Exclusive Botswana Tour | Signature Safari

Days

14

Journey Type

Exclusive Botswana Tour | Signature Safari

Cities and Landmarks

Johannesburg, Central Kalahari, Linyanti, Kwedi, Moremi, Okavango Delta 

Days

14

Journey Type

Exclusive Botswana Tour | Signature Safari

Cities and Landmarks

Johannesburg, Central Kalahari, Linyanti, Kwedi, Moremi, Okavango Delta 

Overview

To suggest that there is one thing or one word that could be used to encapsulate the essence, or the signature trait of Botswana, would be to admit that one has never been there.  Situated in the vast dry interior of southern Africa, in a land whose span is predominated by the great Kalahari Desert, she hides many treasures almost within plain sight.

The desert is deceptive.  Her vastness hides an abundance of fauna and flora that is revealed to those who know where to look.  And at the Kalahari Plains Camp, you will be shown these secrets by people who have not only grown to love it but have developed a rich cultural relationship with this world of shifting sands.

Then, when your throat is parched and your eye begs for color, she reveals one of the world’s largest inland river deltas – lush and green for most of the year.  Every color of the rainbow now flashes before you in a display of birdlife virtually without parallel.  This verdant paradise is known as the Okavango.  

Familiar to many, but known by few, this is a place where the lineage of Lion royalty pre-dates mankind.  Once again, those who were raised in this wild realm will illuminate it with tales and insights gleaned from experience, not hearsay.  At DumaTau, Vumbura Plains, Xigera, and Jao camps, you will luxuriate in warm hospitality amid abundant African wildlife.

It has been suggested that Botswana’s signature can be seen from the skies.  See the flowing undulations of the dunes.  The gracious sweep of tall grass in the breeze.  The arcing, swirling path of the river through islands of reeds and palms.  Together they create a unique impression, one that is found nowhere else in the world.

Wherever your imagination takes you, our thoughtfully curated Signature Botswana Safari gives you glimpses – clues perhaps – that will let you decide for yourself what impression she leaves on your soul.  Was it the golden lava flow of sunlight disappearing over the horizon at sunset?  Was it the primordial shudder when you first heard the roar of a lion?  Was it the vastness of the sky and immense horizons?  Or was it the warmth of her people?  Whatever it may be, you may be assured that her seal will mark you indelibly, and have you thirsting for more.  

Highlights

Johannesburg

On arrival at Johannesburg International Airport, you will be met by our representative, who will escort you to the elegant Saxon Hotel, Villas & Spa in the exclusive suburb of Sandhurst.  It was on this sprawling estate that elder statesman Nelson Mandela put the finishing touches on his memoir, ‘Long Walk to Freedom’.

Your transition to the ways of Africa is softened as unabashed luxury fuses with the tones, textures, and décor of this vast continent.  Your room is a haven for the travel-weary, equipped with every modern amenity, and furnishings that tempt you into their soft embrace.  You might choose to stroll the immaculate gardens, surrender yourself to any of the bespoke wellness treatments at the spa, loosen up in the gym, or sip cocktails by the pool.

The on-site Qunu Restaurant offers sustainably-sourced sustenance in an array of dishes that skillfully blend the flavors of Africa with contemporary cuisine. 

Saxon Hotel Villas & Spa

Central Kalahari Game Reserve

Well rested, today you depart Johannesburg for Botswana.  Touching down at Maun International Airport, you will then board a light aircraft for your first safari destination, the sublime Kalahari Plains Camp, in the Central Kalahari Game Reserve.  

It was in this vast semi-arid environment that the peace-loving San people found refuge from the Bantu Wars, although evidence suggests that these nomadic people had learned to survive here as far back as 30,000 years ago.  Either way, given the scarcity of water, the Kalahari at first appears inhospitable to life.

It will therefore come as a welcome surprise when your guide escorts you to the camp, lying on the edge of a vast plain, dotted with wildlife.  Ones’ first impressions of the Kalahari are usually to be struck by the sense of space and stillness.  Listen carefully and you will hear the breeze gliding through the grasslands – its mellifluous whisper easing you into a state of sedate euphoria.

Set amid a stand of thorny acacias, the focal point of the camp is a traditional thatched structure where guests gather to share stories over drinks, dine in either indoor or outdoor settings, or cool off in an azure pool flanked by shaded loungers.

