SLOW SAFARI: BOTSWANA
5-16 JAN, 2023
with Jeremy Woodhouse
12 Days/11 Nights
What is a Slow Safari™?
Gone is the hectic wildlife photography safari where you are constantly moving from camp to camp every 2-3 days. Gone is the constant repacking, driving, flying to get to the next destination, only to have to move again to make way for the next group of travellers.
Our "Slow Safaris™", to hand-picked destinations in Africa, will allow you to stay in one camp for anywhere up to 10 nights (or more), allowing you to immerse yourself in one place — to get to know the movement of the animals and the rhythm of the bush — to have the luxury of, let's say, being able to follow the progress of a young lion cub as it gets to know ITS environment.
The "Slow Safari™" is comfortable — you will have your own space where you can unpack and spread out. You can afford to take the day off…if you want to. Our vehicles are spacious with plenty of room for cameras. The use of time is ours to plan the way WE want it.
The 175 000 ha (432 000 acre) Kwara Concession shares a 30km water boundary with Moremi Game Reserve but being a private concession offers night drives, boat and mekoro trips, walking and fishing that cannot be offered in the Game Reserve. The concession has both permanent water and seasonal flood plains ensuring the best of the Okavango Delta as well as extensive dry bush wilderness. Favoured with labyrinths of permanent water channels and secret islands the concession offers you the privacy and tranquillity available in the Okavango Delta. The camp is set overlooking a secluded lagoon in the northern Okavango Delta. This region offers a contrasting experience, as its location allows access to the permanent waterways of the Delta as well as expansive dry land areas, admired for their quality game viewing.
As the largest inland river delta on earth, Botswana’s Okavango Delta is surely one of the seven wonders of the natural world. The delta is formed as the seasonal flooding of the Okavango River, flowing from the Angola highlands, empties into the Kalahari Desert basin. The flood waters cover an area of over 35,000 square kilometers and rise and fall as the intense heat of the region cause rapid evaporation only to have the delta resupplied by newly arriving flood waters. Landlocked and surrounded by higher altitudes, Botswana is a dry country, so the Okavango Delta truly is an oasis. However, contrary to what the foliage might indicate, this is not a tropical paradise. Rainfall is sparse most of the year and temperatures soar to about 40C during the summer. However, the winter floods (that peak from June to August) are sufficient to make permanent large swathes of lakes, channels, and lagoons. Not surprisingly, this oasis attracts some of the world’s highest concentrations of wildlife, including all the quintessential African mammals from lion to elephant to hippo to giraffe to rhino to zebra. The delta is also the permanent or seasonal home of hundreds of bird species as well. This diversity and concentration of wildlife make the Okavango Delta an absolute must-see for any serious African visitor!
BABOON EATING WILD FIGS—IMAGE © JEREMY WOODHOUSE
Pre-tour: Fly to Johannesburg
We recommend that if you arrive the day before the tour starts that you stay at the City Lodge, OR Tambo International Airport. This stylish, comfortable hotel is conveniently located directly adjacent to Johannesburg’s International Airport. A number of Johannesburg’s most important business facilities, commercial hubs, shopping centres and restaurants are found nearby.
Day 1: Jan 5, 2023 – Johannesburg/Maun
We meet at the terminal on 5 January for our flight to Maun (MUB) (details below). Upon arrival at Maun Airport and after clearing immigration, you will be met by a Kwando representative for your light aircraft flight* to Splash Camp in a private reserve within the legendary Okavango Delta.
On arrival in Maun, you will be met by your Moremi Air pilot for your 20-minute light aircraft flight to Splash Camp.
Day 2 – 11: Jan 6 - 15, 2023 – Splash Camp
Opened un June 2018, the brand new Splash Camp is situated in the heart of the Okavango Delta, within the Private Kwara Reserve. This camp will offer a very relaxed, friendly and authentic atmosphere.
Located around a pan, each of the 12 rooms is situated on a deck overlooking the pan which attracts game year round. All are en-suite with a flush toilet, double sinks and both an indoor and an outdoor shower. In addition, each room has a private veranda with outdoor lounge chairs, the perfect place to relax and take in the magnificent views and soak up the atmosphere.
The rooms and main area are simply and elegantly decorated with contemporary furniture which will complement the atmosphere of the camp. There is a plunge pool, bar, and lounge as well as an orientation center and a curio shop.
Just in front, towards the pan is the fire pit where a light breakfast is served each day before heading off on activities, and stories are told after supper in the evenings.
Day 12: Jan 16, 2023 – Splash Camp/Johannesburg
After a morning drive and brunch, Transfer to Kwara Airstrip for your 20 minute charter flight to Maun. Clear SA Immigration, collect your bags and check into your overnight flight home.
