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Faces of Botswana

  • Moremi Game Reserve
  • Option to join a mobile mokoro safari experience
  • Game-rich Savuti region
  • Chobe National Park
  • Follow the Old Hunters Road
  • Makgadikgadi Pans and Kubu Island

Overview

“There is something about safari life that makes you forget all your sorrows and feel as if you had drunk half a bottle of champagne – bubbling over with heartfelt gratitude for being alive.” – Karen Blixen

A guided 4x4 self-drive safari through Botswana is a dream for many who love nature, less-crowded places, fauna and flora, endless sunsets, campfires and like-minded travel companions. 
 
The new Faces of Botswana route was designed to combine the unique contrasts untamed Botswana offers her visitors: desert and delta, wild camping and luxury relaxation, open salt pans and dense bushveld and small creatures versus the majestic Big Five.
 
This safari adventure from 29 June to 10 July 2021 starts in Maun at Sitatunga Camp where tour members will meet the expert guiding team. We kick-off the tour with an opportunity to join a unique, once-in-a-lifetime mokoro safari experience on an island in the Delta. Basic comforts combined with a very close-to-nature experience will set the mood for the travelling days ahead.

From there we travel north in convoy, sometimes through
special concession areas, through Moremi, Savuti and Chobe. After stocking up on supplies in Kasane we follow the Old Hunters Road south that runs parallel with the Zimbabwean border. Our journey crosses over to the Sua Pan, in the interior of the Makgadikgadi Pans National Park, where the tour will conclude with an overnight at the iconic Kubu Island.
 
An experienced guide team will accompany the group throughout, preparing mouth-watering breakfasts and dinners, allowing tour members to simply relax and enjoy the natural beauty and wildlife of Botswana.

Itinerary

DAY 1: ARRIVE MAUN

17:00 - Arrive in Maun – make your own arrangements for your pre journey or allow us to assist with itinerary and accommodation bookings.
Set-up camp at Sitatunga Camp. The camp is 13 km out of Maun. The camp offers large shaded areas, power points and access to the river.
19:00 - Briefing by the guide team, dinner and time to get acquainted.

O/N Sitatunga Camp, camping and dinner in restaurant (ablution facilities and power points)

OPTIONAL: Treat yourself and upgrade from camping to a room. (subject to availability)

DAY 2: MAUN OR OPTIONAL MOBILE SAFARI

Breakfast at the camp in the restaurant.

Full day at leisure.

OPTIONAL DAY ACTIVITIES TO CONSIDER:
- Mokoro day trip
- Scenic flight over the Okavango-delta (fixed wing or helicopter)
- Horse riding
- sunset cruises from Sitatunga on the pontoon

O/N Sitatunga Camp, camping (breakfast and dinner) or similar (ablution facilities and power points)

OPTIONAL OVERNIGHT ACTIVITY: (minimum number of people required 4)
Join a 1-night mobile camp safari. The camp is reachable by mokoro only, tucked away on an island in the delta. The tents are all en suite with bush toilets and hot showers on request. All meals are served in the shade of a big mess tent overlooking a flood plain. No fuss of setting up tents or catering it’s all done for you!
O/N Mobile Camp (breakfast, lunch, dinner)

DAY 3: MAUN OR OPTIONAL MOBILE CAMP

Breakfast at the camp.

Full day at leisure.

OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES TO CONSIDER:
- Mokoro day trip
- Scenic flight over the Okavango-delta (fixed wing or helicopter)
- Horse riding

Clients that chose to participate in the mobile safari will return to camp.

O/N Sitatunga Camp, camping (breakfast and dinner) or similar (ablution facilities and power points)

DAY 4: MAUN TO MANKWE

Breakfast, break-up camp and one final vehicle check before we depart.

We depart Maun and head to the Mankwe Concession, 40 km of tar then we hit the calcrete road. At the end of the tar road we stop to check tyre pressures and carry on towards Mankwe campsite for another 50 km. Very dusty and corrugated road until we reach the Mankwe turn off. Mid-afternoon you arrive at your overnight camp. Bird watching from your camp and optional game drives are available.

Overlooking the bush and Mopani forest, Mankwe's campsites offer the intrepid self-drive camper with bush campsites equipped with bucket shower, flush toilet and wash basin. Water is provided for campers, but this is not drinking water (please bring your own supply). Water can be heated on the fire for a hot shower. The sites are not fenced and wildlife including big game like lion, elephant, and buffalo, do roam freely.

O/N Mankwe, camping (breakfast and dinner) or similar (bucket shower, flush toilet)

DAY 5: MANKWE

Breakfast at camp.

Depart on a full day game drive in Moremi Game Reserve. Its habitats are surprisingly diverse, combining mopane woodland and acacia forests, floodplains and lagoons.

It is home to nearly 500 species of birds (from water birds to forest dwellers), and a vast array of other species of wildlife including Cape buffalo, Angolan giraffe, black rhinoceros, lion, elephant, hippopotamus, zebra, cheetah, hyena, jackal, impala, and red lechwe. The Moremi area is considered a significant habitat for Cape wild dog and the population there have been the subject of a project run in the area since 1989; thus this species is often seen wearing collars emplaced by researchers.

Late afternoon, arrive back at camp.

O/N Mankwe, camping (breakfast and dinner) or similar (bucket shower, flush toilet)

DAY 6: TO SAVUTI

Breakfast and break-up camp.

We continue our journey to Savuti. Savuti is a region of the Chobe National Park and famous for its lions.
Full day game drive until we reach our overnight stop either in Savuti or in Thobolos north of Savuti depending on availability at time of booking.

O/N Savuti, camping (breakfast and dinner) or similar (eco-loo and bucket shower)

DAY 7: CHOBE NATIONAL PARK

Breakfast and break-up camp.

