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Botswana & Victoria Falls II

 

This trip


A top safari experience of 11 nights, using the launching prices of Sun Destination's new camps; Tuskers Camp and Xobega Island Camp. A sharp price for a top safari!



In a nutshell

Number of nights:

Lodges:



Price:













International flights:


11

Tuskers Camp (4 nights)
Xobega Island Camp (2 nights)
Chobe Elephant Camp (5 nights)

69.500 BWP / 6.620 $ / 5.210 £ / 6.125 € per person
Includes local flight from Johannesburg to Maun
Includes transfer from Maun to Tuskers Camp
Includes transfer from Tuskers Camp to Xobega Island Camp
Includes bush-flights from Xakanaxa airstrip to Kasane)
Includes transfers from Kasane to Chobe Elephant Camp and back
Includes a day-trip to Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe
Includes a boat tour on Chobe river
Includes local flight from Kasane to Johannesburg

Based double room occupancy
Price depending on season
Price based on mid-season rates 2017 (so cheaper IS possible)

Not included
Approximately 380 £ per person from UK, or 850 $ per person from US
See examples at the bottom of this page


Preface


Botswana is the place to be what safari experiences is concerned. Which other African country’s President is as committed to nature as Botswana’s? Which other country has banned commercial hunting? Which other country has an army with a flawless "track record" what anti-poaching is concerned? Botswana is rather unique resulting in it being one of the most expensive, if not THE most expensive safari destination in the whole of Africa.

It seems as someone with an average holiday budget can hardly afford it but that’s because everyone’s attention goes to (the most central part of) the Okavango delta which is the most expensive place in Botswana. People wanting to stay in Mombo Camp (Wilderness Safaris group) will pay up to 2000$ per person per night! br />
And yet, Botswana does not need to be unafordable. You could steer clear of lodges in eco-tourism hotspots like the Okavango Delta and Chove riverfront. Our previous sample itinerary did just that. This sample itinerary does it another way, or at least in part. We still stay away from any lodge at the Chobe riverfront, and opt for a lodge on the western boundary of Chobe (which is better for your budget, but actually also better for game viewing, but most people don't realize this). But we do not steer clear of the Okavango Delta, as we simply don't need to! We go for the new Sun Destinations camps; Tuskers Camp and Xobega Island Camp!

These two new start in the Sun Destinations sky are available at launch prices. And those prices are almost half the price of any other lodge in the same category. A night at Xobega or Tuskers sets you back about USD 325 on average (depends on the season). The competition is mostly at USD 500 or above.

Just as with preious Borswana sample itinerary; the below schedule is put together with the necessary care and with two criteria in mind; off a similar (or better) than the known travel schedules and keeping the cost reasonable.


Strong points

 

  • ◦   No compromises; you will visit all wildlife-hotspots of the northern safari-circuit
  • ◦   Experienced guides and trackers
  • ◦   Qualitative and very comfortable lodges
  • ◦   Local flights from/to Johannesburg included
  • ◦   Bush-flight and inter-lodge transfers included
  • ◦   Day trip to Victoria Falls and boat tour on Chobe river included
 



Lodges


 
 
 

Tuskers Bush Camp

 
 
 
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Tuskers Bush Camp is located on a huge concession ("NG43") that lays between Nxai Pan National Park in the east and Moremi Game Reserve in the west. Tuskers Bush Camp is the only lodge in this concession, which is about 365.000Ha in size. By comparison; this is bigger than all other private reserves bordering Kruger National Park put together, and those reserves have more than 250 lodges.

This camp offers the usual morning- and afternoon/evening game drives, but it also fors walking salaris in Kalahari acacia bushveld, and this makes the lodge quite unique. Walking is a fantastic way to meet wild animals , learn their tracks, and to discover about all the smaller details of the bush.

The game drives are often action packed. Moremi is known for it's abundance of predators, and since Tusker's concession is right next door to Moremi, this area has it's resident lion prides, stalking leopards, hyena's and even wild dogs. The cheetah has his home here as well. All these predators need prey species to feed upon, and there's no shortage of buffalo, zebra, hippos, lechwe, tsessebe, wildebeest, kudu, sable antilopes, warthogs, baboons, and so on. The birdlife is prolific as well; from water bird species, which are abundant around the pans and lagoons, to grassland birds, raptors, and ground fowls that send a shrieking chorus into the morning light.
 
 
 
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Tuskers has six safari tents in classic "Meru" stile. Each tent sleeps two people, but the camp itself has a limit of eight people maximum (just a question of giving everyone a good seat in the safari vehicle). Each tent has an en-suite bathroom with toilet, wash basins and a "bucket shower". There's solar powered light switches in both bedroom and bathroom.

