BEST OF BOTSWANA
The safari concentrates in the Northern Botswana region which is ideal 4X4 over-lander country, the area consists of some of the best and wildest game reserves in Africa. Experiencing the unspoiled, wild areas in Botswana is a truly unique and memorable experience. Although the trails and tracks in some areas certainly require 4×4 vehicles, prior 4×4 experience is not essential and we do provide a briefing prior to departure along with a complete introduction to the vehicle
Day 1: Johannesburg – Waterberg Wilderness Reserve
250 kilometers and 3 hours
The Waterberg mountain range is situated in the Limpopo province of South Africa and is one of the more pristine, scenic and wildlife rich areas in South Africa. Positioned on the Eastern side of the Waterberg range the Waterberg Wilderness reserve is only 2.5 hours from Johannesburg and conveniently positioned half way to Botswana. Due to the rugged nature of the reserve which is typical of the Waterberg, a 4×4 vehicle or vehicle with good ground clearance is recommended to access the property. In the wet season a 4×4 vehicle is often essential.
Certain areas of the Waterberg Wilderness Reserve offer spectacular views over the surrounding hills and valleys and exploring the impressive gorges with natural streams and pools is certainly a highlight. The reserve is ideal for the more active with some beautiful walks and potential mountain bike trails.
Accommodation – luxury tents – self catering
Day 2: Waterberg Wilderness Reserve – Khama Rhino Sanctuary: Serowe Botswana
400 kms, 4.5 hours
The Khama Rhino Sanctuary Trust is a community based wildlife project, established in 1992 to assist in saving the vanishing rhino, restore an area formerly teeming with wildlife to its previous natural state and provide economic benefits to the local Batswana community through tourism and the sustainable use of natural resources. The camping and chalet facilities at Mokongwa Camp are a short drive from the Entrance Gate and are accessible without four-wheel drive. There are 13 campsites, including sites for large groups. The central feature of each site is a large Mokongwa tree which provides both character and shade. There is also a fireplace, braai stand with grill, and tap with birdbath. The campsites are served by two communal ablution blocks.
Day 3 & 4: Central Kalahari Game Reserve: Deception and Letihua Valley
450 kms, 6 hours
CKGR is the second largest game reserve in the world. Larger than Denmark or Switzerland, and bigger than Lesotho and Swaziland combined, the 52,800 km is situated right in the centre of Botswana, this reserve is characterised by saltpans and ancient riverbeds. Varying from sand dunes with many species of trees and shrubs in the north, to flat bushveld in the central area, the reserve is more heavily wooded in the south, with mophane forests to the south and east. Rainfall is sparse and sporadic and can vary from 170 to 700 mm per year. Camping wild with limited facilities
Kalahari is the largest sand basin in the world, stretching 1,560 miles (2,500km) from the northern part of South Africa, through Namibia and Angola and ending in the DRC (Congo). It may have no permanent surface water, but unlike the image of most deserts, the Kalahari is well vegetated with a wide variety of habitats including acacia trees and areas of flat grasslands that seem to stretch forever. The CKGR was originally created as a refuge for the San Bushmen – the inhabitants of the Kalahari for the past 30,000 years. They lived in nomadic hunter-gatherer family groups only taking what they needed to survive – which is an art form in the Kalahari. Their simple lifestyle became anathema to the sophisticated Europeans who colonized Southern Africa and the Bushmen found themselves the hunted rather than the hunter. Bushmen survival became an issue in 1961 when Botswana was still a British Protectorate, and the CKGR was formed as their homeland. Most have now intermixed with other tribes such as the Bakgalagadi, and live in villages at the southern end of this reserve.
Day 5: Nxai Pans: Nxai South Camp
250 kms, 5 hours
In the wet season the pans come alive with the plains game attracted by the nutritious grasses. Closely following are the predators. In the season large herds are drawn to the only water supply in hundreds of kilometers. Makgadikgadi and Nxai Pans National Parks offer the openness and seasonal migration of zebras from Chobe towards Central Kalahari and abundance of exotic birds. The desert environment which makes up the CKGR with vast grassland stretches of savannah and thorny scrubs.
It covers 2500km2 and was proclaimed in 1970, later extended to its present size including Baines baobab. Nxai National Park is located on the Northern fringe of the Makgadikgadi basin and includes Nxai pan, an ancient lake bed that was once part of ancient Lake Makgadikgadi. Nxai Pan National Park Consists of series of fossils pans acacia tress on islands that form shady spots for the animals to rest during hot weather. South Camp Campsite is situated not far from the second entrance gate in a well shaded area. camping
Day 6: Maun Okavango Delta: Audi Tented Camp
Audi Camp is 12 kilometers north of Maun, on the road toward the Moremi Game Reserve, located on the banks of the Thamalakane river – the southernmost tributary of the Okavango Delta. We have luxury en-suite tents on raised wooden decking overlooking the river, mini-meru tents with beds, lights their own fire places and cooking area. Large dome tents with stretcher beds. We also have many shaded camping areas and some of the sites have power points. We have a bar and a la carte restaurant. Maun offers good shops and facility to stock up and prepare for the following days of remote camping and no facilities. Accommodation luxury tents
Day 7 & 8: Moremi Game Reserve: Third Bridge Camp
250 kms, 5 hours
The Okavango Delta is one of the world’s largest inland water systems. It’s headwaters start in Angola’s western highlands, with numerous tributaries joining to form the Cubango river, which then flows through Namibia (called the Kavango) and finally enters Botswana, where it is then called the Okavango. Millions of years ago the Okavango river use to flow into a large inland lake called Lake Makgadikgadi (now Makgadikgadi Pans).
