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Fly to three of the wildest places in Botswana, experiencing diverse habitats, each with their own unique beauty and allure. Walk with the San Bushmen of the semi-arid Kalahari Desert, explore the watery Okavango Delta with local guides and enjoy outstanding wildlife watching in the Savuti region of Chobe National Park.
Spend three nights at each of the following affordable yet stylish and authentic lodges tucked away in the remote wilderness - Grasslands Bushman Lodge in the Central Kalahari, Oddballs' Enclave in the Okavango Delta and Camp Savuti in Chobe Park.
This Botswana Lodge Safari begins in Maun, where Delta Air meets you and flies you into the Kalahari Desert in a light aircraft. The 50-minute flight takes you to the private airstrip at Grasslands Bushman Lodge, just west of the Central Kalahari Game Reserve.
From the airstrip you are transferred to the 15 000 hectare private game reserve where Grasslands Bushman Lodge is located. Here you can immerse yourself in the semi-arid bush environment, soaking up the quiet and space of the massive Kalahari Desert, watching beautiful sunsets and admiring the star-studded skies at night.
Owned by the same family for several generations, this well-established lodge offers an in-depth San (Bushman) experience, having worked and lived with the local San clan for many years. The focus at the lodge is on the intensive interactions with the fascinating Bushmen people. Accompany a whole clan of local San people on a real hunting and gathering trip in the bush, gaining rare insight into the social customs and ways of these ancient people.
Tracking and foraging with the bushmen on foot allows you to witness the key roles played by men, women and children as the clan works together, giving you an understanding of how they survive in this arid region. You will see that every clan member brings his or her strengths to the group, contributing to the well-being of the clan from a young age. Guests also get to interact closely with the local San, seeing some of the traditional rituals, games and dances of southern Africa's oldest inhabitants.
Other activities include visits to the predator conservation program on the private reserve where guests can see wild dogs and other carnivores, including leopards and the legendary Kalahari lion up close. Grasslands Bushman Lodge also offers game drives in the Kalahari - an opportunity to appreciate the surprising diversity of flora and fauna found in the Kalahari. You may spot some antelopes and if you're lucky a predator, but during the first part of this safari the emphasis is primarily on the cultural encounters.
You can also set off into the wilderness on horseback, exploring the still desert environment on exhilarating horse riding excursions.
This Kalahari lodge is unique in offering an authentic Kalahari Bushman experience, as it is run by a family that has built relationships with the local San over decades. The family-run lodge is located in a well-managed private wilderness area, near a bushman village that welcomes visitors.
The lodge is largely solar-powered and accommodates 16 guests in thatched-roof chalets, including two family units. The chalets are comfortable, spacious and tastefully decorated, featuring en-suite bathrooms.
The open-sided dining, bar and lounge areas overlook a floodlit watering hole and the open bush. An abundance of wild animals and birds can be spotted from the lodge, including nocturnal creatures such as porcupines, aardvark, hyenas and jackals. There is a swimming pool for cooling off on hot desert days and an open-air boma with a campfire for relaxing under the starry skies at night.
On day four we have breakfast and take a Delta Air flight into the heart of the pristine Okavango Delta of Botswana. We head to our next destination, Oddballs' Enclave, which is only accessible by air. Your private guide meets you at the airstrip and remains your guide (shared between two guests at most) throughout your stay at the remote delta camp. The guides are local to the area and know the delta in minute detail, having grown up here.
We explore the Okavango Delta over the next few days, staying at Oddballs' Enclave safari camp. This intimate camp is located on a secluded small island just off Chief's Island, which lies in the world-famous Moremi Game Reserve, known as a predator viewing hotspot.
In the early mornings and late afternoons your private guide takes you into the delta on mokoro trips. Your guide poles you through the shallow waters of the reed-lined waterways and lagoons in his own dug-out canoe, called a mokoro. Sit back in the traditional mokoro and enjoy the untamed wilderness, looking out for animals and birds as you glide along. Your guide stands in the back of his hand-carved wooden mokoro, moving two seated passengers through the intricate maze of delta channels. Exploring by mokoro enables you to move slowly and quietly, allowing you to spot wildlife and birds more easily, whilst taking in the details of the bush.
Stopping off at Chief's Island in Moremi on your mokoro trips, your guide leads you into the bush on foot, sharing his in-depth knowledge with you as you get a closer look at the diverse flora and fauna. Walking in one of wildest places left in Africa with your unarmed guide is a thrilling experience as big mammals roam freely here, including large predators.
You have the option of arranging a picnic lunch from the camp, in order to spend a whole day exploring the Okavango Delta. In between excursions you are free to relax on the viewing decks and watch for animals and birds in the surrounding wetlands. End your days off with sundowners on the deck and sit out under the stars at night, enjoying the peace and listening to the sounds of nature.
A small, classical camp that can only be reached by plane, Oddballs' Enclave is an intimate getaway, consisting of five permanent tents and main guest areas.
The Meru-style canvas tents are set on raised wooden platforms with small deck areas where guests can sit back and enjoy being in nature. Each of these walk-in tents has a semi-detached bathroom of its own, fitted with a open-topped bucket shower that has cold and hot water. The tents are furnished with either twin or double beds offering simple yet comfortable private spaces.
The remote Oddballs' Enclave has a beautiful setting - on a small island in the heart of the pristine Okavango Delta. This family-friendly tented camp is the perfect spot to get in touch with nature and take it easy. Sitting on the decks, or around the campfire and in the open-sided lounge and dining areas, guests can sight wildlife and birds in the grasslands and woods around the camp.
Day seven starts with breakfast in the Okavango Delta, before we fly northeast to Savuti in Chobe National Park. From the Savuti airstrip we drive for about 20 minutes to reach Camp Savuti, game viewing en route.
Camp Savuti is located along the Savuti Channel in Chobe Park, the premier game park in Botswana. The floodplains of Savuti Marsh attract high concentrations of herbivores drawing numerous predators. Savuti is in fact rated as one of the top places to see predators in Africa, hosting high concentrations of big cats and other carnivores.
Expert guides take you on early morning and late afternoon game drives in open 4x4 vehicles, driving along the fringes of the Savuti Marsh and along the Savuti Channel, where you are sure to sight plenty of animals and birds. Your guide can tell you more about the wildlife, birds and natural habitat as you explore this scenic protected area.
In between your game drives there is time to relax at Camp Savuti, enjoying the views over Savuti Channel and the surrounding bush, looking out for wildlife and birds.
This small safari camp consists of five walk-in tents, which means that the camp only accommodates up to 10 guests at a time. The tents are spacious and comfortable, featuring en suite bathrooms. These permanent tents are set on raised platforms with private viewing decks that overlook the scenic Savuti Channel. The tents are set apart from each other to create private havens in the wilderness.
The main camp facilities include a lounge and dining area with a bar, all opening out onto the campfire area and the surrounding bush. Located in the western area of Chobe National Park, Savuti hosts one of the highest concentrations of wildlife in Africa and is especially famous for its predator sightings, including endangered wild dogs and lions. At Camp Savuti you can watch wildlife and birds in comfort, as well as embarking on open 4x4 game drives in this beautiful wilderness area. The camp offers an authentic African bush experience, tucked away deep in Chobe, some 20 minutes from the Savuti airstrip.
On day ten you have a chance to take one more early morning game drive into the wildlife-rich Savuti Marsh region of Chobe National Park, before tucking into a delicious breakfast back at Savuti Camp.
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