Arrive into Johannesburg at 17:10 hours on QF 63 from Sydney. You will be met by your hosts from Marben Manor in the main arrivals hall between the info desk and the coffee shop with your names on a board. Then transfer to the guest house. You have been booked on a Dinner, bed and breakfast basis.
After breakfast transfer back to Johannesburg airport for your flight SA8300 departing at 11:45 hours arriving into Maun at 13:15 hours. You will be met by your Letsapa Driver for your transfer to Planet Baobab. Road Transfer - Seat in Vehicle: Maun to Planet Baobab for 2 person(s). Service provided by: Letsapa Tour Transport LETSAPA TOUR TRANSPORT, Maun Contact Details: Tel: +267 6863605 After Hours: +267 71733538 / 71291882
The network of salt pans found in Botswana's eastern regions are a striking physical feature and some of the largest of their kind in the world. The pans, huge, flat expanses of hot, sun-blasted terrain and fringed by vegetated islands and peninsulas, were once part of a great superlake that covered much of northern Botswana. This desolate landscape offers nothing but sand and sky yet its eerily silent fossil beaches and stunted red baobab trees leave an impression on every visitor. The beauty of the Makgadikgadi Salt pans lies in its stark nothingness: the sight of the vast, open pans is awe inspiring as the earth and sky blend into each other with nothing indicating the horizon but a hazy mirage. Sunset and sunrise hold a mystical quality. This area offers a unique wilderness experience full of adventure. Do not expect huge herds of animals but rather expect the unexpected, everything is interesting here especially when interpreted by the local Bushmen guides of the area. The night skies are breathtaking during the winter months with stars from horizon-to-horizon. Following the summer rains, the area is host to a spectacular migration of zebra and wildebeest.
Accommodation: Arrive at Planet Baobab Meerkat Mania, for 2 nights Bakalanga Hut & Sleep-Out on the Pan on Meals, Activities & Park Fees basis PLANET BAOBAB, Meerkat Mania - 2 Night Package, Edge of the Makgadigadi Salt Pans Includes: Guide, accommodation, meals, activities & National Park entry fees Excludes: Drinks
Situated close to the village of Gweta, (also charmingly known as "The Place of the Bullfrogs"), on the Francistown-Maun road and sheltered by a grove of gigantic baobabs, Planet Baobab offers a welcoming base from which to explore the Makgadikgadi Pans system. Planet Baobab is a traditionally styled Kalanga village shaded by enormous baobab trees. It boasts the biggest pool in the Kalahari and a funky Afro-chic bar & restaurant with scrumptious pan-African dishes! A variety of accommodation options are available including comfortable Bakalanga huts with en suite bathrooms; dome tents & a camp site.
Dry season vs wet season and related activities Please note that the dry season in Botswana typically runs from May through October and the wet season from November through April. Changing weather conditions have resulted in unexpected rainfall throughout the year which makes some activities hazardous and detrimental to the sensitive ecology of the pans. In wet conditions the camp will automatically revert to the wet season itinerary. Activities are subject to change at the discretion of the camp manager.
DAY 1 After settling into your cozy and comfy hut, you can either just relax and enjoy some peace and quiet or take a stroll through the surrounding baobab forest. Enjoy a flaming Botswana sunset with a cool drink over a campfire as your Guide explains the fascinating geological origins of the Makgadikgadi. This vast salt pan desert, an area that is bigger than Switzerland, was once the largest expanse of fresh water on the planet! Enjoy super-tasty Pan African dinner! Overnight in a Bakalanga Hut and enjoy a cooked breakfast the following morning.
DAY 2 After a delicious breakfast, take a tour of the thriving metropolis of Gweta to experience modern African village culture. Learn about the history and traditions of the Batswana from our Guides whose knowledge has been inherited from their forefathers.
