NCNJ30 Master Draft

November 7, 2014 Comments Off on NCNJ30 Master Draft
Andrew Walton
Just a happy guy who loves travelling, loves Africa and feels that travelling changes you forever.

Day 1: Arusha

We leave the lively capital of Kenya today on our Nairobi to Johannesburg Overland and make our way into Tanzania. We make a stop-off in Arusha to pay a visit to the local Masai Museaum and the well-known snake park. In the afternoon we prepare for our impending optional expedition into the famous Serengeti National Park and the magnificent Ngorongoro Crater.

Enclosed by some of Africa’s most well-known landscapes and National Parks, Arusha is located at the base of Mount Meru – on the eastern edge of the Great Rift Valley’s eastern branch. The city experiences mostly balmy weather due to its location on the hills of Mt Meru. Within close proximity to the Serengeti, Ngorongoro Crater, Lake Manyara, Olduvai Gorge, Tarangire National Park and Mount Kilimanjaro, Arusha contains its very own National Park, situated on Mount Meru. The main industry of this area is agriculture. Producers of huge vegetables and flowers send superb produce to Europe. Small-scale farming was negatively impacted by the somewhat recent ‘coffee crisis’ and has therefore transformed into mostly subsistence farming. Arusha boasts several factories including a brewery, tyre and fibreboard plant as well as a big pharmaceuticals manufacturer.

Meals: Lunch, Dinner
Accommodation: Ndoro Lodge: www.ndorolodge.com
Facilities: Shared ablutions, hot showers, bar
Route: Nairobi to Arusha +/-306 kms
Travel Time: +/-4-5 hours plus a border crossing
Activity Package: Masai Museum and Snake park *Please note that this activity could either take place on
this day or after the Serengeti/Ngorongoro Crater Excursion

Days 2-4: Serengeti and Ngorongoro Excursion

Today we set off on a four-day optional 3 night camping adventure in the Serengeti National Park and Ngorongoro Crater. This region contains one of the most incredibly dense animal varieties in all of Africa. We are given time to visit the Oldupai gorge and museum on our first day journeying from Karatu to Ngorongoro. Our Serengeti expedition take place in an open topped 4X4 safari vehicle in order to take on the obstacles we come across whilst driving through the Park’s gravelly and narrow roads. For those who opt not to partake in this excursion, simply devote your time to relaxing and soaking in the sun as well as the vibrant local cultures surrounding you.

Be sure to take with you a small day pack with a change of clothing, binoculars, cameras, warm clothes (for the cold rim of the crater), plenty insect repellent, a few dollars for tips and curios, provisions and, of course, your sleeping bag and pillow. There is also a variety of optional activites in which to partake for those who aren’t going on this expedition, including a range of Serengeti and Ngorongoro Excursion packages, Lake Manyara game drives, day hiking, village tours and other day trips.

The Serengeti is world famous for hosting the biggest and longest overland migration on earth, deemed a ‘natural travel wonder of the world’. During October, almost 2 million herbivores journey from the hills of the north to the plains of the south, crossing through the Mara River in seek of food and water. During April, these animals return to the north via the west, once more crossing the Mara. This spectacle is often called the Circular Migration. More than 250 000 wildebeest are fated to die along the trip from Tanzania to the Masai Mara Reserve in upper Kenya, a total distance of 800 kilometres. Their death is frequently caused due to wounds, exhaustion or by being hunted by the stalking predators that follow close behind the herds. Around 70 bigger mammals and approximately 500 various bird species can be found in this migration. The massive assortment of species that composes the migration is due to the wide range of habitats ranging from river forests, swamps, kopjes, grasslands and woodlands. Some of the common mammals that can be spotted in this area are Blue Wildebeests, gazelles, zebras and buffalos.

The Ngorongoro region makes up part of the ecosystem of the Serengeti and, to the northwest it meets the Serengeti National Park and lies adjacent to the southern plains of the Serengeti. These plains spread to the north into the unguarded Loliondo division and are open to wildlife due to the farming habits of the Masai. Volcanic highlands lie to the south and west of the region whilst the rim of the Great Rift Valley wall defines the southern and eastern boundaries. This wall serves to prohibit animals migrating in these directions.

