Day 0: Flight to Africa
Days 1 - 3: Kwara, Moremi Game Reserve.
After your arrival in Maun you will be immediately transferred by plane to Kwara Safari Camp. This well known camp is set overlooking a secluded lagoon in the northern Okavango Delta. This region offers a contrasting experience, as its location allows access to the permanent waterways of the Delta as well as expansive dry land areas, admired for their quality game viewing.
Kwara is a delightfully unelaborate camp which offers a very relaxed and friendly atmosphere. Its classic tented design will suit those seeking a closer connection with the natural surroundings and less emphasis on trimmings. The main attraction here is the area, which is currently amongst the best in Botswana for both game viewing and water-based activities. The use of a guide and a tracker means that sightings, especially of predators, are pretty regular. Boat trips to a busy heronry are an added attraction between August and December.
Kwara offers, within the exclusive concession in which it is located, a wide variety of activities. In addition to game drives, both day and night, the camp offers game walks and mokoro trips, as well as power boating and fishing (spinning equipment is provided but fly fisherman need to bring their own equipment).
Moremi is a gem of a National Park has garnered a number of important distinctions. in 2008, it was voted the ‘best game reserve in Africa’ by the prestigious African Travel and Tourism Association at South Africa’s premier tourism fair, Indaba. It is the first reserve in Africa that was established by local residents. Concerned about the rapid depletion of wildlife in their ancestral lands – due to uncontrolled hunting and cattle encroachment – the Batawana people of Ngamiland, under the leadership of the deceased Chief Moremi III’s wife, Mrs. Moremi, took the bold initiative to proclaim Moremi a game reserve in 1963.
Typical activity structure in Botswana is up early at around 6.00, with tea and coffee and then out for a camp drive or another activity, back around 9.30 for brunch, time to relax during the heat of the day before a sumptuous tea followed by the afternoon activity. Back in camp around at sunset in time for dinner around 8.00 pm. Each camp slightly varies depending on the activities but in essence this is roughly what to expect.
Moremi Game Reserve is situated in the central and eastern areas of the Okavango, and includes the Moremi Tongue and chief’s island, boasting one of the richest and most diverse ecosystems on the continent. This makes for spectacular game viewing and bird watching, including all major naturally occurring herbivore and carnivore species in the region, and over 400 species of birds, many migratory and some endangered. Both Black and White Rhino have recently been re-introduced, now making the reserve a ‘Big Five’ destination.
Contained within an area of approximately 3900 sq kms, here land and Delta meet to create an exceedingly picturesque preserve of floodplains – either seasonally or perennially wet, waterways, lagoons, pools, pans, grasslands and riparian, riverine and mophane forests. This terrain makes driving Moremi’s many loops and trails both delightful and, at times, totally inspiring.
Accommodation: Kwara accommodates a maximum of 16 guests in eight traditionally styled tents on raised decks, each offering superb views of the lagoon. Towering African ebony and mangosteen trees ensure that the camp is always cool while the hundreds of birds add to the feeling of serenity in one of the Okavango's best kept secrets.
The bathroom is divided from the main room only by a canvas wall. Here there's a flush toilet and double basins with a large overhanging mirror, and a door leads to a lovely open-air shower, enclosed by lattice walls. The water is heated by gas geysers which we found to be archaic and rather fiddly, but there are plans to upgrade to a solar system. Conditioning shampoo, shower gel, soap and body lotion are provided.
Meal Plan: Fully Inclusive
Days 4 - 6: Lagoon Camp, Linyanti
In the morning there is a camp transfer by aeroplane and this will take approximately 45 min. There was an opportunity to see some incredible sights from your window seat. You will be told the night before the times as they do vary through out the day.
Lagoon is perched on the banks of the wild Kwando River, overlooking the Mudumu National Park in the Namibian Caprivi Strip. The camp is nestled beneath towering ebony and marula trees and accommodates up to 16 guests in eight traditionally styled 'tents.' The heavily forested site is home to a wide variety of birds and mammals, while elephant and hippo are normally visible from the camp. The stunning views and close proximity of wildlife all contribute to the pervading sense of calm at Lagoon.
Seasonally large herds of elephant drink at the river bank near to the camp in full view of the main deck, while playful spotted - necked otters are commonly seen performing in the water. Lagoon has a well-earned reputation for big game and large herds of elephant and buffalo, especially in the winter months, when herds of up to a thousand are not uncommon. This vast concentration of game attracts the attention of large predators.
The Lagoon wild dog pack regularly den close to the camp and the excellent viewing opportunities have led to Lagoon's reputation as the place to see wild dog in Botswana.
Another special feature of the camp is the afternoon river cruise. The unique double deck boat allows several guests the opportunity to drift along the river while enjoying spectacular views, mammal and bird life while sipping at your 'sundowner' of choice. For those guests who enjoy fishing, there is ample room to throw a line in the water while the boat meanders along.