As you will find out throughout your vacation, the so-called tents that will accommodate you are so referenced in only an abstract way.  Positioned both for privacy and to allow you to absorb the essence of the surroundings, each is a spacious retreat designed to ensure your complete comfort and relaxation.  Incorporating the tones and textures of the surrounding terrain, your suite is furnished with a range of amenities for your convenience and a delightful indoor/outdoor en-suite bathroom.  The elevated Star Deck is the highlight of the accommodation, offering you a place to behold the sparkling heavens at night, or spot wildlife on the plains throughout the day.

The predominant habitats of the Kalahari are dune fields, grasslands, and mixed woodlands.  With the bulk of the regions’ minimal rain falling over less than four months, the variety and abundance of wildlife changes throughout the years, with summer being the most prolific.  The varying habitats support a startling diversity of life.  In the dunes, you might chance upon the hardy oryx or brown hyena.  The grasslands attract grazing herds of zebra, wildebeest, and springbok.  The woodlands, in turn, are browsed by elegant kudu and giraffes.  Flitting between the habitats, a surprisingly diverse range of birdlife bustles and chirps.  Overhead, raptors of all sorts cast a watchful eye for their next meal, while ostrich and secretary birds stride purposefully across the savannah.

Focused on securing their next precious meal, the predators of the Kalahari evoke awe and respect in all who view them.  Cheetah flow like liquid gold as they streak after springbok.  Comical bat-eared foxes tilt their heads as they study the soundscape of their prey.  Painted wolves chatter excitedly as they coordinate their hunting strategy.  Secretive leopard’s gaze languidly from the shadowy thickets.  But most impressive of all is the legendary black-maned lions of the Kalahari – said to be the largest of their kind.  To see one of these magnificent beasts, the wind shaping its luxuriant mane, hold sway over its domain, is an experience that will stay with you forever.

Since the camp falls within a national park, offroad driving and night drives are not permitted.  This, however, should not detract from the quantity and quality of sightings you enjoy.  Setting off in the cooler early morning and late afternoon, you will travel in a spacious, open safari vehicle in the company of your guide, whose knowledge of the games’ seasonal movement and means of survival will ensure you are enthralled by all you see.

An alternative means of exploring is on foot.  A local San guide will take you on a short walk near the camp, sharing with you their ancient survival secrets and interpretation of the environment.  Longer safari walks head out over the plains, further educating you on the signs of the wild marked in the landscape.

In the evenings, the guides will share some more of their astronomical knowledge as they point out some of the constellations visible in the night sky – unsullied by either light or industrial pollution.  

Kalahari Plains Camp

Linyanti Concession

Time now to leave the Kalahari, and head to the far north of Botswana.  After the arid conditions of the desert, your eyes will rejoice at the sight of water in abundance as you wing your way over the Okavango Delta to the Linyanti Concession, touching down a short distance from your lodgings for the next two nights at DumaTau Camp.

The name translates from the Tswana language meaning ‘the roar of the lion’, an apt name considering the bold statement made by the camp, perched as it is on the banks of the Linyanti River.  The central hub is nestled in the cool shade of the riverine forest, with trees alive with the sounds of birds, punctuated by the honks of hippos in the lazy river.  An inviting lounge, dining area, and bar lead onto an outdoor viewing deck, where you will also find a swimming pool in which to cool off in the midday heat.  Nearby, you will also find a spa and fitness center where you can attend to your wellness.  

The camp boasts extremely spacious accommodation which is generously interspersed along the river for your privacy and immersion into the local environment.  Clever use of sliding wall panels ensures a cool environment within, while your private viewing deck also has a plunge pool.  A modern en-suite bathroom includes an outdoor shower, while the spacious lounge area is an ideal place to take a siesta or tuck into a good book.  Decorative touches including beautiful mosaics and indigenous objets d’arts round off the space.

The Linyanti Corridor allows wildlife to traverse freely between four neighboring countries, and this means the area boasts the largest concentration of free-roaming African elephants on Earth.  With a perennial flow of water, the concentration of wildlife in the region seldom disappoints.  On the floodplains, you can expect to see herds of lechwe, zebra, and wildebeest grazing on the short grass.  Slightly inland, the prevailing mopane woodland supports large herds of Cape buffalo, loose herds of giraffes, and regal sable and roan antelope.