Meals: Breakfast X3, Lunch X3, Dinner X3
Accommodation: Seronera Campsite: www.tanzaniaparks.com/serengeti.html
Simba Campsite: www.tanzaniaparks.com/serengeti.html
Facilities: Shared ablutions, cold showers
Route: Arusha to Serengeti +/-260 kms
Travel Time: +/-3-4 hours

For Those Not Partaking In The Above Excursion:

Meals: Breakfast X3, Lunch X3, Dinner X3
Accommodation: Kudu Camp: www.kuducamp.com
Facilities: Restaurant, Bar, Swimming pool, hot showers, en-suite, gift shop & internet cafe
Optional Activities: Day walk inside Ngorongoro Forest, Mountain biking around the villages, various day safari options (Kudu Lodge to Karatu)

Day 5: Karatu, Tanzania

Those who participated in the excursion into the Serengeti National Park and Ngorongoro will join with the truch in Karatu, where we will have time to tell tales of incredible encounters you had in the Park.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodation: Kudu Camp: www.kuducamp.com
Facilities: Shared ablutions, hot showers, swimming pool, bar, internet café & gift shop
Route: Serengeti to Karatu +/-100 kms
Travel Time: +/-2 hours

Day 6: Lushoto

Lushoto is the main town and district centre despite it being relatively small and situated in the Usambara Mountains, midway between the coast and parks. The well-known pot plant Saintpaulia has its only wild growths in Tanzania, specifically in the Usambara Mountains. Here you have time at your leisure to spend walking around and exploring your surrounds, or to simply unwind and catch up on some sleep.

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
Accommodation: The Lawns Hotel: www.lawnshotel.com
Facilities: Shared ablutions, hot showers, internet, bar
Route: Karatu to Lushoto +/- 480 kms
Travel Time: +/-7-8 hours
Included Tour Highlights: Hike in surrounding area or relax

Days 7-9: Zanzibar

We wake up early today in order to depart from Lushoto and to make our way to Dar es Salaam, where we will board a local ferry that carries us from Dar to the capital of Zanzibar, Stone Town. Our first evening is spent exploring the historical and unique architecture. There are also many spic and seafood markets to take a look at. The next day we are transferred to the island’s north region where we will spend two days unwinding on the sun-kissed beaches.

Due to the dominant Islam religion in Zanzibar, conservative clothing should be worn most places except on the beach, where your regular clothes and swimsuits are acceptable. It is recommended that women don’t-shirts and knee-length shorts or skirts in town. The Islamic religion frowns upon the showing of arms above the elbow or legs above the knee. Shoulders should also remain covered and no revealing necklines are acceptable. Men’s clothing is less restrictive, allowing males to wear shirts and shorts in any area they please. However, on the beach or in our resort, there are no dress codes other than the regular ones adhered to in most pool/public areas.

If you happen to be visiting Zanzibar during the month of fasting (Ramadan), please speak to your local guide about the customs adhered to during this period. Regular eating times during the day are forbidden and most locals will be sure to make you aware of this. Majority of shops and restaurants will be closed during Ramadan, but it is acceptable as a foreigner to indulge in meals at hotels or resorts. Your guide will be able to inform you of what is appropriate and when.

Zanzibar is a semi-independent portion of the United Republic of Tanzania. Comprised of the Zanzibar Archipelago in the Indian Ocean located 25-50 kilometres off the mainland’s coast, Zanzibar is comprised of numerous small islands and two bigger ones, Ungula (the main island informally referred to as Zanzibar) and Pemba. At one point in time, Zanzibar was in fact a completely separate state boasting a lengthy trading history within the Arab world. However, it merged with Tanganyika to create Tanzania in 1964 and still maintains a high level of independence within the union. Zanzibar City is the capital of Zanzibar, situated on the island of Unguja, and its historic centre known as Stone Town is a World Heritage Site.

