Bushmen and Baobabs

Code: Bushmen and Baobabs
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18 Day Safari / Close Animal Encounters.

NEAREST AIRPORT Francistown Airport
Makgadikgadi Pans Kalahari Desert
Durban North Beach Royal Natal National Park
Chobe National Park, Victoria Falls
Kalahari Desert, Greater Kruger National Park



Day 1 & 2 – Camp Kalahari

Accommodation Type: Lodged


Day 1

Arrive at Camp Kalahari, nestled amongst the acacias and Mokolwane palms of Brown Hyaena Island, on the edge of the Makgadikgadi Salt Pans, adjacent to the Makgadikgadi-Nxai Pans National Park, Botswana. This traditional bush camp has ten spacious Meru tents, comprising six twin tents, three double tents and one family unit which has two adjacent tents, accommodating two Guests in each with an inter-leading bathroom. All Guest tents have en-suite covered bathrooms, hot and cold running water and flush loos along with four poster beds, crunchy cotton sheets, rich textiles, Moroccan kilims and hot water bottles in winter.
A thatched central library, living and dining area featuring an eclectic mix of original African furniture and textiles paired with traditional campaign style pieces and colonial
antiques provide the perfect area in which to relax and enjoy the serenity of this enchanting area. For those who’d like to cool off, or enjoy a lazy siesta in or out of the sun, the thatched swimming pool pavilion is ideal. Head off after tea in the beautiful afternoon light, stop o watch the sun set and listen to an explanation of how the Makgadikgadi
Salt pans, the remnants of the world’s largest ever super-lake, were formed. Enjoy an evening game drive back to camp and spot some unique desert species such as aardvark, bat eared foxes, aardwolves, and the elusive brown hyaena, which is the third rarest large carnivore in Africa, with only about 8,000 in the wild. Brown Hyaenas are the consummate desert specialists, surviving in arid areas where both food and water are scarce. A timid, nocturnal species rarely seen by humans, but in spite of being solitary foragers they are very social animals, living in clans of up to 10-12 hyaenas. Tuck into a lamp lit dinner back at Camp Kalahari.

Day 2

Set off in the morning to visit some of the Kalahari’s most fascinating inhabitants, the meerkats. As a meerkat’s wake up time is weather dependent, breakfast might be en
joyed in camp on cooler and rainy days, or as a picnic on warmer, sunnier days. Due to an ongoing habituation programme, it’s possible for Guests to get up close and personal with these captivating creatures. Remember, they are not tame – just used to our non-threatening presence. On chilly mornings, you might well find a meerkat snuggling up to you for warmth. Or, in the absence of a termite mound or tree, using your head as a sentry lookout post… By spending quality time with these incredibly social, superbly adapted animals, you will be able to see how they interact with each other and their environment. You also get the chance to see the desert through the eyes of a meerkat – which, despite the fact that it’s only a foot off the ground, is a pretty spectacular vantage point, and definitely one of the most special and memorable game experiences you will encounter in Botswana. Leave the meerkats as they continue with their eternal foraging, to visit a remote cattle-post. Here you will learn about the traditional culture of the Batswana people.
Close by is the famous Chapman’s Baobab (Also known as the Seven Sisters) which is acknowledged to be the third largest tree in Africa, and was the campsite of early explorers like Livingstone and Selous when they pioneered the area. This gives you an opportunity to gain a fascinating insight into the history of the early explorers. Return to camp for a refreshing lunch and siesta. After tea, travel down to the pans where you will be given a brief safety talk before mounting your trusty quad bike to head off across the pans. Watch the sun set and the stars rise. This is one of the only places in the world where the silence is so complete you can hear the blood circulating through your ears. There is not one visual landmark to be seen, and one swiftly loses one’s sense of perspective where 16000 square kilometres of baking soda void are, inhabited only by you and a few gazillion invisible brine shrimp!

Day 3

Spend the morning walking with the Zu/’hoasi Bushmen. Uncharted Africa has pioneered and passionately supported cultural tourism in Botswana since the company’s inception in 1993. It has long been our belief that it is a vitally important tool in terms of preserving this unique, but sadly fast-vanishing, culture. We have been working closely with the Zu/’hoasi people of the Western Kalahari for many years and are privileged to have Bushmen women, men and pre-school children comprised of four generations, living at Jack’s Camp in the Makgadikgadi. Offering a window into the past, they teach us how they have survived in this harshest of environments, using their vast and ancient knowledge of plants, animal behaviour and survival skills. The Zu/’hoasi lead a semi-traditional lifestyle, and share their traditional hunting and food-gathering skills as well as how they make jewellery and hunting equipment, it is a glimpse into their fast-vanishing, traditional way of life, but by no means an attempt to keep them frozen in time.


