BBC Wildlife Artist of the Year safari prize - day-by-day itinerary

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A day by day itinerary for the BBC Wildlife Artist of the year Botswana safari prize.

 

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Opening spread of BBC Wildlife Magazine
Please note, this safari is operated by Elephant Trails Safari Co and not BBC Wildlife Magazine.
 
FULL ITINERARY
 
Day 1. Sedia Hotel, Maun
Arrive Maun, the safari capital, and overnight in the Sedia Hotel on a dinner, bed and breakfast basis.
 
Days 2 & 3. Xakanaxa - Moremi Game Reserve
We depart Maun and travel the 5 - 6 hour journey into the Moremi Game Reserve, which is situated in the Okavango Delta. Here we will camp in a private campsite in the heart of the waterways of the Okavango Delta.
 
Day 2 takes us on a boat ride on the main channels and lagoon systems of the northern reaches of the Okavango Delta. There is a great variety of birdlife along these channels, and mammals such as the elusive otter and majestic lechwe may be seen. If we are lucky we may even see an elephant cooling off in the clear waters or catch a glimpse of the shy sitatunga.
 
We usually spend most of the day out so we will pack a picnic lunch to be enjoyed in a shady spot in this picturesque part of Moremi. In the evening we return to camp for warm shower and a hearty meal while listening to the sounds of the African bush at night.
 
Days 4 & 5. Khwai - Moremi Game Reserve
After enjoying our early morning breakfast and clearing our tents we start our journey to the easternmost extremity of the Okavango Delta. The Khwai area is rich in habitat and wildlife. The animals are attracted to the narrow ribbon of water that provides for some spectacular wildlife viewing. This is an area where lion and leopard may be seen. There is a healthy population of plains game, including, kudu, impala, giraffe and zebra.
 
Here we will spend our days on game drives and will have a chance to relax and catch up with our diaries during the siesta time of the afternoon of day 5.
 
Days 6 & 7. Savuti - Chobe National Park
Today we have a 6–7 hour journey to Savuti – we will be travelling through wilderness area for the whole journey. This is a day that puts into perspective the sheer size of this wilderness area. Savuti lies in an ancient lake bed that is punctuated with small rocky-hills(kopjes) , some of which hold ancient San rock paintings.
 
Here we explore the Savuti marsh and river bed for the abundant wildlife of this timeless place, including it’s famous elephant and lion population. Wild dog are also regularly seen as well as a large variety of other mammals. Savuti is a favoured area of wildlife photographers and film- makers and many well known wildlife documentaries have been filmed here.
 
Days 8 & 9. Chobe River Front - Chobe National Park
Today's journey takes us out of the ancient lake bed and Kalahari basin, through the teak forests that make up the north eastern part of Botswana. For a long part of the journey we will follow in the footsteps of famous missionary and explorer Dr David Livingstone. We pass through some villages that are recorded by him in his books about his travels.
 
The Chobe river floodplain is undoubtedly one of the greatest wildlife areas on the continent and one is sometimes overwhelmed by the sheer numbers of animals. Here we devide our time between game drives along the river and in the forest and a boat cruise on the Chobe river which is one of the highlights of the trip. We will also have some time to do some curio shopping in the village of Kasane.
 
Day 10. Victoria Falls
Today we leave our camp for the last time as we are transferred to Victoria Falls.Here we will overnight in a comfortable hotel. We will have time to spend a few hours at the world famous "Smoke that Thunders" or in the local Batonka language "Mosi Oa Tunya". (The entry fee is the responsibility of the guest.) It is one of the seven natural wonders of the world.
 
There are also optional activities including white water rafting , helicopter flights or even bungee jumping. The restaurant dinner that evening is the responsibility of the guest.
 
Day 11. Departure from Victoria Falls
We have time for some more craft and curio shopping before we transfer to the Vic Falls airport to catch our onward flights.
 
 
 
MORE INFORMATION
 
Game Viewing
 
We place great emphasis on game viewing on this journey. We believe it is very important to spend time observing wild animals so that we may get a better insight into their behaviour and “what makes them tick”. Our guides are fully committed to giving guests the finest possible wildlife experience and to this end we may spend more time out there than may be the norm with other operators. We feel that since you have travelled so far to experience our part of the world with us we owe it to you to do our best in providing you with wonderful memories of a very special part of our planet. Our guides will inform you of the, ecology, biology, geography and history of the area on game drives that are as much fun as they are educational.
 
