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RIGHT PLACE, RIGHT TIME THE COMPLETE GUIDE TO BOTSWANA


Natural World Safaris sticks to its niche, ensuring that we put you in the right place at the right time for unbeatable wildlife encounters. Our aim is to ensure you have the best opportunity to see the wildlife you are travelling to see and authentically experience the destination in question. Renowned for being one of the most exclusive safari destinations on the African continent, Botswana is also one of the most expensive. As a result, when it comes to wildlife, Botswana is under pressure to deliver. And it does. Consisting principally of private concessions, Botswana offers a truly unique experience with diverse ecosystems, luxurious lodging, expert guides and, of course, world-class game-viewing. In this guide we have outlined what the different areas of Botswana have to offer and included some of the country’s wildlife highlights and unique experiences, as well as the best places to stay to maximise your encounters. The locations and wildlife events detailed below provide just a few tasters as to why a visit to Botswana is a must for any Africa enthusiast.

Will Bolsover

Founder & CEO Natural World Safaris will@naturalworldsafaris.com www.naturalworldsafaris.com


ABOUT BOTSWANA Unlike many other African safari destinations, Botswana pursues a low-volume and low-impact tourism model by marketing accommodation at a much higher price point than is standard in Africa. One of the reasons for this is Botswana’s economy, which is one of the most developed in Africa thanks to the country’s natural resources (including diamonds). Some of the busier destinations, like those in East Africa, are much more reliant on tourism. As a result, Botswana is not a destination that aims to be accessible to every safari-goer. Rather, the country can provide an exclusive experience in which every part of your safari is of the highest quality, from the lodges to the wildlife. One way in which Botswana ensures value for money is through the use of private concessions. Despite often exceeding hundreds of thousands of hectares in size, only a limited number of properties are permitted to be built upon these concessions, limiting the number of visitors and vehicles present in the concession at any one time. The end result of all this is a much more exclusive safari experience than is often found elsewhere. Visitors are generally outnumbered by the wildlife rather than the other way around! In some situations, there may only be two vehicles per sighting, with as few as four vehicles in the entire concession! Contrast this with waiting in a line of vehicles to catch a glimpse of a lion or cheetah, which can often happen during busy months in the Masai Mara. Aside from the private concessions, there are also a number of national parks that can be visited in Botswana. While these do have abundant wildlife populations and offer great chances of sightings – especially the renowned Chobe National Park – bear in mind that the safari experience will likely be far different to what can be found in the concessions. National parks are open to the public, including tourists on self-drive safaris. This is by no means the end of the world, but national parks will as a rule contain more vehicles, attract more vehicles to sightings and generally provide lower-quality sightings than concessions.


WHERE TO GO, WHEN JANUARY

M AY

SEPTEMBER

January and February are the peak of Botswana’s

There is almost no rainfall in May. As watering holes

Botswana generally has a hot, dry, subtropical desert

rainy season, with an average rainfall of over 100mm

dry up, animals will head towards more permanent

climate and this is epitomised by September. There may

a month. Although this comes in downpours and can

sources of water, making this an ideal time to head to

be the occasional thunderstorm but generally sunshine

be somewhat unpredictable, temperatures are cooler

the Chobe River or Okavango Delta for a better chance

prevails. Temperatures in September start to creep

than in October, November and December, so if this

of seeing varied wildlife. In fact it is arguably as good as

back up, and with lows of only around 13 °C, days and

is preferable for you then it will still be possible to

the peak season (June-August) but without the cooler

evenings are generally pleasant. Maximum temperatures

visit in January. Temperatures average around 32 °C

temperatures. The Kwara Concession is a perfect place

can head back above 30 °C in the height of the day, so

throughout January, which may drop somewhat during

to look for painted dogs at this time, who are known to

sun cream and sun hats are advisable. Rainfall remains at

and after the rains.

hunt in large packs.

next to nothing meaning even more game surrounding the minimal waterholes that remain.

FEBRUARY

JUNE

The peak rainy season continues through February,

Temperatures decline further as winter continues,

OCTOBER

with heavy and sometimes prolonged showers.

although humidity can vary greatly across the country

October is the beginning of the transitional season with

You may still be lucky enough to see some of the

and throughout the month. It can be difficult to predict

notably high temperatures. This generally sits at around

herbivores give birth during this time, as the calving

conditions, but generally the weather is sunny and warm

34 °C but can surge to over 44 °C, making it too hot

season generally lies between December and March,

with cooler mornings and evenings, so remember to pack

for some. Humidity usually remains at a pleasant level

but this is not guaranteed. February is also a great time

plenty of layers. Early-afternoon temperatures will still stand

throughout October as spring unfolds. Spring in the

for birdwatchers, as wattled cranes (which have their

at around 25 °C – relatively warm by European standards,

Okavango Delta gives you the opportunity to see, and

biggest stronghold in the Okavango Delta) and African

but not quite the scorching levels of later months.

more noticeably hear, the stunning lilac-breasted rollers

skimmers can often be seen swooping down to catch their prey at this time.

MARCH

J U LY July is a peak month to travel to Botswana, with rising prices and visitor numbers making availability more

during their breeding season. These multi-coloured birds are loud and abundant throughout the Okavango region during spring and are a delightful sight to behold.

Summer steadily comes to an end in March, with

limited. It is an ideal time for game-viewing, so if you need

NOVEMBER

temperatures cooling down and rains dropping off.

to travel in the Northern Hemisphere’s summer holidays

November sees the beginning of the summer season

Some amount of moisture and heat will remain though,

this is a good time to go. Watering holes will dry up further

in Botswana, with minimum temperatures rising but

which makes March the peak time for mosquitoes. We

due to the minimal rainfall, condensing game and birdlife

maximum temperatures in the heat of the day dipping

recommend wearing lightweight, long-length clothing

to smaller areas. This increases the chances of sightings,

slightly. However, unlike most summers, this is also the

with closed ankles and wrists if possible. Mosquitoes

but other game drive vehicles will likely be hovering

time when the rains begin. The mercury is likely to get up

are more prevalent around damp areas – lakes and

around similar locations. However, our guides will aim to

to the late 30s, sometimes even peaking at 40 °C+ which

rivers in particular – so you may want to plan your

get you in the right places at the right time so you can

can be too much for some people, so it is important to

safari accordingly. Rates in March will be lower than

enjoy optimal game-viewing. Make sure you book well in

think about this if you are planning on travelling around

from May onwards, so this is something to bear

advance to avoid missing out on lodges and camps you

this time of year.

in mind if you are looking to travel at a quieter and

want as these are likely to be snappet up early for July.

cheaper time of year.

APRIL

AUGUST

DECEMBER Herbivores tend to give birth from December onwards.

