This safari starts in Maun on the 23rd April 2020, when we meet you at Maun Airport at 12.15pm and take you to Nxai Pan National Park, a drive of 4 hours. Nxai Pan / Baines Baobabs 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 between December and April when many antelope have their young. The area attracts large numbers of Springbok and Gemsbok drawn to the short sweet grasses that grow on the pan. During the dry season there is often the opportunity to witness a kill as the lions often set up at one of the two pumped waterholes in this small National Park. Nxai Pan has become famous due to the award winning IMAX film by Tim Liversedge, called Roar, mostly filmed at the pumped waterhole during the dry season, where the resident lions set up to kill the Springbok and other animals drawn to the only source of water for miles around. We will have an afternoon game drive before a sundowner somewhere scenic, and return to our camp at dusk for drinks and snacks around the fire before a delicious dinner.
24th and 25th April we will have early starts and extensive game drives depending on game movements and if the natural waterholes have water. If they do then there will be hundreds of Zebra at Nxai Pan, the local Lions favourite diet!! Also a great area for Cheetah.
We will visit the famous Baines Baobabs one day.
On the 26th April after a last early game drive here we will move camp to Makgadikgadi Pans NP to an exclusive site near Khumaga. The Makgadikgadi Pans Game Reserve – 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. 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. BOGA has two operators sites here, far from other people and from here we will hear the Zebra often hear their predators (mainly lions, but occasionally Cheetah, Wild Dogs and Leopard). There is also a small group of Hippopotamus that live in the river and some crocodiles that had dug caves into the banks of the dry riverbed and are now very relieved that the river is flowing again. We do not know if the Boteti River will be flowing or not, but this area will have Elephant Bulls and Zebra and if lucky we will see the local Lions that often vocalise loudly at night.
On the 29th April after a last early morning game drive we move, crossing the Boteti River by ferry if the river is flowing or going the long way around, to Rakops Village. Here we purchase ice and diesel before driving 1 1/2 hrs to Matswere Gate where we fill our water and enter the CKGR (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 best time to visit is during or soon after the rains when large herds of springbok We then drive another 2 hours to our exclusive site at Deception Valley where our camp is set up for 3 nights. Depending on game movements, we will explore from Letiahau to Sunday Pan.
We return to Maun on the 2nd May 2020.
7 places left, cost pp sharing in Sahara en suite tents US$3,600