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  • Group safaris in

    Botswana

    Experience the captivating Kalahari wilderness in search for the famous black-maned lion and follow in the steps of ancient bushmen

    Blooming desert
    9 nights / 7 spaces / 5 tours / from 4,995 EUR

Blooming desert

  • Itinerary

    Itinerary Outline, 9 nights:
    2 Nights: Tented lodge accommodation at Kalahari Plains
    Activity guide: Bushmen walk, game drives

    3 Nights: Tented Camp Piper’s Pan - Central Kalahari Game Reserve.
    Activity guide: Game drives

    1 Night: Tented lodge accommodation at Tau Pan
    Activity guide: Game drives

    3 Nights: Tented Camp in Khwai Concession
    Activity guide: Game drives

  • Accommodation

    This safari has a mix of lodge accommodation, fully serviced en-suite tented accommodation and camping.

    You will be staying at the Kalahari Plains Camp for the first 2 nights, then mobile camping for 3 nights close to Piper's Pan, 1 night lodge accommodation at Tau Pan and 3 nights tented camp at Khwai Concession. 

  • Extensions

    Popular safari extension requests include:

    • Helicopter or fixed-wing scenic flight over the Okavango
    • Multi-day extension to a lodge in the Okavango Delta
    • Multi-day extension to a lodge in the Chobe region
    • Makgadikgadi Pans

      Please contact us for further info and reservations.
  • Prices & Tours

    • This safari has 5 tours per year - once a month from February to June.
    • Each safari can have up to 7 guests and the safari is guaranteed to depart with a minimum of 2 guests.

    • The price starts from 4,995 to 6,030 EUR per person sharing depending on the season. 

    The price includes:

    • Spacious and comfortable tented accommodation, including beds, bed linen and towels, with a private bathroom en-suite.
    • Services of a professional guide, safari chef and camp assistants, complete with a supply vehicle.
    • Game drives and local transfers in customised safari vehicles.
    • Exclusive camping in private campsites within the national parks and reserves.
    • All entrance and camping fees within the national parks and reserves.
    • All meals and drinks (mineral water, soft drinks, beer, wine and G&T) whilst in the Camps.
    • All activities as specified in the itinerary.
    • 12% Value Added Tax.

    The price does not include:

    • Travel Insurance.
    • All flights unless otherwise indicated.
    • Items of personal nature.
    • Staff gratuities.
    • Optional safari extensions.
    • Any drinks at lodges or accommodation other than the safari camp.

     

Itinerary in detail


Day 1: Maun to Kalahari Plains / Charter flight (1 hour)

From Johannesburg, arrive at Maun Airport by 1:30 p.m. You will be met by a representative of Wilderness Air, who will help you with your luggage before you transfer to a charter flight over Central Kalahari to the Kalahari Plains Lodge. At the lodge, you will meet your guide and be shown to your accommodation. Afterward, you'll have the opportunity to rest in the comfort of your tent or to explore the rest of the lodge. In the lounge, you’ll find a telescope positioned to give you a closer look at the nearby waterhole. Enjoy a sundowner and an orientation drive. The biggest decision you will have to make on your first day on safari is whether to sleep in your tent or to take advantage of the sky bed above it.

Accommodation: Lodge Tented Accommodation

Activities: Game Viewing

 

Day 2: Full Day Exploration

After breakfast, stretch your legs with a bushmen family walk to learn about how the San Bushmen survived the harsh conditions of the Kalahari Thirstland. Gain insight into the ancient culture, including their harmonious relationship with the environment. Dependent on animal movements, we plan to embark on an afternoon game drive toward the Khudu and Mmaphwe pans. We’ll hold an astronomy talk after dinner to take advantage of the fact that this safari runs through one of the most remote places on Earth. The lack of light pollution presents spectacular opportunities for stargazing.

Accommodation: Lodge Tented Accommodation

Activities: Game Viewing

Day 3: Kalahari Plains to Piper Pan/Travel Day

Travel time approximately 5 hours

Enjoy an early breakfast before leaving the lodge for a trip to the Piper Pan region. There, you will spend three nights at a private, exclusive site tucked away from all but the local wildlife. Please note that the given travel time to the site is an estimate. The actual travel time will be dependent on how many times you stop to sightsee along the way.

Accommodation: Mobile Tented Camp

Activities: Game Drives

Day 4 & 5: Piper Pan Exploration Days

Habitat: Piper Pan, which is made up of three main pans, includes some of the largest pans in the Kalahari. Unlike the pans of the Khutse Game Reserve or those in the southern part of the desert, Piper Pan is covered in a sparse layer of woody plants and herbs. The southwestern side of the pan is bordered by sand dunes that support dense groupings of rattle trees (Catophractes alexandrii). Further up the slopes are groves of false umbrella thorn (Acacia luderitzii) and worm-cure albizia (Albizia anthelmintica). Clusters of the bizarre wild sesame tree (Sesamothamnus spp) can be found in the pan itself.

