Botswana Adventure

Desert and Deltas

If you thought a safari was only about game driving across vast, wildlife-spotted plains, then this unique custom itinerary in Botswana’s Okavango Delta and the Makgadikgadi Pan will make you think again. There’s certainly game drives, and there’s also plenty of wildlife, but we’ve also got walking safaris led by expert Bushmen trackers, traditional mokoro safaris and quad biking, and otherworldly, lunar-like landscapes, just made for marvelling at. After all, we do like to be a little different at Natural Selection.

The Okavango Delta and the Makgadikgadi Salt Pans couldn’t be more different – and that’s exactly why we’ve combined them in this itinerary. When you reach the Makgadikgadi, you might think you’ve arrived on another planet. Shimmering salt stretches as far as the eye can see, silence dominates, and it’s all yours to discover as you wish. Then it’s off to Khwai Private Reserve, a luscious land of winding waterways, thick forest and emerald-green grass, not to mention a jaw-dropping concentration of wildlife. Talk about chalk and cheese!

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Price from:

$6,654

Duration:

7 days/6 nights

Departure Dates:

Departures on demand

Min / Max Group Size

Enquire with reservations

Trip Begins / Ends

Maun, Botswana / Maun, Botswana

Includes Mobile Camping:

No

Details, Details

Highlights

  • If there are two things you’ll definitely not forget in a hurry, they are racing across the Makgadikgadi Pans atop a quad bike, and spending time with habituated meerkats.
  • Spend the morning with one of the Zu/’hoasi Bushmen of the Makgadikgadi, and delve deeper into the history of the mysterious land.
  • Discover the rare, desert-adapted animals that call the Makgadikgadi home.
  • Mix and match your game viewing and explore Khwai Private Reserve on game drives, walking safaris and night drives.
  • Prepare to be amazed at the astounding variety of wildlife in Khwai, from rare antelope to lion and leopard, and enormous herds of elephant to wild dog.
  • Wildlife-watch from the comfort of your tent at Sable Alley, and watch the comings and goings of the animals at the waterholes in front of camp.

The Essentials

Pricing Information: From $6,654.00 per person sharing in the green season. A single supplement applies to single travellers. The price is dependent on actual travel dates.

Included: Travelling costs as per itinerary; activities (most!); entrance and park fees; accommodation as specified on a sharing basis; all meals and local drinks; road transfers; applicable tourism levies, taxes, and all relevant VAT.

Excluded: Expenses of a personal nature, such as telephone expenses & shopping; premium brand drinks; tips and gratuities; additional activities; scheduled flights and related taxes; Visa fees where relevant; cancellation, baggage, medical, and evacuation insurance.

Child Policy: Please enquire with reservations.

Disabled Access: Please enquire with reservations.

Wifi: Wifi is not available for the duration of this trip.

Can this itinerary be customised? Yes, this itinerary can be fully customised.

Extension ideas: Go wild and spend 2 or 3 nights mobile camping in the heart of the Okavango Delta, or the Kalahari. Please ask for details!

When to Go & What to Pack

The green season is from January until March; the high season runs from July until October, and the shoulder seasons are from April to June, and November through to January.

Whatever time of year you’re travelling, we suggest you pack cotton clothes in neutral colours, as well as trousers and long sleeved tops. A warm sweater, a broad-brimmed hat and sunglasses are well worth having, and sun block, insect repellent and lip balm are also important. For footwear, bring sturdy, closed walking shoes and socks (but no need to bring heavy hiking boots). Binoculars, cameras and reference books are a must, and of course, bring your swimming kit! During our summer months (November to March) you’ll want a lightweight rain jacket, and if you’re travelling through the winter don’t forget to pack a few bits of warm clothing, leggings to wear beneath trousers, and a good jacket (and maybe even a hat, gloves and a scarf). All your luggage must be packed into a soft bag, so it can be squeezed into tight corners in small aircraft and vehicles.

 

Our Guides

As guides ourselves, we are only too aware of the importance of great guiding on safari. At Natural Selection, our guides live and breathe the bush. They know its rhythms, its beats and its quirks. They can spot a leopard’s whisker from around a corner, and they have an innate ability to expect the unexpected. Most importantly, they love to share their knowledge and delight for all aspects of Africa’s ecosystems, from the smallest plant to the hairiest mammal, and everything in between. Many of our guides are from the local communities, and they are always happy to discuss their cultures, backgrounds and upbringings. After all, understanding the way of life of the local people can bring a whole new perspective to the land you’re exploring. And did we mention that they are all fantastic company, with some of the biggest personalities in the business? But we can’t vouch for their jokes…

Highlights

  • If there are two things you’ll definitely not forget in a hurry, they are racing across the Makgadikgadi Pans atop a quad bike, and spending time with habituated meerkats.
  • Spend the morning with one of the Zu/’hoasi Bushmen of the Makgadikgadi, and delve deeper into the history of the mysterious land.
  • Discover the rare, desert-adapted animals that call the Makgadikgadi home.
  • Mix and match your game viewing and explore Khwai Private Reserve on game drives, walking safaris and night drives.
  • Prepare to be amazed at the astounding variety of wildlife in Khwai, from rare antelope to lion and leopard, and enormous herds of elephant to wild dog.
  • Wildlife-watch from the comfort of your tent at Sable Alley, and watch the comings and goings of the animals at the waterholes in front of camp.

The Essentials

Pricing Information: From $6,654.00 per person sharing in the green season. A single supplement applies to single travellers. The price is dependent on actual travel dates.