Day 3 & 4 – Thamalakane River Lodge, Maun

Accommodation Type: Lodged

Thamalakane River Lodge is placed on the banks of the Thamalakane River, just 19kms from Maun, and en route to the famous Moremi Game Reserve. Character en-suite stone chalets, some with private splash pools are positioned in the shade of the riverine forest, overlooking the river.
Chalets, public areas and our swimming pool take advantage of the 180 degree view of the riverbanks lined with fluttering reeds visited by an ever changing array of water fowl and birds. It is a delightful place to come home to after a day spent exploring.
Our widely acclaimed restaurant serves a la carte meals from an ever changing menu. Dusk is spectacular, with the sun setting the river ablaze as is slowly dips behind the trees.

Optional (for own account) Maun Scenic Flight:
Enjoy scenic flights over the Moremi that makes up the greatest experience in Botswana. Focus down onto the big five wildlife and surrounding natures that will forever change your perception of this timeless land while you enjoy the scenic flights over the the Delta, getting the overall perspective of the area. The best times for scenic flights are in the morning and late afternoon when weather conditions are calmer. For your comfort and safety, please take heed of your pilot’s safety instructions. Your pilot will assist you in looking out for game along the way.

Optional (for own account) Mokoro Ride:
Mokoro TripBoro Poler Trust – 40 minutes drive. Guests are picked up at the lodge and transferred to Boro Poler station where they embark on a guided walk and a Mokoro adventure. Meals and soft drinks are included in this day trip. A Mokoro trip will give guests the opportunity to learn more about the Delta, the ecosystem and its functioning – how the delta works, why it floods, the importance of flooding to the ecosystem, the effect of this on all animal life – both disadvantages and advantages, the effect it has on plant life, the various species that need the flood to survive, the special adaptations of certain plants to increased water levels each year, the guide will show you the actual plant, pull it out and explain the mechanisms for survival etc… Also learn more about the cultural aspect and way of life of the tribes, how they survived in this watery wilderness. Hear some fascinating cultural stories on why it floods, the determination of settlements because of floods and the impact on social life. And of course there are the birds, a truly amazing variety of birds are to be seen, on a mokoro you are placed right there in their habitat, you witness nest making, feeding young, mating behaviour and foraging.


Day 5, 6 & 7 – Camp Savuti – Chobe National Park

Accommodation Type: Lodged

The Savuti is often described as the best wildlife-viewing area in all of Africa and is ideal for a Botswana Safari. It boasts one of the highest concentrations of safari wildlife – where all of the major species can be seen: giraffe, elephant, zebra, impala, roan, sable, wildebeest, kudu, buffalo, waterbuck, warthog, eland and more. The bird life is diverse and thus photograph opportunities abound. Savuti is known for its many predators, including lion, spotted hyena, jackal, bat-eared fox, wild dog and even cheetah. The wildlife alone attracts tourists to visit this area on our ‘Botswana Safaris’ annually.
Camp Savuti is a small intimate camp accommodating a maximum of 10 guests in comfort and style creating a new type of “luxury camping” in a public campsite. To further enhance the experience the pre-erected tents have been placed to ensure privacy and a modest level of exclusivity. At Camp Savuti 5 meru tents have been placed on platforms overlooking the Savuti Channel. The tents are large, spacious with en-suite facilities and an open shower almost identical to the type you would encounter at most luxury camps/lodges in Botswana. The guest area consists of an intimate lounge, bar and dining area overlooking the Savuti Channel.


Day 8, 9, 10 & 11 – Chobe Safari Lodge

Accommodation Type: Lodged

Situated on the lush banks of the Chobe River in Botswana, the Chobe Safari Lodge is only 100km west of Victoria Falls. This Chobe national park lodge is just 5 minutes drive from the famous wildlife reserve. The national park is one of the parks in Africa with the highest concentration of elephant, the Chobe safari lodge is within the park with 110 beds overlooking the magnificent river and Caprivi floodplains and is often considered the best ‘value for money’ in the area.
The latest additions to the cottages are 32 safari rooms. Individually decorated, they offer every comfort. All rooms have superb views directly over the river and have stunning open plan bath-rooms with deep baths, all are equipped with air conditioning, satellite television, direct dial telephone and tea and coffee making facilities. (Lodged) – Optional Fishing activities available from here… and we shall do day visits to Chobe National Park.

3 Hour Photo Boat Safari
Enjoy a 3 hour photographic safari by boat on the Chobe River and in the Chobe National Park of Botswana – one of the most picturesque and game filled parks on the African continent where you will find an abundance of wildlife photo opportunities.

