Contact | Site Map

border

SAFARI-GIRL

AFRICAN SAFARIS

border

Victoria Falls, ZimbabweMuchenje, BotswanaMotsentsela Tree Lodge, BotswanaShinde

border

Botswana - One of Africa's Last Wild Places

From the Okavango to the Chobe River & Victoria Falls

Botswana is described by National Geographic as “One of the best preserved corners of wilderness left in the world.”  Bordered by South Africa, Zimbabwe, Zambia, and Namibia, it has a proud history of stable democracy and a peace-loving people who share a deep sensitivity for their land and their wilderness heritage.  A land of timeless beauty, it teems with wildlife. This land is home to some of the most extraordinary eco-systems on earth.  The jewel in Botswana’s crown is the Okavango Delta.

The Okavango Delta is a unique ecosystem of papyrus-lined waterways, knee-deep floodplains, water-lily lagoons, shady forest glades and rich savannah grasslands. Every summer, rains fall 800 miles away on the Angolan highlands which spill down the Okavango River to create a miraculous oasis in the northern Kalahari.  And it couldn’t come at a better time...during Botswana’s dry season.  Within the Okavango is the Moremi Game Reserve where the game viewing is outstanding.  It is considered one of the leading wildlife areas of the world.  The mosaic of grasslands, palm-tree islets, forests and winding water channels combine to form a perfectly constructed puzzle, in which animals wander as they please.

Chobe National Park is the second largest national park in Botswana.  It has one of the greatest concentrations of game found anywhere in Africa.  What makes it unique is the elephant population.  The Chobe elephants comprise part of what is probably the largest surviving continuous elephant population in all of Africa (approximately 120,000).  The original inhabitants of Chobe National Park were the San or Bushmen people.

Highlights of this very special safari include a stay in Maun at the very beginning of our safari and a tour of Victoria Falls at the end.  Time spent at the Victoria Falls Hotel, the “Grand Dame” of Victoria Falls, will be unforgettable.  For over 100 years, visiting African Chiefs, members of royal families, international statesmen and celebrities have stayed at this elegant landmark hotel.

border

Personally escorted by Denise Bonnell

ITINERARY

Motsentsela Tree Lodge, Botswana

Motsentsela Tree Lodge, Botswana

Day 1                               Maun, Botswana

Arrive this afternoon to a welcome from a Motsentsela representative and your guide.  A short 25 minute drive takes you to Montsentsela, where the management will be on hand to greet you with a refreshing cold beverage and provide you with a briefing of the lodge before escorting you to your well appointed tent with private facilities.

Relax by the pool or explore one of the nature trails.  The wildlife is accilimated to guests on foot, so when approaching slowly and quietly, you may see Gemsbok, Kudu, Zebra, Giraffe, Eland, and several species of birds.  The “Hide” on the property can offer some excellent photo opportunities in the drier months.  English tea is served at 4:00 pm and later, after “Sundowners” around the campfire, a delicious three course dinner with complimentary wine is served in the dining room.

MONTSENTSELA TREE LODGE                                 (L,D)

Motsentsela Tree Lodge, Botswana

Motsentsela Tree Lodge, Botswana

Motsentsela Tree Lodge, Botswana

Motsentsela Tree Lodge, Botswana

Motsentsela Tree Lodge, Botswana

Motsentsela Tree Lodge, Botswana

Motsentsela Tree Lodge, Botswana

Motsentsela Tree Lodge, Botswana

Motsentsela Tree Lodge, Botswana

Motsentsela Tree Lodge, Botswana

Motsentsela Tree Lodge, Botswana

Motsentsela Tree Lodge, Botswana

Day 2                         Maun, Botswana

After breakfast we’ll set off through rural Maun to visit the Sexaxa cultural village and spend an hour or so learning about their customs and traditions.  Botswana is famous for its hand woven baskets and we will move on to visit a women’s basket cooperative making and selling traditional Botswana baskets.  We will then move into town to visit the main Kgotta – or community center, where community issues are discussed by tribal leaders and events such as marriages are conducted.  We then stop at a local eatery for lunch.  Afterwards, you might choose to return to the lodge for walks on your own, or if you prefer, with a guide.  There is also the opportunity to visit Bana Ba Letatsi, a shelter for children at risk.  This is by special arrangement only and a small donation directly to the shelter would be expected.

