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Blooming Desert Tour - 10 Days

Blooming Desert Tour
4495

This 9-day safari takes you to one of Botswana’s best-kept secrets, the Central Kalahari Game Reserve. Comprising an area of 52000km2, the Central Kalahari is a place of vast landscapes, endless blue skies during the day and breathtaking starry skies at night. Starting on the banks of the Boteti River, the western boundary of the Makgadikgadi Pans National Park, this safari goes on to explore the legendary Deception and Passarge Valleys made famous in the book, Cry of the Kalahari. The safari ends back in Maun with the option of joining their Miracle Rivers safari to explore the Okavango Delta. Highlights:Deception Valley, Passarge Valley and the Boteti River.

Day 1
Day 1 - maun to kalahari plains / charter flight (1 hour)

You will arrive from Johannesburg by 13h30 into Maun Airport where you will be met by a Wilderness Air representative who will assist you with your luggage before transferring you to the charter plane for your flight over the Central Kalahari to Kalahari Plains Lodge where your guide will be waiting to meet you.

Upon arrival at Kalahari Plains, once you have been shown to your accommodation, you will then a chance to relax in the comfort of your tent and the rest of the lodge or use the telescope in the lounge area for a closer look at the water hole before taking a short sundowner and orientation drive.

Your biggest decision will be to decide if you want to sleep in your tent or on you sky bed above it!

Accommodation: Lodge Tented Accommodation

Activities: Game viewing

Day 2
Day 2 - full day exploration

A chance to stretch your legs after breakfast this morning with a bushman family walk within close proximity to the camp. The experience enables and understanding of how the San Bushmen lived and survived in the harsh Kalahari Thirstland as well as gaining an insight in to the ancient San culture and their humble and gentle approach amongst the family units and with the environment.

An afternoon game drive will depend upon the game but we will hope to head out towards Khudu and Mmaphwe Pans.

After dinner, head up to the platform for an astronomy talk. As one of the remotest places on earth the absence of light pollution makes stargazing here in the Kalahari quite spectacular.

Accommodation: Lodge Tented Accommodation

Activities: Game viewing

Day 3
Day 3 - kalahari plains to pipers pans / travel day / travel time approximately 5 hours

After an early breakfast, you will depart the lodge with your guide for the drive the Piper Pan region where you will be spending the next 3 nights in a private site miles from anyone or anything else other than the local wildlife. The total length of the drive will depend on how much you see along the way.

Accommodation: Mobile Tented Camp

Activities: Game Drives

Day 4
Days 4 & 5 - piper pan exploration days

Habitat: Pipers Pan consists of 3 main pans. Impressive in size, these are some of the largest pans in the Kalahari. Unlike the pans of Khutse and the southern Kalahari the pans here are vegetated. A sparse covering of herbaceous and woody plants cover the ground here. The south-western edges of the pans are bordered by large, vegetated sand dunes. The lower slopes have a clay soil and are dominated by dense growths of rattle trees Catophractes alexandrii further up the slopes are groves of false umbrella thorn Acacia luderitzii and worm-cure albizia Albizia anthelmintica. The islands of trees in the pans themselves are dominated by the bizarre wild sesame tree Sesamothamnus spp.

Wildlife: Home to a good population of cheetah, a resident pride of lion and several leopard whose territories include parts of the pan, this is an excellent place for Kalahari predators. The break of dawn is an excellent time to be out looking for the crepuscular brown hyaena that patrol the pans, scrounging for a meal. Good sized herds of blue wildebeest, oryx and springbok graze on the pans. Giraffe and greater kudu browse on the verges and the islands of the pan.

Birding: Good sized flocks of Ostrich occur on the pan. Rufous-eared warbler are particularly fond of the bush on the southern slopes and on the islands of the pans where our camp is, are Crimson-breasted Shrike, Monotonous Lark, Spike-heeled Lark, Yellow Canary, Chestnut-backed Sparrowlark, Grey-backed Sparrowlark, Buffy Pipit, Kalahari Robin, Violet-eared Waxbill, Black-cheeked waxbill and Black Crow to mention but a few species.