As the winter season progresses in Botswana, clear skies

This means sightings of newborn antelope such

April is a shoulder season between summer and winter,

are the standard. Temperatures are likely to stay below 10

as gemsbok and impala are common, but also,

seeing a period of transition between the hot yet rainy

°C in the mornings, evenings and nights are significantly

subsequently, more predators are on the lookout. Lions,

days of summer and the more pleasant days of the

cooler than previous months, and there is a possibility of

leopards and cheetahs are often seen, particularly in the

winter season. April is generally dry, characterised by

frost on the ground when you wake for your early-morning

Kalahari parks. December has fairly high humidity in the

cooler days and warmer evenings. This is a happy

drives. Don’t worry though, as you’ll be provided with

mornings, so although temperatures are more moderate

medium between the two main seasons and therefore

warm cosy blankets on your drives. This frost will create

than November (around 20-33 °C), humidity will make

starts to see an increase in travellers visiting Botswana.

a pretty landscape for your photography and as the sun

early drives slightly more uncomfortable. Humidity will

Temperatures are usually steady at around 30 °C with

rises you’ll start to thaw out. Of course, the excitement

decline throughout the day, and with rains bringing extra

few clouds, meaning there will be little respite from the

and anticipation of seeing a pride of lions or herd of

relief, afternoons are likely to be pleasant.

heat if out in the open.

elephants often warms you up too!


C H O B E N AT I O N A L PA R K


C H O B E N AT I O N A L PA R K

C H O B E C H I LW E R O We like: Luxury accommodation combined with incredible views Top wildlife: Lions and elephants Rooms: 14 suites and 1 pool suite Activities: Game drives, boat cruises and (at additional cost) fishing

WHY GO? Chobe National Park is arguably the best place on the whole of the African continent to spot elephants, with an estimated population of over 120,000 – the highest density found anywhere. One of the biggest reasons to visit Chobe is for a cruise along the river from which the park gets its name. It is from this waterway, both early in the morning and at sunset, that you will see vast herds of elephants coming to drink and occasionally swim, making it the perfect place to get some incredible photographs. Besides elephants, there are plenty of predators here, including lions and leopards (who hunt antelope on the floodplains) and hippos and crocodiles (who make the river their home). Given the presence of the river, this is also a birder’s paradise, with the African fish eagle and goliath heron just two of the many species that hunt for fish in the Chobe.

A N Y T H I N G I N E E D TO C O N S I D E R ? As the name gives away, Chobe is a national park. This means that activities are re-

MUCHENJE SAFARI LODGE We like: Remote location combined with walking and off-road opportunities Top wildlife: Leopards and elephants Rooms: 11 thatched bungalows Activities: Game drives, night drives, walking safaris, boat cruises and community visits

stricted to game drives and boat cruises. No off-roading is permitted, nor night drives or walking safaris. Even more important to bear in mind is the public nature of the park – anyone can visit as long as they pay their entry fee. This means that it can get unbearably busy, particularly during the high season, so we would tend to recommend starting your Botswana safari here, before moving on to more exclusive areas. The other way to avoid the crowds is to stay just outside of the national park in the Chobe Forest Reserve, where Muchenje Safari Lodge is situated. Here you will see far less people and be able to enjoy a wider range of activities, without compromising your wildlife sightings.

CHOBE GAME LODGE We like: Only permanent lodge based within the national park Top wildlife: Buffalo and elephant Rooms: 40 rooms and 4 suites Activities: Game drives and boat cruises


ELEPHANT HERDS AT C H O B E Chobe National Park is exactly that: a national park. The difference between this and other areas of land in Botswana is that Chobe is open to the public, including those in self-drive vehicles and pretty much anyone who wants to explore it. The public nature of Chobe means the park can be very

Chobe Game Lodge remains one of the most popular

busy, particularly during high season, which for some

places to stay in the area, as it is the only accommodation

will detract from the overall experience. Botswana prides

located within Chobe National Park itself. Although it

itself on its exclusive game-viewing experiences in private

does not offer the most authentic safari experience – the

reserves and concessions, but Chobe offers so much

property is large, with over 40 rooms – it does offer good

more than your average national park that it deserves a

food and a location that’s hard to beat. Situated directly on

mention in our guide. We can also advise you on where to

the banks of the Chobe River, you really do have the best

stay if you wish to avoid the more crowded areas as much

possibility of maximising your game-viewing here.

as possible. Our favourite property with access to Chobe is probably Chobe has fantastic resident game, but is best known for

Muchenje Lodge, an intimate lodge with just 11 thatched

its huge herds of elephant. There are thought to be more

cottages. Muchenje is located to the west of Chobe

than 120,000 here, and you will see evidence of their

National Park, distancing itself from the busy town of

presence throughout the park in the form of uprooted trees,

Kasane and the majority of other lodges in the area. As

stripped branches and piles of dung. Without doubt one

a result of this, when you go on game drives within the

of the highlights of any visit to Chobe is a sunset cruise on

national park you tend be in more remote areas with

the river. If you are in luck, the park’s friendly pachyderms

fewer people. In addition, as the property is situated

will decide to cross the river at this time, providing an

in the Chobe Forest Reserve, guests are able to enjoy

unforgettable sight as you sit back, relax and enjoy an ice-

both walking safaris and night drives (which are not

cold sundowner.

permitted in the national park). The lodge’s position atop an escarpment also affords lovely views of the Chobe and

Generally the best times for sightings of the larger herds

Caprivi floodplains.

are Botswana’s drier months, which last from July to November. Due to the scarcity of water throughout the

A more luxurious option, situated above the Chobe River

rest of the park as the summer sun beats down, the herds

and just outside the park, is Sanctuary Chobe Chilwero.

will congregate around the river for quick and easy access

There are 15 suites here, all of which enjoy panoramic

to the never-ending water supply. As the rains return in

views over the floodplains below, as well as a split-level

December and new watering holes begin to appear, the

swimming pool and full spa. You will be staying in a busier

herds start to spread out and move southwards as they

area here, but whilst at the lodge you are guaranteed the

search for fresh nourishment.

highest level of exclusivity.


L I N YA N T I


THE SELINDA & L I N YA N T I E C O S Y S T E M S WHY GO?

KWANDO LAGOON CAMP We like: Amazing activities, the best guides and a spotter on safari Top wildlife: Elephants and painted dogs Rooms: 8 en-suite tents Activities: Walking safaris, game drives, night drives, boat cruises and fishing (seasonal)

Botswana’s dramatic geological history of seismic activity and faulting is responsible for the large expanses of waterways, rivers, swamps and lagoons and not its rainfall. Rain that falls over 1000 km away in the highlands of Angola eventually trickles down through the Zambezi and into the Okavango Delta and Linyanti Marsh. When it floods the Linyanti Marsh can overflow and spill out into the ephemeral Selinda Spillway. The Spillway is also fed from the South through the Okavango Delta and depending on how much water the Okavango receives or how much the Zambezi receives, the Selinda Spillway can either flow North towards to the Linyanti or South towards the Okavango, connecting these two great habitats and offering a safe passage for nomadic wildlife. Sitting to the northwestern corner of Chobe is the exclusive Linyanti area, long considered the most exclusive area to safari in and with incredible game-viewing on offer. More remote than the better-known Chobe National Park and with strict control on visitors, you can still be assured of impressive elephant sightings here. Predators are also regularly seen in the area. Besides lions and leopards, this is regarded as the best place in Botswana to see painted dogs. The other advantage of visiting one of the private reserves which comprise the Linyanti (Kwando, Selinda, Linyanti and Chobe Enclave) is that they do not have the restrictions of a national park so you can enjoy night drives, off-roading and walking; all in all making for a

KING’S POOL We like: Overlooks an oxbow lagoon on an important wildlife corridor Top wildlife: Leopards and elephants Rooms: 9 luxurious thatch-and-canvas rooms Activities: Game drives, night drives, walking safaris, barge trips (seasonal), fishing (seasonal) and photographic hides

rewarding game-viewing experience. The Selinda Spillway is characterized by its beautiful riverine woodland, crystal clear waters covered with a blanket of waterlily’s, a diverse variety of birdlife and basking hippos. Away from the river the landscape can become more vegetated with mopane forests which offer an important refuge for migratory buffalo, Zebra, Elephants and denning wild dogs. As well as being one of the most exclusive regions of Botswana, this is a very productive region for big numbers of Elephant, buffalo and their predators. The environment in the Selinda is ideal for more adventurous safari activities such as walking, multi-day canoeing safaris and horseback safaris.

