WILDERNESS DAWNING

BOTSWANA CAMPING SAFARIS

Operated by young and dedicated professionals, Wilderness Dawning has over 25 years of Safari work accumulated amongst its directors. Through experience, we have discovered that the participation camping style of safari not only allows for the maximum freedom of movement through the wilderness areas of Botswana, but also builds a sense of camaraderie amongst the travellers, making for an unforgettable combination. If you are young at heart and ready for the adventure holiday of a lifetime, Wilderness Dawning offers unbeatable value for money.

DAY 1: OUR GUIDE ALLAN PICKED US UP AT 9 THIS MORNING AND TOOK US ON AN EXTENDED TOUR OF THE VICTORIA FALLS - IT EXCEEDED ALL OF MY EXPECTATIONS. ONE OF THE SEVEN WONDERS OF THE WORLD, IT IS A SPECTACULAR DISPLAY OF NATURE'S POWER - RIVERS AND GORGES, RAINBOWS, FORESTS… A RATHER LONG BUT INTERESTING DRIVE TOOK US VIA THE BOTSWANA BORDER POST TO NATA. AFTER PITCHING CAMP (FAR EASIER THAN ANTICIPATED), IT WAS TIME TO RELAX AT THE EDGE OF THE MAKGADIKGADI PANS WITH AN ICE COLD DRINK AND ENJOY OUR FIRST BOTSWANA SUNSET!

DAY 2: SOWA PAN: A VAST OPEN SALT PAN HORIZON TO HORIZON, WILDERNESS TO ETERNITY. AT FIRST GLANCE IT APPEARED DESOLATE, BUT ALONG ITS FRINGES WE DISCOVERED AN ABUNDANCE OF BIRD AND REPTILE LIFE, AND SAW OUR FIRST SPRINGBOK. A SHORT DRIVE TOOK US TO NXAI PAN, WHERE OUR FIRST GAME DRIVE DELIVERED MORE SPRINGBOK, A VERY ELUSIVE ORYX AND A FAMILY OF BAT-EARED FOXES. HAD A GREAT SUPPER! WE'RE ALL EXCITED ABOUT TOMORROW.

DAY 3: STARTED AT FIVE THIS MORNING. LIONS HAD ROARED CLOSE TO CAMP LAST NIGHT. I WAS STILL HALF ASLEEP WHEN OUR GUIDE HAD US FLYING OUT OF OUR SEATS - "LION!". SHE WAS SO CLOSE, STRETCHED OUT AND RELAXED AFTER AN ACTIVE NIGHT'S HUNTING. WE ALSO SAW GEMSBOK (ORYX), SPRINGBOK, ZEBRA AND A JACKAL. I UNDERSTAND NOW WHY LIVINGSTONE AND SELOUS CALLED THIS "PARADISE PAN"! AFTER BRUNCH WE MOVED CAMP TO BAINES BAOBABS - EIGHT OR NINE HUGE BAOBABS CLUSTERED TOGETHER ON A SMALL ISLAND IN THE MIDDLE OF THE SALT PAN CALLED KUDIAKAM - "LAND FORGOTTEN". SITTING AT THE CAMPFIRE TILL LATE AS THE MOON ROSE SLOWLY ABOVE, I REALISED THAT THIS WAS ONE OF THOSE MOMENTS THAT CAN NEVER BE RECREATED, YET WE'LL ALWAYS CARRY WITH US.

DAY 4: LEFT OUR BAOBABS AFTER WHAT OUR GUIDE CALLED A "LEISURELY LIE IN" (I NEEDED IT!) AND MADE IT THROUGH SOME HEAVY SAND TO OUR CAMP IN MAUN, CENTRE OF BOTSWANA'S TOURISM INDUSTRY. GOOD CONVERSATION MEANT ANOTHER LATE NIGHT. WE WERE ALL LOOKING FORWARD TO BEING BACK IN THE BUSH!

