The Epic Elephant Encounter BOTSWANA - NAMIBIA - ZAMBIA
Day 1 Flight from Johannesburg to Maun, Botswana Light aircraft charter to Stanley’s Camp in the Okavango Delta Lunch on arrival - Afternoon game drive and introduction - Dinner and overnight at Stanley’s
Day 2 Elephant interaction based from Stanley’s, walking, touching and learning about the resident herd. Brunch in the bush with the elephants - Return to Stanley’s - Afternoon at leisure Dinner and overnight
Day 3 Breakfast and pack-up Motor boat transfer to Gunns Camp in the Okavango Arrive for lunch on the elevated deck Afternoon boating excursion - Dinner and overnight
Days 4 & 5 Depart Gunns Camp by dugout canoe for 2 nights of fly-camping on Chief’s Island in the Moremi Game Reserve Accommodation in a tented mobile camp with long drop loo and bucket shower Two days of tracking and walking in search of elephant on foot
Day 6 Return to Gunn’s Camp in afternoon with evening at leisure Dinner and overnight at Gunns Camp.
Day 7 Charter flight to a luxury tented camp on the banks of the Savuti Channel within the Chobe National Park Arrive for lunch followed by an orientation drive and search for elephants Dinner and overnight
Day 8 Full day game viewing based from our tented base, returning for meals and overnight
Day 9 Charter flight to Kasane on the Chobe River Clear customs into Namibia and then a boat transfer to a luxury houseboat on the Chobe Check in and orientation - Afternoon boat trip on the river Dinner and overnight on the houseboat
Days 10 & 11 Two full days game viewing and elephant watching based from the houseboat Birdwatching, fishing or game drives can be arranged
Day 12 Morning activity followed by a boat transfer back to the mainland Drive to Kasane International Airport for on-going travel logistics
Days 13 & 14 - Optional add-ons Road transfer to Livingstone in Zambia and two nights spent at Sindabezi Island on the Zambezi River Activities include: An authoritative presentation of Victoria Falls White water rafting Elephant interaction Canoeing and/or boating Cultural experiences
Day 15 Road transfer to Livingstone Airport to connect with a return flight to Johannesburg where the safari ends
Safari notes: This safari follows the historical movement patterns and distribution of elephants, and in doing so brings us into contact with a variety of other big-game species. A truth we have found is, the more you track elephants, the more other animals you will find! In the process we discover more about the perils and hurdles of elephant conservation in Africa, the illegal ivory trade and what can be done to create more living space for these incredible animals.
In the process we visit some sublime wilderness, stay in unique accommodation and enjoy adventurous game viewing.
If you ever thought that elephant were just another animal, this safari will amaze you. And if you have a soft spot for them, this safari will provide you with endless days of pleasure.
Okavango Delta Located within the Kalahari Desert of northern Botswana, the Okavango is a vast oasis of fertile grasslands, waterways and secluded islands. It provides sustenance to a variety of big-game such as buffalo, hippo, crocodiles, lion, leopard, wild dog, an array of antelope, zebra, giraffe … and of course elephants. The birdlife is phenomenal and the scenery is breathtaking. We spend six days in this wildlife paradise.
We begin the expedition with a day walking through the Okavango with a herd of semi-tame elephant which we can touch and interact with. Actually, ‘semi-tame’ is not the correct description as these elephants consort with wild individuals and have never been hand reared. Please note that we don’t actually ride these elephant but the experience provides a unique insight into the day to day lives, complex communication, advanced behaviour and surprising levels of intelligence of these remarkable animals. The walks are operated bywww.livingwithelephants.org.
Stanley’s Camp, with its luxury tented accommodation and beautiful setting ensures a fantastic base camp for this special experience which is highly recommended …you will look at an elephant through different eyes after this!
A boat transfer to Gunns Camp takes us along the Boro River deeper into the Delta and we often encounter animals along the way. The superb setting of Gunns Camp’s elevated deck and lounge overlooking the Moremi Game Reserve ensures the best sunset in Botswana.
We will base ourselves for a two night mobile camping safari on the islands of the Okavango. All supplies are loaded into dugout canoes and we pole to a remote spot where a tented fly-camp will be pre-erected for us. This is Africa at it’s best … living under canvas … a remote campfire … open air bucket showers … surrounded by animals … and tracking elephant on foot. Watching elephant (and of course other game including predators) is a stirring experience and an important imprint of the bigger picture. It’s very exciting, and at times, deeply emotional as close up encounters can be moving indeed.