Third Bridge camp site is located on the Western side of Moremi Game Reserve along the off stream of Moanachira River. Third Bridge camp site can be accessed along a 58km route North Westly direction through some diverse scenery across first and second bridge. Another route from the South gate goes through the Mophane forest 60km long via Xakanaka. Third Bridge area that borders on the delta and Mboma Island enjoy heavy concentration of wildlife in the dry season. Third Bridge offers much more of the wilderness experience than most of Southern African camping grounds with unspoiled wilderness and top destination. Wild camping with ablution facilities and excellent positioning
Day 9: Moremi Game Reserve: Khwai Community Camp
100 kilometer, 3 hours
Moremi, hunted by the Bushman as long as 10,000 years ago, was initiated by the Batswana tribe and covers some 4,871 km2, as the eastern section of the Okavango Delta. Moremi is mostly described as one of the most beautiful wildlife reserves in Africa. It combines mopane woodland and acacia forests, floodplains and lagoons. It is the great diversity of plant and animal life that makes Moremi so well known. The khawa river is well known for wildlife and offers some of the best viewing in Southern Africa.
Day 10: Chobe National Park : Savuti Camp
190 kilometers, 5 hours
Savuti Camp lies on the Savute Channel in northern Botswana, a famous waterway in a thrilling state of flux. For a quarter of a century, the Savute 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 Savuti Camp now has front-row seats to view the abundant game that has congregated and adapted in its wake.
Game concentrations here are high, particularly in the winter dry season, and apart from abundant plains game, species such as roan and sable antelope, southern giraffe, lion, leopard, cheetah, spotted hyaena, black-backed jackal and wild dog may also be encountered. In winter, this area can also be excellent for the sought-after aardvark and aardwolf, which are big ticks on anyone’s mammal lists! camping
Day 11: Chobe National Park : Chobe Forest Camp
240 kms, 6.5 hours
The Chobe National Park, which is the second largest national park in Botswana and covers 10,566 square kilometers, has one of the greatest concentrations of game found on the African continent. Its uniqueness in the abundance of wildlife and the true African nature of the region, offers a safari experience of a lifetime. Game viewing is exceptional.
Chobe Forest Camp is a relatively new camping ground with modern facilities, and the option to stay in luxury tents. It is situated in the Chobe Forest Reserve and only 40km from Kasane. This is the ideal 4×4 self drive campsite.
Day 12: Chobe Forest Camp : Chobe Forest Reserve
Chobe Forest Camp is situated near Kasane on the way to Nata on the A1. Spend your day relaxing in the hide overlooking the pan where wildlife interact. Ot go on one of the game drives to explore area in your vehicle. The campsite was designed around the 4×4 self-drive market and catering to their camping needs. The campsites are well spaced and private with each campsite having water, shade and a braai area. There is a private ablution for every campsite which consists of a shower, a basin and flushing toilet.
Day 13: Nata Lodge Camping
380kms, 4.5 hours
An oasis set among the Mokolwane palms on the edge of the pans. It is ideally situated close to the entrance to the Nata Sanctuary and is just off the main road, 10 km from Nata village. This is the junction to the Okavango, Chobe and Francistown areas
This area incorporates a multitude of salt pans and vast grass plains dotted by palm islands and forms the Great Makgadikagidi which comprise the largest area of salt pans in the world covering some 37 000 sq km in overall extent. It is the last vestiges of Africa’s largest inland sea and exudes an atmosphere of antiquity and mystery
The Nata River delta feeds the Sua Pan in the Nata sanctuary and forms the breeding ground for a host of water birds including pelicans and flamingo in their thousands, transforming the shore line into a pink haze blending into the western sky. Nata Lodge offers guided tours in open safari vehicles into the sanctuary, not to be missed
The campsite surroundings offer peace and tranquility with backdrop being that of the Botswana night sky. The lodge’s campsite is able to accommodate 150 pax and the ablution area’s are stylish with semi open showers offering hot and cold water for that true African feeling. The campsite, however, does not have electricity points.
Day 14: Tuli Game Reserve: Tuli Tented Lodge/Chalets
300 kms, 4 hours
The Northern Tuli Game Reserve is located in the easternmost corner of Botswana, close to the Mapungubwe World Heritage Site in South Africa. Here is a unique, timeless corner of Africa where nature and culture combine in spectacular wildlife, breathtaking landscapes and fascinating history. Set in spacious gardens along the banks of the Limpopo River against a backdrop of stunning sandstone outcrops, Tuli Safari Lodge is also unique. Here the welcome is genuinely warm and the ambience is charmingly ageless.
Each day brings a new adventure as Tuli offers a truly authentic wildlife experience. Here roams the largest elephant population on private land in Africa, together with leopard, cheetah, wild dog and lion, vast herds of plains game and over 350 bird species.
Day 15: Tuli to Johannesburg
6 hrs 550 kms