The Central Kalahari Game Reserve
The CKGR established in 1961 by the British Government to protect the traditional way of life of the nomadic San Bushman tribes. The park covers an area of 52800 square kilometres and makes up an 11th of Botswana’s total land area making it the second largest game reserve in the world, the first being the Selous Game Reserve in Tanzania covering 54 000 km2. The CKGR is a scrub desert with almost no surface water available. Home to the famous “Kalahari Lions” the area has healthy populations of cheetah, brown hyena, gemsbok, springbok, giraffe, wildebeest, bat eared fox and the tenacious honey badger. A landscape with endless horizons, the early evening air is dominated by the never ending calls of the Kalahari barking geckos.
Makgadikgadi Pans National Park
The Makgadikgadi zebra migration moves east away from the Boteti River into the huge open grasslands of the Makgadikgadi Pans after our first good rains. Our camp will be erected in the grasslands just north – west of the expansive Ntwetwe Pans or further north at Baines Baobabs or Nxai Pan. The salt pans cover an area of over 16 000km2 in the Kalahari Basin and form the bed of the ancient Lake Makgadikgadi which evaporated millions of years ago. Although Nxai Pan was once part of the great super lake, it is quite different to the Makgadikgadi Salt Pans as it boasts broad hectares of short sweet grasslands with occasional “islands” of trees. The rich grassland provides good grazing and attracts springbok, impala, gemsbok, giraffe, kudu, hartebeest, zebra, wildebeest, all followed by lions and hyena, as well as a wide array of birdlife. The grasslands of the Makgadikgadi hide small colonies of meerkats that have become habituated to people and provide a few hours of rewarding interaction. Baines Baobabs, a cluster of seven Baobab trees are located within the park. The Baobabs were painted by Thomas Baines when he passed through travelling with John Chapman in 1862.
Okavango Delta & Moremi Game Reserve
The Okavango is a unique ecosystem, an inland delta situated in the middle of the largest stretch of continuous sand in the world – the Kalahari Basin. This wetland lies like an oasis in an otherwise inhospitable landscape. Where land and delta meet, a mosaic of pans, grasslands, forests and lagoons provide an extremely rich and diverse habitat in which a multitude of animals and birds flourish. This wetland is one of the natural wonders of the world and is a fragile ecosystem that remains one of the worlds least spoilt and most beautiful wildernesses and is home to various unique species e.g. sitatunga antelope and red lechwe. Moremi Game Reserve is situated in the eastern corner of the Okavango Delta. Moremi is one of the most beautiful and varied reserves found on the African continent with a diverse selection of wildlife and incredible scenery. The reserve consists of both swamped areas like Xakanaxa and dry-land areas like Khwai.
- 1 Night Meno a Kwena Lodge a great first night in Botswana.
- 3 Nights serviced camping in the Central Kalahari Game Reserve
- 2 Nights serviced camping in the Makgadikgadi National Park in search of the Makgadikgadi Pans zebra migration
- 1 Night Camp Kalahari with a visit to a habituated meerkat colony
- 3 Nights Moremi Game Reserve with an optional scenic flight over the Okavango Delta and Chiefs Island
map and overview
- 1 Night Meno a Kwena Lodge
- 3 Nights serviced camping in the Central Kalahari Game Reserve
- 2 Nights serviced camping in the Makgadikgadi National Park
- 1 Night Camp Kalahari
- 3 Nights Moremi Game Reserve
Day 1: Arrival and road transfer to Meno a Kwena Lodge
Your guide for the duration of your safari will be there to welcome you on arrival at Maun Airport around noon. The exact departure time from Maun Airport will be advised closer to the time, as this depends on the commercial airlines flight schedules. We expect to leave Maun and begin our journey around lunchtime where we head south to the Meno o Kwena Lodge on the Boteti River. We arrive mid to late afternoon. Enjoy sundowners overlooking the river on your first night in Botswana.