Chobe National Park This famous reserve is an elephant and big-game hotspot which we explore by vehicle. The northern reaches on the Chobe River support the largest concentrations of elephant in Africa (and the world) and it is here where we base ourselves for three days. We also visit the seminal region known as Savuti where the mysterious Savuti Channel is flowing after decades of dust, bringing new life, colour and animal congregations into the parched landscape.
Savuti – once referred to as the Stolen River – is a an enigmatic region in the southern Chobe. The Savuti Channel started flowing again recently after decades and empties it’s life blood into the Savuti Marsh which has returned to it’s former glory of a lush green wetland. Large numbers of elephant, general game and predators congregate along the channel and marsh and game viewing is often sublime. The huge elephant bulls here are known for their placid behaviour and some close up encounters are predicted. We stay in a luxury tented camp close to the channel which is our base to explore the region by open game viewer.
We wing our way above the Chobe to Kasane, a small town on the banks of the Chobe River overlooking the Namibian floodplains beyond. Kasane is the safari-capital of northern Botswana, and we clear immigration into Namibia where we take a motor boat transfer into the Chobe National Park to our next destination … a luxury houseboat. With a prime position within the national park, and moored in Namibia waters, the luxurious triple deck houseboat offers a unique overview (literally!) of the river and floodplain. We explore the region with motor boats, taking advantage of stupendous elephant viewing on the river in the afternoons. Game drives can be arranged from our watery base, and fishing excursions and birdwatching are also possible.
On return to the Botswana mainland we are able to arrange a scientific presentation from a leading elephant research organization. The plight of elephants is one of the most controversial topics in Africa, and these eminent conservationists will be able to shed some light on their hopes, dreams and fears. These talks are educational, entertaining and poignant.
The safari winds down on arrival at Kasane International Airport, where your on-going travel plan would be coordinated. However for the adventurous-at-heart, an add-on module is highly recommended….
From Kasane we drive to Kazungula, a river crossing on the Zambezi River. The region is geographically unique as there is an island where the territories of four different countries merge; Botswana, Namibia, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. We cross the river by boat and clear immigration into Zambia and take a short road transfer toward the historic town of Livingstone. We stop at Tongabezi on the banks of the Zambezi and from here take a motor boat to the exclusive Sindabezi Island. Not quite how Livingstone would have done it 150 years ago! Sindabezi, with its three-sided reed and thatch river chalets is the perfect hideaway to explore the Zambezi and the great Victoria Falls.
Based from Sindabezi we have ample time to visit places of interest, canoe trails, white-water rafting or cultural excursions. All activities here are based around the spectacular Zambezi River, which after the Nile, Congo and Niger is Africa’s largest artery. The highlight is undoubtedly a tour of the majestic Victoria Falls, one of the seven natural wonders of the world. A comprehensive interpretation of the Falls comes standard, and we take our time exploring the numerous look-outs on the trail. When in flood, the Zambezi is a mile wide as it cascades over a 100 metre chasm into a series of gorges and pools below. It’s a phenomenal sight!
A road transfer to Livingstone Airport on the final day connects us with an international flight to Johannesburg, or perhaps another destination. From here your travel logistics are met.
Countries visited: Four – South Africa, Botswana, Namibia and Zambia. It is also possible to do a day tour into Zimbabwe based from Sindabezi.
Rivers along the way: Okavango Delta, including the Boro River, Savuti Channel, Chobe and the Zambezi.
Possible mammal highlights (amongst others): Red lechwe, wild dog, eland, puku, Chobe bushbuck, Crawshay’s zebra and loads and loads of elephant.
Cost available upon enquiry. A 25% deposit is required to confirm the booking. Balance is due two months before the trip starts.
Fitness Level Required No special fitness levels are required for this safari
Dates The recommended season for this safari is between June and late September
Includes Charter flights in and around the camps in Botswana. All road transfers listed in the itinerary All activities and excursions as mentioned above Accommodation All meals (special dietary requirements may incur a surcharge). All local drinks All levies and reserve entry fee
Excludes Flights from Johannesburg to Maun, Kasane to Johannesburg, or Livingstone to Johannesburg. Gratuities and items of a personal nature. Visas
Required but not included in the cost Visa, Malaria tablets (advised), Travel insurance
Conditional Elements Due to the nature of the area that we will be visiting and the remoteness of the terrain the order of the itinerary may be changed.