A N Y T H I N G I N E E D TO C O N S I D E R ? Due to the highly vegetated nature of the Linyanti region, game-viewing can be trickier during the green season and immediately afterwards when the bush is at its thickest. You may also find that game is fairly spread out due to the abundance of water, so it is best to focus on the Linyanti during the dry season (although it is picturesque at any time).

ZARAFA CAMP We like: Incredibly luxurious camp in an exclusive private reserve Top wildlife: Leopards, elephants and painted dogs Rooms: 4 canvas suites measuring 100m² Activities: Game drives, walking safaris and boat cruises (dependent on water levels)


PAINTED DOGS DENNING Before going into the detail of the sightings and locations, we should probably explain a little bit more about painted dogs themselves and why they are so unique. Not the carnivore at the top of many first-time visitor’s list, the painted dog (also known as the African wild dog) is nevertheless a must-see for many a safari aficionado. The dogs have distinctive coats which are mottled

here. Alternatively, Vumbura Plains or Little Vumbura in

black, brown and cream, with no two having the same

the northern Okavango Delta offer good sightings too,

markings; the equivalent of a human fingerprint. They are

with their concession being home to the famous “Golden

highly sociable, living in packs of up to 40, and are highly

Pack”. When deciding on where to stay, we highly

efficient hunters (with an 80-90% success rate thanks

recommend anywhere where you can enjoy off-road

to their teamwork). They are also one of Africa’s most

driving, as your chances of being able to follow a pack are

endangered predators, with fewer than 1,500 known to

severely diminished otherwise.

still exist in the wild. Kwando Lagoon Camp Mating generally occurs between March and June, with the

This is one of our personal favourites. Located directly on

gestation period being as short as 60-80 days. On average,

the lagoon, the camp has access to some world-class

painted dog litters consist of about 10 pups – the largest

game-viewing, including huge herds of elephants during

average litter size of any canid – although numbers of up to

the dry season, some local male cheetahs and of course

19 have been recorded. The pack community really comes

the renowned painted dogs. The Kwando Concession

to the fore during the denning period, as the pack provides

and Kwando Lagoon Camp also boast some of the best

for the newly born pups as well as any adults that remain

guides and drivers in Botswana, with spotters located

back at the den to protect the litter. The pack will hunt the

on the front of your game drive vehicle to maximise your

smaller antelope species, make a kill, feed on it and then

chances of seeing as much as possible.

return to the den to regurgitate the freshly eaten food for any pups or individuals that did not join in with the hunt.

Kwando Lagoon Camp is located in a private concession, so you can head off in pursuit of wildlife as soon as you spot

The alpha female usually dens around May, with the pups

something. Whether heading through the bush or not, you

often born in the den around June or July. The pups will

will be experiencing authentic Africa up close and personal.

begin to run with the pack around four to six weeks later. This means that the principal time for locating painted

Selinda Camp

dog packs and their newly weaned offspring is between

Selinda Camp is a real gem, with just three expansive

the months of June and September. If your guides know

tents and a two-bedroom Selinda Suite set in the private

where the den is located, they will be able to focus in on a

130,000-hectare Selinda Reserve. Considered by us to

specific area.

be one of the most beautiful concessions in Botswana, Selinda Camp is one of the most luxurious offerings in

Traditionally, the private concessions of Kwando and

this area. With views out over the Selinda Spillway and

Selinda have provided some of the most reliable painted

the surrounding plains, Selinda plays host to painted dog

dog sightings in Botswana, if not the continent. As

packs, lion prides and a healthy population of leopards.

the painted dog is the most endangered mammal throughout eastern and southern Africa, this mean the

Wildlife aside, the creature comforts of Selinda include a

two concessions have become the jewels in the crown

generous en-suite bathroom and a private veranda with its

of Botswana’s painted dog habitats. The Moremi Game

own pool, offering great views over the plains – this is the

Reserve is another known well-known territory for painted

camp for those who value luxury as highly as incredible

dogs; Mombo Camp would be our top recommendation

wildlife-viewing.


O K AVA N G O D E LTA


O K AVA N G O D E LTA , MOREMI & KWAI WHY GO?

L E TA K A Location: Chobe, Khwai and Moremi We like: Authentic, with the same guide throughout Top wildlife: Lions, cheetahs and elephants Rooms: 4 mobile safari tents with ensuite bathrooms and bucket showers Activities: Game drives, night drives and mokoro trips

The Okavango Delta is the main attraction for many of those who choose to travel to Botswana, and no safari would be complete without spending time here in this sprawling wetland. A unique ecosystem, unlike any of Africa’s other well-known safari areas, the Delta is known as the ‘Jewel of the Kalahari’. The delta comprises a fan-shaped wetland dotted with islands amidst a labyrinth of channels and lagoons. Thanks to the rich biodiversity this habitat supports, you can expect incredibly rewarding game-viewing on any visit. There are a number of private reserves and concessions in the Delta, all of which offer an exclusive safari experience and a variety of activities. Besides traditional game drives, one of the main highlights of an Okavango Delta safari is the wealth of water-based activities on offer, including motorised boat cruises and trips in the traditional dugout canoe known as a mokoro, a wonderfully relaxing activity as your guide uses a pole to glide silently through the channels, with wildlife and water lilies at eye level. The game-viewing won’t disappoint with elephants, big cats, painted dogs, hippos, buffalo and red lechwe just some of the species that can be seen. The water also makes for impressive birdwatching, so make sure to pack a pair of binoculars.

KWANDO SPLASH Location: Kwara Reserve (northern Okavango) We like: Boating on permanent water and through seasonal floodplains Top wildlife: Cheetahs and painted dogs Rooms: 10 en-suite tents, all with indoor and outdoor showers Activities: Game drives, night drives, walking safaris, boat cruises, mokoro trips and fishing (seasonal)

A N Y T H I N G I N E E D TO C O N S I D E R ? The camps in the Delta are split into three categories: wet (only water activities), dry (only land-based activities) and mixed (all activities). Depending on the experience you are after, it is important to choose your camp carefully to give you the best possible experience. For those short on time, a mixed camp will tend to be best, while those focused on game drives and big cats in particular may find a dry camp on Chief’s Island more suitable. The other important factor to bear in mind is that the water levels of the Delta fluctuate – particularly as the dry season progresses – which may force a number of camps to suspend water activities. If enjoying water activities is key to your Okavango Delta visit, we recommend getting in touch with our team so we can advise you on the best time to visit. Bear in mind that as with all natural cycles, nothing can be guaranteed. Perhaps the best-known area of the Delta is the Moremi Game Reserve, which offers exceptional game-viewing (including the Big Five since the reintroduction of rhino). Chief’s Island is the central feature of Moremi and is home to a number of the most exclusive camps in the Delta, including the famed Mombo Camp. An important factor to consider, however, is that Moremi is a public reserve; as such, no night drives, off-roading or walking safaris are permitted, which for some is a deal-breaker when considering which camp or lodge to stay at.