Visit the local primary school, 'Sekolo' with its outdoor classes under the morula tree, the Kgotla - a traditional court that governs the village and people of Gweta and the Traditional Healer, 'Sangoma ' where, if you are lucky, you might benefit the mixing of aphrodisiac droppings and roots. And for the very brave, we recommend that you try out some sorghum beer! Set off to visit a local cattle post, where you will be shown around a traditional Batswana home. Get a glimpse of rural Botswana life and join your hosts for a traditional Kalanga meal of sorghum, mealie meal, "seswaa" (beef stew), wild spinach, mophane worms (optional!!) and wild beans followed by a lip-smacking baobab fruit milkshake. Return to Planet Baobab for a relaxing siesta, before you head off to Ntwetwe Saltpan. Drive across the vast grasslands, past lonely baobab sentinels to the edge of Ntwetwe saltpan. Along the way, your Guide will explain the incredible adaptations of the species that are unique to the Kalahari Desert environment. On reaching the lunar landscape of Ntwetwe Salt Pan, and after listening to a brief safety chat, zoom off on your quad bike for a lightning tour of the archaeology, geology and zoology of the area. Ntwetwe is the bigger of the two Makgadikgadi saltpans. Breathtaking views of vast expanses of sparkling saltpan extend as far as the eye can see. Quad bikes enable us to explore the vast nothingness of the Makgadikgadi in an ecologically correct fashion leaving only a shallow track that will be washed away by summer rains. Go where no man has ventured before - far across the unexplored wilderness of the vast and empty saltpans. Open the throttle; close your eyes and travel, knowing there is nothing to crash into until you fall off the edge of the earth. Search for the stone tools that remain scattered on the surface of the saltpan. Your Guide will give a comprehensive explanation of the manufacture of stone tools as well as the evolution of man himself.
Remember that these are not your property. Throw them back from whence they came. Just when you think you couldn't take any more petrified, salty corpses, or stone-aged antiques, head out into the middle of absolute nowheresville and face up to a 360-degree view of the twinkling stars of the Southern Hemisphere. Enjoy a drink before a barren and beauteous sunset followed by a barbeque dinner cooked to perfection by our ever-talented Guides. At the end of an action-packed day, snuggle into your bedroll under the phenomenal Makgadikgadi skies, your very own star- spangled ceiling. Think silence, think slumber, dream baobabs…
DAY 3 Wake up to the Kalahari sun rising between your feet. Warm your hands on a mug of piping hot coffee and soak up the solitude. Quad back to the edge of Ntwetwe Pan, then head off with your Guide to explore the surrounds in search of bat eared foxes, ground squirrels and other unique desert species and learn of their incredible struggle against the elements of Africa's harshest wilderness. Get up close and personal with a resident gang of habituated meerkats; see how these incredibly social, superbly adapted animals interact with each other and their environment. You also get the chance to view 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. After this fascinating encounter, head back to Planet Baobab for a much-needed shower and a scrumptious Planet Baobab breakfast. Choose from one of many ideal spots to do nothing, relax, and enjoy this uniquely special place before you say your goodbyes to Planet Baobab, and set off on your next adventure…
Please note: two guests per quadbike - sole quad bike use requires a surcharge to be paid. Contact Details: Tel: (+267) 2412277 After Hours: (+267) 72338344/ (+27) 825755076 www.unchartedafrica.com
Road Transfer - Seat in Vehicle: From Planet Baobab to Maun for 2 person(s). Service provided by: Letsapa Tour Transport Flight: 2 passengers departing from Maun Airport on INTER-CAMP AIR TRANSFER with Mack Air, arriving in Stanley's Airstrip MACK AIR, Maun Contact Details: Tel: (+267) 686 0675 After Hours: (+267) 71677712 / 71381946 www.mackair.co.bw Okavango Delta
The Okavango Delta is one of the world's largest inland deltas situated in the middle of the largest stretch of continuous sand in the world - the Kalahari basin. This oasis in the middle of the desert is a rich yet fragile ecosystem, providing a life source for an incredible variety of wildlife. A wealth of species have adapted to the contrasting conditions created by living in the harsh Kalahari desert which is transformed annually with the arrival of the delta flood waters originating in Angola. The Okavango wetland encompasses Moremi Game Reserve and surrounding regions divided into areas known as Private Concessions. These concessions are wildlife management areas, carefully administrated to balance the growing community's development and conservation, whilst empowering citizens through sustainable tourism. Many of the exclusive lodges in Botswana are situated within these concessions in the delta, providing an unparalleled wildlife experience - exclusive and remote, avoiding mass tourism and exploitation.