The main industries of Zanzibar are spices, raffia and tourism. In addition to this, Zanzibar is also home to the extremely endangered species of the Red Colobus Monkey. The word ‘Zanzibar’ was derived from the Persian term ‘zangi-bar’ meaning ‘coast of the blacks’. However, it is believed that the name could have also originated from the Arabic ‘Zayn Z’al Barr’ meaning ‘fair is this land’. “Zanzibar” frequently refers specifically to Unguja Island and is sometimes referred to as the Spice Islands, though this term is more often associated with the Indonesian Maluku Islands.

Meals: Breakfast X3
Accommodation: Two per room: Nungwi Inn: www.nungwiinnhotel.co.tz
Two per room: Abuso Inn: www.abuso-inn-zanzibar-town-hotel.com
Facilities: En-suite per room, hot showers, coffee shop, laundry services, wireless internet, bar
Route: Dar es Salaam to Zanzibar by Ferry/ Stone Town to Nungwi Beach +/-70 kms
Travel Time: +/- 2-3 hours (Day 7) +/-2 hours (Day 9)

Optional Activities: Lunch and dinner, Motorbike hire, Spice tour, Walking city tour, Swimming with dolphins, Scuba Diving, Snorkelling, etc.

PLEASE NOTE: If you have not purchased the Activity Package, you will be staying at the accommodation in Dar es Salaam for these three days.

Day 10: Dar es Salaam

Today we depart from Zanzibar and hop on board a later ferry to carry us through to Dar es Salaam where we make our way back to our truck and campsite.

Previously ‘Mzizima’, Dar es Salaam is the biggest city in Tanzania, with a population of over 3.2 million. It is also the richest city in the country as well as a crucial economic centre. Even though Dar is not the official capital city of Tanzania, it is still the centre of the permanent central government and serves as the capital for the surrounding Dar es Salaam area. Albert Roscher of Hamburg was the first European to arrive in Mzizima (“healthy town”) in 1859, and in 1866 the city was given its current name by Sultan Seyyid Malid of Zanzibar. After Malid’s death in 1870, Dar began to rapidly deteriorate, but in 1887, it was revived when the German East Africa Company constructed a station in the city. The development of the town was due to its key role as the administrative and commercial centre of German East Africa as well as the industrial growth that resulted in the establishment of the Central Railway Line in the early 1900’s.

Located within such close proximity to the Equator and inviting Indian Ocean, Dar es Salaam experiences a relatively tropical climate, with hot and humid temperatures during most of the year. Annual rainfall amounts to approximately 1,100 mm and, in an average year, the city experiences two separate rainy seasons. First there are ‘the long rains’ that fall during the April/May period, and secondly, ‘the short rains’ which fall during the months of October and November.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodation: Kipepeo Camp: www.kipepeocamp.com
Facilities: Shared ablutions, hot showers, bar, water not drinkable
Route: Nungwi Beach to Stone town: +/- 60-70 kms; Zanzibar to Dar es Salaam by ferry
Travel Time: +/- 4-5 hours

Day 11: Mikumi

We depart from the warm Indian Ocean coastline today and begin our journey to Mikumi National Park. Mikumi contains countless lion, zebra, wildebeest, impala, buffalo and elephant. We have a chance today to partake in an optional afternoon game drive through this magnificent Park.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodation: Tan-Swiss Lodge: www.tan-swiss.com
Facilities: Shared ablutions, hot showers, bar
Route: Dar es Salaam to Mikumi +/- 260 km
Travel Time: +/- 4-5 hours
Optional Activities: Afternoon game drive in Mikumi National Park

Day 12: Iringa

We journey further inland today and make our way up to Iringia situated in the highland tea plantation region. Tonight we eat in a fantastic local Masai restaurant where we are treated to a traditional Tanzanian evening.

