and onto Savuti. The Savuti Channel in northern Botswana is a famous waterway in a thrilling state of flux. For a quarter of a century, the Savuti Channel was dry, creating wide-open grassland, home to both quantities and varieties of wildlife and a legendary predator’s enclave. In 2008, the waters returned, and abundant game congregated and adapted in its wake. The water dried up again and the channel stopped flowing in 2015. No one knows when it will flow again, I hope it will be in my Safari lifetime!
In the rainy season (normally November through to April) Savuti attracts many grazers to its short sweet grasses, and a large number of Zebra and Wildebeest congregate on the Marsh.
There are 3 solar pumped waterholes at Savuti, all well spaced – Rhino Vlei, Marabou Pan and Pump Pan, there is a lot of activity around these from May until the rains should start mid November and we visit them daily. There is a site where ancient San rock art can be seen after a small but steep climb. It is humbling to see and puzzle over and causes one to marvel at the people who previously inhabited the area. A beautiful island of 13 Baobab trees is not so well known but necessitates a short excursion and is a wonderful site to photograph.
After 3 nights at Savuti we again move North, to the Chobe River. The first glimpse of the Chobe River – deep and dazzling in the sandy terrain – is always breathtaking. Undoubtedly one of Africa’s most beautiful rivers, the Chobe supports a diversity and concentration of wildlife unparalleled anywhere else in the country. Established in 1968, the park covers approximately 11700 km2, encompassing floodplains, swamps and woodland. The Chobe River forms its northern boundary. The most accessible and frequently visited of Botswana’s big game country, the Chobe Riverfront is famous for its large herds of elephants and Cape Buffalo, which during the dry winter months converge upon the river to drink. The Chobe River attracts thousands of animals searching for water during the dry season. The river is host to a stunning array of birdlife (Yellow Billed Storks, African Spoonbills, White Faced Whistling Ducks, Egyptian Geese, Vultures, Owls and Kingfishers, Secretary Birds, Dikkops, Herons, Eagles – especially Fish Eagles, in addition to many other birds), and a 3-hour boat cruise is taken on every safari to take advantage of this. If lucky you will see Elephants swimming in close proximity to you, in addition to the normal pods of slumbering Hippo’s, Red Lechwe, Crocodile, Impala, Kudu, Leguaans, Puku (this is the only part of Botswana where they can be seen), Sable, Roan, Waterbuck and numerous other animals you can view. We will take you for 3 hour boat cruise on the Chobe River whilst here.
This safari finishes on the 31st August 2022, when we take you after an early morning game drive and a delicious English Breakfast, to the Kazungula Border to transfer to the famous Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe, we recommend you have 3 nights here before you fly out and can arrange everything for you. If you have already seen Vic Falls then we will drop you at the Kasane International Airport.
8 places left, costs pp sharing is US$11,000 staying in luxury walk in Sahara Tents, all inclusive for the 22 days on safari.