Includes: Collection from Francistown Airport, Accommodation, guests laundry, activities, food & beverages, expert guiding & National Park entry fees.
2 NIGHTS AT CAMP KALAHARI IN THE DRY SEASON INCLUDING WALKING WITH THE BUSHMEN
ACACIAS & ADVENTURE…
2 Nights in the Makgadikgadi Pans & the Kalahari Desert, The following itinerary is an outline of the activities offered during your stay at Camp Kalahari. The order in which the activities are experienced may vary depending on weather and/or other factors.
Arrive at Camp Kalahari, nestled amongst the acacias and Mokolwane palms of Brown Hyaena Island, on the edge of the Makgadikgadi Salt Pans, adjacent to the Makgadikgadi-Nxai Pans National Park, Botswana. This traditional bush camp has ten spacious Meru tents, comprising six twin tents, three double tents and one family unit which has two adjacent tents, accommodating two Guests in each with an inter-leading bathroom. All Guest tents have en-suite covered bathrooms, hot and cold running water and flush loos along with four poster beds, crunchy cotton sheets, rich textiles, Moroccan kilims and hot water bottles in winter.
DUE TO AN ONGOING HABITUATION PROGRAMME, IT’S POSSIBLE FOR GUESTS TO GET UP CLOSE & PERSONAL WITH THESE CAPTIVATING CREATURES!
A thatched central library, living and dining area featuring an eclectic mix of original African furniture and textiles paired with traditional campaign style pieces and colonial
antiques provide the perfect area in which to relax and enjoy the serenity of this enchanting area. For those who’d like to cool off, or enjoy a lazy siesta in or out of the sun, the thatched swimming pool pavilion is ideal. Head off after tea in the beautiful afternoon light, stop o watch the sun set and listen to an explanation of how the Makgadikgadi
Salt pans, the remnants of the world’s largest ever super-lake, were formed. Enjoy an evening game drive back to camp and spot some unique desert species such as aardvark, bat eared foxes, aardwolves, and the elusive brown hyaena, which is the third rarest large carnivore in Africa, with only about 8,000 in the wild. Brown Hyaenas are the consummate desert specialists, surviving in arid areas where both food and water are scarce. A timid, nocturnal species rarely seen by humans, but in spite of being solitary foragers they are very social animals, living in clans of up to 10-12 hyaenas. Tuck into a lamp lit dinner back at Camp Kalahari.
Set off in the morning to visit some of the Kalahari’s most fascinating inhabitants, the meerkats. As a meerkat’s wake up time is weather dependent, breakfast might be en
joyed in camp on cooler and rainy days, or as a picnic on warmer, sunnier days. Due to an ongoing habituation programme, it’s possible for Guests to get up close and personal with these captivating creatures. Remember, they are not tame – just used to our non-threatening presence. On chilly mornings, you might well find a meerkat snuggling up to you for warmth. Or, in the absence of a termite mound or tree, using your head as a sentry lookout post… By spending quality time with these incredibly social, superbly adapted animals, you will be able to see how they interact with each other and their environment. You also get the chance to see the desert through the eyes of a meerkat – which, despite the fact that it’s only a foot off the ground, is a pretty spectacular vantage point, and definitely one of the most special and memorable game experiences you will encounter in Botswana. Leave the meerkats as they continue with their eternal foraging, to visit a remote cattle-post. Here you will learn about the traditional culture of the Batswana people.
ONE OF THE ONLY PLACES IN THE WORLD WHERE THE SILENCE IS SO COMPLETE YOU CAN HEAR THE BLOOD CIRCULATING THROUGH YOUR EARS…
Close by is the famous Chapman’s Baobab (Also known as the Seven Sisters) which is acknowledged to be the third largest tree in Africa, and was the campsite of early explorers like Livingstone and Selous when they pioneered the area. This gives you an opportunity to gain a fascinating insight into the history of the early explorers. Return to camp for a refreshing lunch and siesta. After tea, travel down to the pans where you will be given a brief safety talk before mounting your trusty quad bike to head off across the pans. Watch the sun set and the stars rise. This is one of the only places in the world where the silence is so complete you can hear the blood circulating through your ears. There is not one visual landmark to be seen, and one swiftly loses one’s sense of perspective where 16000 square kilometres of baking soda void are, inhabited only by you and a few gazillion invisible brine shrimp!
Spend the morning walking with the Zu/’hoasi Bushmen. Uncharted Africa has pioneered and passionately supported cultural tourism in Botswana since the company’s inception in 1993. It has long been our belief that it is a vitally important tool in terms of preserving this unique, but sadly fast-vanishing, culture. We have been working closely with the Zu/’hoasi people of the Western Kalahari for many years and are privileged to have Bushmen women, men and pre-school children comprised of four generations, living at Jack’s Camp in the Makgadikgadi. Offering a window into the past, they teach us how they have survived in this harshest of environments, using their vast and ancient knowledge of plants, animal behaviour and survival skills. The Zu/’hoasi lead a semi-traditional lifestyle, and share their traditional hunting and food-gathering skills as well as how they make jewellery and hunting equipment, it is a glimpse into their fast-vanishing, traditional way of life, but by no means an attempt to keep them frozen in time.
