The Great Wilderness Journey
Experience a nostalgic, turn-of-the-century camping / lodge safari that recreates the sense of a game-viewing adventure reminiscent of the times of the great African explorers.
At the turn of the century, explorers and adventurers made their way leisurely along the dusty paths of Africa, allowing the great continent to seep into their souls. This guided mobile safari takes time to experience and explore Botswana's contrasts and extremes in prime areas where few guests travel: from the lushly vegetated wetlands of the Okavango Delta set in the parched Kalahari Desert to the diverse and game-productive Linyanti and Chobe River systems and the Victoria Falls, a cascading curtain of water on one of Africa's largest rivers, the Zambezi.
The spacious walk-in tents create a sense of connectedness to the Earth and nature, enhancing the view and the feeling of the wild and untamed.
The style of accommodation in the private campsites takes you back to the era of Africa's exploration. Pure linens of heavy cottons, separate flushing toilets and shower areas all add to the atmosphere, while luxury comforts and amenities are elegantly provided.
Camping at Linyanti and Ketumetse aims to bring you closer to nature, by means of a lively campfire, hurricane lanterns, wide-ranging activities and a warm atmosphere complimenting the comfort and added luxury of the lodges visited. The camps are specifically outfitted to ensure that old-style camping feel with a clear emphasis on necessary and stylish comfortable interiors, creating a peerless wilderness experience.
The entire safari is guided and hosted by a professional trained guide, who shares in-depth knowledge to present a seamless safari experience.
To maximise travel time, a variety of travel modes that bring out the best of each area is used: flying in seat-on charters and overland transfers provide both a bird's-eye view and an in-depth visual experience of the contrasting landscapes of Botswana.
We have specifically allowed for 3-night stays at most of the camps; in a journey of this nature, you have the time to fully relax and unwind, at the same time fully appreciating an in-depth introduction to the diversity of the area as well as its activities.
After arrival in Maun, you will be met by your guide and flown by light aircraft over the shimmering water world of the Okavango Delta. The Delta represents life at its most fertile: abundant water, sunlight and soil combine to form a paradise bursting with life.
Lush Jacana Camp is situated in a permanently flooded region of the private Jao Concession of the Okavango Delta. A true water camp, it represents the essence of the Delta, with year-round mokoro safaris as well as island bush walks and, water level permitting, motorboat cruises. In fact, when the flood levels are at their peak we are able to motorboat from the airstrip to the lodge, a truly surreal camp arrival! On one of the full days, we will also enjoy game drives around the productive Jao flats region to the north of camp.
Jacana Camp is set in one of the wetland areas most densely populated with sitatunga and red lechwe. Wildlife concentrations depend on the water flow and volume, thus changing from season to season, but all the large animals can be found in the area including elephant, lion, leopard and buffalo. Pel's Fishing Owl is a favourite amongst birders as well as Greater and Lesser Jacanas.
The camp has a plunge pool for cooling off from the midday sun. The main dining area is on an elevated wooden deck between two magnificent sycamore fig trees and surrounded by dense wild date palms. Downstairs, there is a cosy pub and lounge with an area perfect for an open fire under the stars.
Jacana Camp has 5 Meru-style tents. Each tent is on a wooden deck overlooking the floodplains and has an en-suite bathroom with flush toilet and shower. The bathroom is enclosed but roofless, allowing for showers by starlight.
We depart this morning by aircraft to Ketumetse Trails Camp located in the south-western sector of the Selinda private concession, in the seasonally flooded portion of the Okavango Delta where it joins into the Selinda Spillway.
The tents are airy and designed to recreate the accommodation style of the early explorers, with richly coloured teak director chairs and simplistic camp features. Separate bedside tables with 12v reading lamps, canvas and wood wardrobes, bathrobes, comfortable beds, flushing toilets and mirrors are provided. Camp amenities (conditioning shampoo, soap, shower gel and body lotion) are elegantly displayed for use and private, en-suite separate toilet and shower areas are part of the main structure.
The area in which the camp is located is scenic with generous shade provided by leadwood and russet bushwillow trees. Open floodplains and woodlands spread out in front of camp. Activities concentrate on nature walks and canoeing, providing a superb view from the canoe of big game coming to the water's edge to drink. Game drives (by day and night) are possible and often reveal sightings of the rare roan and stately sable antelopes, in addition to an array of other general game species. Seasonally, "catch and release" fishing is offered as an alternative activity.
Accommodation is in 6.3m x 3.5m walk-in Meru-style tents (maximum of two guests per tent).
After a light breakfast, we fly north-eastwards to the private Linyanti Concession.
The landscape of the Linyanti varies from floodplains to open dry land savannah and forest with sweeping views, creating a paradise for a high diversity of wildlife and bird species. Activities include game drives in the private northern sector of the concession, exploring a range of habitats, from riverbanks to scrub and forest, which reveal a myriad of wildlife en route to slake their thirst from the river. The seldom-seen sitatunga can also be spotted in the waterways, as well as rare plains game, such as roan and sable antelope and of course their predators, the lion and leopard - with the endangered wild dog as an incredible bonus.
To complete the experience, in the rainy season and on the third day it is possible to enjoy a full-day activity to the Savute Channel, with lunch at a scenic setting under a shade tree. The spectacular but seasonal (rain dependant) zebra migration moves between Linyanti and the Savute Marsh between end November and March, the area also boasting an impressive diversity of mammals, including large elephant herds. When undertaken and during the correct season, this day is specifically tailored to enjoy the seasonal and migratory movements of wildlife, although sighting the zebra migration is not guaranteed. This game drive is specifically designed to gain an introduction to the "Stolen River" as well as enjoying a part of the Selinda Spillway with its rich floodplains.
Private Discoverer camp, which is elegantly set up under African ebony and knobthorn acacia trees overlooking panoramic vistas of the Linyanti Swamps.
After a short morning drive and breakfast, we depart by light aircraft to the northern Chobe region of Chobe National Park. This area is famous for its vast herds of elephants in the dry season and other unique species such as the elusive puku and Chobe bushbuck that move to the river in the hottest hours of the day. Enjoy a light lunch on the boat cruise in a catamaran-style shaded boat.
We leave Botswana and fly to Livingstone International Airport, arriving at Toka Leya Camp in the late afternoon. On leaving Botswana, we fly over the Kazangula border, a point where the four countries of Botswana, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Namibia meet.
Toka Leya Camp is situated on the banks of the Zambezi River in the eastern sector of the Mosi-Oa-Tunya National Park, some 12km up from the Victoria Falls, one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World.
Accommodation consists of 12 safari-style tents, each en-suite with a view of the magnificent Zambezi River. The camp's dining and bar area are under a canopy of trees overlooking the River and a sparkling swimming pool.
The grand finale is a guided tour of the Victoria Falls, one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World. At 1708 metres wide, it is the largest curtain of water in the world and drops more than 100 metres into the sheer Zambezi Gorge.
Transfer to Livingstone Airport immediately after the tour of the Victoria Falls and bid farewell to the adventure.