Accommodation: Mobile Tented Camp

Activities: Game Drives

Day 5
Day 6 - piper pan to tau pan / travel day / 80km (arrive at tau around lunchtime)

Today we depart from Piper’s Pan and head toward the wilderness area on the north-western side of Central Kalahari. Our journey takes us over endless vegetated dune-fields and the extensive Pokoje and San Pans before arriving at the magnificent and wildlife rich Tau Pan.

The lodge is situated on the crest of an ancient dune and has a commanding view of the surrounding wilderness. Your guide will drop you off to enjoy a relaxed lunch and you will conduct the afternoon activity with the Tau Pan Lodge guide

Accommodation: Lodge Tented Accommodation

Activities: Game Drives

Day 6
Day 7 - tau pan to khwai / charter flight / 1 hour 30 minutes

A final morning activity in the incredible Kalahari before boarding your flight to Maun and onwards to Khwai where your Letaka guide will once again be waiting for you.

The differences in the habitat and wildlife will be instantly noticeable and three nights in this area will offer a contrasting experience and the opportunity to see different wildlife.

Accommodation: Letaka Tented Camp

Activities: Game Drive

Day 7
Days 8 & 9 - khwai exploration days

Habitat: We spend our time between the dry-land habitats of the lead-wood and camel-thorn woodlands and savannahs and the riverside and marshy back-waters of the Khwai.

Wildlife: The Khwai region boasts excellent populations of both bull elephant as well as breeding herds. Lion, leopard, serval and African wildcat are common predators of the region with wild dog and cheetah being less common. Buffalo use this area seasonally with large herds moving in during the summer rains. The swampy areas in the west are home to red lechwe. Other ungulates include tsesebe, blue wildebeest, giraffe, kudu, sable antelope, roan antelope and impala.

Birding: Truly one of Botswana birding Mecca’s. The western reaches are prime habitat for the uncommon Rosy-throated Longclaw. The entire length of the river is hunting domain for the Bat-Hawk. Other interesting raptors here are Cuckoo Hawk (rare), Long-crested Eagle and Black Sparrowhawk. More commonly Tawny Eagle, Steppe Eagle*, Lesser-spotted Eagle*, Martial Eagle, Bateleur and African Hawk-Eagle. The waterways host Africa Rail, African Crake*, Greater Painted Snipe, Allen’s Gallinule*, Lesser Jacana and Lesser Moorhen*.

Accommodation: Letaka Tented Camp

Activities: Game Drive, Walking Safaris (conditions permitting) and Night Drives and mokoro excursion

Day 8
Day 10 - safari ends in maun

After saying farewell to your safari crew, your guide will take a slow drive back towards Maun on a final drive before arriving at approximately 12h00, in time for the international check ins.

For guests wishing to extend their stay and head in to a lodge, please note that we depart Khwai by 08h00, therefore, any charter flights will need to be organized from Maun after your arrival back at 12h00.

What is included?

  • Spacious and comfortable tented accommodation, including beds, bed linen, and towels, with a private bathroom en-suite.
  • Services of a professional guide, safari chef and camp assistants, complete with a supply vehicle whilst on Letaka mobile; service of professional guide whilst at Kalahari Plains
  • Game drives and local transfers in customised safari vehicles whilst on Letaka mobile, access to all lodge facilities and activities including bushmen walk whilst at Kalahari Plains
  • Exclusive camping in private campsites within the national parks and reserves
  • All entrance and camping fees within the national parks and reserves
  • All meals and drinks (filtered water, soft drinks, beer, wine, and G&T) for the duration of the safari
  • All activities as specified in the itinerary
  • 12% Value Added Tax

What is not included?

  • Travel Insurance
  • All flights unless otherwise indicated
  • Items of personal nature
  • Staff gratuities
  • Optional safari extensions
  • Any drinks at lodges or accommodation other than Letaka Tented Camps unless stated.

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Why book with Letaka Safaris?

Letaka Safaris is one of Botswana’s premier mobile safaris operators with over 40 years of combined guiding experience specialising in photographic, wildlife and birdwatching in Botswana and beyond.

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10 Days

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USD4,495 / per person
This tour is operated by: Letaka Safaris

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