“Meeting the Bushmen is like finding out who you really are. And, it’s a wonderful discovery, because they’re such lovely, gentle people.” Alex Shoumatoff, Vanity Fair.
Day 3 & 4 – Thamalakane River Lodge, Maun
Accommodation Type: Lodged
Includes: Accommodation and breakfast
The spacious chalet interiors have a feature stonewall with an en-suite bathroom consisting of a shower, hand-basin and toilet. Rooms are equipped with tea and coffee making facilities, ceiling fans and mosquito nets. Rooms are well ventilated with a unique “skylight type” wall. Each chalet has a private patio with a river view. The Thamalakane lodge restaurant is a magnificent rambling thatch and wood structure with views of the Thamalakane River. This lodge feature is open to the public and has become renowned for its high standard of cuisine and service. The restaurant setting is idyllic with superb sunsets views to be experienced over the River. Thamalakane Restaurant has a good wine list and a superb menu. It is fast being recognized as the best dining experience in Maun.
Optional (for own account) Maun Scenic Flight:
Enjoy a scenic flight from Maun Airport over the Okavango Delta. Keep a look out for Hippos in the waterways and Elephant and Buffalo in the shade of the trees. Observe how the water channels meander their way through the Delta in ever changing paths as this Dynamic water system evolves. The vastness of this pristine wilderness is breathtaking.
Optional (for own account) Mokoro Ride:
A mokoro ride, is a traditional canoe – commonly used in the Okavango Delta, Botswana as a popular mode of transport, and now utilised for game viewing safaris. The oarsman stands in the stern and pushes it with the pole. A mokoro ride in the Delta is an absolute must do even if it may seem terrifying.
All guides learned at a very young age as low as seven years old, making them experts polers. It’s a careful balancing act – the simplest turn or twist could land the passengers in the water. However, this vessel allows you to experience the delta in stealth and tranquillity. Allowing guest to get close to birds and other animals. Experience mokoro rides by exploring Makgadikgadi Pans and Okavango Delta safari.
Day 5, 6 & 7 – Camp Savuti – Chobe National Park
Accommodation Type: Lodged
Includes: Accommodation, dinner and breakfast, private game drives in closed 4×4 safari vehicles.
Camp Savuti is a small, intimate camp of 5 Meru tents accommodating a maximum of 10 guests in comfort and style. The tents have been positioned to ensure privacy and a modest level of exclusivity throughout the camp. Each tent sits on a platform, with views over the Savuti Channel. The tents are large and spacious with en-suite facilities and views from your deck.
In the guest areas, there is a comfortable and intimate lounge, bar and dining area, all overlooking the Savuti Channel.
The activities on offer are morning and afternoon game drives through the park and along the fringes of the Channel and Marsh. The game-viewing vehicles are open to facilitate game-watching and photography, and your guide will delight in showing you the beauty and diversity of Savuti’s natural wonders. This area offers superb game and birding-viewing in the open areas of Savuti within Chobe National Park.
Day 8, 9, 10 & 11 – Chobe Safari Lodge
Accommodation Type: Lodged
Includes: accommodation, breakfast, dinner, game drives into Chobe National Park in closed 4×4 safari vehicles, entrances into National Park per person and per vehicle, Victoria Falls guided visit, and 3 hour photographic boat safari.
Chobe Safari Lodge has recently been renovated and it offers superb value for money when it comes to accommodation in the Chobe area. Accommodation is either in the luxury River Rooms, the new Safari Rooms, the traditional thatched rondavels or the established Chobe Safari Lodge campsite.
There are plenty to choose from when it comes to food venues. The Terrace Restaurant serves a delicious varied breakfast buffet (English or continental style), as well as sampling indigenous African delicacies. Barbeques, specialist game meats, stir-fries, a selection of mouth-watering vegetarian dishes and Indian cuisine are also on the menu.
The lodge’s Cocktail Bar offers a range of light snacks. Enjoy a refreshing drink as well while you are enjoying the nearby pool facility. The Sedudu Bar, overlooking the Sedudu Island in the Chobe river, is the place to unwind with a sundowner.
Other facilities at the lodge includes an internet cafe, a volleyball and squash court, health and beauty salon, babysitting and a curio and craft shop. Game drives depart three times a day; alternatively, there is an option of booking a full or half-way drive with a picnic lunch. Expert guides lead private cruises throughout the day to suit your individual needs. Fishing for the legendary tiger fish and species of bream provide for an exciting fishing experience. Equipment and a guide is provided.
3 Hour Photo Boat Safari
Chobe boat cruises are a wonderful way to experience the Chobe National Park. Large herds of Elephants are common in the Chobe National Park. They tend to make their way to the river for a drink and onto the islands in the river to feast off the sweet grass. Puku and lechwe antelopes are common on the Chobe Floodplains. Herds of elephants cross the Chobe River to the islands, a site to behold. Common sites are the hippos and crocodiles basking in the sun.
