Stars and Stripes

The hidden migration

We’re not going to deny it; safaris can be an expensive business. That’s why we at Natural Selection have come up with this seven-day custom itinerary in Botswana’s Okavango Delta Region and the Makgadikgadi. It will help you save a few pennies, but without compromising on all the important bits; seeing the best wildlife, in the best areas, and contributing to the ongoing protection and conservation of some of Africa’s last great wild places. So, where will you be going? Your first stop is the Khwai Private Reserve, a 495,000 acre private conservancy that falls within Botswana’s superstar Okavango Delta Region. It’s one of the most wildlife-dense regions in an animal-filled country, and the tranquil surroundings are perfect for game viewing and updating your bird list.

Moving on to the Makgadikgadi Pans National Park from Khwai is rather like stepping into an entirely different world. This moonscape of salt pans covers a seemingly endless 4,900 square kilometre area. On first glance, it might look as if there’s nothing there at all. But that’s simply not true. Look a little closer, and you’ll find a plethora of desert-adapted life.

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Price from:

$3,299.00

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

  • Explore the best of Botswana’s wild places on a variety of activities, and save a few pennies too – what’s not to love?
  • Game drive through the grassy plains and glistening waterways of Khwai Private Reserve, spotting lion, elephant, zebra and buffalo as you go.
  • Boost your wildlife photograph collection and spend a morning in our ground-level photographic hide at Hyena Pan.
  • Visit Gweta village, located in the community close to Meno a Kwena, a learn a little about the fascinating culture in this corner of Botswana.
  • Rise early in the morning and embark on a full-day exploration of the Makgadikgadi Pans National Park by vehicle, picnicking in shady spots as you go.
  • Marvel at the second largest migration of mammals in Africa, and watch as 40,000 zebra and wildebeest converge at the Boteti River (May to November).

The Essentials

Pricing Information: From $3,299.00 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 available at Meno a Kwena, but is not available at Hyena Pan.

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

 Extension ideas: Why not experience the thrill of the Skybeds, three, five-metre high sleeping platforms in the heart of the Khwai Private Reserve?

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

  • Explore the best of Botswana’s wild places on a variety of activities, and save a few pennies too – what’s not to love?
  • Game drive through the grassy plains and glistening waterways of Khwai Private Reserve, spotting lion, elephant, zebra and buffalo as you go.
  • Boost your wildlife photograph collection and spend a morning in our ground-level photographic hide at Hyena Pan.
  • Visit Gweta village, located in the community close to Meno a Kwena, a learn a little about the fascinating culture in this corner of Botswana.
  • Rise early in the morning and embark on a full-day exploration of the Makgadikgadi Pans National Park by vehicle, picnicking in shady spots as you go.
  • Marvel at the second largest migration of mammals in Africa, and watch as 40,000 zebra and wildebeest converge at the Boteti River (May to November).

The Essentials

Pricing Information: From $3,299.00 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 available at Meno a Kwena, but is not available at Hyena Pan.

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

 Extension ideas: Why not experience the thrill of the Skybeds, three, five-metre high sleeping platforms in the heart of the Khwai Private Reserve?

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 Hyena Pan, Khwai Private Reserve

Arrive at Hyena Pan, shower, settle in and toast the beginning of your safari with a crisp G&T around the campfire. Magic.

Days 2 & 3: Hyena Pan, Khwai Private Reserve

Get stuck in to a game drive, or lace up your walking boots for a safari on foot – you’ve got 495,000 acres at your disposal!

Day 4: Fly to Maun and drive to Meno a Kwena Camp

Today, you’ll fly back to Maun and hop in a vehicle, ready for the short drive (around 1.5 hours) to Meno a Kwena and the Makgadikgadi.

Days 5 & 6: Meno a Kwena Camp, Makgadikgadi Pans National Park

Head out on a game drive, and find antelope with comical, twisted horns, as well as some of the rarer desert species, and then take to the water for a boat safari on the Boteti River. Time it right and you’ll be able to watch the wildlife drinking at the water’s edge, just before the sun disappears for the day.

Day 7: Drive back to Maun

Today, it’s time to return home. We’ll take you back to Maun Airport for your onward flight. But don’t think about that yet.

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Accommodations

Hyena Pan is one of the most purse-friendly camps in any Botswana private concession. But that doesn’t mean we’ve compromised on style and comfort. In fact, we haven’t compromised on anything – we’ve simply kept things laid-back and relaxed. The eight tents are cool and comfortable, and all have views of the water-filled Hyena Pan in front of camp. We’ve also managed to squeeze in a mini splash pool, and a rather lovely viewing deck, both of which overlook the waterhole for continued wildlife-watching wherever you happen to be in camp.

The two best things about Meno a Kwena? The view, looking down to the Boteti River and its accompanying assemblages of wildlife, swiftly followed by the passion of the staff for everything conservation and wildlife related. But we also have to mention the tents. Perched on a clifftop, each one is tremendously comfortable, stylish, and a little bit quirky too.

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Wildlife

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.

The sparse desert habitat of Makgadikgadi Pans National Park is pretty unique. During the dry season (May to November), the salt twinkles like a mirage, and desert elephant and antelope pick their way across the scorched ground. Then, the rain dutifully turns the pan into a generous lake, and giant flocks of flamingo and water birds crowd the space. But the real spectacle of the park is Africa’s second largest migration of mammals. 30,000 zebra and wildebeest rumble across the area, congregating at the Boteti River in April in a dazzle of black and white (and grey and brown). And where there are ungulates, there are predators. You’ll find a full sweep of them in the MPNP, including lion, cheetah, leopard and wild dog.

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