The daily safari routine usually involves an early morning wake up call, and a gathering around the fireside for piping hot tea and coffee, a bowl of sumptuous porridge and freshly baked muffins. As well as the clean early morning air and dazzling sun rise, an early departure greatly increases the chances of unusual sightings, as the majority of mammals are active at the beginning and end of the day when temperatures are lower.
Game drives are undertaken in custom designed Toyota game viewing vehicles seating no more than six guests at a time in two rows of three. The use of only two rows ensures that guests are never so far from the front of the vehicle that they are unable to hear the guide or tracker's interpretation, even while driving. Guests are guided by a two person team of professional guide and tracker - a special feature of the Kwando Safaris wildlife experience. The two person team enables the guide to communicate points of interest and the complex interrelations that exist throughout the natural world, while the tracker ensures no sightings or tracks are missed.
Accommodation: The camp itself is comprised of eight custom designed tents, with unique mosquito net walls, allowing an unobstructed flow of cooling breezes and stunning views. Each spacious tent has its own viewing deck, bathroom and luxurious double outside showers. They are called tents but I would call them canvas rooms, and they are enormous!
Meal Plan: Fully Inclusive
Days 6 – 9: Pride of Zambezi
In the morning there is a 50 min flight to Kasane where you will be picked up and taken to immigration. Here you depart Botswana. There then is a short boat trip to the Namibian immigration across the other side of the River Chobe. You the sign into Namibia as The Pride of Zambezi is registered in Namibia – so that you can fish. Botswana has banned all fishing in the country at the moment so in order to fish all the house boats are registered in Namibia!
You will be warmly welcomed onto the boat and served lunch. Time to relax and explore and if you want to take a trip out in one of the smaller boats then you can, they are at your disposal. Boat trips are organised with the crew to suit your times and can be as long and as short as you want. Your time here is flexible and gives you a chance to rest form all that game viewing!
The Upper deck has loungers and the delux suite and it also the Captain's section so if you want to chat with him as you chug along the Chobe then you are more than welcome, he would like the company!
The Middle Deck is called the "heart" of this beautiful riverboat, with its fully equipped bar, comfortable lounge and dining area. For your enjoyment, there is a large jacuzzi and flatscreen TV. There are very comfortable sofas where you can sit and watch the world drift by. This deck also has a unique roller shutter system where the entire deck or part thereof could be shut down for protection against the elements.
Accommodation: Five well appointed en-suite cabins are situated on the bottom deck. Each can be made up as a twin or a double room. All cabins have electronic safes, fans, mosquito gauze and built-in cupboards. These spacious cabins offer superb views over the river, whilst the front cabin boasts its own private deck. I will try to get you this one but I can not guarantee it!
Meal Plan: Fully Inclusive
Days 10 - 12: Victoria Falls Hotel, Victoria Falls
In the morning there is a short transfer to immigration where you check back into Botswana. This is followed by a 1.5 hour journey across the border into Zimbabwe. You will arrive at Victoria Falls Hotel late morning in time to explore the surrounding area.
Victoria Falls Hotel, popularly known as "the grand old lady of the falls", is a luxurious 5-Star Hotel on a World Heritage site overlooking the magnificent "Victoria Falls", One of the Natural Wonders of the World. Established in 1904, and recently redecorated. This gracious colonial style hotel is set in the lush tropical gardens and epitomizes the romance of grand travel, offering total relaxation.
Victoria Falls is a short walk to the Falls. ‘Scenes so lovely must have been gazed upon by Angels in their flight’ is the often quoted note that David Livingstone made when he first saw this spectacular waterfall. Spend a day at Victoria Falls, considered by some as one of The Seven Wonders of the World and see the Falls from a number of different view points. Victoria Falls is one of the most spectacular natural wonders of the world - hence its almost universal appeal to visitors. The mighty Zambezi flows broad and placid to the brink of a 1700m wide basalt lip before taking a headlong 100 metre plunge into the thunderous, frothy chasm of the gorge below. This is the world's largest sheet of falling water.
There are a number of different activities that can be done at Victoria Falls including helicopter ride over the falls, walking around the Falls, trips to the nearby game reserve and a host of other adrenaline junkie activities! All of this can be organised by the staff at the hotel.
Accommodation: Echoing its glorious past, The Victoria Falls Hotel’s traditional rooms and suites are truly a five star experience. Style and sophistication are trademarks of the hotels executive suites, which are luxuriously appointed with décor being warm, inviting and rich with tradition.
All rooms are air conditioned with every modern amenity including digital satellite television and a personal safe. The old fashioned bath tubs of the stable wing turn the bathroom into a haven of relaxation. Rooms range from standard rooms, twin standard rooms, deluxe twin, standard suites, honeymoon suites and the famous royal suite.
Meal Plan: B and B
Day 13: Home
You will be transferred to Vic Falls airport for your onward journey back home.
Return Home, sob.
Listed below are hotels/lodges/resorts that the safari tour operator can accomodate for you.