Tanzania is a mountainous region in the northeast, where Africa’s tallest mountain, Mount Kilimanjaro, is located. The Great Lakes fo Lake Victoria (Africa’s biggest lake) and Lake Tanganyika (Africa’s deepest lake, famous for its unique fish species) are to the north and west. Central Tanzania is comprised of a vast plateau complete with savannahs and fruitful land. The eastern shore is hot and humid, with the exotic island of Zanzibar situated just offshore. Tanzania boasts tropical temperatures and, in the highlands, the climate ranges between 10 and 20 degrees Celsius during the cold and hot seasons respectively. The remainder of the country has temperatures that seldom drop lower than 20 degrees Celsius. The hottest season takes place between November and February, reaching temperatures of over 30 degrees, whilst the coldest season occurs between May and August, dropping to below 15 degrees.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodation: Kisolanza Farm: www.kisolanza.com
Facilities: Shared ablutions, hot showers, bar, restaurant, water not drinkable
Route: Mikumi to Kisolanza +/- 280 kms
Travel Time: +/- 5-6 hours
Included Tour Highlights: Dinner in a local Masai restaurant

Day 13: Malawi – Northern Lake Malawi

We leave Tanzania behind and make our way down through the picturesque mountain passes today, traveling to our lakeshore campsite in Chitimba. Located on a bronzed beach, in amongst banana palms and papaya trees, our lodging for this evening is encircled by the renowned Livingstonia and Nyika.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodation: Chitimba: www.chitimba.com
Facilities: Shared ablutions, bar, beach
Route: Iringa to Chitimba Beach +/- 640 kms
Travel Time: +/- 10-11 hours plus a border crossing

Days 14-15: Kande Beach

Following our arrival in Kande Beach, we spend the next two days participating in the various optional activities on offer here, such as horse riding and a range of water sports. We embark on a village walk led by a guide on which we will introduce ourselves to the locals and be educated about life in Malawi.

Lake Malawi is the third biggest in Africa and the eighth biggest in the entire world, located between Malawi, Mozambique and Tanzania. The lake offers fantastic snorkelling and diving adventures and its tropical waters contain more species of fish than any other lake on earth! These fish support the locals who rely on the lake for survival, using mokoros (dug-out canoes) to set out massive nets. There is a massive variety of different ethnic groups dwelling in this area and as a result, there are plenty of dialects to be learned and spoken. Majority of these groups are Christians due to the countless missionaries who passed through the area, whilst the remainder have maintained their traditional belief systems.

David Livingstone arrived at Lake Malawi in 1895 whilst he was attempting to put a stop to the awful slave trades taking place. He returned in 1861 accompanied by seven missionaries who established a mission station in the southern area of the lake, but some contracted malaria and other various illnesses as well as suffered from conflict with slavers. The surviving missionaries soon withdrew to Zanzibar. Livingstone came back again in 1866 as part of his journey to discover the source of the Nile. In 1869 he travelled north and was subsequently out of contact for almost two years. Found by journalist Henry Stanley on the banks of Lake Tanganyika in 1871, Livingstone was uttered the famous phrase from Stanley: “Dr Livingstone, I presume.” Livingstone then carried out his mission, eventually dying at a village called Chitombo in Zambia in 1873.

The death of this remarkable explorer revived the desire in other missionaries to come to Malawi and after they finally finished setting up missions in various malaria-ridden areas, the constructed a malaria-free mission in the highlands of the eastern escarpment, aptly named Livingstonia. This particular mission is still operational today and is open to visitors willing to embark on a strenuous hike in order to reach it. Because of the relative difficulty of this 6-8 hour trek to the mission, you should be sure to partake in it only if you feel you are truly fit enough to brave the steep slopes and boiling temperatures.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodation: Kande Beach: www.kandebeach.com
Facilities: Water not drinkable, shared ablutions, bar, craft market, restaurant and beach
Route: Chitimba Beach to Kande Beach +/- 250 kms
Travel Time: +/- 4-5 hours
Activity Package: Guided village walk
Optional Activities: Scuba diving, snorkelling, etc.

