The casual visitor to Botswana could be excused for seeing the country as kilometre upon kilometre of flat, desolate scrubland with little or no surface water – closer inspection however will reveal what is arguably Africa’s finest wildlife destination. A country the size of France, over a quarter of Botswana’s land is set aside exclusively for nature conservation.
Our tour will take us through the vast Kalahari where we will walk with the local Bushmen people, then to the north – into the magnificent Okavango Delta where we will travel by boat and in dugout canoes ( mekoro ) with local Bayei tribes people to our private camp in the heart of this unique natural wonderland – home also to a multitude of Africa’s Fauna and Flora. We then explore the renowned National Parks in fully equipped open 4×4 vehicles – depending on the season our route will follow the game migrations. We will spend a night under the stars in the vast Makgadikgadi Salt Pans, will enjoy a game viewing boat cruise on the mighty Chobe River, and finally, will visit “The Smoke that Thunders” – Victoria Falls. Clients may opt to then fly out from Victoria Falls or enjoy the journey back to Johannesburg traveling south overland.
DAY 1: JOHANNESBURG – KALAHARI
Departing from GREENFIRE LODGE JOHANNESBURG at 06h30, we set off to cross the Botswana border near Lobatse. On completion of Customs and Immigration formalities we pass through an area boasting significant history, then, it’s out into the vast Kalahari Plains. We will cover quite some distance today before arriving at our established overnight camp near Kang. Once we have set up tents etc. we will enjoy a short walk out into the bush. Tonight we enjoy a catered meal. Lunch and Dinner own expense
DAY 2: KALAHARI BUSHMEN
Waking early to a spectacular Kalahari sunrise, we enjoy a sumptuous camp breakfast before continuing to the frontier town of Ghanzi. Ghanzi is home to some of the last traditional Bushmen, and it is here that we will enjoy learning about the wilderness from these fascinating people. Our experience will include a bush walk. B L D
DAY 3 – 5: OKAVANGO DELTA
The Okavango, a massive river spilling its contents into the Kalahari sands, creating one of the world’s only true inland delta’s and a unique ecosystem that supports a huge variety of animal and plant life. The sight of a nervous Lechwe pounding across a flooded plain, the Jacana striding delicately amongst the flowering lilies, the Bee Eater diving to prey on an unsuspecting insect, and of course the familiar cry of the African Fish Eagle – all combine to create one of nature’s masterpieces. We begin our journey into the Delta near the panhandle, gliding through Papayrus lined channels first by motorboat and then by mekoro – the traditional dugout canoe, to our exclusive wild island camp. We spend three nights here in true wilderness, exploring the area on foot and by mekoro. There will also be time to simply relax and to absorb the remoteness and serenity of the area. B L D; B L D; B L D
DAY 6: OKAVANGO – MAUN
Starting early, we begin our journey back to relative civilisation, first by mekoro and then by motorboat to where we are reunited with our vehicle. This afternoon we arrive in Maun and then travel the short distance out to the DRIFTERS MAUN LODGE to freshen up before enjoying a catered meal. The Lodge is situated on the banks of the Boteti River and offers comfortable en-suite accommodation, a swimming pool, bar and restaurant. Clients will have the option to enjoy an own expense game flight over the Delta on one of our visits to Maun. B L D
DAY 7 – 10: FLEXIBLE GAME RESERVE SCHEDULE
This morning we stop in Maun for the group and guide to stock up with supplies for the onward journey. Now we prepare for the game viewing part of the trip. Perched high on our well-equipped 4 X 4 vehicle we head into the wilderness, passing remote villages along the way. We spend five days in the National Parks following seasonal game migrations, an example of our route could be: starting with Moremi, camping the first night near the well-known 3rd Bridge. Drift off to sleep to the howl of the Hyena or the earthy roar of a Lion, and even the deep grunt of a half-submerged Hippo. We then head on north via Xakanaxa to camp near North Gate. This area is generally excellent for game viewing and we will conduct afternoon and morning drives along the wetland areas. Then on up to Savuti, the area offers a multitude of game drive options and a very active campsite (keep the fruit well hidden from the roving Elephant, and the meat from the prowling Hyenas). The vegetation is constantly changing, from open plains, palm trees and marshland, to dense Mopane woodlands and Acacia scrub. Each night we will camp in pristine, remote, private sites where there is no sign of Mans existence – we leave each site in the same condition, nothing but footprints are left behind. B L D ; B L D ; B L D ; B L D
DAY 11: MAUN
Our last morning in the Parks, we slowly game drive our way back to Maun where we will spend some time before heading out to the comfort of the DRIFTERS MAUN LODGE. We will enjoy an Own Expense Lunch in Maun. This afternoon we will relax at the Lodge before enjoying a catered meal and a comfortable night. B D
DAY 12: MAKGADIKGADI PANS
A relaxed start today, we will spend some time enjoying the Lodge and the swimming pool before enjoying Brunch and then venturing eastward and into the spectacular Makgadikgadi Salt Pans. Besides the stark scenery, the Pans are known for their prolific birdlife and the other desert adapted animals. Without disturbing the surface, we make our way to a remote site where we set up camp and take in the isolation and serenity of this expanse. Although we set up tents, we encourage clients to enjoy a night out under the canopy of stars.Brunch, D
DAY 13: CHOBE RIVER – VICTORIA FALLS
Venturing north today, we leave the desolation of the Pans behind and make our way up to the mighty Chobe River. The Chobe area is known for the huge herds of Elephants and other animals that are attracted to drink from the River – this afternoon we will enjoy an extensive boat cruise, gliding close to the banks we hope to be able to approach these animals from the River for close up viewing. After our boat cruise we will cross the border and make our way to the GREENFIRE LODGE VICTORIA FALLS which is centrally situated and within walking distance of The Fall’s and other attractions. Lunch today is own expense. B D
DAY 14: VICTORIA FALLS
Awaking in the adventure capital of Africa, it is with new excitement that we explore the amazing Victoria Falls, “Mosi o Tunya “, “The smoke that Thunders”. After admiring this wonder of the world, various other attractions can be visited and activities enjoyed – the tribal village, the big tree, the curio market and the crocodile farm. An aircraft flip over the falls or a boat trip on the Zambezi River, White Water Rafting or Bungi Jumping are all worthwhile, but allowance must be made for the extra expense.
