This is a land unlike anything else in Botswana, it is drier than
the Delta, yet has large river courses unlike anything in the Kalahari. The spectacular Game Reserve that our group will explore during the first leg of our journey comprises of 71,000 hectares of remarkably diverse habitat, including Mophane bush land, riverine woodland, and marshland, punctuated by towering sandstone cliffs, basalt formations and unusually shaped kopjes – making for truly breath taking scenery.
It is not uncommon to find leopard reclining in one of the large nearby trees, which makes this area one of the best Predator viewings especially in winter months. The soft rays of the winter sun makes a lion, leopard and cheetah really glow. As usual, the cheetah are found on the open areas, allowing for easy, close up viewing. Water is starting to become a premium and it is not uncommon to find elephants digging in the riverbeds for water, which lies just below the surface.
At the waterholes, doves and guinea fowl come down each day to drink. This attracts birds of prey and gabar goshawk and tawny eagles are commonly seen. With the birth of giraffe in May, there are always a few deaths- this always attracts black backed jackal, spotted hyena, white backed vulture, lappet-faced vulture and even cape vultures. The water bath in camp is a hive of birding activity and offers probably the most comfortable bird photography ever from the lounge, 3m away!
From there we will move ahead to our next destination which is another privately owned Game Reserve located in South Africa. This particular reserve holds a host of ecosystems that will cater to any nature lover’s needs- Be it grassy plains, Fig tree lined rivers, boulder strewn hills or large, languidly, meandering rivers that you are looking for, this beautiful reserve will accommodate your needs. Based here for the next three days, you will be guided on drives to look for animals, birds and other creatures that inhabit this park. Here you will live in five-star luxury and enjoy morning and evening game drives to go out and look for animals.
You will have a ranger and tracker team who will guide you in an open landrover, through the bush and tell you all the small details as well as showing you the large. As one of the best destinations in Africa to view the big 5, this reserve prides itself on its’ leopard viewing. As leopards are territorial, their regular appearances in the area allow us to plot their movements and to observe their behavior. Many of the animals become familiar and are easily recognized. Large herds of buffalo numbering in excess of 300 often find their way to the Sand River, in front of the camp. Elephants are also seen in numbers. There are various lion prides in the area, as well as a few nomadic males. Over 90% of guests will experience The Big 5 – very often in one day, sometimes in one drive.
Led by Art Wolfe
Limited to 10 participants
Transportation and Accommodation
All meals, lodging, and transportation specified on the itinerary are included. You will be responsible for your flight to and from O.R. Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg where our trip will begin and commence. You are encouraged to arrive one day prior to the workshop so that there is no worry of flight delays causing any problems. You are also encouraged to stay one additional night at the end of the tour if your schedule allows.
Shooting schedules have the ability to be altered to effectively cater to the photographic desires of the group, as well as to adapt to changeable weather conditions.
Day 1 O.R. Tambo International Airport
Arrive O.R. Tambo International Airport. Welcome and transfer to the Hotel.
After breakfast you will be transferred to a beautiful lodge in Botswana by our guides.
The Private Game Reserve our group will be exploring is a wholly preserved and untainted wilderness in eastern Botswana. The ample plains range from savannah, to riverine forests, marshland, and sandstone outcrops. As one of the largest private game reserve in southern Africa, at 25 000 ha (75 000 acres), a fitting setting for the world’s largest land mammal (the elephant) – with the largest herds on privately owned land on earth. It also provides sanctuary to the world’s tallest mammal (the giraffe); the world’s largest antelope (the eland); the world’s largest bird (the ostrich) and of course, the world’s heaviest flying bird (the kori bustard). Add the lion, the king of the beasts and the iconic baobab – and you have Africa’s Big Seven.
After your last game drive and breakfast at the Botswana Game Reserve you will be collected and transferred to our next destination in South Africa for your 3 nights stay.
The South African Game Reserve lies strategically sandwiched between the Kruger National Park and the Sabi Sand Wildtuin. The unfenced borders between Mala Mala and the Kruger National Park on one side, and the Sabi Sand Wildtuin on the other allow animals to migrate unhindered to the perennial Sand River which flows north to south through the reserve for 20 kilometres (13 miles). This well-preserved wilderness is a “honey-pot” to the most sought-after wildlife species, as well as a host of smaller creatures. The accommodation is discreet, classic and elegant African opulence. The individually decorated, spacious and comfortable rooms under traditional thatching offer spectacular views of the river and the wild- and bird life that are attracted to the water for refreshment and refuge from the hot African sun.
Day 9 Depart
After breakfast you will be transferred back to O.R. Tambo International Airport in time for your international flight home. This is the end of the safari.
- Accommodations (twin sharing basis)
- All meals
- Assistance at airports and at the hotels at the time of check in/out in all the major cities.
- Road transfers for entire safari
- Private Vehicle (Including the special Photo Vehicle) for the group in Botswana based on one person per row on each vehicle.
- Exclusive use of the Photo Hides while at Botswana Private Reserve.
- Park and conservation fees.
- Bottled water during all meals, transfers, drives and sightseeing (available in vehicle)
Services Not Included
- Any international Airfare, travel insurance or medical insurance. (health insurance is mandatory and travel insurance is highly recommended)
- Anything not mentioned in inclusion above.
- Tipping to accompanying escort is not included.
- Any expenditure of personal nature like alcoholic drinks, Fruit shakes, sodas, laundry, telephone calls, or internet
- Anything ordered from room service at any hotel including mineral water (other than what being offered by the hotels on their compliment).
- Visas and Vaccinations
- Any sudden increase in price due to steep hike in fuel cost, change in government tax policy or for any reason beyond our control like acts of god, natural calamity, law and order situation, riots etc and any forced change in itinerary for any unforeseen situation or reason beyond our control.