Okavango Expeditions reminder

Forgotten just how good mobile safaris can be? A review of Okavango Expeditions by Kamili’s Tim Henshall. Nothing seems to divide opinion as much as a mobile safari. Some see them as little more than a budget option to be offered only to those who can’t afford “proper” accommodation and don’t mind roughing it. And then there are those who recognise there is nothing quite so authentic and as exhilarating as a safari through wildlife-rich areas, sleeping close to nature, whist giving all the senses a workout!

Okavango Expeditions reminded me just how sensational ‘mobiles’ can be when I joined one of their scheduled safaris journeying through Moremi, Khwai, Linyanti and up to Chobe in Botswana.

The quality of the planning, the kit and the entire crew were all excellent. It felt like a very well-oiled machine. The quality of the guiding was noteworthy and the campfire atmosphere was skillfully ‘managed’ and nurtured by the Okavango Expeditions team. I left having made a number of new friends! They know they’re not the only high quality ‘mobile’ operating in Botswana, but being exceptional value for money, they are an option that stands out from the crowd.

Clint Gietlink and his team have worked hard to build their reputation. I can confirm first hand that they richly deserves it.

Matshwane Safari

Matshwane Safari

The Great North Road – 10 night Authentic Mobile Safari
US$ 4235 per person sharing (July – Oct / High season)
US$ 3135 per person sharing (Mar – June / Nov – Dec / Low season)
Private Vehicle and Guide additional Nett US$ 500 per day
15% single supplement / Minimum 2 pax for trip to depart. Minimum age 12 yrs old.
Limited to 3 single tents per departure

Maun to Kasane (vice versa)
2 nights Moremi camping – Game Drives
3 nights Khwai camping – Game Drives including a 2.5 hour Mokoro Trip
3 nights Savuti camping – Game Drives
2 nights Chobe Camping – Game Drives including a 3 hour afternoon Chobe Boat Cruise

Kalahari & Okavango – 10 night Authentic Mobile Safari
US$ 3135 per person sharing (Mar – June / Nov – Dec / Low season)
Private Vehicle and Guide additional Nett US$ 500 per day
15% single supplement / Minimum 2 pax for trip to depart. Minimum age 12 yrs old.
Limited to 3 single tents per departure

Maun to Maun
4 nights CKGR camping – Game Drives
1 night Maun – Lodge accommodation
3 nights Khwai camping – Game Drives
2 nights Savuti Camping – Game Drives

Moremi Magic – 5 night Authentic Mobile Safari
US$ 2120 per person sharing (July – Oct / High season)
US$ 1570 per person sharing (Mar – June / Nov – Dec / Low season)
Private Vehicle and Guide additional Nett US$ 500 per day
15% single supplement / Minimum 2 pax for trip to depart. Minimum age 12 yrs old.

Maun to Maun
2 nights Moremi camping – Game Drives
3 nights Khwai camping – Game Drives & Night Drives including a 2.5 hour Mekoro Trip.

Okavango Expeditions Safari’s Offer:

• Licensed and experienced professional guide.
• Scheduled departures throughout the year.
• Open game drive vehicles with shade roof, and game viewing seats.
• Comfortable equipment – Walk-in tents (3 m bow tents) with built-in floors, mosquito gauze on door & windows. Full linen (1 pillow, pillow case, sheets, duvet, duvet cover, towel).
• En-suite Bathrooms – shower and bush loo.
• Cook & Camp Assistants.
• Supply Vehicle.
• Private or Semi private campsites,. Park entry and camping fees.
• All Meals & Drinks: wine, beer, G&T, cool drinks, bottled water & fruit juice.
• Medical Evacuation Insurance.

What Is Excluded:
• International or Charter Flights or Visas, Airport departure taxes.
• Any lodge accommodation or meals not specified, transfers & excursions not specified.
• Travel, cancellation & medical insurance.
• Tips & Gratuities.
• Laundry service not available.
• Extras: flash lights & batteries, plastic rain coats or umbrellas in summer.
• Personal Toiletries.
• Luggage space is restricted to approx 12 kg per person.

NOTE: Although we make every effort to adhere to schedules and itineraries; these are subject to change in light of changing local conditions (weather, roads, and animal movements) and availability. We reserve the right to change to a motor boat cruise subject to local conditions. You will be notified accordingly. Rates are subject to National Park increase by Botswana Government without prior notice.

We reserve the right to replace the mokoro trips with a power boat in the Delta to suit local conditions.

Subject to National Park Fee increase by Botswana Government without prior notice.