Day 16: Lilongwe

We pay a visit to the Lilongwe Wildlife Centre today – the only sanctuary in Malawi for rescued, orphaned and wounded wild animals. The Centre is situated within 180 hectares of stunning woodland, Lilongwe’s only protected wilderness.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodation: Barefoot Lodge: www.barefoot-safaris.com/index_file/BarefootLodge.htm
Facilities: Shared ablutions, bar
Route: Kande Beach to Lilongwe +/- 380 kms
Travel Time: +/- 6-7 hours
Included Tour Highlights: Visit to Lilongwe Wildlife Centre
Optional Activities: City Tour

Day 17: Zambia – South Luangwa National Park

In the early morning we travel from Malawi and make our way into Zambia, carrying on to the South Luangwa National Park where we spend the following two evenings on the riverbanks. You can frequently spot hippos and other wildlife from the camp’s bar. In the afternoon we embark on an included sunset game drive through the beautiful South Luangwa National Park.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodation: Wildlife Camp: www.wildlifecamp-zambia.com
Facilities: Water not drinkable, shared ablutions, hot showers, swimming pool, bar.
Route: Lilongwe to South Luangwa National Park +/- 330kms
Travel Time: +/- 10-11 hours
Activity Package: South Luangwa National Park sunset game drive

Day 18: South Luangwa National Park

You will have a chance to embark on one more game drive this morning. The Park is renowned for its large population of leopard and hippos. Following a tasty lunch, we pay a visit to the community-run tribal textile project as well as a charming local village.

Located in eastern Zambia, the South Luangwa National Park is a world famous wildlife sanctuary that is well-known for its beautiful walking safaris. The Park sustains massive concentrations of Thorneycroft’s Giraffe as well as large herds of elephant and buffalo, whilst the Luangwa River is home to plenty of crocodile and hippo. Established as a game reserve in 1983, the area was declared a National Park in 1972 and presently covers over 9000 square kilometres. Hippopotami flourish in this Park due to the areas of flooded grassland habitats that are situated nearby to the river, on which they happily graze during the evenings.

We may be able to spot pods of over 500 hippos during the dry season as this is when the river shrivels and leaves them restricted to areas of deep pools. On average, there are most likely up to 42 hippos per kilometre! These magnificent creatures are crucial to the Park’s ecosystem as their excrement released into the river fertilises the waters and supports the fish population which, in turn, sustain the crocodiles. The South Luangwa National Park is also believed to contain the largest population of leopard throughout the entire African continent. It is estimated that there is one leopard for every kilometre of river in the Luangwa Valley. Therefore, the possibility of spotting this elusive and majestic nocturnal creature is fantastically high.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodation: Wildlife Camp: www.wildlifecamp-zambia.com
Facilities: Water not drinkable, shared ablutions, hot showers, swimming pool, bar
Route: Chipata to South Luangwa National Park +/-120 kms
Activity Package: Village and textile visit.
Optional Activities: Morning game drive, Game walk inside park

Day 19: Chipata

We depart from South Luangwa today and journey through to Chipata where we spend the afternoon unwinding. Zambia is authentically African, boasting lush, subtropical plant life.

With a population of approximately 75,000, Chipata is the eastern province of Zambia’s capital. Previously known as Fort Jameson, Chipata is situated close to the Malawian border, on the highway that joins the capitals – Lilongwe and Lusaka. As we journey from Lilongwe to Chipata, Malawi, you will notice a constant stream of people and transport carrying in supplies that are not always available in African areas. You will also spot vibrant fruit and vegetable markets as well as a surprising amount of ornate mosquitos due to the enormous community of Islamic Indians.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodation: Mama Rula’s www.mamarulas.com
Facilities: Water not drinkable, shared ablutions, hot showers, swimming pool.
Route: South Luangwa NP to Chipata +/- 120 kms
Travel Time: +/- 6-8 hours (due to bad road conditions)

Day 20: Lusaka

Our travels to the lively capital of Lusaka lead us along a fascinating path. On weekdays there might be a chance to pay a visit to one of the intriguing local markets of the area.

The capital and biggest city of Zambia, Lusaka has two primary spoken languages – English and Nyanja. It is situated in the southern region of the central plateau of Zambia at a height of 1300 metres and boasts a population of approximately 1.7 million. With one of the most rapidly developing city centres in Africa, Lusaka is situated in a prolific farming region and is Zambia’s administrative, financial and commercial centre. It is believed that with proper and effective economic improvements, Lusaka (as well as Zambia as a whole) will advance significantly. Lusaka is home to a varied community of foreigners, many of whom work in the aid industry, as well as diplomats, representatives of religious societies and several business people.