We spend two nights here, thus allowing clients some time to explore by themselves. Tonight we will eat out in local restaurant (own expense). Relax to the sound of the African night and the distant roar of the Falls and drink the farewell toasts to your adventure. B
DAY 15: VICTORIA FALLS
Our Tour ends today after breakfast. Clients will make their way to the Airport for their flight back home. B
The day by day descriptions published are intended as a rough guideline only. Adventure travel by nature is unpredictable, weather patterns, game migrations, road conditions and a multitude of other factors may necessitate itinerary changes that ultimately are for the client’s benefit. It is essential that clients are flexible and open minded in this regard.
The 16 Day Botswana Tour departs from Johannesburg and ends back in Johannesburg again on the last day. Guests can extend their stay in South Africa by booking Pre-Tour or Post-Tour Accommodation at the Greenfire Lodge Johannesburg.
Please contact Drifters or your agent for more information.
|Optional Activities in Maun, Botswana|
|Extended Game Flight over Okavango Delta|
|Optional Activities in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe|
|White Water Rafting – Low water|
|White Water Rafting – High water|
|Tandem – Gorge Swing|
|Sundowner Boat Cruise|
|Horse Riding Safari|
Optional Activities can be booked on arrival. No bookings are made in advance.
Rates are subject to change without notice
Activities are subject to availability
Activities are weather dependant
PRE-DEPARTURE INFORMATION BOTSWANA TOUR
The trip requires a valid passport and for certain nationalities, a visa for Zimbabwe and Botswana. A sleeping bag, towel and pillow are required for this tour. Seasonal Malaria precautions are necessary and are locally obtainable. A barrel bag or backpack is best suited for this trip (suitcases do not fit into the space provided). An extra day bag or camera bag is advised. Spending money required will be for the restaurant meals, drinks, visas, tips curios, (Zimbabwe airport tax US$30-00 if applicable – subject to change, and airport transfer for flying pax only), and any other optional excursions. All trips are accompanied by two professional guides for optimum efficiency, catering for a maximum of 14 people per vehicle. Remember, help us to help you by participating and by keeping an open mind and remaining flexible. Our price includes all food as specified (we do not use the food kitty system), coffee, tea, fruit juice at breakfast, transport, professional guides, mekoro hire, accommodation, group equipment, permits and park entrance fees.
Our price does not include restaurant meals where stipulated, visas, tips, curios, optional excursions, alcohol bottled water and soft drinks, airport tax, airport transfers and airfares.
Before departure clients will be required to enter into an agreement pertaining to our booking conditions and general information.
Clients are required to have their own comprehensive personal travel insurance.
Your tour will depart from:
– The Greenfire Lodge Johannesburg, 25 Alida Street, Northcliff, Johannesburg @ 06h30.
– Guests not staying at the Drifters Lodge must arrive at the Lodge at 06h00.
– Tel: +27 11 888 1160
Please note that we strongly advise against flying out on the day that the tour ends. Drifters will not be held responsible for missed flights on this day. We generally travel long distances and late arrivals are common.
ACCOMMODATION ON TOUR
Please note that linen will be provided at Johannesburg Lodge, BUT you will need a sleeping bag and pillow for the rest of the tour. The nights specified as accommodated on tour is a total upgrade from camping, but stays very basic.
Batteries can be charged from a 220 volt source on night 6, 11, 13, 14
There is a central charging point on night 15
Currency exchange opportunities: Arrival at Johannesburg Airport, Day 1, 6, 11, 13
Limited Laundry facilities: Day 6, 13 (Essential washing only)
Internet facilities: Pre night in Johannesburg
We sell a range of sleeping bags in our shop starting from € 30.00 nett per person. We also have a range of barrel bags for sale starting from € 50 nett per bag.
