Nights of the 8’th, 9’th & 10’th Aug: Maun - Nxai Pan
We drive to Nxai Pan (Approx 4 hours) and camp there at an exclusive operators site. Part of the great Makgadikgadi complex, Nxai Pan National Park covers an area of 2,100 km2, and comprises several larger pans which were once ancient salt lakes. These larger pans are now grassed, and are scattered with islands of acacia trees, and smaller pans that fill with water during the rainy season - thus providing rich resources for wildlife.
During the dry season there is often the opportunity to witness a kill as the lions often set up at one of the two pumped water holes in this small National Park. Nxai Pan has become famous due to the award winning IMAX film called Roar, mostly filmed at the pumped water hole during the dry season, where the resident lions set up to kill the Springbok and other animals drawn to the only source of water for miles around. The extremely rare Brown Hyaena and Cheetah are frequently spotted here.
After arriving at our campsite, we will leave the Ulinda staff to erect our camp while we go for a game drive, and enjoy sundowners at the waterhole. When we return to our camp we will enjoy snacks and drinks around the campfire. Then a tasty freshly cooked meal. Wine and beer is included (throughout). The next days we arise early and go for game drives, we especially try and find lions and leopard first thing in the morning and try leave camp before sunrise.
In addition to our normal game drives we will go to Baines Baobabs for lunch one day. Seven huge, gnarled baobab trees, named after the 19th century explorer Thomas Baines, are situated on an island overlooking and surrounded by the white, crusty Kudiakam Pan. Baines stood here over a hundred years ago and painted this otherworldly scene. It has essentially remained unchanged since that time.
Nights of the 11’th, 12’th,13’th & 14’th Aug: Khwai
Drive to Khwai, where we spend 3 nights at a beautiful and exclusive operators site. Khwai concession is a community-run private reserve adjacent to the Moremi Game Reserve, divided from it by the Khwai River. Riverine forest lines the wide water lily and papyrus covered floodplains around the Khwai River. A myriad of colourful bird life is found in this watery habitat that is a breeding area for many species. Away from the river is woodland dotted with pans where we often spot wild dog.
All fees paid here go into the local community providing schools, scholarships, water pumps and more. In addition to our normal game drives we can do some spotlighting at night, fish in the Khwai River, drive off road and get out of the vehicle at the guide’s discretion. A mekoro (wooden canoe) trip is available for an extra US$45 payable to the mekoro polers from the Khwai Community.
Our daily routine remains the same- early starts with tea, coffee and a light breakfast before a Game drive to allow the best chance of seeing predators. We return to camp for a leisurely lunch and spent the afternoon relaxing- have a siesta, read, bird watch. We go out for an evening game drive and return to camp for canapes, dinner and some fireside storytelling.
Nights of the 15’th, 16’th, 17’th & 18’th: Savute, Chobe National Park
Drive a few hours south through Chobe National Park, and stay at an exclusive site. Savuti is Botswana’s premium wild life destination and we will do extensive game drives and explore this amazing area. For a quarter of a century, the Savuti Channel was dry, creating wide-open grassland, home to both quantities and varieties of wildlife and a legendary predator’s enclave.
In 2008, the waters returned, and abundant game has congregated and adapted in its wake. Now the Marsh is once again turning into a wetland paradise. The Savute Channel is a deep, clear waterway harbouring hippo and aquatic life with myriad varieties of waterbirds. Wildlife, from plains game to a plethora of predators, has had to adapt to a new source of water and all the opportunities and menaces it has brought with it. Vast herds of Buffalo have returned to the area.
In the rainy season (normally November through to April) Savuti attracts many grazers to its short sweet grasses, and a large number of Zebra and Wildebeest congregate on the Marsh. There is a site where ancient San rock art can be seen after a small but steep climb. It is humbling to see and puzzle over and causes one to marvel at the people who previously inhabited the area. A beautiful island of 13 Baobab trees is not so well known but makes a wonderful excursion and is a wonderful site to photograph.
Nights of the 19’th, 20’th & 21’st: Chobe Riverfront
We head to the Chobe River, camping in an exclusive site near the river. The first glimpse of the Chobe River – deep and dazzling in the sandy terrain – is always breathtaking. Undoubtedly one of Africa’s most beautiful rivers, the Chobe supports a diversity and concentration of wildlife unparalleled in the country.
The Chobe Riverfront is famous for its large herds of elephants and Cape Buffalo, which during the dry winter months converge upon the river to drink. The Chobe River attracts thousands of animals searching for water during the dry season. The river is host to a stunning array of bird life and a 3-hour boat cruise is taken on the 20’th to take advantage of this. If lucky you will see Elephants swimming in close proximity to you, in addition to the normal pods of slumbering Hippo’s, Red Lechwe, Crocodile, Impala, Kudu, Puku (this is the only part of Botswana where they can be seen) and numerous other animals you can view.
The sites we stay in here are completely undeveloped areas in the ‘bush’. They offer an untouched wilderness experience, all sites are within a few hundred metres from the Chobe River, and in the dry season you can watch stunning sunsets with a backdrop of elephants and buffalo a few minutes away from our tented camp.
Final Day 22’nd Aug: Kasane
We will have one last Game drive before returning to Kasane Airport for your departure - or if you like we can arrange your accommodation in Kasane or your transfers and accomodation in Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe or Livingstone in Zambia.