21 Day Nambia - Zambia - Botswana - Mozambique
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Destination for this trip:
Botswana; Caprivi, Namibia; Namibia; Savuti, Botswana; Windhoek, Namibia
Length of trip:
Approximate price of this trip per person:
from $ 10000 to $ 15000
Best travel dates to go:
Detailed Description of this trip:
While its true that to get most Safari lodges in Botswana, you have to fly in on a small plane, in South Africa it is different; a private flight in is different. Here the pilot is your guide, or he will hire a local guide. You move at a different pace, stay at different lodges for the most part, and get to see more of the remote destinations. Its more personal, slower, intimate, and focussed on your desires. Each aspect of the Safari experience has its place.
This Trip is Recommended for:
Day 1-3 - Windhoek
This particular flying adventure is my personal favourite because it captures the mood and spirit of a diverse continent. I start this adventure by flying from Windhoek into the NamibRand desert. We glide over craggy mountains and symmetrical red sand dunes to land in a stark dry golden valley.
After a few hours, in this fragile desert, you notice that the amazing landscape colours shift and change in a panorama that appears to stretch to infinity. You can hear true silence here, something many of us do not know.
Ballooning over sand dunes is a breathtaking experience. The desert sky is clean, clear and pure and at night the stars form a familiar canopy of Greek mythology.
Day 4 - Namibia
Mid-morning sun warms the ancient desert sand; forcing ever-present coastal mists back out to sea. We use this clear window to fly up the coast and appreciate the remnants of a German colonial settlement called Swakopmund. Atmospheric little restaurants serve fresh ocean fish and the locals happily recount desert and sea tales that transport you to a real Wilbur Smith world. Genuine German draught beer is served in most pubs.
Day 5-6 - Namibia
We fly into and through a thin layer of mist and head north, pass the impressive solitary Brandberg mountain that has become a Namibian icon and landmark. Our destination is Damaraland; a land renowned for desert rhino, elephant and endemic fauna and flora that have spent millions of years adapting to a minimalistic environment.
Our camp is the only reality check of man's modern world.
We come into contact with Damara culture by visiting a small village that has remained unchanged for hundreds of years. Prehistoric rock engravings present a visual display of bygone lives.
Day 7-8 - Caprivi
Sunrise flying gives a completely different aerial dimension. Our destination is a small luxury lodge in the finger-like tropical Caprivi Strip. The desert fades into a special memory, as we explore Teak tree forests that cover ancient rolling Kalahari sand dunes. The lodge is hidden luxury with accommodation units supporting their own private plunge pool and lounge. We are in wild Africa where new roads are being surveyed and cut. Large areas still remain unexplored. This is one of two areas where I can guarantee sightings of the Racket-Tailed roller (what the heck is that, you might ask?).
Day 9 - Namibia
The smoky mist that billows skyward, from a tumbling Victoria Falls, can be seen for more than 20 kilometres. This plume of white mist becomes a beacon, guiding us to an aerial spectacle that has become a world tourist landmark. We circle the Falls at 2 000 feet above ground and then spend the afternoon exploring the area on foot.
Day 10-11 - Savuti
The dry Savuti channel terminates it's journey in Botswana's Chobe National Park. We fly down this ancient channel; dodging dead silhouetted Leadwood trees that dominate the horizon. This is my best area for birds of prey - I have witnessed huge concentrations of Steppe and Wahlberg's eagles feeding on swarms of flying ants. This is also a special area for big cats. I have witnessed cheetah successfully hunting impala, leopard catching Whiterumped babblers, and lion clashing with their eternal enemies - hyenas. Our tented camp is next to a pan of water. Sunset heralds the start of a nocturnal orchestra - croaking frogs, territorial owls, thirsty elephant, distant roaring lion and howling jackals. I can isolate and identify every familiar component of this wild choral composition.
Day 12-14 - Botswana
Aerial game spotting is at its best when flying low level over the Okavango Delta plains. Squat warthogs look big and tall giraffe seem short. We land on a bumpy runway in Moremi National Park - some of the bumps are buffalo and elephant droppings. I always circle a bush runway to check if any errant creature plans to share the strip with me! I'll never forget sunset microlighting. Once when I hovered towards the airstrip a cheetah came bounding out. As I quickly elevated my flying height, the cheetah jumped up trying to grab me like it would capture a bird. The cheetah and I played together for about half an hour.
Getting back to our safari, our tented camp overlooks a large permanent water lagoon. The area is like a busy airport with storks and herons perpetually flying in and out. Hippos bursting to the surface for more air shatter the peaceful silence.
Day 15-16 - Botswana
The flight from Okavango's water wilderness to the flat white Makgadigadi Saltpans is like starting a new chapter in this captivating escapade. We fly a few feet above the pans and the only obstacle in front of us is the earth's flat horizon. Activities revolve around observing habituated wild Brown hyena and suricates (commonly known as meerkats).
The camp experience is like a cocktail mixture of Arab style tents in an exotic Bushman habitat.
Day 17-20 - Botswana
The flight to a warm Indian Ocean island takes us over a land filled with unending winding river systems. Straight dusty roads link small-scattered settlements surrounded by an erratic patchwork of cultivated fields. An indigo blue ocean fronts long crisp white beaches. Distant dhow boat silhouettes add slow motion to a static beach paradise. These are lazy days filled with suntan lotion, swimming, secluded picnics and starlit beach dinners. An idyllic final chapter to a safari, which has allowed us to experience the pulse and flare of a magnificent sub-continent.
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