It was in this vicinity that lions were first documented hunting hippos, and you are bound to find a wide variety of predators.  Aside from the cheetah, leopard, and spotted hyena, the vast wilderness of mopane is also an ideal hunting ground for highly endangered painted wolves.

A bonus to the twice-daily game-drives at DumaTau is that the afternoon drive concludes after dark, meaning you will have the chance to spot some of the area’s nocturnal wildlife, such as genet, honey badger, and pangolin.

Another perk is the opportunity to spot wildlife from the water.  Whether on a sedate sunset cruise or a tag and release fishing excursion, you are bound to see plentiful hippos and crocodiles, as well as the regal fish eagle whose exuberant call so typifies the waterways of Africa.

For a ground-level experience (and opportunity to work off some calories), join an informative walk after breakfast.  If you’re looking for a loftier perspective, you also have the option of taking to the skies in a helicopter.  

DumaTau Camp

Kwedi Concession

After breakfast, a short charter flight to the southwest takes you to the first of three camps you will visit in different parts of the Okavango Delta.  Vumbura Plains camp will accommodate you for the next two nights.  Set as it is amid the waterways, the camp gives the impression of floating on water when viewed from a distance.

Established in partnership with the local community for their betterment and the preservation of the area’s wildlife, the pride of the staff is self-evident as you are familiarized with the layout and daily schedule of the camp.  Architecturally, the camp would not look out of place in a prestigious design publication.  This tasteful style continues within, where indigenous artworks complement warm, earthy tones, and minimalist furnishings echo the uncluttered simplicity of nature.  A lounge, bar, and rim-flow swimming pool on the viewing deck are a great place to get to know the staff and fellow guests.  Dining is typically done alfresco unless the weather is unfavorable.  Whatever the location, your tastebuds will rejoice in all that comes out of the kitchen. 

Airy tented suites, adorned with bespoke fittings and plush furnishings, offer privacy and relaxation – with elevated viewing decks incorporating a plunge pool.  Each suite has a spacious sala, as well as an indoor/outdoor en-suite bathroom.  Popular with many, the camps’ trained masseuse will visit your suite to pamper you with healing hands when requested.

Vumbura Plains is situated in an area that lends itself to both land and water-based activities all year round.  Grasslands that are occasionally inundated by a thin layer of water, known locally as ‘melapo’, ensure that there is lush grazing for various species of plains game -, particularly the ubiquitous red lechwe, whose elongated, splayed hooves allow it to navigate the soft terrain with ease.

On the slightly elevated islands, giraffes and kudu can be found browsing, while impala, zebra, and buffalo go wherever there is sufficient grass.  Elephants meanwhile are not fussy, equally happy to feed whether it is wet or dry underfoot.  The shy sitatunga antelope, however, is seldom spotted outside of the dense reed thickets of the swamp.

This diversity predictably means predators are not far away.  If you are lucky, your guide might spot the glowing eyes of lions or a leopard as it moves in silence through the night, using powerful filtered spotlights.  By day, cheetah, and painted wolves are most active due to their inferior night vision.

Whether in a customized open safari vehicle, or a traditional dugout canoe (known as a mokoro), setting out in search of the delta wildlife is a thrilling adventure.  You will be amazed at how your guide is seemingly able to sense where game is to be found, using their ability to track the subtle marks animals leave, along with an apparently empathic instinct.  This skill layered over their vast knowledge of the biology and ecology of the delta ensure that you will have an improved appreciation of this beautiful, yet savage land.

For bird-lovers, the best sightings are usually made on foot in the company of your guide on a morning walk.  Between sightings, you will also learn more about the traditional uses of plants and perhaps some of the myths relating to the wildlife.

If you fancy imitating the birds, an optional extra is to take flight over the delta.  Choose between a thrilling helicopter flip or a more sedate early morning champagne flight in a hot-air balloon.  Please note, that both flying activities are subject to availability and conditions. 

Vumbura Plains Camp

Moremi Game Reserve

From DumaTau, you are once again lifted above the swamps as a light aircraft carries you to your next destination – the splendid Xigera Safari Lodge, where you will stay for two nights.