MONTSENTSELA TREE LODGE                    (B,L,D)

 

Motsentsela Tree Lodge, Botswana

Motsentsela Tree Lodge, Botswana

Day 3                        Montsentsela/Maun/
Okavango Delta

Shinde Camp, Botswana

Shinde Camp, Botswana

Shinde Camp, Botswana

Shinde Camp, Botswana

Shinde Camp, Botswana

Shinde Camp, Botswana

This morning’s flight takes us to Shinde Camp.  Nestled on a lush palm island in the heart of the northern Okavango Delta, Shinde is located on the edge of a lagoon surrounded by clear waterways which flow over yellow sands and past palm-fringed islands teeming with birdlife and game.  This is a photographer’s delight. Its remoteness has ensured that the fragile wildlife has not been subject to the pressures of mass tourism.

Nine large, twin-bedded safari style tents with large windows and incredible service await you at Shinde.  These private deluxe tents include en suite bathrooms with hot and cold running water, showers, and flush toilets. Comfort and exclusivity best describe the accommodations at Shinde and the service of the staff is impeccable, courteous, and inviting. 

Three of the tents - “The Enclave” - are in an area of the camp with its own dining facility, lounge and bar.  It is perfect for private parties of up to six.  The public areas offer dining on an elevated teak deck with views westward across the lagoon and an airy open lounge area merging with the trees which form a pleasing integral part of the overall camp ambiance.   The camp managers are on hand to take care of you.

This full service tented camp includes incredible cuisine...and…dining in the Tree house is a special experience, never to be forgotten.  Each tent has incredible views of the grasslands and the delta.  It is an incredibly intimate experience that will leave you with unforgettable memories of Botswana.

SHINDE CAMP                                                             (B,L,D)

 Days 4 & 5

                Okavango Delta/Shinde Camp

Shinde Camp, Botswana

Shinde Camp, Botswana

Shinde Camp, Botswana

Shinde Camp, Botswana

Shinde Camp, Botswana

Shinde Camp, Botswana

Our stay at Shinde offers the opportunity to enjoy every type of activity that is available in the Delta.  These range from game drives in open four wheel drive vehicles to walks in the company of an armed ranger equipped with a radio to the serene experience of gliding noiselessly through the lagoons in a mokoro poled by one of our expert guides at the camp.  Fishing is another featured activity at Shinde with great action for the seasoned angler as well as the novice.  Wait until you see the size of the fish!  There is also a swimming pool which is enclosed to keep the animals out.  This is an excellent place to read and relax in between game drives.

Since the extensive grass cutting of the airstrip and adjacent area, large herds of lechwe have made it their favorite grazing place which means easy pickings for the Shinde lions.  Elephant, cheetah, giraffe, leopard, baboon, and a host of colorful birdlife like it there too.

Two full days in the unspoiled private concession that is Shinde will introduce you to the very best of the almost extinct “traditional safari” that is exemplified in the Okavango Delta.  Lion, Leopard, Hyena, Crocodile, and Hippo are in the neighborhood along with Giraffe, Kudu, Buffalo, Elephant, Lechwe, and Wild Dogs.  The Delta is a paradise for bird life.  Both resident and migratory and large heron and stork populations can be seen at very close quarters.  

SHINDE ISLAND CAMP                                          (B,L,D)

Shinde Camp, Botswana

Shinde Camp, Botswana

Day 6

                 Shinde/Chobe National Park

Choose to enjoy an early morning game drive or relax with tea/coffee served at your tent before a leisurely breakfast and transfer to the Shinde airstrip for the light aircraft flight to Kasane in northern Botswana.  You will be met by your guide from Muchenje Safari Lodge.      

Located just a few minutes from the Chobe National Park, the Muchenje Safari Lodge is set on an escarpment to take full advantage of the incredible views across the river.  The Lodge offers unparalleled safari experiences for both discerning and newcomers to the bush alike.  Owner run and managed, attention to detail is paramount, with nothing being too much trouble at Muchenje.

Situated on the Western side of the Chobe National Park, Muchenje is the only lodge in this area which offers unique prolific game experiences away from the crowded eastern part of the Reserve.  Game viewing in small boats, fishing, bush walks, and, of course, game drives complete the safari experience in diverse Botswana habitats.  With stunning panoramic views, the central part of the lodge is the heart of Muchenje.  Guests can relax in the lounge, bar or look out from the platform and enjoy the wonderful views.