The central camp area has a large tent where all meals are served, and a lounge area with deep chairs and coffee tables to while away the afternoon. The adjacent freestanding bar is a feature of the camp, and is the ideal spot to wash the dust away with a refreshing cocktail. The boma area with fire pit lays between the dining tent and the bar, and overlooks a pan frequently visited by roaming game. The central area of the camp has wifi, as well as outlets where you can recharge your camera batteries.
 
 
 
 

Xobega Island Camp

 
 
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Xobega Island Camp is a piece of paradise in the great wonderland that is the Okavango Delta. A bird-lover's paradise, and an adventurer's dream, the camp can only be reached by boat from the Mboma boating station.

The camp only has ten "Meru-stile" tents, each equipped with twin stretcher beds and en-suite, open-air bathrooms. Canvas overhangs extend outwards at the front entrance of each tent, creating a shaded "verandah" and place to sit and bird-watch. Everything about this camp is eco-friendly, from the solar-power, to bucket showers, and chemical toilets.

Accommodation at Xobega Island Camp has been likened to the concept of ‘glamping’, given that, in essence, guests sleep in tents, but these tents offer far more than what is expected from camping. The tents are situated short distances from the main area of the camp, and pathways lead between lush green vegetation, hanging vines, and tall trees creating a mysteriously beautiful African Eden.

The dining tent houses a coffee station, and a long family-style dining table. Next to that; two lounge gazebos containing wicker furniture, perfect for outdoor relaxation. There is also an open boma, which is essentially a fire pit under the trees surrounded by canvas chairs, creating an excellent spot for evening gatherings.
 
 
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Safari-activities are all on the water here. With a vehicle you would not get far in this marshy area. Every morning and afternoon, we depart by boat, and we cruise through the hippo-filled channels.

Even our dring stops are on the water. Our boat is a metal longboat with canvas roof. Mokoro-rides can be had as well, but must be booked at the Mboma boat station.

Most of the time will be spent birdwatching, from the boat as well as from the camp itself.
Pel’s fishing owls are known to nest on Xobega Island, giving avid birder’s something very special to look forward to! Make sure to bring a good bird book, or download the app from either Roberts or Sasol onto your tablet. And don't forget your binoculars!
 
 

Chobe Elephant Camp

 
 
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For game drives on the bank of the Chobe river there are only two possibilities; you take the west or you take east gate. The latter is close to Kasane. Both gates are connected with a tar road that runs through straight through Chobe National Park. Luckily this road stays far away from the river bank.

In the east, because of the presence of Kasane (and the airport) it is very busy at the gate. Sometimes it's so busy that self drivers are not allowed to enter. Also; people often break the rules; we've seen five vehicles or more at sightings that side! This is unfortunately the result of the many cheaper lodges and hotels in and around Kasane. The wildlife experience is certainly not what it should be.

In the west you also have some lodges, but because most of these lodges are very luxurious, and because the area is much more pristine, they are rather costy. Chobe Elephant Camp is about the only exception at that side of the park. The lodge has all the comfort you need, but is less luxurious and is aimed at the middle segment traveller.

With 12 rooms, Chobe Elephant Camp can comfortably accommodate 24 guests. All rooms are en-suite with both indoor and outdoor showers. The whole lodge has been designed to take advantage of the spectacular views over the Chobe River, so whether you choose to relax on your private veranda, read a book in the lounge, have a drink at the bar or cool off in the pool, the vista will always be there to enjoy.

Chobe Elephant lodge offers game drives in open vehicles, in Chobe Park, but also included is one boat trip on the Chobe rivier (leaving from Kasane). A full day trip to Victoria Falls is also included in our offer.
 
 
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Safari
itinerary
in detail



 
 

Day 1


Day 2





Day 3





Day 4




Day 5





Day 6






Day 7





Day 8






Day 9





Day 10




Day 11





Day 12





Day 13





Day 14

Morning or afternoon: depart from your home country. International flight to South Africa.


Morning: arrival in Johannesburg
Noon: flight Johannesburg to Maun and transfer to Tuskers Camp
Afternoon: game drive on the NG43 concession
Evening: dinner and overnight in Tuskers Camp


Morning: breakfast and game drive or game walk on the NG43 concession
Noon: relax at the lodge and lunch
Afternoon: game drive on the NG43 concession
Evening: dinner and overnight in Tuskers Camp


Morning: breakfast and game drive or game walk on the NG43 concession
Noon: relax at the lodge and lunch
Afternoon: game drive on the NG43 concession
Evening: dinner and overnight in Tuskers Camp

Morning: breakfast and game drive or game walk on the NG43 concession
Noon: relax at the lodge and lunch
Afternoon: game drive on the NG43 concession
Evening: dinner and overnight in Tuskers Camp