DUBA PLAINS Location: Duba Plains Reserve (northwestern Okavango) We like: Home base of National Geographic filmmakers Dereck and Beverly Joubert Top wildlife: Lions and lechwe Rooms: 5 tented rooms Activities: Game drives and motorised boat cruises


MOBILE SAFARI Mobile safaris are a great way to explore Botswana for those looking for an immersive yet affordable safari experience. A classic mobile safari will tend to combine multiple areas on a multi-day camping trip.

One of the most popular itineraries begins in Chobe National

Although mobile safaris will be more basic than those based

Park before moving on to the Khwai Community Area in

in more permanent camps and lodges, you will still get to

the Okavango Delta, then finishing in the Moremi Game

enjoy a whole range of activities thanks to the mixture of

Reserve. There are plenty of other options to choose from

national parks, game reserves and private concessions

as well, including safaris that take in more seldom-visited

that you will be visiting, which means you can enjoy night

parts of Botswana like the Kalahari. While mobile safaris

drives, walking safaris and mokoro excursions in addition

offers more basic accommodation than the luxury lodges

to game drives. Another enjoyable aspect of mobile safaris

that Botswana is known for, you will certainly be more

is that you will be camping in wild sites right in the heart of

comfortable than you would on your average camping trip.

the action. Sometimes a lodge can feel a little divorced from

In your spacious tent will be a proper bed and linens as

your surroundings, even sterile, but when staying at a mobile

well as a private en-suite bathroom equipped with bucket

camp you never quite know what you might see or hear

shower and long-drop toilet. There will be a full complement

around you.

of staff including a chef and camp assistants, who will help with breaking down and rebuilding the camp each time you

Mobile safaris run year-round, but the no-frills nature of

move – the only participation required of you is to sit back

the safari means that you will not have the luxury of fans

and enjoy the experience!

or air-conditioning. Because of this, we would tend to recommend avoiding the heat that Botswana experiences

A great option for those who ‘enjoy the journey’, you will

from October onwards. It can get unbearably hot during the

spend anything from 6-9 nights in different areas, travelling

day and doesn’t cool down much overnight, so the tents

from place to place via game drive. One particular highlight

can become stifling at times. We would instead recommend

of mobile safaris that clients enjoy is being with the same

planning your trip to coincide with the dry season before it

guide throughout your experience. This is great for continuity

gets too hot, with May to late September being the optimal

as the guide will get to know you over the course of your

time for travel.

safari, including what you do and don’t like and, most importantly, what wildlife you’re hoping to see. Developing

If you are interested in experiencing the mobile camp for

this rapport helps to ensure an enjoyable safari experience.

a shorter time, you can do so on a private basis. This

You’ll also avoid having to reintroduce yourself to a new

means you can combine your safari with staying in a more

guide every few days.

permanent camp, giving you the best of both worlds.


LIVING WITH ELEPHANTS Doug and Sandi Groves founded the non-profit organisation Living with Elephants in 1999, which aims to secure the future of the African elephant. The project cares for Jabu and Morula, two elephants who were rescued after being orphaned during a culling operation.

The project cares for Jabu and Morula, two elephants

if you are a guest at either Sanctuary Stanley’s Camp or

who were rescued after being orphaned during a culling

Sanctuary Baines’ Camp.

operation. A variety of sub-projects exist, including one outreach programme where children from the town of Maun

The rustic luxury of Sanctuary Stanley’s Camp is set

and other local villages visit the elephants to learn how to

amidst ebony and sausage trees, located in a 260,000-

interact with them. During these visits, children are also

acre private concession bordering the renowned Moremi

educated on the plight of Africa’s elephant populations and

Game Reserve. With just 10 tents, the camp affords great

the threats that face them in today’s world, with the hope of

views over the surrounding floodplains and even has a

reducing human-elephant conflict in the future.

small pool to cool off in during the heat of the day. Aside from interaction with the elephants, other activities include

A typical elephant experience consists of a 4-hour morning

walking safaris, mokoro rides and 4x4 game drives.

where you enjoy a leisurely walk foraging with the project’s two elephants. During the walk, you are encouraged to

If you’re looking for something more luxurious, then

touch the elephants and interact with them, learning more

Sanctuary Baines’ Camp is a great alternative. A unique

about their behaviour. The morning finishes with a fantastic

and boutique property, there are only six luxurious suites

lunch in the middle of the bush in the company of the

here, each with star baths and sky beds on your private

elephants themselves. One thing that each visitor must

deck. Baines’ provides a truly original set-up and is ideal

be aware of is that this project is completely focused on

for honeymooners. Activities on offer include game drives,

conservation, and no riding of the elephants is permitted.

walking safaris, mokoro and boat excursions and, of course, access to the elephants.

It is only possible to visit the Living with Elephants project


MAKGADIKGADI PANS & NXAI PAN

© Keith Ladzinski


MAKGADIKGADI PANS & NXAI PAN

NXAI PAN CAMP Location: Nxai Pan We like: The permanent waterhole outside camp Top wildlife: Elephants, plus migrating zebra and wildebeest Rooms: 9 waterhole-view tents Activities: Game drives, nature walks and stargazing

WHY GO? The Kalahari salt pans, in particular the Makgadikgadi Pans and Nxai Pan, comprise one of Botswana’s most otherworldly landscapes. These desolate environments provide a welcome contrast from the more densely vegetated northern areas of Chobe, the Linyanti and the Okavango Delta found in northern Botswana. Here the salt pans meet the blue sky and create a mirage that resembles a lunar landscape. The game densities at Makgadikgadi and Nxai tend not to be as high as those in the Delta, but the region does play host to incredible herds of zebra and blue wildebeest that arrive here during the wet season. This is the second-largest terrestrial animal migration on the African continent, which makes Makgadikgadi and Nxai popular destinations between the months of January and April. Another highlight of Makgadikgadi is the pans’ population of habituated meerkats, who are always ready to provide entertainment and photo opportunities, being especially known for leaping onto visitors’ heads. Besides game, this is also the one area of Botswana which provides a cultural experience; the San bushmen live here and can teach you about their traditional hunter-gatherer

MAKGADIKGADI PANS Location: Makgadikgadi Pans We like: Elegant and romantic style Top wildlife: Meerkats, plus migrating zebra and wildebeest Rooms: 7 tents offering 360° views of the pans Activities: Habituated meerkats, San bushmen, game and night drives, quad biking (dry season) and horse riding (additional charge)

lifestyle.

A N Y T H I N G I N E E D TO C O N S I D E R ? Wildlife is found in lower densities here than in the Okavango Delta. You should not expect to be bowled over with the same wildlife concentrations as those found further north; rather, we would recommend seeing your visit to the Kalahari more as a wilderness experience. The seasons are also markedly different here. Lots of activities are restricted during the wet season, but this happens to be the right time of year to see the migration; in contrast, the dry season offers far more activities, and as water sources dry up there will be more predator sightings.