The main lodge features a dining area, bar, reception area, a curio shop, a game viewing platform, and a library.  The stunning swimming pool is built amongst natural rock formations, taking advantage of the African vista and providing a tranquil setting for guests to relax during the heat of the day.   

MUCHENJE SAFARI LODGE                                (B,L,D)

 

Muchenje Safari Lodge, Botswana

Muchenje Safari Lodge, Botswana

Muchenje Safari Lodge, Botswana

Muchenje Safari Lodge, Botswana

Muchenje Safari Lodge, Botswana

Muchenje Safari Lodge, Botswana

  Days 7 & 8                                                                                        Chobe National Park

Muchenje Safari Lodge, Botswana

Muchenje Safari Lodge, Botswana

Muchenje Safari Lodge, Botswana

Muchenje Safari Lodge, Botswana

Muchenje Safari Lodge, Botswana

Muchenje Safari Lodge, Botswana

Morning and afternoon game drives or other activities.  Chobe is famous for its elephant population but they do migrate south into the Delta as soon as the first drops of rain appear, usually in mid-November.  Big game viewing by boat can be very exciting as one can approach silently in the late afternoon as the animals come to drink. 

MUCHENJE SAFARI LODGE                                 (B,L,D)

Day 9

Muchenje Safari Lodge/Victoria Falls

We will have time for a final early morning game drive before breakfast, as the rest of the day is a gentle schedule.  Depart by road through the reserve to Kazungula Road for border formalities.  Continue to the Victoria Falls Hotel arriving in late morning.

This colonial hotel, set on gorgeous green lawns, adorned with beautiful flowers, shrubs, and indigenous trees, is located within walking distance of the Falls.  Established in 1904, the historical Victoria Falls Hotel overlooks the Victoria Falls Bridge and gorge below.  The elegant décor and the Old World charm of this gracious hotel are reflected in the wide colonial verandahs and the Livingstone room with its fine cuisine.  The architecture reflects Edwardian style at its height with numerous corridors, archways, columns, and extensive wood paneling.  There is a lovely brick terrace at the top of the garden from where guests can relax in deep wicker chairs and look out to the famous railway bridge enveloped in the mist of the falls.  This is the perfect place from which to admire the falls over morning coffee and fresh pastries, afternoon high tea, or in the evening while sipping a Livingstone cocktail. 

During your stay, a tour of the falls by car and on foot is included.  You may take this in the afternoon or in the morning before transfer to the airport. 

VICTORIA FALLS HOTEL                                               (B)

The Victoria Falls Hotel, Zimbabwe

The Victoria Falls Hotel, Zimbabwe

The Victoria Falls Hotel, Zimbabwe

The Victoria Falls Hotel, Zimbabwe

The Victoria Falls Hotel, Zimbabwe

The Victoria Falls Hotel, Zimbabwe

The Victoria Falls Hotel, Zimbabwe

Day 10                                                                                      Victoria Falls/Johannesburg

After breakfast at Stanley’s Terrace, and if you have not already done so, visit Victoria Falls where you will see Livingstone’s statue and the Devil’s Cataract.  The Victoria Falls, or Mosi-oa-Tunya (the smoke that thunders) is a waterfall situated in southern Africa on the Zambezi River between Zambia and Zimbabwe.  The Falls are, by some measures, the largest in the world (one and a half times as wide and twice as high as those at Niagara) as well as being among the most unusual.  Walk through the rainforest to Rainbow Falls and continue along the pathway to the International Bridge. Return to the hotel and check out, before our transfer to the airport for our flight to Johannesburg and our connections home.

(B)

border

The estimated cost of arrangement is $5,575 each of two persons

Cost Includes: 

  • Tented/lodge/hotel accommodation based on two persons sharing double or twin
     

  • Table d’hote meals as listed in the itinerary  B=Full Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner
     

  • All sightseeing, and park entry fees as required by the itinerary
     

  • Game drives and other activities on safari in Botswana
     

  • Meeting services and transfers as indicated on itinerary
     

  • Seat-in-Plane light aircraft flight from Shinde to Kasane
     

  • Services of experienced driver/guides
     

  • Wine with dinner in Maun; local alcoholic beverages and laundry at Shinde and Muchenje.
     

  • Service charges and taxes as applicable.

 Cost Does Not Include:

Anything not proscribed in the “Cost Includes” list above; international air transportation; visa for Zimbabwe; items of personal nature such as gratuities to drivers/guides and camp/lodge/hotel staff. 

Price is based on tariffs and exchange rates and is subject to change.