All our tours require participation from all group members. This entails assisting with the food preparation, washing of dishes, keeping the truck clean and the setting up of camp.
Please keep in mind that flexibility and an open mind will greatly contribute to an enjoyable safari.
We are travelling in developing countries, please do not expect the punctuality you have come to expect in first world countries. Things do not always run according to plan, however we do endeavor to run according to the itinerary as best as possible.
DRIFTERS WISH YOU AN ENJOYABLE AFRICAN EXPERIENCE!
Please ensure that you are in possession of valid travel documents for all the countries, (Botswana, Zimbabwe and South Africa) that you will visit. If you have any queries in this regard, please do not hesitate to contact us. Please ensure that you have proof of further travel arrangements if you do not have a South African: passport, permanent residency permit, work permit or study permit. Although we will endeavor to assist, we do not accept any liability or obligation for your travel documents.
Telephone number: Botswana Consulate in Johannesburg: (011)403-3748 / 9
Zimbabwe Trade mission in Johannesburg: (011)838-2156 / 9
Or visit: Botswana Tourism at www.botswanatourism.co.bw
Zimbabwe Tourism at www.zimbabwetourism.net
Make sure that your passport has at least six months’ validity from your planned date of return to your home country. Make two photocopies of valuable documents such as your passport, tickets, visas and travelers cheques. Keep one copy with you in a separate place to the original and leave another copy with someone at home.
Botswana Pula is the currency used in Botswana. Botswana Pula can be obtained at a main branch of any major bank in South Africa. If you can not obtain Pula before your departure ex Johannesburg, please ensure that you have sufficient Rand to purchase refreshments en route. Money can be exchanged at the border or in Maun, where all major foreign currencies can be exchanged for Pula. Although Travellers cheques are a safe way to transport money there are only limited opportunities to exchange your Travelers Cheques for cash. Please do not rely on credit cards, as most of the places we visit on this tour will not have the facilities to deal with them.
Drifters trucks have safe-keeping facilities for extra cash/flight tickets/passports.
It is compulsory that all passengers make arrangements for adequate travel insurance to financially safeguard against unforeseen circumstances. If you need further information please do not hesitate to contact us. Drifters do not accept responsibility for any loss, injury, damage, accident, fatality, delay or inconvenience experienced whilst on tour. You will be required to complete and sign a full indemnity prior to tour departure.
HEALTH PRECAUTIONS & REQUIREMENTS
The only necessary prophylaxis for Southern Africa (Botswana and Zimbabwe) is against Malaria. Please consult with your general practitioner regarding this. Resistant strains of Malaria occur in both Botswana and Zimbabwe and adequate chemo-prophylaxis is essential. Prevention is better than cure; please use insect repellant on exposed areas after sunset.
All Drifters guides have first aid boxes for use in emergencies, however we recommend that you bring along your own basic supply of medication, headache tablets etc.
Please note that Southern African weather conditions vary tremendously from season to season. During summer months temperatures of up to 40°C can be experienced. During the winter months of June, July and August the nights are very cold, temperatures may drop well below 0°C, although the day temperatures will be pleasant at around 20°C. Please take weather conditions into consideration when choosing a sleeping bag for your tour.
CLOTHING & PERSONAL EFFECTS
Herewith a recommended guide of what to bring along:
Sleeping Bag & Small Pillow
Swimming Costume & Towel
Passport/Visas (if applicable)
Mosquito Net (Optional)
***Refreshments (alcohol, coke etc)
Money (Sundry expenses, gratuities)
Camera, Binoculars (Film)
Books (Birds, Mammals etc.)
** Luggage should be limited to a maximum of 15kg’s HARD SUITCASES ARE NOT SUITABLE!!
*** Refreshments can be purchased en-route on the first day of the tour, and at regular intervals throughout the tour.
MEALS AND REFRESHMENTS
Meals are provided as indicated in the brochure/website. We do not provide meals on the first day and the last day of your tour. We do however stop en-route; therefore it is always possible to buy something along the way. Soft drinks, bottled water and alcohol are for your own expense; there is ample opportunity during the tour to buy refreshments. The guide will advise when you need to stock up for a couple of days.
A reasonable amount of personal spending money must be brought on our tours. This is to cover own expense meals, bottled water, soft drinks, alcohol, sundry goods purchased- such as film, suntan cream etc., curios, optional extra excursions, airport tax, transfers and tips. In South Africa it is common courtesy to tip casual help for services rendered. In the case of your guide, if you were happy with his or her services, an amount of R 50 per day per person would constitute a reasonable tip. By not tipping for services you are expressing displeasure.
Credit card payments are NOT accepted for the activities in Vic Falls. Payments can be made in any of the following currencies: South African Rand and US Dollar.
15 Day Overland Safari – Johannesburg to Johannesburg – $2,430