Flood levels fluctuate dramatically throughout the year, with high water levels peaking in the central Okavango during the dry winter months and water levels at their lowest during the later summer months, contrary to the seasonal rainfall. The landscape, activities and game viewing vary considerably throughout the delta depending on your location, the season and flood levels. Some areas have larger tracts of permanent dry land which generally means there is more focus on land based activities (game drives) and big game viewing. Lodges situated on islands deep in the delta concentrate more on water activities such as mokoro excursions, walking, boating, fishing and bird watching. Those lodges situated on the outer fringes of the delta, referred to as the 'seasonal' delta, offer varied experiences at different times of the year - more water based during high flood levels and more land based as the flood recedes.
Game is more concentrated around the permanent water during the dry season (Apr - Oct) with it becoming very hot in the later months. The heronries become active as the migrant birds return to Botswana from September through November, and general bird watching is excellent throughout the summer months. The rainy season (Nov - Apr) invigorates the lush scenery with wild flowers, dramatic thundershowers, spectacular sunsets and the birthing season brings great predator and prey interaction.
Accommodation: Arrive at Stanley's Camp, for 3 nights Twin/Double on Fully Inclusive basis STANLEY’S CAMP, Okavango Delta Includes: meals, drinks, activities, park fees, laundry & emergency evacuation Excludes: premium imported wines, champagnes & spirits Elephant interaction activity Activities: day & night game drives, walking safari and mokoro (water level dependant) Stanley's Camp is situated on a 260,000 acre private concession in the Okavango Delta, bordering the southern section of Moremi Game Reserve. The camp is situated in an exclusive community area and works with the local community creating an awareness and commitment to conservation, whilst offering a wealth of wildlife activities.
Guest accommodation consists of eight elegantly styled safari tents. The comfortable spacious tents exude classic Africa; handcrafted beds dressed with the finest linen, antique furniture individually selected and oriental carpets that transport you to early 19th century Africa. Each unit offers an en suite bathroom and a private balcony. Hammocks and Morris chairs on the balcony are perfect for relaxation in the African sunshine. Stanley's main lodge is on raised decking with expansive views over the surrounding floodplains and has been carefully blended into the existing tree line, its main support being a large sausage tree.
The camp offers a wide variety of game viewing in the Okavango Delta, exploring a variety of habitats. Guests can enjoy game drives in open sided safari vehicles, including night drives and walking safaris with an armed professional guide. Seasonal mokoro excursions are taken from the lodge, a serene and tranquil experience.
A particular highlight at Stanleys is the unique and educational elephant experience with a group of semi-habituated African elephants. Spend a morning walking with the elephants to observe and interact with them in their natural environment, awe inspiring and humbling experience. Please note that this is an optional activity at an additional surcharge. Advance booking is highly recommended as spaces are limited.
Airstrip Transfer Time: 30 - 40 minutes Contact Details: Tel: (+267) 6862688 After Hours: (+267) 72113596 www.sanctuaryretreats.com
Flight: 2 passengers departing from Stanley's Airstrip on INTER-CAMP AIR TRANSFER with Mack Air, arriving in Kasane Airport Transfer: Transfer Kasane Airport to Camp for 2 persons
Chobe The Chobe River Front is a remarkable wildlife area due to the permanent water source of the Chobe River. However its accessibility from Kasane and neighbouring towns of Victoria Falls and Livingstone has created quite a busy tourist area with larger hotels and lodges than you find in the more remote Okavango Delta. The spectacle of all the animals coming to drink and frolic at the water's edge is one to behold, particularly in the dry season (May - Oct) where water is scarce away from the river. It is an area famous for its abundance of elephants, a variety of predators and, in addition, you are likely to see herds of buffalo and possibly even roan and sable antelope. In the rainy season (Nov - Apr) the game is much less concentrated at the river as the wildlife spread throughout the greater area of Chobe National Park due to availability of surface water from nearby pans. This assists the vegetation on the river banks in recovering from the massive herds that are attracted to the area in the dry months. The summer rains bring beautiful wild flowers, exquisite scenery, impressive bird life and an abundance of young animals usually born around November/December. The spectacular Chobe sunsets alone are worth a visit to the area. Please note that activities are restricted within the national park in accordance with government rules and regulations: these include no driving off-road, no walking and no driving after dark.