Our open sided 4x4 vehicles are fully equipped to enhance your experience. We will always try to ensure that every passenger has a window seat to maximise viewing and photographic opportunities. This also allows more space for, cameras, binoculars, etc.
 
Meals & Drinks
 
Our meals are wholesome and hearty. After a long day in the bush a fresh "home cooked " meal is very welcome indeed. We use fresh produce as much as possible, and we also bake fresh bread over the coals in camp on a daily basis
 
Early morning breakfast consists of a choice of tea, coffee, hot chocolate, toast, a variety of jams, cereal, oat meal porridge and sometimes pan cakes.
 
Morning tea is served while we are out on safari and there is a choice of tea, coffee, hot chocolate and biscuits or cake.
 
Lunch is served as either a picnic on travelling days , or as a hot meal in camp when we are not moving to another camp site. A typical picnic consists of fresh bread , tomatoes , onions , pickles , cold meats , tuna salad , beet salad, etc. The hot lunch in camp could vary from a stir-fry to shepherd’s pie and is usually served with fresh bread and salad.
 
Our main meal of the day is supper. It is usually a 3 course meal and varies from soups to roast brinjal salad for starters, casseroles to roast chicken to barbecues for the main and melva pudding to chocolate fridge tart for desert. Vegetables and starch are also plentiful with these meals.
 
The only drinks that are supplied as part of the package are tea, coffee, hot chocolate, fruit squash and water. Any other drinking requirements can be purchased in Maun or Kasane prior to departure or a list can be sent to us which we will purchase on behalf of the guest.
 
We will cater to special dietary requirements if we are informed in good time.
 
 
Daily Life In Camp
 
As you can, imagine, life in the wilderness starts early (5 am in summer and 6 am in winter). You will be given a wake-up call by one of the camp staff who will at the same time pour warm water into a basin by your tent. This water can be used to brush your teeth or rinse your face or even to have a shave.
 
After breakfast we set off on our morning game drive. If we are moving camp we request that guests have their bags packed and ready before breakfast so that the camp staff can start breaking camp. During the course of the drive we will stop for morning tea , and when we are not moving camp we return there at around midday for lunch and a siesta , departing once again after afternoon tea, at around 3 pm.
 
Returning to camp at sunset we will have time for a shower to freshen up before dinner (in the colder months the shower will also be available in the afternoon for those who prefer it then).
 
Please understand that this is just a guideline to daily activities. It is not unusual to spend more time away from camp because of wildlife viewing opportunities.
 
Hygiene
 
Each safari vehicle has a tap on the side and a bar of soap, which you are free to use at any time to wash your hands especially after being to the bush toilet.
 
Mineral water is available and recommended to use.
 
Hot bucket showers will be available from the afternoon between lunch and tea time or in the evening after returning from the game drive.
 
We provide hand basins and soap at the dining area.
 
Toilets are pit latrines.
 
Included in the prize
 
  • Services of a professional guide
  • Services of a support crew including chef and waiter
  • All transport while on safari
  • All meals (except at Victoria Falls/Livingstone)
  • Tea, coffee, fruit squash and water
  • National Park entry fees (except at the Victoria Falls)
  • All camping equipment except sleeping bags and pillows
  • Laundry service twice while on safari

International/local flights from the UK to Botswana as follows:

  • OUT Heathrow to Johannesburg, and Johannesburg to Maun
  • RTN Victoria Falls to Johannesburg, Johannesburg to Heathrow
  • Internal flights Johannesburg to Maun with Air Botswana
  • Internal flights Victoria Falls to Johannesburg with an appropriate airline
 
Not included in the prize
 
  • All passport and visa fees.
  • Any drinks not listed on the included list.
  • Staff and guide gratuities.
  • Optional activities at the Victoria Falls or in Maun.
  • Compulsory travel insurance that includes a medical evacuation and repatriation plan
  • Anti-malarial medication
  • Travel insurance

 

To visit the website of the Elephant Trails Safari Company please click here.