JACK’S CAMP Location: Makgadikgadi Pans We like: Classic and remote Top wildlife: Meerkats and brown hyenas Rooms: 10 spacious tents Activities: Habituated meerkats, San bushmen, game and night drives, quad biking (dry season) & horse riding (additional charge)


M E E R K AT S O F MAKGADIKGADI Botswana is home to Africa’s biggest and most well-known game and some of its most intimidating predators, but we can’t overlook the smaller and more peculiar wildlife.

In the middle of the vast sand sheet known as the

shade for the meerkats. Food is more scarce during

Kalahari Desert, where at first glance you would think

drier months, and meerkats will often stay out all day

nothing could survive, lies a huge complex of flat salt

on the hunt for food as a result. Breeding season lasts

pans which are the remains of Lake Makgadikgadi.

from October to April, and at this time the chance of

These pans are relics of Africa’s extinct “super lake”,

seeing pups is quite high. You may even see tiny babies

now a cracked land littered with fossils and surrounded

poking their heads out for the very first time!

by scrubland. This unique landscape is one of the best places to view one of the continent’s most beloved

We recommend the incredible Jack’s Camp, a classic

creatures, the meerkat.

safari camp, capturing the grandeur of 1940s safari life with just 10 spacious tents. The camp evokes

Researchers at the renowned Jack’s Camp have spent

the true romance of African safaris with its beautiful

a huge amount of time sitting by meerkat burrows in

construction, outstanding views of the pans and

an attempt to habituate these endearing animals to the

wonderful activities. The camp is legendary, and in

presence of humans. Their work and time has paid off,

addition to spotting the meerkats you can also venture

as guests can now visit the burrows and watch as the

across the pans via quad bikes during the dry season.

meerkats get on with their daily life. In fact, they are so

In the wet season the glistening pans attract thousands

comfortable with human presence that they have often

of pink flamingos, as well as huge herds of zebra and

been seen using the heads of guests as lookout posts.

wildebeest that constitute Africa’s second-largest

Keep very still and make sure everyone has a camera at

terrestrial animal migration.

the ready! A great alternative is Jack’s sister camp, San Camp. The meerkats live in the pans year round. In the wet

Similarly located and with the same authentic feel,

season they get up early to avoid the heat as much

San has just seven white tents whose minimalism

as possible whilst they forage for grubs and insects.

blends perfectly with the austere desert landscape.

They’ll then usually have a lunchtime nap before

The same activities are on offer here too, but at a

feasting again before sunset. There are often long

slightly lower price point, making it a fantastic choice

grasses present during the wet season, which provide

for those on a budget.


THE LONGEST MAMMAL M I G R AT I O N I N A F R I C A In the first few months of the year, when the Kalahari is at its most lush and green, Botswana’s Nxai and Makgadikgadi Pans form the endpoint of an incredible journey unmatched by any other on the African continent. This fascinating migration, the highlight of which is several

can expect to encounter few other visitors. Within the

thousand plains zebra, was in fact discovered by accident.

Makgadikgadi Pans we suggest you stay at either Jack’s

The 300-mile round trip between Namibia and Botswana

Camp or San Camp, both of which give a really authentic

stays within the largest transboundary conservation area

(and in the case of Jack’s, luxurious) safari experience. You

in the world, known as the Kavango Zambezi Transfrontier

can expect the herds here from March to mid-April, during

Conservation Area (KAZA), and was only noticed when

which time you will have the added bonus of being able

some zebra equipped with GPS collars were observed

to visit the habituated meerkats who also call the pans

travelling the huge distance between the two countries.

home. If travelling earlier in the year (January to early April) we would suggest staying at Nxai Pan Camp, where the

Although the famed Great Migration of the Serengeti and

nine tents face onto a waterhole which is frequented by

Masai Mara is composed of far more animals, the Kalahari

the migratory herds, along with elephant and cheetah on

migration still attracts blue wildebeest and other herbivores

occasion.

in addition to the zebra, constituting the second-largest terrestrial animal migration in Africa, as well as its longest.

On the Western side of the National Park is the Boteti River

It was a massive surprise to scientists to find that these

Valley, a lifeline for the migratory zebra and wildebeest. The

instantly recognisable animals were migrating in huge

ephemeral river flows and dries up in decade long cycles

numbers across incredible distances, totally unnoticed.

and attracts the migration into the Valley between May –

Research is still being carried out into this amazing find

November. The best place to witness this extraordinary

and studies are being done to assist with conservation,

mass of wildlife is at Meno A Kwena, perched on the 100ft

ensuring that their route goes undisturbed and their

banks of the Boteti River Valley. Meno A Kwena offers

numbers can be preserved.

some of the best views in Botswana, with the added bonus of observing Southern Africa’s Largest Zebra and

This is a seasonal migration which is dependent on the

Wildebeest migration, a population of over 600 Elephants

rains. Around March to April, the herd of around 25,000

and a diverse array of predators right in the valley.

animals moves towards the Makgadikgadi Pans, where the shimmering flats have by now been filled with water

Meno A Kwena is a classic tented camp, The dry season

and lush sweet grass has populated the usually desolate

is peak wildlife viewing and the tented camp is designed

environment. It is not just the zebra and accompanying

to maximise the incredible wildlife viewing right from

blue wildebeest that make up the migration of course, but

your veranda. The area is home Southern Africa’s largest

also their predators. As a result, you have excellent odds

Zebra and Wildebeest migration, stunning birdlife, and a

of seeing other wonderful wildlife in the area, including

population of over 600 Elephants and all this can be seen

black-maned lions, cheetahs and hyenas. At the moment

from the comfort of your room.

the migration is still a pretty well-kept secret, so you


CENTRAL KALAHARI GAME RESERVE


CENTRAL KALAHARI GAME RESERVE WHY GO? The Central Kalahari Game Reserve (CKGR) is the second-largest protected wildlife reserve in the world. Covering over 50,000 km², it is the epitome of wilderness. Certainly the wildlife-viewing here is more sparse in comparison to the Okavango-Chobe-Linyanti area, but you will see species here that you are far less likely to see elsewhere, including the renowned Kalahari black-maned lion, bat-eared fox, brown hyena and aardwolf, to name just a few. The lions here are famed for their black manes and are smaller than most other lions due to the lack of prey available to them. Other predators include the leopard and cheetah, with cheetahs doing surprisingly well here thanks to the relatively smaller concentration of larger cats that would normally steal their prey.

A N Y T H I N G I N E E D TO C O N S I D E R ? There is less game here than elsewhere, so don’t expect to be falling over wildlife. Patience is required, but hit the reserve at the right time of year and you can have some very rewarding sightings. Although most travellers favour a safari during the dry season, in the case of the CKGR it is actually best to visit during and immediately after the green season (January - April), as the game congregates to enjoy the lush grazing grounds that spring up where the most rain has fallen, usually on the pans. As plains game come to eat and drink, the predators stalk their prey, making for some impressive sights.

TA U PA N C A M P Location: Central Kalahari We like: Eco-aware; also able to sleep out under the stars Top wildlife: Cheetahs and black-maned lions Rooms: 9 en-suite rooms Activities: Game drives, nature walks and stargazing


BLACK-MANED LIONS OF THE KALAHARI Throughout the barren desert landscapes of the Kalahari Desert, lions are a dominant predator. Compared to other regions of Africa, the hardy lions of the Kalahari are smaller in size and also live in much smaller prides – usually no more than six individuals – due to the lack of prey on offer.