Full day game drive as we head towards our overnight stop, overlooking the magnificent Barangwe Pan.
Thobolo’s Bush Lodge is an eco-friendly, wildlife sanctuary in the heart of the Botswana bush. It is located 108 kilometres from Kasane, en route to Savuti, Linyanti and Maun. Visitors can expect an unparalleled game viewing experience from the comfort of the eco-friendly lodge and campsite.

O/N Thobolo’s Bush Lodge, camping (breakfast and dinner) or similar (hot showers, toilets)

DAY 8: TO KASANE

Breakfast and break-up camp.

Full day of game driving as we make our way further north. We will be leaving Chobe National Park when arriving in Kasane later the afternoon. Our arrival will be in time to allow for setting up of camp and then enjoying a late afternoon Chobe River cruise. This is always an enjoyable experience, and game viewing from a different perspective than through your vehicle window as was the case the last few days. You float down the river while the sun paints the African sky and viewing animals along the river bank.

O/N Kasane, camping (breakfast and dinner) or similar (hot showers, toilets)

DAY 9: KASANE

Breakfast and time at leisure. Use the day to stock up on supplies or clean vehicles as everything will certainly be covered in dust after the sandy tracks of the Moremi and Chobe.

OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES:
A day drive to Victoria Falls
Fishing trip on the Chobe

O/N Kasane, camping (breakfast and dinner) or similar (hot showers, toilets)

DAY 10: OLD HUNTERS ROAD

Breakfast and break-up camp.

We leave Kasane behind and gradually start our journey south by following the Hunters Road, which runs parallel with Botswana’s eastern border with Zimbabwe. In the days of early explorers, it was the most direct route to Victoria Falls via what is known today as Francistown. The area around the track is still wild with lots of game roaming the area.

Tonight, we will set up a bush camp, although somewhat more comfortable than what earlier explorers like Selous had to make due with.

O/N Bush camp (breakfast and dinner) (bucket shower and bush toilet)

DAY 11: KUBU ISLAND

Breakfast and break-up camp.

We drive further down the Hunters Road to arrive in Nata. Here will be an opportunity for a cold beer and to re-fuel tanks. We will then enter the Makgadikgadi Pans to reach Kubu Island. During today’s drive the contrasts of Botswana will become evident. We started the tour by driving through the savannah and woodlands of Moremi, Chobe and along the Hunters Road. Our day and tour will end in the desert pans of the Makgadikgadi Pans with wide-open spaces and little vegetation.

Kubu Island is a dry granite rock island, which is a national monument and is considered a sacred site by the indigenous people of the area.

Set-up camp and then explore the area on foot. The island is surrounded on three sides by a vast grey emptiness of the pan and dotted with ancient baobabs that makes for wonderful photo opportunities.

Enjoy the last evening around the campfire and reflect on the amazing experiences you encountered the last few days.

O/N Kubu Island, bush camping (breakfast and dinner) (eco-loo and bucket shower)

DAY 12: DEPART HOME

Breakfast and break-up camp.

The guide team will accompany the group to Orapa, which is situated where the A30 and A14 main roads meet. Sadly, it is time to say goodbye to the team, who have become family by now.

From Orapa you will make your own way home. Please do ask your tour consultant to assist with post-tour
arrangements.

END OF TOUR (breakfast)

Dates

29 June 2021 - 10 July 2021

Rates

Tour price for main tour:
Per person in own vehicle: Pula 16 950.00
Per person in tour leader vehicle: Pula 21 800.00
Per child 12-years and younger: Pula 7 750.00

Optional extra for 1-night mobile safari from 30 June – 01 July 2021
1 x night mobile safari trip:
Per person sharing: Pula 4 130.00
Single supplement: Pula 1 800.00
Per child 12 years and younger: Pula 3500.00

Child rates for the mobile safari camp can be adjusted if children share adjoining tents with parents. Please discuss this with your tour consultant.

Included

  • 12-Day guided 4x4 self-drive adventure
  • Botswana Registered guide in own vehicle
  • Park entry fees
  • Concession fees
  • Camping fees
  • Meals as per the itinerary (breakfast and dinner on tour days)
  • Safari Camp Assistant
  • Mobile bathrooms (showers and latrine style toilets) will be provided on days required

Excluded

  • 4x4 vehicles for the trip
  • Fuel for the trip
  • Camping equipment, cutlery and crockery
  • All international and domestic flights
  • Comprehensive personal and medical insurance
  • All beverages
  • All optional activities
  • Gratuities
  • Visas, passports, vaccinations and COVID-19 testing
  • Personal taxes including departure and border taxes

Passenger in tour leader vehicle:

There is an opportunity for clients who do not want to self-drive, to be a passenger in our tour leader vehicle. Passengers in a tour leader vehicle can either join the tour leader from his departure point, which will be Cape Town, or can join the tour from Maun Airport.

The published tour price includes tour participation from day 1 in Maun up to day 12 Orapa. There will be additional charges if you select to join our tour leader for the drive to and from Cape Town or if you select to fly to Maun and return from Gaborone.

COVID-19 (requirements as at December 2021)

The current COVID-19 travel regulations are as follows: (It is subject to change at any time.)

  • to enter Botswana all travellers must show proof of a negative COVID-19 test that is not older than 72 hours. This test must be done in the country of origin, prior to departure.
  • clients returning to South Africa must show proof of a negative COVID-19 test that is not older than 72 hours. This test must be done in Botswana. The cost for this test is P 1000.00 per person. The cost must be paid directly with cash or credit card. The result will be available between 36 and 48 hours.

Photo credit: Thank you to Gerald Swynnerton for the use of his photographs.