Accommodation: Arrive at Chobe Elephant Camp, for 2 nights Double/Twin on Fully Inclusive basis CHOBE ELEPHANT CAMP, Ngoma (Chobe) Includes: meals, local drinks, activities, laundry and park fees. Excludes: premium drinks
Activities: game drives, boating (stays of 2 nights or longer) and cultural village visit Located high on the edge of a rocky ridge overlooking the famous Chobe River is the newly developed Chobe Elephant Camp. This uniquely designed lodge has been built to take advantage of the incredible views overlooking the sweeping floodplains while offering a comfortable refuge from the harsh African conditions.
The lodge has been entirely constructed from sandbags, the thick sand-filled walls create a natural insulating barrier between the inhabitants and the harsh African climate and enhance the old farmstyle feel of the camp. It houses ten rooms, one family room and can sleep 24 guests at a time. With a variety of activities that include viewing the regions spectacular wildlife from open safari vehicles, by boat on the Chobe River or experiencing life in the village, a visit to Chobe Elephant Camp offers a wide range of experiences to our guests.
Airstrip/port transfer time: 50 minutes Contact details: Tel :( +267) 6863763 Emergency / afterhours number: +267 7268 8208 www.chobeelephantcamp.com
Transfer: Transfer Camp to Kasane Airport for 2 persons Road Transfer - Seat in Vehicle: Kasane Airport / Vic Falls town for 2 person(s). Service provided by: Wild Horizons Vic Falls WILD HORIZONS, Victoria Falls Contact Details: Tel: +263 13 44571 / 42313 / 42029 After Hours: +263 712 213 721 www.wildhorizons.co.za
Victoria Falls Victoria Falls town lies on the southern bank of the Zambezi River at the eastern end of the Victoria Falls. It is a lovely tourist town which is easy to explore on foot and which offers a wide range of activities from the challenge of white water rafting and bungy jumping, to the awe-inspiring elephant back safaris and sunset cruises. It has something for everyone.
The Victoria Falls are one of the natural Seven Wonders of the World and is the largest sheet of falling water on earth - a spellbinding and mesmerising spectacle. The sheer mass of water cascading down the 100m drop across nearly 2km makes a thunderous roar and creates a magnificent spray of water that can be seen for miles - hence the local name 'mosi oa tunya' meaning 'the smoke that thunders'. Access to Victoria Falls is within easy walking distance from the town centre. Water flow over the Falls varies throughout the year. The river's annual flood season is February to May when the spray can reach a height of over 400m, this is spectacular from above but it makes it very difficult to see the Falls at ground level as it is under a heavy shower/mist. Water levels start dropping in August and are at their lowest October - December when much of the rocky face becomes dry. At times of low water, the falls are best viewed from the Zimbabwe side or from Livingstone Island. Accommodation: Arrive at Ilala lodge, for 1 night Twin/Double on Bed & Breakfast basis
ILALA LODGE, Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe Includes: Bed & Breakfast Ilala Lodge is situated close to the Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe as well as to the town centre. Wild animals are often seen grazing the hotel lawns as the National Park borders the front of the property. The Lodge offers 32 rooms: 24 twins, 8 doubles and 2 suites. All rooms have an en-suite bathroom with a separate shower, air-conditioning, overhead fan and satellite TV. Guests are served early morning tea/coffee and fruit. The rooms are spacious with railway sleeper teak furnishings and patio doors leading onto either an open lawn or a balcony where you are afforded a view of the Victoria Falls. There is an à la carte restaurant which serves breakfast, lunch and dinner and offers a comprehensive wine list and cocktails. Dining outside under the African night sky amidst the sound of the mighty waterfall makes for a very romantic evening.