Pronounced ‘keejeera’, the camp promises a bold interpretation of the delta safari tradition.  A true delta camp, the lodge is surrounded by rafts of papyrus and densely wooded islands.  While nearby, verdant plains, melapos, and mixed woodlands entice the adventurous spirit.  The lodge enjoys exclusive traversing of over 11,000-acres of this wetland paradise in the heart of the delta, ensuring uncluttered access at sightings and a true wilderness experience.

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The camps’ design incorporates creative use of stretched canvas, evocative of the pavilions of old.  This combines with the extensive use of timber and reed, which reflect the surrounding vegetation.  Retractable glass panels invite a sense of immersion within the environment, while A/C ensures that indoor comfort levels are never compromised.  

Xigera prides itself on its extensive collection of pan-African artworks and objets d’art.  Bold prints, inspired by the landscape and traditions of old, give a sense of place, while opulent furnishings suggest the glory of a bygone era.  The colors of the continent – from her impossibly blue skies, through shades of green, ochre, rust, and more – lead the eye on a joyous journey of her diverse habitats.

The main lodge building incorporates luxurious, yet inviting spaces where guests can socialize or enjoy a quiet moment.  Here you will find a lounge, library, bar, and indoor dining area, while a spa and fitness center is tucked away for your wellness requirements.  An open interactive kitchen-dining room encourages guests to discuss the menu, while an extensive cellar and wine list allow one to pair fine South African wines with your meal selection.  An exquisite selection of memorabilia is available in the gallery.

Outside, an expansive deck hovers over the waterways, from which elevated walkways lead to alfresco dining sites and a crystal-clear swimming pool.  From practically any vantage point, you will enjoy panoramic views of the surrounding land and waterscape.  Wildlife is seen daily from the camp, including an occasional passing lion or leopard.  

Your accommodation continues the bold pan-African decorative theme, all overlaid on beautiful furnishings.  Your air-conditioned suite is a haven for relaxation, with all modern amenities amply supplied, from wi-fi to a fully stocked mini-bar.  Indoor and outdoor salas are a fine place to unwind with a book or appreciate the view, while the en-suite bathroom includes a beautiful freestanding bath and an outdoor shower.

With its dense papyrus and marshy channels, the area surrounding the camp boasts a relative abundance of the secretive sitatunga antelope.  Your best chance of viewing one is from a mokoro – gliding quietly through the maze of channels.  Here too, you might also be fortunate enough to spot a Pel’s fishing owl, one of the deltas’ special avian inhabitants.  It is also possible to take to the water on fishing trips or sip cocktails on a sundowner cruise.

As throughout the delta, wildlife is in abundance.  Naturally, the water is the big drawcard, and you will often see hippos and crocodiles, while a sighting of a spotted necked otter is a special treat.  On the river banks, herds of antelope along with zebra, wildebeest, and warthog slake their thirst with skittish gulps.  Large herds of buffalo and elephants criss-cross the land in their perpetual quest for sustenance.  All this of course means that the predators are not far away.  

You may be treated to the sight of a multi-generation lion pride gamboling on the melapo.  Perhaps you’ll be mesmerized by the liquid roll of a leopards’ muscular shoulders as it stalks unsuspecting prey.  Or maybe witness the brutal efficiency of Africa’s most successful predators – painted wolves and spotted hyena.  Whatever the case, remember to take your eye from the view-finder from time to time if only to let the wildness permeate your soul.

By foot, you’ll learn more about the micro-fauna and plant life of the delta, and your guide might even give you an introductory lesson in traditional basket making.

Xigera also offers you the chance to appreciate the delta from the air in an exciting helicopter safari, as an optional extra. 

Xigera Camp

Okavango Delta

The last three nights of your Botswana safari are accommodated at the beautiful Jao Camp, on the idyllic Hunda Island, deep within the delta, which you will reach by a short flight in a light aircraft.  Recently rebuilt, the central hub of the camp is elevated into the canopy of the riverine forest, creating a cool, stylish oasis of luxury celebrating the safari tradition.

Beautifully decorated throughout, the hub is a place of gathering with fellow guests before and after any of the various activities.  Enclosed within you will find an inviting lounge – situated adjacent to a lovely double-volume library and museum.  There is also a gallery where you can collect some memorabilia.  Additionally, for those that want to attend to their wellness, there is a spa and gym nearby.  Elegant indoor and outdoor dining spaces are the setting for sumptuous meals in a convivial atmosphere.  Leading outdoors, a spacious deck has comfortable seating from which to observe the passing wildlife, or take a dip in the refreshing swimming pool which seems to float above the water, under a dome of cleverly interwoven materials that mimic the papyrus islands nearby.