Wildlife: As part of leopard territory and home to both a lion pride and a sizeable population of cheetahs, Piper Pan is a fantastic place to find the Kalahari’s infamous predators. In the twilight hours, you can see brown hyenas searching for their next meals. The sweet grasses attract grazers including blue wildebeests, oryxes and springboks, while copses of trees draw giraffes and greater kudus.

Birding: Herds of ostriches can be found on Piper Pan itself, while the southern slopes of the bordering dunes attract little rufous-eared warblers. Near our camp, you can find several bird species, including crimson-breasted shrikes, monotonous larks, spike-heeled larks, yellow canaries, chestnut-backed sparrow-larks, grey-backed sparrow-larks, buffy pipits, Kalahari scrub robins, violet-eared waxbills, black-cheeked waxbills and crows.

Accommodation: Mobile Tented Camp

Activities: Game Drives

Day 6: Piper Pan to Tau Pan / Travel Day / 80km

Travel Distance: 80 km (Arrive at Tau around lunchtime)

Travel over seemingly endless dune-fields as we make our way from Piper Pan to the wilderness area on the northwest side of the Central Kalahari Game Reserve. See the extensive and wildlife-rich Pokoje and San pans before taking in the distinct beauty of the Tau Pan. The lodge that serves as our destination sits on the crest of an ancient dune, affording it an unrivalled view of the surrounding area. Enjoy a relaxed lunch before participating in an afternoon activity directed by the lodge’s guide.

Accommodation: Lodge Tented Accommodation

Activities: Game Drives

Day 7: Tau Pan to Khwai / charter flight / 1 hour 30 minutes

Partake in a final morning activity to bask in the splendour of the Kalahari Desert before boarding a flight bound for Maun and on to Khwai. There, your Letaka guide will be waiting for you. The Khwai area offers landscapes that are starkly different, though no less remarkable, from those found in the Tau Pan. Over the next three nights, explore these differences while taking the opportunity to see the area’s distinctive wildlife.

Accommodation: Letaka Tented Camp

Activities: Game Drives

Days 8 & 9: Khwai Exploration Days

Habitat: Split your time between woodlands populated by leadwood and camel thorn trees, grassy plains, the lively riverside, and the marshy backwaters of the Khwai River.

Wildlife: Considerable populations of both bull and breeding herds of elephants roam the Khwai area, which also draws predators like the lion, the leopard, the serval and the African wildcat. Lean wild dogs and sleek cheetah can also be found in the region, though they are less commonly seen. The area also supports communal giraffes, peculiar tsessebes, big roan antelope, slender impalas, robust sable antelopes, quick blue wildebeest and striped kudu. In the summer, rains bring large herds of buffalo to the area. Red lechwes populate the wet, swampy areas in the west.

Birding: Home to hundreds of bird species, the Khwai region is a birding paradise. The bat hawk can be seen hunting for prey along the length of the Khwai River, where raptors like the tawny eagle, steppe eagle*, lesser spotted eagle*, martial eagle, bateleur and African hawk-eagle can also be found. Other interesting birds of prey sometimes spotted in the area include the rarely seen African cuckoo hawk, long-crested eagles and black sparrowhawks. The river also supports Africa rail, African crake*, greater painted-snipe, Allen’s gallinule*, lesser jacana and lesser moorhen*, while the western expanse is a haven for rosy-throated longclaws.

Accommodation: Letaka Tented Camp

Activities: Game Drives, Walking Safaris (conditions permitting), Night Drives, and Mokoro Excursions

Days 10: Safari ends in Maun

Savour a final drive back toward Maun. You will arrive at the airport around 12 p.m., in time to check-in for an international flight.

Please note that if you plan to extend your stay with travel to another lodge, we leave the Khwai area by 8 a.m. Any charter flights will need to be scheduled to depart from Maun after 12 p.m.

Please Note

NOTE: Due to the scarcity of water in the Central Kalahari Game Reserve, showers will be available every other day during our mobile tented safari in Piper Pan. Water will also be available in stand basins after game drives.

NOTE: Although we make every effort to adhere to schedules and itineraries, these are subject to change subject to weather, road conditions, animal movements and availability. You will be notified of any changes.


Why you'll love it

  • Central Kalahari Wilderness Experience: Experience the famous Central Kalahari Game Reserve - the second largest game reserve in the world!

  • The Black-Maned Lion: Search for the famous and impressive black-maned lion.

  • Bushman Experience: Follow in the steps of ancient bushmen, learn about the San culture and their gentle approach with the environment. 

  • Visit to the remote Piper’s Pan: A stunning stretch of flat grass, usually covered with springbok and Oryx. 

  • Explore on a Mokoro: See the sights and investigate the waterways of the gorgeous Okavango Delta on a traditional canoe.

  • Enjoy the Khwai Community Area: As a community area, Khwai allow people to experience night game drives, guided walks and mokoro excursions.

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