Historically, Lusaka was once the site of a village named after its headman, Lusaka, which was situated at Manda Hill; close by to where the National Assembly building now stands. The area was extended by European settlers in 1905 with the construction of the railway. During 1935, Lusaka was selected to replace Livingstone as the capital of the British colony of northern Rhodesia, due to its relatively central location on the railway. After the union of northern and southern Rhodesia in 1953, Lusaka became the heart of the independence movement, resulting in the formation of the Republic of Zambia. Zambia became the 9th African state to gain independence from the British colonialists in 1964, following which President Kaunda came to power, with Lusaka as the country’s capital.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodation: Pioneers: www.pioneercampzambia.com
Facilities: Hot showers, shared ablutions, swimming pool, bar, water not drinkable
Route: Chipata to Lusaka +/- 567 kms
Travel Time: +/- 10-14 hours (due to bad road conditions)

Days 21-22: Zimbabwe – Victoria Falls

Today we journey from Lusaka and make our way across the border of Zimbabwe into Victoria Falls. When we reach the Falls, we are given time to plan the optional activities in which we wish to partake the following day. There are various thrilling activities to choose from here, such as white water rafting or walking with the lions.

At 1700 metres wide and 108 metres high, Victoria Falls are said to be the biggest falls in the entire world. According to popular beliefs, Scottish explorer David Livingstone was the very first European to stand witness to the mighty Victoria Falls and wrote: “It has never been seen before by European eyes, but scenes so wonderful must have been gazed upon by angels in their flight.” The local name of Mosi-oa-Tunya, meaning ‘the smoke that thunders’, is used as the official name in Zambia. Because of its enormous power and size, the Falls are embellished with countless mythologies. It is believed by the local Tonga people of Zambezi that a river god, Nyaminyami, lives in the water in the shape of a gigantic snake. The Zambezi River flooded thrice when the Kariba Dam was constructed in the 1950’s, causing numerous deaths and much devastation. The locals believe that Nyaminyami became angry with the building of the Dam and thus was the entity that caused the horrendous floods. The peculiar form of Victoria Falls allows its entire width to be seen face-on from as near as 60 metres to the Falls due to the Zambezi River dropping into a deep and narrow slot-like fissure connected to a lengthy sequence of ravines. There are very few waterfalls in the world that permit this close of an approach on foot.

The Falls are created by the entire width of the river plummeting in a solitary vertical drop into a 120 metre wide chasm, whittled by the cascading waters along a breakage area in the basalt plateau. The chasm called the First Gorge varies from 80 metres deep at its west end to 108 metres in its centre. The only opening to the First Gorge is though a gap 110 metres wide, approximately two-thirds of the way across the width of the Falls from the western end, through which the entire volume of the river spills into the gorges of the Victoria Falls. Two islands, Boaruka and Livingstone, are situated on the peak of the Falls. They are big enough to divide the sheet of water, even at full flood. At less than full flood, other islands perform the task of dividing the curtain of water into dispersed parallel streams. The main streams are known as Leaping Water, or Devil’s Cataract, Main Falls, Rainbow Falls (the tallest) and the Eastern Cataract.

Meals: Breakfast X2, Lunch X1
Accommodation: Elephant Hills Resort: www.africansunhotels.com
Route: Lusaka to Victoria Falls +/-500 kms
Travel Time: +/- 7-8 hours plus a border crossing

Optional Activities: Dinner out in Victoria Falls, Full day white water rafting, Flight over the falls, Full day low/high water river boarding, sunset cruise, bungee jump (solo), morning/afternoon lion or elephant encounter.

Days 23-24: Zimbabwe – Victoria Falls – Botswana – Kasane

We pay a visit to the magnificent Victoria Falls today as well as the roaring Zambezi before making our way across the Botswana border through to Kasane. During the afternoon we embark on a pleasant sunset cruise on the Chobe River hoping to spot some wildlife on the riverbanks.