There are a variety of boating options for the Chobe boat cruises. Guests can join a standard cruise on a river cruiser taking about 30-40 people or have the opportunity to take a smaller boat and focus on photography and birding.
Day 12 – Elephant Sands
Accommodation Type: Lodged
At Elephant Sands Lodge guests can enjoy viewing elephants as they drink from the waterhole right in front of the lodge or from our swimming pool. We also have a wide variety of other wildlife that can be viewed, from lions to giraffe and buffalo. With 14 rustic chalets comprising two Family Chalets and 12 twin chalets. There is plenty of camping space overlooking the waterhole. The campsites do not have electricity. There is a restaurant with a set menu for meals.
Day 13 – Kwa Nokeng Lodge
Accommodation Type: Lodged
Kwa Nokeng Lodge is a family-owned business in the Tuli Block in Botswana, situated along the Limpopo River at the Martin’s Drift border post. Translated from the local language Setswana, Kwa Nokeng means, ‘at the river’. If it’s accommodation and a hearty meal around the fire you’re looking for, or adrenaline-pumping adventure, or simply just to fill up and stretch your legs, Kwa Nokeng has something for everybody.
Day 14, 15, 16 & 17 – Imagine Africa
Accommodation Type: Luxury Tented
Includes: Accommodation, breakfast, lunch, dinner, 2 x open game drives per day and entrance fees per person into the reserve.
Set in the Balule Nature Reserve, Imagine Africa Luxury Tented Camp promises rich game viewing and spectacular views, as our boundary with Kruger National Park is open and the Northern Drakensberg Mountains form a majestic backdrop. This owner run small private Camp prides itself on the warm atmosphere offered, delicious food, beautiful views and African style safari tented accommodation. Our unassuming Camp provides an intimate nature experience in a relaxing environment where you can unwind, kick your shoes off and be yourself.
Enjoy lantern lit dinners in our boma or on our open deck under the star studded African sky. Breakfast and lunch is served on the open deck with views of the bush and waterhole frequented by a variety of resident animals. Sunrise and sunset safaris in open 4 x 4 vehicles are the highlights of the day. With our professional field guides, visitors can go in search of some of Africa’s famous variety of mammal and bird life, such as Giraffe, Zebra, African Fish Eagles, Vultures and the notorious Big 5 – Lion, Elephant, Rhino, Leopard and Buffalo.
The Safari Camp:
Our African safari-style tents are nestled in between Marula, Knobthorn and Acacia Trees and are perfectly positioned to provide breathtaking views all the way to the amazing Northern Drakensberg Mountains. Each tent is spacious and built in an elevated position with it’s own special view. The tents are fully furnished and have their own private deck and ensuite bathroom with an outside bath, indoor and outdoor shower and separate toilet. A choice of inverter or eco based air-conditioners and overhead fans are fitted in each tent ensuring that you stay cool during those warm summer nights… and can be set to warm during those colder nights in winter too.
In the main reception area, visitors will find a lounge for those lazy afternoons, and a dining area that keeps visitors dry when it rains. There is a cosy bar complete with a variety of first class South African wines. On the open deck area outside, there is a sunken swimming pool and sun loungers where visitors can enjoy those magical African days in the sun. During the day, the deck has unrivalled views of the surrounding bush, waterhole and mountains in the background. Imagine Africa’s resident staff will ensure that everyone has a memorable stay and becomes part of our continually growing family.
Memorable Encounter at Elephant Whispers
We invite you to experience the thrill of close encounters with the Majestic African Elephant. Witness their intelligence, compassionate nature and the sheer delight the elephant experience when interacting with their human counterparts. The Elephant Interaction offers you the opportunity to feel their constantly curious trunks, touch their rough skin, exchange trunk greetings and offer tasty treats, while learning about their behavior and history from the Elephant Handlers. An Elephant Back Ride offers a different perspective; embark on a journey which was once a privilege reserved only for kings!
And a Shangana Cultural Experience
The beautiful traditional villages of Shangana are owned by the Mapulana community, who present their traditional way of life. By supporting Shanagana, you are supporting over 100 jobs in a rural area. Shangana is just 5km from Hazyview, between the Kruger Park and Panorama Route. The Marula Market forms the centre of Shangana, the region’s leading market for local craft and curios – all at the best ‘Shangaan prices’. The picturesque setting and traditional huts make it an excellent reception and welcome area for guests arriving for tours, with individually decorated bathrooms and refreshments available.
During the day, tours are led by trained guides along a winding path through the bush and past fields where crops are grown. After gaining permission, guests enter a living village where they meet the resident Shangaan family and learn aspects of history, customs and traditions. Guests are encouraged to interact and really experience the way of life. The tour then proceeds to the mystical kraal of the sangoma (traditional healer) to learn about traditional medicines, before returning to the Marula Market.
Day 18 – Home
Includes: Road transfer through to Hoedspruit Airport