Included: Travelling costs as per itinerary; activities (most!); entrance and park fees; accommodation as specified on a sharing basis; all meals and local drinks; road transfers; applicable tourism levies, taxes, and all relevant VAT.

Excluded: Expenses of a personal nature, such as telephone expenses & shopping; premium brand drinks; tips and gratuities; additional activities; scheduled flights and related taxes; Visa fees where relevant; cancellation, baggage, medical, and evacuation insurance.

Child Policy: Please enquire with reservations.

Disabled Access: Please enquire with reservations.

Wifi: Wifi is not available for the duration of this trip.

Can this itinerary be customised? Yes, this itinerary can be fully customised.

Extension ideas: Go wild and spend 2 or 3 nights mobile camping in the heart of the Okavango Delta, or the Kalahari. Please ask for details!

When to Go & What to Pack

The green season is from January until March; the high season runs from July until October, and the shoulder seasons are from April to June, and November through to January.

Whatever time of year you’re travelling, we suggest you pack cotton clothes in neutral colours, as well as trousers and long sleeved tops. A warm sweater, a broad-brimmed hat and sunglasses are well worth having, and sun block, insect repellent and lip balm are also important. For footwear, bring sturdy, closed walking shoes and socks (but no need to bring heavy hiking boots). Binoculars, cameras and reference books are a must, and of course, bring your swimming kit! During our summer months (November to March) you’ll want a lightweight rain jacket, and if you’re travelling through the winter don’t forget to pack a few bits of warm clothing, leggings to wear beneath trousers, and a good jacket (and maybe even a hat, gloves and a scarf). All your luggage must be packed into a soft bag, so it can be squeezed into tight corners in small aircraft and vehicles.

 

Our Guides

As guides ourselves, we are only too aware of the importance of great guiding on safari. At Natural Selection, our guides live and breathe the bush. They know its rhythms, its beats and its quirks. They can spot a leopard’s whisker from around a corner, and they have an innate ability to expect the unexpected. Most importantly, they love to share their knowledge and delight for all aspects of Africa’s ecosystems, from the smallest plant to the hairiest mammal, and everything in between. Many of our guides are from the local communities, and they are always happy to discuss their cultures, backgrounds and upbringings. After all, understanding the way of life of the local people can bring a whole new perspective to the land you’re exploring. And did we mention that they are all fantastic company, with some of the biggest personalities in the business? But we can’t vouch for their jokes…

Itinerary & Map

Day 1: Arrive in Maun and fly to Jack’s Camp, Makgadikgadi Salt Pans

Settle into safari-life at Jack’s Camp, and marvel into the astonishing scenery in this extraordinary corner of Botswana.

 Days 2 & 3: Jack’s Camp, Makgadikgadi Salt Pans

The next two days are jam-packed with activities, and on the menu, we’ve got walks with the Zu/’hoasi Bushmen, game drives, quad bike explorations, and meetings with cheeky meerkats.

Day 4: Transfer to Sable Alley, Khwai Private Reserve

Today, you’ll leave the shimmering salt pans behind and head for the greenery of Khwai Private Reserve and Sable Alley camp.

 Days 5 & 6: Sable Alley, Khwai Private Reserve

Rise early for wildlife-filled game drives, and take afternoon meanders along the river, or, if you’re activitied out, try an ‘armchair safari’ in camp, and wait for the wildlife to come to you.

Day 7: Transfer back to Maun and depart

We won’t say too much about today, but at some stage you’ll have to leave and head back to Maun for your onward flight.

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Accommodations

The tents at Jack’s Camp are pitched on a low, grassy knoll amongst an oasis of desert palms in the heart of the lunar-like Makgadikgadi. The camp’s hub is the mess tent, a canvas pavilion where three-course dinners are served at tables draped in the finest Damask linen. The ten, 1940s-style canvas bedrooms all have ensuite bathrooms, indoor and outdoor showers, and private verandas with views over the bleached landscape. There’s also a swimming pool and a Natural History Museum to keep you busy, even in the quiet times.

Opened in 2017, Sable Alley is a modern slice of light, bright and beautiful luxury amid the game-rich floodplains of Khwai. The best news is that it’s as sustainable as it is sophisticated – the camp was in fact established to create a meaningful bridge between the tourism industry and local villagers, and we’re proud of what we’ve achieved so far. The elegant tents overlook a peaceful lagoon, and you can enjoy the views from one of the 12, ensuite bedrooms, the swimming pool, or the stylish main area.

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Wildlife

You might think, at first glance, that not a soul could survive in the bizarre environment of the Makgadikgadi Pan. But spend a few days here, and you’ll find the myriad of wildlife that calls the moonscape home. Meerkats pop up from the desert dust (always a highlight), nomadic elephant wander, and Kalahari black-maned can sometimes be found, slightly further afield. One of the icons of the pan is the brown hyaena. The third rarest carnivore in Africa, it’s an animal that’s pretty much impossible to see anywhere else. And whilst we’re on the subject of rare, every so often you might catch a glimpse of a bat-eared fox or an aardwolf, a cheetah or leopard.

The 495,000 acre Khwai Private Reserve is positively bursting with game, and it’s just as varied as the habitats you’re driving through. Wildlife moves freely from the neighbouring Moremi Game Reserve, and you’ll see buffalo, zebra, reedbuck, red lechwe, sable and roan antelope, and waterbuck dotted over the landscape. This is a reserve for spotting predators, and lion and leopard hide in the mopane bush, whilst cheetah and wild dog frequently cross the open plains. And don’t forget the elephant. There’s an extraordinary number of the grey pachyderms in the park, crossing from Chobe to Moremi, and the sightings are top-notch.

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