Detailed Itineraries

Detailed Itineraries

5 night Authentic Mobile Safari
MOREMI MAGIC
Length: 5 Nights / 6 Days
Routing: Maun to Maun
Accommodation: Serviced Camping On a Mobile Tented Matshwane Safari
Highlights:
• Okavango Delta
• Moremi Game Reserve

Itinerary
2 Nights camping in the Xakanaxa / 3rd bridge area of Moremi Game Reserve
Activity guide: Game Drives
3 Nights camping in the Khwai Community Area bordering Moremi Game Reserve
Activity guide: Game Drives & Night Drives & including a 2.5 Hour Mekoro Trip

Safari Includes:
• Comfortable tented accommodation, including camp stretchers and bed linen / towel in a 3m bow tent.
• En-suite Bathrooms – shower and bush loo.
• Licensed and experienced professional guide.
• Game drives and local transfers in customised safari vehicles.
• All entrance and camping fees within the National Parks & Reserves. Private campsites, wherever possible.
• All Meals & Drinks: wine, beer, G&T, cool drinks, bottled water only.
• Supply Vehicle.
• Medical Evacuation Insurance.
• Cook & Camp Assistants.
• All activities as specified in the itinerary.

Excludes: international & domestic flights, laundry, travel and medical insurance (essential on all safaris), visas, optional safari extensions, spirits (you are welcome to bring your own), items of a personal nature.

DETAILED ITINERARY
Day 1 & 2: Camping in the Xakanaxa/ 3rd bridge Area of the Moremi Game Reserve & Okavango Delta.
Your safari guide will be there to welcome you on arrival at Maun Airport. The exact departure time from Maun Airport will be advised closer to the time, as this depends on Air Botswana’s flight schedule. We expect to leave Maun and begin our journey mid-day where we head to Moremi Game Reserve, stopping for a picnic lunch en-route, and arriving at our campsite in time for sundowners. Spending our next two nights camping in the Xakanaxa / 3rd bridge region, we explore the surrounding wilderness on game drives during the day. 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.
Day 3 & 4 & 5: Camping in the Khwai Community Area Bordering the Moremi Game Reserve

Following an early breakfast we pack camp and continue our journey to Khwai, stopping for a picnic lunch en-route. The Khwai River forms a boundary between the reserve and the community area. We spend the next three nights camping at a campsite in the community area, exploring the Khwai floodplains on game drives both during the day and at night. You will also enjoy a 2.5 hour Mekoro Trip exploring the water ways of Khwai.
Exploring after dark with spotlights offers you an opportunity to experience some of the nocturnal animals that are rarely encountered during the day. It is important to note that night drives are not permitted within the national parks and reserves. These activities are conducted outside the boundaries of the Moremi Game Reserve in the Khwai community area.

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. Were land and delta meet, a mosaic of pans, grasslands, forests and lagoons provide an extremely rich and diverse habitat where 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 world’s 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 huge concentrations of wildlife and incredible scenery. The reserve consists of both swamped areas e.g. Xakanaxa, and dry-land areas e.g. Khwai.

Day 6: End Maun
Following breakfast and a short game drive your safari will end in Maun around noon.

NOTE: Although we make every effort to adhere to schedules and itineraries; these are subject to change in light of changing local conditions (weather, roads, and animal movements) and availability. We reserve the right to change to a motor boat cruise subject to local conditions .You will be notified accordingly. Rates are subject to National Park increase by Botswana Government without prior notice.
10 Night Authentic Mobile Safari

THE GREAT NORTH ROAD
Length: 10 Nights / 11 Days
Routing: Maun to Kasane or reverse
Accommodation: Serviced Camping On a Mobile Tented Matshwane Safari

Highlights:
• Okavango Delta
• Moremi Game Reserve
• Chobe National Park (Savuti & Chobe River Front)

Itinerary
2 Nights camping in the Xakanaxa / 3rd bridge area of Moremi Game Reserve
Activity guide: Game Drives
3 Nights camping in the Khwai Community Area bordering Moremi Game Reserve
Activity guide: Game Drives & Night Drives including a 2.5 Hour Mokoro Trip
3 Nights camping in Savuti, Chobe National Park
Activity guide: Game Drives
2 Nights camping in Chobe, Chobe National Park
Activity guide: Game Drives & an Afternoon Boat Cruise on Chobe River

Safari Includes:
• Comfortable tented accommodation, including camp stretchers and bed linen/ towel in a 3m bow tent.
• En-suite Bathrooms – shower and bush loo.
• Licensed and experienced professional guide.
• Game drives and local transfers in customised safari vehicles.
• All entrance and camping fees within the National Parks & Reserves. Private campsites, wherever possible.
• All Meals & Drinks: wine, beer, G&T, cool drinks, bottled water – no other spirits.
• Cook & Camp Assistants.
• All activities as specified in the itinerary.