Day 2 & 3 & 4: Serviced Camping in the Central Kalahari Game Reserve – CKGR - B&L&D
Following an early breakfast we depart to CKGR. Most of the scenery en-route to CKGR is cattle country and dry savannah bush. After a 2-3 hour drive we enter the CKGR and Deception Valley in time for lunch in our mobile camp. We will spend the next three nights in the CKGR. After approx. 2 hours the vegetation changes and small dry pans (open areas) appear and at one stage the land falls gradually away to Deception Valley. The valleys in the Kalahari are extinct river valleys that occurred millions of years ago and are now covered in short dry grass. After a little rainfall the grass turns green offering the wildlife much needed nutrition. We explore areas like Deception Valley, Passarge Valley, Sundays Pans and Letiahau. To get a better idea of this unique ecosystem we recommend you read “Cry of the Kalahari” by Mark and Delia Owens. A fiercely beautiful but hostile environment – the CKGR will creep into your soul and for many months after your visit you will yearn to return.
Day 5 & 6: Serviced Camping in the Makgadikgadi National Park – B&L&D
We pack and move camp east to the huge expansive grasslands of the Makgadikgadi Pans in search of the huge numbers of zebra (up to 25000 animals) that leave the Boteti river system and concentrate on the open grasslands in search of nutritious grasses to give birth to their young. Despite their numbers they can be elusive and we spend the next two nights in search of the herds and exploring this vast open landscape.
Day 7: Camp Kalahari (lodge)
After breakfast and a short morning game drive we pack camp and head further east to Camp Kalahari in a private Concession just outside the park. We arrive in time for lunch and you will settle into your tents at Camp Kalahari. In the afternoon we head out for a late afternoon drive in search of the meerkats. Dinner will be served at the lodge.
Day 8 & 9 & 10: Serviced Camping in Moremi Game Reserve and Okavango Delta - B&L&D
An early morning road transfer takes us from the Makgadikgadi to Maun in time for lunch at a quaint local restaurant and then a road transfer to the mobile safari camp in the Khwai area of the Moremi Game Reserve. The Moremi Game Reserve forms part of the unique ecosystem called the Okavango Delta and Moremi covers up to one third of the Okavango. The total area of the Okavango covers up to 18 000 square kilometres of which the Moremi Game Reserve is 5000 square kilometres. We spend the next three nights camping at a campsite in the adjoining community area exploring the Khwai floodplains on game drives during the day. Experience a 2 ½ hour mekoro trip exploring the waterways of Khwai which is the most eastern reach of the Okavango River system.
Day 11: Maun - B & L
Following our customary early morning breakfast and early game drive we say goodbye to our back up team and camp staff and head for the bush airstrip to board a charter plane for a scenic flight over the Okavango Delta – this is optional and at additional cost. The route takes us from a bush airstrip over Chiefs Island for an approx. 50 min flight landing at Maun airport to connect with your onward arrangements. Alternatively accompany your guide for a road transfer back to Maun.
3425 USD per person sharing
Your Safari Includes:
- 1 Night Meno a Kwena Lodge (DB&B)
- 1 Night Camp Kalahari (LDB&B) including a visit to the meerkats
- 8 Nights Serviced Mobile Safari in Meru Style Tents with en-suite facilities
Comfortable walk-in tented accommodation in a meru style tent with built in floors and mosquito gauze at windows and entrance. Beds are comfortable and include all bed linen and a towel
- En-suite bathrooms with a bucket shower and bush loo
- Licensed and experienced professional guide for the duration of your safari
- Game drives and local transfers in custom made open game drive vehicles
- A 2 ½ hour mekoro excursion in Khwai
- All entrance and camping fees within the National Parks & Game Reserves
- Private wilderness campsites
- All meals & selected drinks (wine, beer, Gin & Tonic , Coke, Coke Lite, fruit juice, bottled water)
- Dedicated safari team including cook, camp assistants and back up driver
- Bathroom amenities (soap, shampoo and insect repellent)
- Medical evacuation insurance
- All activities as specified in the itinerary
Your Safari Excludes:
- International & domestic or charter flights and airport departure taxes & visas
- A 50 minute scenic flight from Maun to Moremi Game Reserve flying over Chiefs Island
- Travel, cancellation and medical insurance (essential on all safaris)
- Optional safari extensions
- Spirits (other than Gin)
- Items of a personal nature
- Tips and gratuities – see our suggested guidelines on the “Useful Information” page on our website
NOTE: Although we make every effort to adhere to schedules, itineraries and activities, these are subject to change in light of changing local conditions (weather and roads) as well as availability. You will be notified accordingly. Rates are subject to National Park increase by Botswana Government without prior notice.
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