Kalahari and Okavango (Mobile Safari)

Trip highlights: Okavango Delta, Moremi Game Reserve, and Nxai Pan

The Okavango is a unique ecosystem, an inland delta situated in the middle of the largest stretch of continuous sand in the world – the Kalahari basin. This wetland lies like an oasis in an otherwise inhospitable landscape. Where land and delta meet, a mosaic of pans, grasslands, forests and lagoons provide an extremely rich and diverse habitat in which a multitude of animals and birds flourish. This wetland is one of the natural wonders of the world, and is a fragile ecosystem that remains one of the world’s least spoilt and most beautiful wildernesses, and is home to various unique species e.g. sitatunga antelope and red lechwe.

Moremi Game Reserve is situated in the eastern corner of the Okavango Delta. Moremi is one of the most beautiful and varied reserves found on the African continent with huge concentrations of wildlife and incredible scenery. The reserve consists of both swamped areas e.g. Xakanaxa, and dry-land areas e.g. Khwai.

Although Nxai Pan was once part of the great super lake, it is quite different to the Makgadikgadi Salt Pans, as it boasts broad hectares of short sweet grasslands with occasional “islands” of trees. The rich grassland provides good grazing and attracts springbok, impala, gemsbok, giraffe, kudu, hartebeest, zebra, wildebeest, all followed by leopard, lion and hyena, as well as a wide array of birdlife. Baines baobabs, a cluster of seven trees, which have been immortalized by many painters and photographers over the years, are located within the park, and make an excellent picnic stop. Following the summer rains (November through March), one of South Africa’s largest wildebeest and zebra migrations can be seen in this area.

Duration: 11 days/ 10 Nights

When: March – April; December

OTHER BOTSWANA ITINERARIES

Below are some of our sample itineraries, but note that we can customize the perfect Botswana adventure that meets your needs.

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Itinerary


DAYS 1-3: Camping in the Khwai Community Area Bordering the Moremi Game Reserve ~ Your safari guide will be there to welcome you on arrival at Maun Airport around noon. The exact departure time from Maun Airport will be advised closer to the time, as this depends on the commercial airlines flight schedules. We expect to leave Maun and begin our journey around lunchtime where we head to Moremi Game Reserve, stopping for a picnic lunch en-route, and arriving at our campsite in time for sundowners. The Khwai River forms a boundary between the reserve and the community area. We spend the first three nights camping at a campsite in the community area, exploring the Khwai floodplains on game drives both during the day and at night. You will also enjoy a 2.5 hour mekoro trip. Exploring after dark with spotlights offers you an opportunity to experience some of the nocturnal animals that are rarely encountered during the day. It is important to note that night drives are not permitted within the national parks and reserves. These activities are conducted outside the boundaries of the Moremi Game Reserve in the Khwai community area. (D on Day 1; B,L,D on Days 2-3)

DAYS 4-6:  Camping in the Nxai Pan Area of Makgadikgadi National Park ~ Following an early breakfast we leave Khwai and journey to Nxai Pan, stopping for a picnic lunch en-route. We camp in Nxai pan for the following 3 nights. In this wet season the zebra migration can be found at Nxai Pan, Makgadikgadi and Savuti. The huge numbers of zebra leave the river systems and concentrate on the open grasslands to give birth to their young and of course there is the attraction of fresh green grass. (B,L,D)

DAYS 7-9: Camping in the Deception Valley area of Central Kalahari Game Reserve (CKGR) ~ Following an early breakfast we leave Nxai Pan and journey to Deception Valley, stopping for a picnic lunch en-route. Most of the scenery en-route to CKGR is cattle country and dry savannah bush. After approx 2 hours the vegetation changes and small dry pans (open areas) appear and at one stage the land falls gradually away to Deception Valley. The valleys in the Kalahari are extinct river valleys that occurred millions of years ago and are now covered in short dry grass. After a little rainfall the grass turns green offering the wildlife much needed nutrition after a harsh dry winter. Most of the antelope species converge in the river valleys in search of this nutrition and also to give birth to their young. This is a purely natural wilderness with little human affect and has stayed in this condition for hundreds of years. The CKGR is known as a desert as 99% of the year there is a lack of surface water. The animals survive by getting moisture from early morning dew and from the plants they eat. The reserve is also the ancient home of the “San” of Kalahari Bushmen.

botswana cheetah

The CKGR has enormous horizons and many kilometres of seemingly endless grass plains. As the antelope converge in the valleys so the predators follow. CKGR has good populations of the famous “Kalahari lions” and is a very good place to see Cheetah and Brown Hyena if you are very lucky. To get the best experience in the Kalahari it is advisable to leave the camp as early as 5.30 am as most of the fauna is active early and then retire to the shade in the midday heat to avoid excessive water loss. Early mornings and late afternoons are the best time to photograph this amazing landscape.

To get a better idea of this unique ecosystem we recommend you read “Cry of the Kalahari” by Mark and Delia Owens. (B,L,D)

DAY 10: Maun ~ After breakfast and a short morning game drive we pack camp and return to Maun by road where a picnic lunch will be enjoyed en-route to Maun. You will arrive in Maun in the afternoon where you can enjoy dinner and for your final night in Maun at Maun Lodge in chalets. (B,D)

DAY 11: Departure ~ Following breakfast you will be dropped at Maun Airport in time for your onward arrangements. (B)

NOTE: Although we make every effort to adhere to schedules, itineraries and activities, these are subject to change in light of changing local conditions (weather and roads) as well as availability. We reserve the right to change to a motor boat cruise subject to local conditions. You will be notified accordingly. Rates are subject to National Park increase by Botswana Government without prior notice.


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DETAILS

MEALS: B=Breakfast; L=Lunch; D=Dinner

Pricing from $3450/ person based on double occupancy.

Package includes comfortable walk-in tented accommodation in a Meru-style tent; en-suite bathrooms with a bucket shower and bush loo; licensed and experienced professional guide for the duration of your safari; game drives and local transfers in custom made open game drive vehicles with shade roof, game viewing seats and long-range fuel tanks; all entrance and camping fees within the National Parks & Game Reserves. Private campsites are used wherever possible; all meals & selected drinks (wine, beer, G&T, Coke, Coke Lite, fruit juice, bottled water; no other spirits); dedicated safari team including cook, camp assistant and back up driver; bathroom amenities (soap, shampoo and insect repellent); medical evacuation insurance, and; all activities as specified in the itinerary. A donation to support local conservation efforts in Botswana will be made on behalf of all trip participants.

Exclusions: international airfare, domestic and/or charter flights, passport/visa fees, airport exit taxes, laundry, optional activities, personal expenses, spirits other than gin, travel insurance, and gratuities for your guides and drivers.