DAY 5: EARLY DEPARTURE FOR MOREMI - WIDE OPEN FLOODPLAINS DOTTED WITH TREE ISLANDS AND TERMITE MOUNDS - BEAUTIFUL!!! WE ARRIVED AT XAKANAXA AT LUNCH TIME AND SIESTA'D BEFORE OUR AFTERNOON GAME DRIVE. THE ONLY CROWDS HERE ARE ELEPHANTS AND BABOONS! TRACKED SOME HUNTING DOGS WITHOUT SUCCESS, BUT FOUND AN AMAZING VARIETY OF OTHER ANIMALS. I'LL HAVE TO WORK ON MY ANIMAL CHECKLIST TONIGHT. SUPPER WAS GREAT (AGAIN!).

DAY 6: THIS IS EXACTLY WHAT I EXPECTED THE OKAVANGO DELTA TO LOOK LIKE - PARADISE!!! PAPYRUS-LINED CHANNELS, FIG TREES, CRYSTAL CLEAR WATERS… AFTER A SLOW, MEANDERING BOAT RIDE, DODGING GRUNTING HIPPOS AND THE ODD CROC WE ARRIVED AT MARULLA ISLAND FOR OUR LONG AWAITED WALK.
THE PLANTS HERE ALL SEEM TO HAVE MEDICINAL USES - ALLAN FASCINATED US WITH HIS KNOWLEDGE! LUNCH WAS ON A SANDBANK WITH OUR TABLE IN KNEE DEEP WATER. AFTER A SIESTA ON AN ISLAND, WE WENT EXPLORING NEW CHANNELS, FINDING AN ABUNDANCE OF WATERBIRDS AS WELL AS A FISH EAGLE NEST.


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DAY 7: WE'RE ALL SUNBURNED BUT EAGER TO HIT THE ROAD TO KHWAI. ANOTHER GOOD LION SIGHTING. IMPALA AND RED LECHWE ARE ABUNDANT HERE. ALLAN TELLS US THE MOREMI RESERVE IS UNIQUE IN THE FACT THAT IT WAS SET ASIDE BY THE BATAWANA PEOPLE IN THE EARLY SIXTIES TO CONSERVE THEIR TRIBAL LAND IN ITS NATURAL STATE AND PROTECT THE ANIMALS WHICH LIVE ON IT. JUDGING BY THE ABUNDANCE OF WILDLIFE, IT SEEMS TO BE WORKING!

DAY 8: WHAT A DAY! LEOPARD!!! HE SAW US COMING AND HID IN SOME TALL GRASS. WE ALL HELD OUR BREATH AS ALLAN INCHED CLOSER. A TRULY BEAUTIFUL CAT - WE ALL MANAGED TO GET GREAT PHOTOGRAPHS BEFORE HE DISAPPEARED FROM SIGHT INTO SOME THICK UNDERGROWTH. AFTER BRUNCH WE STROLLED ACROSS THE KHWAI RIVER BRIDGE TO A SMALL SETTLEMENT OUTSIDE THE PARK, RETURNING JUST IN TIME FOR OUR EVENING DRIVE, AFTER SOME SPIRITED BARTERING, WITH OUR NEWLY ACQUIRED HAND-WOVEN BASKETS.

DAY 9: WE SET OUT EARLY THIS MORNING, THROUGH THE MABABE DEPRESSION TO SAVUTI - DEAD ACACIA TREES ON OPEN PLAINS DOTTED WITH ROCKY HILLS MAKE FOR SPECTACULAR SCENERY. THIS AFTERNOON WE SAW THE "SAFARI PRIDE", SIXTEEN LIONS KNOWN FOR THEIR TREE CLIMBING ABILITY. WE CAME INCREDIBLY CLOSE TO AN OLD BULL ELEPHANT AND A GROUP OF TSESSEBE, REPUTEDLY THE FASTEST AFRICAN ANTELOPE. MY TURN TO DO THE DISHES TONIGHT!

DAY 10: ANOTHER GREAT DAY! WE WERE WATCHING GIRAFFE DRINKING WHEN A GROUP OF ANTELOPE CHARGED PAST, PURSUED BY A PACK OF WILD DOGS. WE IMMEDIATELY GAVE CHASE. AFTER CRISS-CROSSING THE AREA WE FOUND THEM RESTING IN THE ROAD. NOT ANOTHER VEHICLE IN SIGHT - WE WERE ALL ALONE WITH THESE "PAINTED WOLVES"! ALLAN HAD ANOTHER TREAT IN STORE FOR US THIS AFTERNOON - WE CLIMBED UP ONE OF THE HILLS AND FOUND SOME SAN BUSHMAN PAINTINGS. THE VIEW WAS SPECTACULAR!