In addition, cub mortality rate is high due to the long

Tau Pan Camp is located in the Central Kalahari, a soul-

distances travelled between feeds. These foreboding

stirringly remote area that is not often visited by safari-

and unpredictable lions are not used to the presence

goers. Perfectly situated to witness the vast amount of

of humans or safari vehicles, often shying away from

predators that call the area home, the camp is built with

attention. This makes them all the more intriguing, yet

the environment in mind. Blending with its surroundings,

difficult to spot.

there are just nine tents, each set under thatch and running on solar power. This is the best place from

Another noticeable difference when comparing Kalahari

which you can head out in search of the rare Kalahari

lions with those living in less extreme conditions is the

black-maned lions; in fact, the word ‘tau’ means lion in

flowing black manes of the males, the reasoning behind

Setswana.

which is still unclear. Some think the majestic manes are used to help regulate the animal’s temperature, keeping

The first few months of the year are when we consider

them warmer in the bitterly cold nights. Others say they are

the Central Kalahari Game Reserve to be at its most

related to the now extinct Cape lion, which lived in South

intriguing and enticing. Vegetation is lush, drawing in

Africa until the mid-19th century. Other distinguishing

huge amounts of wildlife, including springbok, gemsbok,

features include a lower body weight than lions found

giraffe and ostrich. This is also an excellent time to spot

elsewhere in Botswana and spots on their lower legs.

the intimidating predators of the area, including cheetah and leopard, although the latter are harder to spot. This

These resilient creatures have found a way to live in some

is the best time to see the iconic black-maned lions, as

of the harshest conditions in Africa. Seeing them in their

the presence of long grasses allows guides to more easily

natural habitat is a real privilege and not one afforded to

approach these often shy animals, providing a closer view

every visitor.

of these apex predators.


F R E Q U E N T LY A S K E D Q U E S T I O N S Botswana is one of Africa’s most popular safari destinations, with wildly diverse landscapes, some of the most exclusive safari accommodation and abundant wildlife, ranging from huge elephant and buffalo herds to endearing meerkats, stealthy leopards and healthy lion prides. You can find answers below to some of the most frequently asked questions about Botswana, and of course, please call or email us for any more information.

I had only really planned to visit the Okavango Delta and Chobe. Is it worth going to the other areas, such as the Kalahari?

and we regularly host these. Groups are kept small and are led

alternatives. It is best to discuss this at the time of booking with

by an expert in their field to ensure you really make the most of

your destination specialist so that they can advise on the best

your experience. If you would prefer to travel without all of your

property to suit your dietary needs. This will also give your chosen

camera equipment, we can introduce you to a specialist company

accommodation plenty of advance notice, as supplies often need to

The Okavango Delta is undoubtedly the best known of Botswana’s

on the ground to accommodate your equipment requirements.

be sourced from elsewhere in Botswana or even South Africa.

parks and attractions. It encapsulates the heart of wild Africa and a journey here guarantees jaw-dropping natural beauty and excellent game-viewing. Chobe offers fabulous elephant sightings in particular, but can be busy, particularly in the dry season from June to October. We think the perfect Botswana safari comes from combining a few nights in equally awe-inspiring areas. The

Why is Botswana so expensive?

Central Kalahari Game Reserve, Makgadikgadi Pans and Nxai Pan are extremely productive wildlife areas, so combining one or more of these with the Okavango Delta and either the Chobe or Linyanti

Alternatively, if you wish to carry your own gear but are worried about your luggage allowance, extra seats can be booked on a light aircraft flight to accommodate your equipment. Do ask us for further

Does flying by light aircraft give me a very small baggage allowance?

information to fit with your interests.

Do I have to do all of the activities?

Botswana is actually one of the more generous African countries when it comes to baggage allowance, with most shared charters having a baggage allowance of 20kg per person. The key thing is

No! We love the range of activities on offer in Botswana but we

that your bags must be completely soft to fit into the small hold of

appreciate they are not for everyone. No matter where you stay,

a light aircraft. Note that private charter baggage allowances tend

you will never have to take part in an activity if you don’t want to

to only be confirmed at the time of booking as they depend on

just because the camp offers it. Saying that, if you know you only

the type of plane booked. If you are concerned about this, please

want to go on game drives, you may prefer to stay at a dry camp

discuss with your destination specialist at the time of booking to

as these will tend to be in areas which offer high-quality land-based

ensure they can give you the best advice possible, assist with

game-viewing. If you are open to being adventurous though, we

packing lists and so on. We have become experts at packing lightly

There are a number of reasons. Unlike many other African safari

offers an amazingly broad range of habitats, activities and species.

destinations, Botswana doesn’t rely on tourism as its sole income,

Those specifically interested in photography may be interested

and therefore hasn’t tried to be accessible to everyone (although

in visiting Mashatu on the southeastern border of Botswana.

we are seeing more affordable offerings springing up all the time).

The guides here are well trained in putting you in the best place

Instead what we see in Botswana is a low-volume, low-impact

for photographic opportunities, and there are a number of well-

model that comes at a high cost. It is worth bearing in mind that

positioned underground hides available for brilliant low-angle shots.

would encourage you to stay in at least one spot which offers varied

over the years and also have experience in packing for longer

activities, allowing you to try out a walking safari or mokoro trip;

periods than your average safari, so can provide plenty of invaluable

Off-roading, night drives and walking safaris are an essential experience for me. Would you recommend Botswana for these?

so many of our clients over the years have ended up loving them.

advice.

the majority of camps and lodges operate in private concessions which are leased at a high cost from the government. These private concessions have strict rules about the number of beds and the

On arrival at each camp, your guide will liaise with you about your

How many people will be in a vehicle?

I just don’t think that my budget will stretch to Botswana. Can I get a similar experience elsewhere?

This depends on where you stay – expect anything from four to

Don’t write Botswana off just yet. There are ways to safari there

nine people per vehicle depending on camp policy and occupancy.

in a more affordable way. One would be to go on a mobile safari.

If you prefer to be in a smaller group, we can advise on the best

Accommodation will certainly be more basic than the luxury lodges

camps for this, but the best way to guarantee your wishes is to pay

that attract many to Botswana, but if seeing the most game and

you are interested in these, please speak to your destination specialist.

for a private vehicle. We particularly recommend this if you have a

getting the most for your money is your primary motivation then a

specific interest you wish to concentrate on, such as photography

mobile safari is well worth considering. Plus, you have the added

Do I need an expensive camera?

or seeing a specific species. Depending on which camp you stay

bonus of having the same guide throughout, which is great for

at, you may be able to book a private vehicle for just one of your

ensuring the best safari experience. If you still think that Botswana is

accommodations have private landing strips, or are just a short

No, you really don’t. Few will regret purchasing a digital SLR camera

days, or you may need to do it for the duration of your stay.

off limits or is not going to offer you the best value for money, speak

game drive away. These flights give you an incredible perspective

with a high-quality lens, but you’ll be amazed at what you can

on Botswana’s beautifully diverse landscapes, and being in such a

capture with an affordable compact camera or even smartphone

small plane can be quite a thrill. it also saves a lot of time compared

these days. A better investment is often a pair of binoculars, which

to driving these distances, giving you more time on the ground to

prove invaluable when wanting to spot birds in the trees or larger

explore the many attractions of this fantastic destination.

game from further away. If photography really is your thing though,

number of vehicles allowed at any one time, minimising the impact of the safari operation on the environment; the high cost of this is passed on to guests. The other factor to consider is that a lot of the

We agree that these are three of the most thrilling safari experiences

camps and lodges are in fairly remote locations, resulting in higher

available, and the good news is that there are lots of camps and

costs associated with transporting suppliers in, which once again

lodges which offer them. The important thing to remember is that you

leads to higher accommodation prices.

can only do these in private reserves and concessions, so make sure

How do I get around? The majority of travel in Botswana is done by light aircraft flights; in fact, this is the only way to reach a majority of the camps in

you focus your search on these rather than national parks or game reserves. Walking safaris often need to be booked in advance so if

areas such as the Okavango Delta, Linyanti and Kalahari. Many

Botswana makes the ideal destination for a photographic safari

interests and tailor your stay accordingly.

