Nights of the 20′th, 21′st and 22′nd Dec : 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 23′rd, 24′th and 25′th Dec: Deception Valley, Central Kalahari Game Reserve.
Drive through the village of Khumaga and onto Rakops, for fuel, before driving to the Central Kalahari. We drive to Deception Valley and camp in a site overlooking the Valley. One of the remotest and most unspoiled parts of Africa, this is one of the prime game viewing areas in Botswana.It’s sure to be a magical Christmas Day. December is one of the best times to visit the Kalahari with wildflowers abounding on the pans and new life everywhere as antelope drop their young.
Nothing prepares you for the immensity of this reserve, nor its wild, mysterious beauty. Waist-high golden grasses seem to stretch interminably, punctuated by dwarfed trees and scrub bushes. Wide and empty pans appear as vast white stretches of saucer-flat earth, meeting a soft, blue-white sky. At night the stars utterly dominate the land; their brilliance and immediacy are totally arresting. The best time to visit is when we will be, during or soon after the rains, when large herds of springbok and gemsbok, as well as wildebeest, hartebeest and eland gather for good grazing.
Final Day: Return to Maun on Dec 26′th
We will have one last Game drive in Deception valley before returning to Maun Airport for your departure, if you would like to continue on to the Okavango Delta or Chobe this safari can be extended and we can arrange your onward accommodation and activities.