Victoria Falls has become the premier adventure resort of Africa with a multitude of activities to suit every traveller. Some of the most popular are elephant back safaris, exploring the local craft market for African treasures and taking a helicopter flight over the mile-wide Victoria Falls, guided walking safaris and game drives are activities not to be missed and are arranged at the lodge. Game drives take place in 4x4 safari vehicles providing guests with the chance to see big game and enjoy a buffet meal on the banks of the mighty Zambezi River. Other activities are white water rafting in the river, walking with lions and horseback riding through areas with a high concentration of game and beautiful scenery. Day and overnight trips to Chobe (Botswana) and Hwange National Park are also possible.
Airport Transfer Time: 30 minutes Contact Details: Tel: (+263) 13 44737/8/9 Cell: (+263) 11 40184 / (+260) 96 847 9824 www.ilalalodge.com
Road Transfer - Seat in Vehicle: Vic Falls Town / Vic Falls Airport for 2 person(s). Service provided by: Wild Horizons Vic Falls Transfer to Victoria Falls Airport for your flight departing at 13:15 hours, arriving into Johannesburg at 14:55 hours. Transfer to Marben Manor. You have been booked on a dinner, bed and breakfast basis.
After breakfast, transfer to Johannesburg airport in time for your flight SA184 departing at 10:10 hours, arriving 15:15 hours. Upon arrival at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, You’ll be met by a Gamewatchers representative who will be holding a sign board with your name on it, and later be transferred to Eka Hotel for Bed and Breakfast.
09:45 hours – After breakfast pick up and visit Daphne Sheldrick elephant Orphanage, Lunch at Own arrangement, Afternoon visit the Nairobi National Museum. Later drop off back at the Eka Hotel for an overnight stay.
08:00 hours – After breakfast pick up, with picnic lunches, and drive down to Magadi area, Visit the Olorgesaille National Museum and explore the site. Located along Magadi road, an hour's drive and 70kms away from Nairobi, Olorgesailie pre-historic site is world renown as the "factory of stone tools" and the only place in the world with the largest number. The prominence and accumulation of human tools represents actual camping places of early men and evidence that human species had a tropical origin. The site is in a lake basin that existed about 100,000 to 200'000 years ago. Researchers, Dr. and Mrs. Leakey, started investigations on the site in 1942 where they found important evidence that concerns the habits and activities of early prehistoric peoples of the Acheuleus or "Hand axe" culture. Olorgesailie has excellently preserved biological and cultural evidence about the evolution of man.
This was made possible by heavy falls of alkaline volcanic ash from the nearby Mt. Suswa and Mt. Longonot, which might have contributed much to the accumulated ash in the lake basin. There is evidence of humid climate during part of the middle Pleistocene that is given by temporary lakes and swamps that exist in the area today. The sediments left by the lake cover an area of 80 km2. Baboon camp- congregation of baboons in the evening 1 km from the campsite. Later drop off back to Eka Hotel for overnight stay – Bed and Breakfast
09:00 hours – Picked up at Eka hotel and transferred to Wilson airport for a departure flight at 10:00hrs, arrive Nanyuki Airstrip at 11:00hrs. On arrival, met by the camp’s driver guide in a 4x4 safari vehicle and transferred to Porini Rhino Camp for check in and relaxation, later lunch. This afternoon you will have time to relax and enjoy the fascinating views surrounding. Dinner and overnight at the camp on all-inclusive basis.