Can my dietary requirements be catered for?

to one of our destination specialists about visiting a neighbouring country such as Zambia or Zimbabwe. Often written off in favour of their better-known neighbour, both countries offer exceptional

Yes, as much as possible. Vegetarianism and gluten-free requirements are regularly catered for, although vegan diets can be harder to accommodate, as it depends on the availability of

game-viewing, outstanding guiding and excellent value for money.


BEYOND THE OBVIOUS IN BOTSWANA DURATION

7 DAYS PRICE FROM

£4,990 $6,240 DESTINATION

BOTSWANA WHEN

MAR - NOV ITINERARY DAY 1: JOHANNESBURG MASHATU GAME RESERVE Wild and remote, the Mashatu reserve’s 29,000 hectares are composed of an exceptionally diverse collection of landscapes, including plains, grasslands, marshlands, forests, rocky hills and sandstone ridges. With over 350 bird species, a healthy big cat population and the most relaxed elephant population in all of Africa, Mashatu is known for having one of the highest “hit rates” for wildlife photographers on the continent.

DAY 2: MASHATU GAME RESERVE Embark on game drives through the reserve, and visit the waterhole where Mashatu’s management have built an exclusive photographic hide for the use of dedicated wildlife photographers. You will be able to learn from Mashatu’s resident wildlife photographer, with tutoring sessions back at camp allowing you to discuss techniques, settings and positionings ready for your session in the hide.

DAY 3: MASHATU GAME RESERVE Your session in the hide will take place in the morning, so make sure to reach the waterhole early to take advantage of the light conditions. Sunk into the ground right next to the water, you’ll be granted some unique angles of the approaching wildlife. This is prime elephant habitat, but there are plenty of other species that approach to take a drink, including kudu, impala, baboons and even big cats.

DAYS 4 - 6: MASHATU GAME RESERVE Over the next three days you’ll be able to enjoy exclusive use of the Photo Mashatu vehicle, a fully customised 4x4 designed to help wildlife photographers achieve the perfect shot. Sliding 270° gimble heads and beanbag arches provide excellent support and manoeuvrability for your camera, while the cushioned dustproof and waterproof storage compartments will keep your equipment in pristine condition. A specialised photographic guide will accompany you on your journey through the reserve.

DAY 7: DEPART MASHATU GAME RESERVE Your time at Mashatu is now at an end, but you will no doubt leave laden with your own personal collection of unique images to remember your time by. Remember to return your rented photographic equipment (if you didn’t bring your own) before heading to the airstrip to catch your onward flight.


THE BEAUTY OF BOTSWANA DURATION

8 DAYS PRICE FROM

£11,600 $14,500 DESTINATION

BOTSWANA WHEN

MAY - NOV ITINERARY DAY 1: MAUN - CHIEF’S ISLAND Chief’s Island, which makes up a large section of Moremi Reserve, is located in the centre of the Okavango Delta and is praised for its big cat populations. On arrival you will have a chance to relax and enjoy your surroundings over a sumptuous lunch or a dip in the pool. Later in the evening you will set off on your first game drive through the “Predator Capital” of Africa.

DAYS 2 - 3: CHIEF’S ISLAND Spend two full days exploring this wildlife-rich area of Botswana. This is one of the only areas in Botswana where it is possible to see the Big Five on safari, so your days will consist of morning and afternoon game drives, lazy middays back at camp, and evening sundowners overlooking the dramatic scenery of Africa. Mombo Camp is the ultimate in Botswana luxury and the ideal way to start your safari.

DAY 4: VUMBURA CONCESSION Today you will leave the renowned Chief’s Island to catch your internal flight to Vumbura Plains. On arrival you will have time to settle in to camp, maybe have a late lunch (subject to your time of arrival) and then set off on your first game drive this afternoon. Vumbura, as Mombo before, will not disappoint. This is a stunning game-rich area and a beautiful lodge.

DAY 6: VUMBURA SELINDA CONCESSION DAY 5: VUMBURA CONCESSION Enjoy a full day searching for game on the Vumbura Plains. A rich variety of wildlife inhabits this area including lions, painted dogs and cheetahs in the open plains areas. Good numbers of zebra, elephant, buffalo and antelope (lechwe, impala, kudu, etc.) are also present, which might explain the high volume of predators.

Today you will catch your onward flight across the plains and waterways of Botswana to the ultimate Zarafa Camp. Zarafa is one of our favourites. Located overlooking the Zibadianja Lagoon, Zarafa is luxury at its best. The camp offers calming views and great game. After a lazy lunch you will set off to explore this private concession where your chance of bumping in to other vehicles is very unlikely!

DAY 7: SELINDA CONCESSION Enjoy your final day in Botswana concession on game drives. For

DAY 8: SELINDA CONCESSION - MAUN

the more adventurous, walking

A final and short morning

safaris are also an option where

game drive will take you

you can get up close and personal

to the airstrip where you

to the African bush and learn

will be able to catch your

about the smaller aspects of the

internal flight back to Maun.

African plains. Zarafa, located in the

From here you catch your

Selinda Concession, is a hotspot

onward international flight

for leopards, resident lions and also

back home.

exploring this stunning private

a healthy pack of painted dogs.


U LT I M AT E B OT S WA N A B I G C AT S A FA R I DURATION

10 DAYS PRICE FROM

£7,780 $9,725 DESTINATION

BOTSWANA WHEN

MAY - NOV ITINERARY

DAY: KWEDI CONCESSION DAYS 2 - 3: CENTRAL KALAHARI GAME RESERVE

DAY 1: MAUN CENTRAL KALAHARI

DAYS 5 - 6: LINYANTI CONCESSION

You have two full days to explore

Duma Tau is one of the best areas

this vast region with morning and afternoon game drives. The area

On arrival you will be met

is home to specialised wildlife

and transferred to Kalahari

including oryx, springbok, red

Plains Camp in the Central

hartebeest, honey badgers,

Kalahari Game Reserve,

ground squirrels and steenbok as

the second-largest game

well as numerous birds. This is

reserve in the world. This

also one of the best areas to see

afternoon enjoy your first

cheetah, who take advantage

game drive in search of the

of the open spaces to hunt

wildlife.

springbok, wildebeest, steenbok and, on occasions, oryx.

in Botswana to see leopards in the

DAY 4: CENTRAL KALAHARI - LINYANTI Today you will fly north to the Linyanti Marsh area of northern Botswana. This afternoon you will be able to enjoy a game drive with your guide as you go in search of the plentiful wildlife of this area.

wild. The area along the river is the ideal habitat for these elusive cats, so sightings are usually good, although they are never guaranteed. During the dry season this area attracts large herds of breeding elephants, and on our last visit we spent three days with a pack of painted dogs who had recently moved into the area.