Morning: breakfast and game drive or game walk on the NG43 concession
Noon: transfer to Xobega Island Camp
Optional but highly recommended: game drive on Moremi Island en route to Xobega!
Afternoon: boat ride on the Okavango Delta
Evening: dinner and overnight in Xobega Island Camp


Morning: breakfast and boat ride on the Okavango Delta
Noon: relax at the lodge and lunch
Afternoon: boat ride on the Okavango Delta
Evening: dinner and overnight in Xobega Island Camp


Morning: breakfast and boat ride on the Okavango Delta
Noon: bush-flight in a small charter plane from Xakanaxa airstrip to Kasane
Followed by: transfer to Chobe Elephant Camp
Afternoon: lunch and game drive in Chobe National Park (waterfront)
Evening: dinner and overnight in Chobe Elephant Camp


Morning: game drive in Chobe National Park (waterfront) and breakfast
Noon: relax at the lodge and lunch
Afternoon: lunch and game drive in Chobe National Park (waterfront)
Evening: dinner and overnight in Chobe Elephant Camp


Morning: breakfast
Full day trip to Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe with pick nick lunch
Evening: dinner and overnight in Chobe Elephant Camp


Morning: breakfast and boat ride on the Chobe river
Noon: relax at the lodge and lunch
Afternoon: lunch and game drive in Chobe National Park (waterfront)
Evening: dinner and overnight in Chobe Elephant Camp


Morning: game drive in Chobe National Park (waterfront) and breakfast
Noon: relax at the lodge and lunch
Afternoon: lunch and game drive in Chobe National Park (waterfront)
Evening: dinner and overnight in Chobe Elephant Camp


Morning: game drive in Chobe National Park (waterfront) and breakfast
Followed by: transfer to Kasane airport
Noon: flight from Kasane to Johannesburg
Evening: International flight home


Next day: arrival in your home country

 
 

Included / not included

 

Included;

  • ◦   Local flight Johannesburg to Maun
  • ◦   Transfer to Tuskers Camp
  • ◦   Four nights in Tuskers Camp, in the NG43 concession
  • ◦   Transfer from Tuskers Camp to Xobega Island Camp
  • ◦   Two nights in Xobega Island Camp, in the Okavango Delta
  • ◦   Bush flight from Xakanaxa to Kasane
  • ◦   Transfer from Kasane to Chobe Elephant Camp
  • ◦   Five nights in Chobe Elephant Camp, west of Chobe National Park (waterfront)
  • ◦   Transfer from Chobe Elephant Camp to Kasane
  • ◦   Local flight from Kasane to Johannesburg
  • ◦   All meals in lodges and camps, as described in detail itinerary above
  • ◦   Accompanied by experienced guides and trackers
  • ◦   Two safari-activities per day (boat rides, game drives), unless transfers do not allow it
  • ◦   Full da ytrip to Victoria Falls with lunch
  • ◦   Boat ride on the Chobe rivier


Not included;

  • ◦   International flights
  • ◦   Travel insurance
  • ◦   Personal expenditure
  • ◦   Medical expenditure (vaccinations, malaria tablets)
  • ◦   Tips & gratuities
  • ◦   All drinks
 
 

About international flights

 

There are uncountable ways to get to Johannesburg.

From EU: via Schiphol, Paris, Heathrow, or Frankfurt. Or using middle-eastern airlines (Qatar, Emirates, Etihad); via Doha or Dubai.

The latter are the cheapest (starting at around 500€ / 380£), and they deliver amazing quality; prices are lower because their governments subsidize them, not because they deliver sub-par quality. If you use them, what you have to watch out for is that you do not end up with too long stopovers in Doha/Dubai. And that those stopovers are not in the middle of the night.

There is no stopover-issue if you fly with British Airways, KLM, Lufthansa or Air France, in the sense that you get just one long flight (in one go all the way to Johannesburg), and this one is typically a red-eye. But they are a bit more expensive. Prices start at about 800€ / 610£, or 650€ if you are from Belgium (no direct Johannesburg-flight from Brussels means that all airlines from neighbouring countries compete for the Belgian customer).

From US (let's take JFK as airport of departure) the cheapest is Qatar airlines at about 850$. Again; watch out for long stopovers in Doha.

Also posible is South African airlines. They can take you directly from JFK to Johannesburg. Prices start at 1050$. Jetblue and United offer this too, but are more expensive (1270$ and 1670$ respectively). However, SA Airlines offers slightly lower quality.

Other options are Emirates, United and British Airways, with stopovers in respectively Dubai, Frankfurt and London. Prices starting between 1030$ and 1140$.