Porini Rhino Camp is located in Ol Pejeta Conservancy a 90,000 acre wildlife conservancy situated between the foot hills of the Aberdares and the magnificent snowcapped Mount Kenya. Ol Pejeta Conservancy boasts an astounding variety of animals including all the “Big Five” (the endangered black rhino, leopard, elephant, buffalo and lion) as well a sanctuary for rescued chimpanzees and also incorporates the smaller Sweetwater’s Game Reserve. Overnight Porini Rhino Camp Meals Al
Spend the days in the conservancy with game viewing activities, returning for meals at the camp. The combination of amazing wildlife and stunning views across the open plains of Ol Pejeta wildlife sanctuary situated on the equator between the foot hills of the Aberdares and the magnificent snow capped – Mount Kenya guarantees an unforgettable safari experience. Game drives are taken in the camp’s 4x4 safari vehicles with qualified safari guides including a visit to the Chimpanzee Sanctuary. Guided walks are taken on the open plains escorted by Maasai warriors. Night drives are also taken to see the nocturnal animals. All the “Big Five” (the endangered black rhino, white rhino, leopard, elephant, buffalo and lion) and others like grevy zebra, jackson’s hartebeest, cheetah and chimpanzee have been seen on game drives from the Porini Rhino Camp. Overnights Porini Rhino Camp Meals Al
After breakfast, transfer to the airstrip for a flight departing at 10:00 hrs to arrive Mara at 11:00 hours. Upon arrival at Gamewatchers Adventure Camp in Ol Kinyei Conservancy and shown to your tents, have lunch before heading out on an evening game drive in the conservancy to see some of the wildlife for which the Mara is famous. Return to camp for dinner and overnight.
Wake up at dawn and enjoy an early game drive in the conservancy on the lookout for the big cats, returning to camp for a late breakfast followed by an escorted nature walk and then lunch. In the afternoon enjoy another game drive in the Ol Kinyei Conservancy with a night drive as you head back to camp driving in the dark with a spotlight for the chance to see the nocturnal animals. Dinner and overnight at camp in Ol Kinyei.
An early breakfast followed by a full day of game viewing in the Mara Reserve, taking a picnic lunch. Return to the camp in the late afternoon for dinner and overnight.
Early morning game drive followed by breakfast, later transfer to the airstrip for a scheduled flight departing at 11:00 hours to Wilson airport Nairobi, arriving approximately 12:20 hours, met and transfer to the Jomo Kenyatta International airport for departure flight KQ 444 departing at 16:15 hours to arrive Kigali at 18:15 hours. Upon arrival in Kigali you will be met by a Gamewatchers representative who will be holding a sign board with your name on it, and later be transferred to Kigali Serena Hotel for Dinner, Bed and Breakfast.
0800-30 HRS - Pick up, visit the Genocide Mausoleum and city tour, lunch in town. Follow the road as it climbs to the base of the majestic volcanoes, with spectacular views across the five peaks. Continue toward Volcanoes National Park. Dinner and overnight at Mountain Gorilla View Lodge
As the first light of dawn breaks through the curtain of mist clinging to the summits of Karisimbi, Bisoke, Sabyniyo, Gahingaand Muhabura, you make your way into the parc National des Volcans. Tracking the gorillas through the unique vegetation can take several hours of challenging walking in wet and muddy conditions. To see a gorilla, the trek will have been worth the hardship.
Afternoon visit the Twin Lakes time permitting Meals and Overnight at Mountain Gorilla View Lodge The Mountain Gorilla are only found on the mountains of Rwanda, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo and are listed as one of the top 10 most endangered species on Earth. There are approximately 350 gorillas in the Volcano and Virunga Mountains of Rwanda and Congo and another separate group of approximately 300 in Uganda's Bwindi Impenetrable Forest. There are no Mountain Gorillas living outside of their native mountain forest home or in captivity. Track the Mountain Gorillas in the unique vegetation of the Virunga volcanoes.
A second time the mountain gorilla to view more Gorilla Families. Dinner and overnight at Mountain Gorilla View Lodge
Breakfast, relax then drive to Kigali, have lunch then drop off at the airport for flight SA 7617 at 18:10 hours to Arrive into Johannesburg at 22:35. Met and transfer to Marben Manor.
After breakfast relax for the day (lunch payable locally) and then transfer to the airport to depart from Johannesburg at 19:10 hours on QF64 to Sydney and onto Christchurch.