After an exciting drive across the river (with the water coming over the bonnet

DAY 7: LINYANTI KWEDI CONCESSION From Duma Tau you will fly west to the Duba Expedition Camp for the final leg of your safari. Duba Expedition Camp is renowned for its lion and buffalo interaction and there have been many documentaries made about this ongoing “war”.

of the vehicle) you will arrive at the brand new Duba Expedition Camp, set in large open plains with marshes, rivers, anthills and forested islands. Wildlife encounters are intimate with large herds of elephant, tsessebe, impala and red lechwe. It is also a fantastic destination for birds, with many different habitats attracting a wide range of species. On the morning game drive you will locate the herd of about 1,000 buffalo to see where the lions are. If they are in tow, you are in for some exciting game-viewing that day!

DAY 9: KWEDI CONCESSION MAUN From the Okavango Delta you will fly back to Maun in time for your onward flight.


Z E B R A M I G R AT I O N , O K AVA N G O D E LTA & V I C T O R I A FA L L S DURATION

10 DAYS PRICE FROM

£3,975 $4,970 DESTINATION

BOTSWANA WHEN

JAN - APR ITINERARY DAYS 2 - 3: NXAI PAN NATIONAL PARK DAY 1: ARRIVE NXAI PAN NATIONAL PARK Similar to the Makgadikgadi Pans, Nxai Pan National Park is part of the Kalahari ecosystem, yet so different to the game reserve. Grassy plains are peppered with fossil beds and smaller salt pans, growing sweet grasses that attract a diverse range of hungry animals.

Lion, giraffe, kudu, ostrich and jackal can all be found here in the park, usually resident around the large waterhole. Unusually, both springbok – which are abundant – and impala live here together, despite their usual differences in preferred habitat. The first rains (in November) bring one of the greatest transformations witnessed in Africa as the Nxai Pan and Makgadikgadi Pan areas become an important habitat for migrating animals, including wildebeest and one of Africa’s largest zebra populations. With the mass migration of these species – the secondlargest in Africa, after the Great Migration of the Masai Mara and Serengeti – comes the movement of the large predators which prey on them. Enjoy game drives as well as cultural walks with the Bushmen of the Kalahari.

DAY 4: NXAI PAN OKAVANGO DELTA After your morning’s game drive, transfer to the airstrip for your flight to the Okavango Delta. By air is a fantastic way to travel, as you watch the wetlands of the Okavango Delta stretch out before you and its resident wildlife, including herds of elephant and giraffe, wandering through the rich habitat below.

DAYS 5 - 7: OKAVANGO DELTA Encapsulating the heart of

DAY 8: OKAVANGO DELTA - KASANE - VICTORIA FALLS

wild Africa with its evocative

After your morning game activity,

scenes of wildlife and natural

you will be driven back to the

beauty, a journey into the

airstrip for your flight to Kasane

untouched Okavango Delta

Airport. Upon arrival you will be

is one of jaw-dropping

met and taken across the border

game-viewing, peace and

to Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe.

tranquillity. One of the best

After clearing customs and

places on earth for game-

immigration you will be met by

viewing and with very few

another driver and taken to your

visitors, you’ll feel like you’re

lodge. The rest of the day is

one of the earliest explorers

yours to spend at leisure, though

as you head out with your

we highly recommend a sunset

naturalist guide.

cruise to finish your day with.

DAY 9: VICTORIA FALLS Visit the breathtaking Victoria Falls or, for an aerial view, why not try a helicopter flight over this natural wonder. Alternatives include white water rafting, a visit to the national park and a sunset cruise, to name a few! Most activities can be booked upon arrival, however it is advised to book helicopter flights in advance. When not exploring the area, kick back at your accommodation.

DAY 10: DEPART VICTORIA FALLS After checking out of your hotel in the morning, you will then be driven to the local airport to catch your flights home.


IN T HE P R E S S // AWA R D S Natural World Safaris has won various awards for our unique and carefully crafted safaris. We’ve also featured in the press around the globe, receiving rave reviews from some of the world’s most respected travel writers.

“The Fixer to use”

“A marvel for first-hand knowledge of destinations”

“One of the most unique experiences in the world” ATOL All the flights and flight inclusive holidays on this website are financially protected by the ATOL scheme. When you pay you will be supplied with an ATOL Certificate. Please ask for it and check to ensure that everything you booked (flights, hotels and other services) is listed on it. Please see our booking conditions for further information or for more information about financial protection and the ATOL Certificate go to: www.atol.org.uk/ATOLCertificate

“One of the more intrepid operators in southern and eastern Africa”

“An adventure off the scale – a place and experience to make your heart beat faster”

ABTOT The Association of Bonded Travel Organisers Trust Limited (ABTOT) provides financial protection under ABTOT Combined and The Package Travel and Linked Travel Arrangements Regulations 2018 for Natural World Safaris Ltd., ATOL number 9826, and in the event of their insolvency, protection is provided for the following: 1. non-flight packages; 2. flight inclusive packages that commence outside of the EEA, which are sold to customers outside of the EEA; and 3. flight inclusive packages, flight only and linked travel arrangements (LTAs) sold as a principal under ABTOT Combined. ABTOT Combined cover provides for a refund in the event you have not yet travelled or repatriation if you are abroad. Please note that bookings made by customers outside the EEA are only protected by ABTOT when purchased directly with Natural World Safaris Ltd. In the unlikely event that you require assistance whilst abroad due to our financial failure, please call ABTOT’s 24/7 helpline on 01702 811397 and advise you are a customer of an ABTOT protected travel company. You can access The Package Travel and Linked Travel Arrangements Regulations 2018 here: https://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2018/634/contents/made All the flights and flight inclusive holidays on this website are financially protected either by ABTOT Combined or the ATOL scheme. When you pay for something protected by the ATOL scheme you will be supplied with an ATOL Certificate. Please ask for it and check to ensure that everything you booked (flights, hotels and other services) is listed on it. Please see our booking conditions for further information or for more information about financial protection and the ATOL Certificate go to: http:// www.atol.org.uk/ATOLCertificate Image Courtesy: Wilderness Safaris, Pangolin Photo Safaris, Unchartered Africa Safaris, Duba Plains, Vumbura Plains, Chobe Game Lodge, Letaka Tented Camp, Safari Destinations, Dana Allen, Mike Myers, David Yarrow, Nick Garbutt & Phil Mallin.


Natural World Safaris Second Floor 130a Western Road, Brighton East Sussex, BN1 2LA, UK UK Tel +44 (0) 1273 691 642 US Toll Free 1866 357 6569 Australia Toll Free 1800 668 890 naturalworldsafaris.com @natworldsafaris NaturalWorldSafarisLtd naturalworldsafaris Registered address: Natural World Safaris Ltd Granta Lodge, 71 Graham Road, Malvern Worcestershire, WR14 2JS, UK Registered in England Company No: 05649357

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