Excludes: international & domestic flights, laundry, travel and medical insurance (essential on all safaris), visas, optional safari extensions, spirits (you are welcome to bring your own), items of a personal nature.

DETAILED ITINERARY (Maun – Kasane)
Day 1 & 2: Camping in the Xakanaxa/ 3rd bridge Area of the Moremi Game Reserve & Okavango Delta.
Your safari guide will be there to welcome you on arrival at Maun Airport. The exact departure time from Maun Airport will be advised closer to the time, as this depends on Air Botswana’s flight schedule. We expect to leave Maun and begin our journey mid-day where we head to Moremi Game Reserve, stopping for a picnic lunch en-route, and arriving at our campsite in time for sundowners. Spending our next two nights camping in the Xakanaxa / 3rd bridge region, we explore the surrounding wilderness on game drives during the day. 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.
Day 3 & 4 & 5: Camping in the Khwai Community Area Bordering the Moremi Game Reserve

Following an early breakfast we pack camp and continue our journey to Khwai, stopping for a picnic lunch en-route. The Khwai River forms a boundary between the reserve and the community area. We spend the next three nights camping at a campsite in the community area, exploring the Khwai floodplains on game drives both during the day and at night. You will also enjoy a 2.5 hour Mekoro Trip exploring the water ways of Khwai.

Exploring after dark with spotlights offers you an opportunity to experience some of the nocturnal animals that are rarely encountered during the day. It is important to note that night drives are not permitted within the national parks and reserves. These activities are conducted outside the boundaries of the Moremi Game Reserve in the Khwai community area.
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. Were land and delta meet, a mosaic of pans, grasslands, forests and lagoons provide an extremely rich and diverse habitat where 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 world’s 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 huge concentrations of wildlife and incredible scenery. The reserve consists of both swamped areas e.g. Xakanaxa, and dry-land areas e.g. Khwai.
Day 6 & 7 & 8: Camping at Savuti within the Chobe National Park

We head further north en-route to Chobe National Park, were we spend the following three nights camping in a wilderness campsite in the Savuti region, exploring the desert-like landscape of game drives. Never has there been a better time to visit Savuti than 2014! The water from the Savuti Channel reached the marsh for the first time in 30 years in 2010 winding its way
from the North. Savuti has for the last 30 years been an extremely dry area and lately its claim to fame has been lions killing elephants and they come for the few drops of water that remain in the waterholes. The dynamics have all changed with the arrival of the water …who knows what will happen.

Savuti is characterised by the Savuti Marsh, the Savuti Channel and the Hills. During morning and late afternoon drives our guides will alternate between these areas. Anything can happen on the Savuti Marsh and it’s best to get there early in the morning. A dominant feature of Savuti is the Hills one of which has a few perfectly preserved bushmen paintings which are easily accessible. Savuti has a very healthy population of leopard who live on the hills and the best time to see them is either first or last light and they leave their stony refuge to hunt in the surrounding bush.
Chobe National Park
The Chobe National Park is one of Africa’s finest game sanctuaries. Situated in the far north of Botswana, Chobe encompasses a wide variety of diverse habitats offering extreme contrasts, and is home to a breath-taking variety of animals and birds.

Chobe River Front
The Chobe is famous for its abundance of elephants – the highest concentration of elephants to be found anywhere in the world. Chobe is also famous for its huge herds of Buffalo, for its rich birdlife, and for its exquisite sunsets – a wildlife experience not to be missed.

Savuti
In sharp contrast to the lush Chobe riverfront is the seemingly endless desolate landscape of the Savuti, famous for the dry marsh, sand ridge and volcanic hills, which are unique to this area. The marsh once contained the waters of the Makgadikgadi superlake, and the most typical feature of the landscape are the dead trees – evidence of the erratic flow of the Savuti channel over the years. The area consists of large open game-filled plains, and is home to a variety of dry-land animals, including zebra, wildebeest, kudu, giraffe, wild dog, leopard, cheetah and lion
Day 9 & 10: Camping at Chobe River front within the Chobe National Park
Leaving this parched landscape, we continue our journey north to the contrasting Chobe region of the park. We spend the last two nights camping in a wilderness campsite along the Chobe River, exploring the riverbanks and surrounding flood plains on game drives. On Day 10 you will also enjoy an afternoon boat cruise on the Chobe River which departs from Kasane.

Day 11: Safari ends in Kasane
Following breakfast and a short game drive your safari will end in Kasane mid-morning at 0900 am.

NOTE: Although we make every effort to adhere to schedules and itineraries; these are subject to change in light of changing local conditions (weather, roads, and animal movements) and availability. We reserve the right to change to a motor boat cruise subject to local conditions. You will be notified accordingly. Rates are subject to National Park increase by Botswana Government without prior notice.

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