Set along the river frontage and reached via elevated walkways, your suite awaits, nestled amid the vegetation for your privacy.  A distinctive African style of décor prevails and sliding glass panels invite a sense of immersion in life on the waterways.  The alluring vista might tempt you to sacrifice an activity in favor of enjoying the ambiance of your living space.  Befitting the pages of a style magazine, your suite is bedecked in earth tones, with furnishing and amenities comparable to the best in the world.

Even before you leave the camp, the abundance of wildlife in this area is evident.  Hippos and crocodiles share the river in an uneasy truce.  Antelope dot the floodplain, birds decorate the skies, and breeding herds of elephants shuffle by in solemn processions.

Since the camp lies on a private concession, game drives are permitted to venture offroad and well into the night – which offers your best chance of seeing nocturnal species such as aardvark, serval, or civet.  The area has a healthy, shifting population of large predators, with exciting encounters to be had with the local lion pride, or while attempting to follow a hunting leopard.

The waterways – whether traversed by mokoro or motorboat – abound with life.  Along the shores, the game is often prolific, dependent as it does on water.  Elephants in particular love to enter the water, seemingly forgetting themselves as they cavort in the shallows.  

A full-day safari is a special treat at Jao.  Starting with a boat ride, you then set off in an open safari vehicle to explore Hunda Island.  As the sun reaches its zenith, you will stop for a well-earned picnic beneath a shady tree, before continuing in your quest for that special photograph or unique sighting.

Walks, specialist bird-watching excursions and catch-and-release fishing, and star-gazing are also offered to ensure variety throughout your stay. 

Jao Camp

Johannesburg

Today, alas, it is time to leave Botswana and begin your sojourn homeward.  A quick flight returns you to Maun, from which you will return to Johannesburg, South Africa.   Welcoming you back, our representative will return you to the Saxon Hotel, where you can begin the metamorphosis back to regular life in this luxurious cocoon.

Saxon Hotel Villas & Spa

Homeward Bound

After breakfast, you’ll be chauffeured to OR Tambo International Airport for your return flight.  We bid you a fond farewell, with an open invitation to return.  Magical Africa awaits!

Options & Extensions

A gorilla sitting in the woods, surrounded by tall trees and lush greenery. It looks calm and peaceful in its natural habitat.

Gorilla Trekking In Rwanda

Without exception, those who have been privileged to spend time with gorillas report a near-mythical experience, as if glancing into our ancestral past.  Sharing upwards of 98% of DNA, the link between our species is undeniable.  While they are massively powerful creatures – with males weighing over 400 pounds – they are by nature shy and placid.  Primarily herbivores, they spend much of their day alternating between foraging and rest.

A picturesque beach setting under a vibrant blue sky dotted with fluffy clouds.

Zanzibar Beach Retreat

For those wishing to enjoy a little pure downtime, perhaps following an action-packed safari, our Zanzibar itinerary offers the perfect blend of luxury, simplicity and all the idyllic pleasures of beach life. We have chosen from among Zanzibar’s best beach lodges options which are suitable for either families or those seeking an intimate, sophisticated retreat surrounded by the warm, clear waters of the Indian Ocean

With table mountain in the background with blue skies, the vibrant Cape Town bay with different ships docked

In & Around Cape Town

With its spectacular landscape, diverse activities and well-developed infrastructure, Cape Town offers the modern traveler the ideal destination for leisure and adventure.  It is frequently voted among the best cities to visit on vacation by noteworthy publications – and much of the local economy thrives thanks to a robust tourist industry.  Visitors from across the spectrum are sure to find the range of accommodation, cuisine and places of cultural and historical interest highly appealing.

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Feel free to get in touch with us to begin planning your personalized dream safari today. Our team specializes in crafting bespoke safari experiences that cater to your specific preferences. Whether you’ve always dreamed of witnessing the Big Five in their natural habitat, marveling at the mesmerizing Great Migration, or simply savoring the enchanting African sunsets, we’re here to turn your safari dreams into reality.

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16531 Misty Hill Dr Chino Hills CA 91709

Phone

+1-855-8-AFRICA
+1-855-823-7422

Email

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