Cross border through from Botswana to Zimbabwe for a DAY VISIT to Victoria Falls …Victoria Falls… or “The Smoke that Thunders”.
This is the place where Dr. David Livingstone wrote the following… “so beautiful the angels must have gazed upon it in their flight”. Victoria Falls – A natural phenomenon and one of the seven natural Wonders of the World, the Victoria Falls is an immense curtain of water cascading over 100m. Around 550 million litres over the lip every minute, at peak flow this increases to 750 million litres. Around the Falls is rainforest sustained by the spray of the Falls with some plant species rarely found elsewhere in Zambia or Zimbabwe. During peak flow (January to June) the Zambian side of the Falls is the most spectacular and there are walkways to look out points and across the swaying Knife Edge bridge.


Day 12 – Elephant Sands

At Elephant Sands Lodge guests can enjoy viewing elephants as they drink from the waterhole right in front of the lodge or from our swimming pool. We also have a wide variety of other wildlife that can be viewed, from lions to giraffe and buffalo. We offer 14 rustic chalets comprising two Family Chalets and 12 twin chalets. There is plenty of camping space overlooking the waterhole. The campsites do not have electricity. There is a restaurant with a set menu for meals.


Day 13 – Kwa Nokeng Lodge

Accommodation Type: Lodged

Kwa Nokeng Lodge is a family-owned business in the Tuli Block in Botswana, situated along the Limpopo River at the Martin’s Drift border post. Translated from the local language Setswana, Kwa Nokeng means, ‘at the river’.
Kwa Nokeng will be your first stop coming into Botswana and the last one going out. If it’s accommodation and a hearty meal around the fire you’re looking for, or adrenaline-pumping adventure, or simply just to fill up and stretch your legs, Kwa Nokeng has something for everybody.


Day 14, 15, 16 & 17 – Sausage Tree Safari Camp

Accommodation Type: Lodged

Set in the Balule Nature Reserve, Sausage Tree Safari Camp promises rich game viewing and spectacular views, as our boundary with Kruger National Park is open and the Northern Drakensberg Mountains form a majestic back drop. This family-owned and operated Safari Camp pride itself on the warm atmosphere offered, delicious food, beautiful views and African style safari tented accommodation. Our unassuming Camp promises an intimate nature experience in a relaxing environment where you can unwind, kick your shoes off and be yourself.
Enjoy lantern lit dinners in our boma or on our open deck under the star studded African sky. Breakfast and lunch is served on the open deck with views of the bush and waterholes frequented by a variety of resident animals. Sunrise and sunset safaris in open 4 x 4 vehicles are the highlights of the day. With our professional field guides, visitors can go in search of some of Africa’s famous variety of mammal and bird life, such as Giraffe, Zebra, African Fish Eagles, Vultures and the notorious Big 5 – Lion, Elephant, Rhino, Leopard and Buffalo

The Safari Camp:
Our African safari-styled tents are nestled in between Marula, Knobthorn Acacia and Sausage Trees and overlook a dry river bed, the bush and the Northern Drakensberg Mountains. Each tent is spacious and built in an elevated position with it’s own special view. The tents are fully furnished and have their own private deck and ensuite bathroom with a bath and outdoor shower. Inverter or Eco based Air-conditioners are fitted in each tent ensuring that you stay cool during those warm summer nights… and can be set to warm during those colder nights in winter too. Insect gauze on all the windows and doors keep the insects outside where they belong.
In the main reception area, visitors will find a lounge for those lazy afternoons, and a dining area that keeps visitors dry when it rains. There is a cosy bar complete with a variety of first class South African wines. On the open deck outside, there is a sunken swimming pool and fireplace where visitors can enjoy those magical African nights. During the day, the deck has unrivalled views of the surrounding bush, dry river bed, waterhole and mountains in the background. Sausage Tree Safari Camp’s resident staff will ensure that everyone has a memorable stay and becomes part of our continually growing family.

Memorable Encounter at Elephant Whispers
Elephant Whispers are dedicated to securing the future of the African Elephant, and welcome people of all ages to share in the excitement of close encounters with these magnificent creatures. Experience the privilege of little Lindiwe’s compassionate nature, witness Medwa’s remarkable memory and enjoy the thrill of interacting with Tembo. The interaction with the elephant offers you the opportunity to touch the elephant, exchange trunk greetings and offer tasty treats. Experienced Elephant Handlers share their in-depth knowledge of fascinating elephant behaviour. Your visit to Elephant Whispers ensures these six incredible mammals continue in their important role as wildlife ambassadors for their own kind.

And a Shangana Cultural Experience
Shangana has been created and built by local Shangaan people, and forms a place of great pride, a way of preserving a rich heritage and an example of South Africa’s great cultural diversity Midway between the Blyde River Canyon and the southern Kruger National Park, the residents of the traditional villages of Shangana invite guests to share in the way of life of the Shangaan people. The picturesque villages are set in the shade of ancient trees in a reserve of forest and grassland, and are open every day. A bustling African market village forms the centre of Shangana, where local craftspeople make and trade their craft. From here, trained guides lead guests down to villages on daytime tours.


Day 18 – Home