BOTSWANA

One of the most unspoilt and uncrowded wildlife areas still remaining, Botswana offers a glimpse of ancient Africa. From the vast nothingness of the Makgadikgadi Salt Pans to the lush Okavango, an inland delta fragilely balanced atop the sands of the Kalahari desert, this beautiful and diverse land will touch the soul of any nature enthusiast.

Botswana offers a superbly organised system of charter flights to transfer you quickly and easily between the luxury camps and lodges, from Chobe, to Savuti, Moremi, the Okavango, the Kalahari, as well as other superb areas such as Linyanti. Botswana also lends itself to overland safaris, ranging from luxury accommodated to fully serviced or participation camping overland safaris, under the leadership of expert guides. Please contact us for further details on our 11 or 14 day participation camping safaris as well as a full range of luxury overlands.

Chobe Game Lodge, Chobe Chilwero and Mowana Safari Lodge offer a range of safari lodges to suit any taste in the northern Chobe area. The elephant population of Chobe, estimated at times to number in excess of 35000, is considered to be the largest single concentration surviving within the boundaries of a proclaimed National Park. Other major species, such as lion, leopard, cheetah, wild dog, buffalo, sable and roan antelope, red lechwe and the rare puku and Chobe bushbuck are encountered in many parts of the reserve. Safaris are conducted in open 4-wheel drive vehicles under the leadership of qualified game scouts. River safaris are conducted on the perennial Chobe River.

Further south in the Chobe Reserve is the dry Savuti channel, with rocky hills rising out of an ancient lake bed - a variety of habitats attracts diverse animal and bird species. Savuti South Camp offers unashamed luxury within their small, exclusive camp with guests being accommodated in luxury walk-in tents.

   

The Moremi Reserve is said to be the most lovely in Botswana, and is known for its diversity of wildlife, including elephant, buffalo, zebra, sable and roan antelope as well as lion, leopard, hyena and wild dog.

Mombo Camp offers perhaps the best game viewing opportunities, with a resident pack of wild dogs in the area. Camp Moremi Tree Lodge accommodates guests in luxury walk-in tents with private facilities, while the central lounge and dining area is raised on stilts into the trees and overlooks the beautiful Xakanaxa Lagoon. While boating is possible, the emphasis is on game drives in four wheel drive vehicles. Bird-watching is fantastic, with the Pel's Fishing Owl being frequently spotted.


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A three hour boat transfer can take you to Camp Okavango, Camp Moremi's sister camp in the heart of the delta. Alternatively, fly in to Xugana Island Lodge, where you will be accommodated in one of eight reed and thatch mesasa (huts) on stilts, set around indigenous trees overlooking the Xugana Lagoon.

Explore the waterways in mekoros (traditional canoes) poled by local guides, or by small motor boat. Walking on nearby islands under the leadership of knowledgable guides gives a fantastic insight into the delta. Tiger and bream fishing is excellent, and over 400 bird species have been identified in the area.


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For those wanting a deeper insight into this fragile ecosystem and wanting to get closer to nature, there is no better way than to take a few days to explore the meandering waterways by mekoro, stopping en route to explore islands, camping out at night (fully serviced). "From my mekoro you will see more and more of life every day. You will get to see beyond the elephant until the shy sitatunga shows himself to you. And you will get to know the stars at night. But I cannot make you see through my eyes. You should come here, to the Okavango, so that I can help you see with your eyes." (Fish Mothokwabo, mekoro trail guide).

"Makgadikgadi? I asked what was out there, and they said 'nothing - only idiots go there.' I thought fine, that's the place for me." (Jack Bousfield). This relic of one of the world's largest superlakes dried up thousands of years ago as a result of the shifting of the earth's crust. Jacks Camp offers a complete desert experience, focusing on species unique to each area, as well as the geology, archaeology and anthropology of the Kalahari and Makgadikgadi. In the wet season, the pans fill with water attracting huge flocks of flamingo and other migratory birds. The area is the only place in Southern Africa where one is often able to see a migration of tens of thousands of wildebeest and zebra followed by predators. When the Pans are dry, four wheel drive quad bikes are used so as not to scar the crust to explore this fascinating area, including many archaeological sites. Accommodation is in luxury walk-in tents. An option for a longer stay is to camp out under the stars at Kubu Island, a fascinating granite island studded with Baobab trees, inhabited by San salt miners until as recently as the 1950's.

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