DAY 11: A FOUR AND A HALF HOUR DRIVE TOOK US TO SERONDELLA ON THE BANKS OF THE CHOBE RIVER. WE HAD A SURPRISE VISITOR DURING LUNCH - AN ELEPHANT WALKED RIGHT INTO CAMP! THIS AFTERNOON WE SAW MORE ELEPHANTS THAN I THOUGHT EXISTED! SUNSET OVER THE CHOBE RIVER WAS BREATHTAKING!

DAY 12: WE SHARED THE SUNRISE WITH A HUGE HERD OF BUFFALO (700-800 STRONG). I CAN NOW IDENTIFY AT LEAST FIVE TREE SPECIES AND MOST OF THE COMMON GAME (WITH A BIT OF HELP FROM ALLAN'S LIBRARY)! AFTER LUNCH AT A SAFARI LODGE IT WAS TIME FOR A BOAT CRUISE ON THE CHOBE RIVER. WE WATCHED AS A HERD OF ELEPHANTS SWAM ACROSS, THEIR TRUNKS PROTRUDING LIKE PERISCOPES.
ALSO SAW A CHOBE BUSHBUCK - A NEW SPECIES FOR US! WE WERE ALL SUBDUED AROUND THE CAMPFIRE TONIGHT. STARING INTO THE FLAMES WE REMINISCED ABOUT THE LAST TWELVE DAYS UNTIL THE LAST EMBERS DIED - OUR LAST NIGHT IN THE BUSH


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DAY 13: AFTER A GAME DRIVE WE HEADED FOR VIC FALLS, BACK TO WHERE WE STARTED. AFTER SOME HECTIC LAST MINUTE SHOPPING A FEW OF US TOOK A HELICOPTER RIDE OVER THE FALLS. OUR LAST DINNER TOGETHER WAS FILLED WITH EXAGGERATED STORIES OF OUR SAFARI. ALL RELUCTANT TO SAY GOODBYE, WE STAYED UP UNTIL THE EARLY HOURS OF THE MORNING.

DAY 14: AT BREAKFAST WE ALL SWOPPED ADDRESSES BEFORE LEAVING FOR THE AIRPORT. AFTER SOME EMOTIONAL GOODBYES WE HEADED HOME, HAPPY AND DETERMINED TO RETURN SOME DAY


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Those joining in Maun join 0n day 4 (Tuesday), where they will be met upon arrival at Maun Airport.

1997 rates:
US$1450.00 per person sharing 14 day Victoria Falls to Victoria Falls
US$1200.00 per person sharing 11 day Maun to Victoria falls
US$ 15.00 per person single supplement

INCLUDES:

  • Services of our guide and specially modified 4x4 vehicle
  • All camping equipment except a pillow and sleeping bag
  • Camping on a full board basis and one night in Victoria Falls on a bed and
    breakfast basis
  • Park fees
  • Wine with evening meals while camping
  • Entry into Victoria Falls Rainforest

    EXCLUDES:

  • Airfares
  • Drinks other than teas and coffees and wine with dinners while camping
  • Gratuities and items of a personal nature
  • Visa fees

    Safaris are conducted in specially modified forward control landrovers which carry a maximum of ten persons

    . 1997 DEPARTURE DATES

    Tours Depart on a Saturday and end on a Friday.
    Those joining in Maun join on day 4 (Tuesday), where you will be met by your guide upon arrival at Maun Airport.

  • Tour CodeStart (Saturday)Finish (Friday)
    WD9701:
    WD9702:
    WD9703:
    WD9704:
    WD9705:
    WD9706:
    WD9707:
    WD9708:
    WD9709:
    WD9710:
    WD9711:
    WD9712:
    WD9801:
    03 May
    24 May
    14 June
    05 July
    26 July
    16 August
    06 September
    27 September
    18 October
    08 November
    29 November
    20 December
    10 January 98
    16 May
    06 June
    27 June
    18 July
    08 August
    29 August
    19 September
    10 October
    31 October
    21 November
    12 December
    02 January 98
    23 January 98
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