ELEPHANT EATING GRASSES—IMAGE © JEREMY WOODHOUSE
Splash Camp is situated in the heart of the Okavango Delta, within the Private Kwara Reserve. The area has long been known as Splash due to the huge water crossings that had to be negotiated to access the camp area. The concession shares a 30km water boundary with the famous Moremi Game Reserve and its unique location boasts both permanent water and seasonal flood plains as well as extensive dry bush wilderness. Favoured by labyrinths of permanent water channels and secret islands this area offers the perfect delta experience, and is considered to be amongst the best in Botswana for game viewing and activities.
Located around a pan, each of the 12 rooms is situated on a deck overlooking the pan which attracts game year-round. All are en-suite with a flush toilet, double sinks and both an indoor and an outdoor shower. In addition, each room has a private veranda with outdoor lounge chairs, the perfect place to relax and take in the magnificent views and soak up the atmosphere. The rooms and main area will be simply and elegantly decorated with contemporary furniture which will complement the atmosphere of the camp. The main area has a plunge pool, bar, and lounge as well as an orientation center and a curio shop. Just in front, towards the pan is the fire pit where a light breakfast is served each day before heading off on activities, and stories are told after supper in the evenings.
Of course, the featured activities at Kwara are the daily and nightly game drives led by a professional guide and a tracker. But there may be nothing more awe-inspiring than observing wild animals while on a unique walking safari. The watery terrain is perfect for both mokoro, a traditional dug-out canoe adventure and motorboat cruises enjoying the spectacular birds, shy antelope, majestic elephant, hippo, and crocodiles living here. Fishing in the lagoon and river channels is a unique experience. There are several tilapia species (including the olive bream or nembwe, red breasted tilapia, purple faced largemouth, and three spot tilapia), catfish, African pike, and the mighty tiger fish.
VERY YOUNG CHEETAHS HIDING IN THE BUSH – IMAGE © JEREMY WOODHOUSE
Arrival, Departure & Visa
November & December – Clouds start to appear, bringing cooler temperatures and an occasional late afternoon shower. This pattern of change continues in December, with typical temperatures between 20°C/69°F in the morning and 33°C/91°F in the afternoon. The more extreme Kalahari areas can still have very hot days and cold mornings. Humidity is typically between 50-60%.
English serves as the official language of Botswana. The language is widely used for written communication and is also the language of business, administration, and education. Most of the residents of the country have a working knowledge of English. About 2.8% of the population of Botswana speak English as a first language.
The Setswana language, also known as Tswana, is spoken widely in Botswana and other parts of Southern Africa. The Bantu language is a member of the Niger–Congo language family. Tswana serves as the lingua franca in Botswana. It is spoken by most of the population of the nation. However, since most written communication in the country is in English, Tswana is mainly used as a spoken language. It is estimated that around 77% of the population of Botswana speak Setswana natively.
Pula is the official currency of Botswana. The literal meaning of Pula is rain, and the currency's name came about since there is scarce rainfall in Botswana. Therefore, the money is as valuable as the rain and is also a blessing just like rain. The sub-units of the currency is expressed as thebe which means "shield".
SINGLE SUPP: $3,180
ONSITE COVID TEST $180
Tour Fee Includes
- Included Commercial Flight: JNB- MUB and MUB - JNB
- Accommodation inclusive of all meals, snacks, drinks (including alcohol), laundry, park entrance fees and unlimited game viewing activities at Kwara.
Tour Fee Excludes
- International flight from the USA to Johannesburg.
- Gratuities and items of a personal nature.
Paying by check
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Paying by Wire Transfer
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Our Safari operator, Kwando Safaris is considered by many to be the safari operator of choice for the discerning wildlife photographer, due to our long experience in guiding and hosting professional photographers and film makers.
Advantages at a glance
Rugged custom safari vehicles (with no roofs in the Delta and Kwando Linyanti camps and removable roofs for the desert camps) ensure an unobstructed view in all directions
- The ability to drive off road in private concession areas guarantees you are always close to the action
- Private guides who are also passionate photographers and understand the needs of the wildlife photographer
- Charging points in all camps for re-charging of camera batteries, laptops etc.
- Lens stabiliser beanbags supplied in all vehicles
- Option to book a private vehicle—a must for specialist photographers who wish to spend time focusing on specific subjects at their own pace
- In the heart of the Okavango Delta on permanent water
- Adjacent to Moremi Game Reserve
- 5 activities all year round—walks, game drives, fishing, boat cruises & mekoro
- Game drives off road and at night
- Bring you own laptop computer and storage media
- Camera body(s)
- Lenses, 24-70mm zoom and 70-200mm zoom or similar lenses are very good for pictures of animals in the landscape. A 150-600mm zoom is ideal for the more distant animals and birds.
- Cleaning kit for cameras and lenses
- Rain/dust covers for cameras and lenses
- Charger for batteries
- Spare batteries
- Spare Memory cards
- Memory card reader
- USB key to exchange images
Also good to have
- Lens extenders
- Bean bag (we can fill it with rice once we get to the camp
- A door mount or window mount if you have a large lens