The second biggest park in all of Botswana, Chobe National Park spreads over approximately 10,600 square kilometres of northern Botswana. The Park forms part of the medley of lakes, islands and floodplains created from the river systems of the Kwanda, Linyanti and Chobe Rivers. This region is well-known for its enormous buffalo and elephant herds – the population of which is presently around 120,000. The Chobe elephants migrate often and travel up to 200 kilometres from the Chobe and Linyanti rivers, where they gather during the dry season, to the pans in the southeast portion of the park during rainy season. These giants are specifically Kalahari elephants, identifiable by their frail ivory and short tusks which are possibly due to the lack of calcium in the soils. Because of their high population, much damage to vegetation is caused in certain areas and therefore, culls have been considered but never carried out due to the enormous controversy surrounding the act.

The initial inhabitants of this region were the San people, known in Botswana as the ‘Basarwa’. They were nomadic hunter-gatherers who travelled from place to place searching for the next source of food and water. The San were eventually forced out by groups of the Basubiya people and, in 1911, a congregation of Batawana moved to the area. It was decided in 1931 that a national park would be erected in order to guard the wildlife from extinction as well as to attract tourists. During 1932, an area of approximately 24,000 square kilometres in the Chobe region was declared as a non-hunting zone. Throughout the years, the boundaries of the park have been modified and the people who have settled in the region have been progressively relocated. Chobe National Park was eventually completely rid of human occupation in the year 1975, and in 1980 (and once more in 1986) the boundaries were once again altered, growing the park to its current size.

Meals: Breakfast X1, Lunch X2, Dinner X2
Accommodation: Thebe River Safaris: www.theberiversafaris.com
Facilities: Shared ablutions, hot showers, bar, swimming pool.
Route: Vic Falls to Kasane +/-100 kms
Travel Time: +/- 3-4 hours plus a border crossing
Activity Package: Victoria Falls Entrance & Sunset Boat Cruise in Chobe NP
Optional Activities: Game Drive in Chobe

Day 25: Maun – Okavango Delta

The fifth biggest town in Botswana, Maun is renowned as the tourism capital and gateway into the Okavango Delta. It is a diverse contrast of modern structures and traditional huts. Presently home to over some 30,000 people, the town was established in 1915 as the tribal capital of the Batawana people. Maun initially serviced the local cattle ranching and hunting industries and gained a reputation as a ‘wild west’ town. Maun grew rapidly with the swift development of the tourism industry and the completion of the tar road leading from Nata. Sadly, this means that it has by now lost much of its old town character, but it remains well-known for its overpopulation of donkeys and goats that can easily be spotted roaming freely as the local farmers sell their goods on the curbs.

Due to the influx of dollars gained from the tourism industry, Botswana’s typical rondavels (round huts) of the past have been somewhat upgraded to moderately sized square cinderblock homes with roofs of tin or tiles. It is not peculiar to spot mud rondavels equipped with satellite dishes, indicating the increasing wealth of the country as well as the rising dependability of electricity in the town. The stunning contrast between traditional and modern is also evident in the multi-level air-conditioned shopping malls bizarrely surrounded by potholes, dusty gravel parking lots and bustling market places.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodation: Sitatunga: www.deltarain.com
Facilities: Swimming pool, bar, restaurant, hot showers, shared ablutions
Route: Kasane to Maun +/-600 kms
Travel Time: +/- 8-12 hours
Optional Activities: Crocodile farm visit, Scenic flight over the Delta (time-permitting)

Days 26-27: Okavango Delta

Throughout your time spent in the Delta, you will experience the finest that nature has to offer. We journey into the Delta on a 4X4 (in high seasons we use a boat). We then meet up with some of the locals and set up camp for the following two evenings. We embark on several nature treks and explore the Delta by means of mokoro (traditional dug-out canoe) if the water levels are optimum. The Delta is a magnificent and memorable experience as the animals here are not accustomed to having human visitors. Just sitting and unwinding frequently makes for the best bird-watching or game-viewing.

A maze of lagoons, lakes and concealed channels spreading over 17,000 square kilometres, the Okavango Delta is the world’s biggest inland delta. Originating in Angola, countless rivers merge to form the Cubango River which flows through Namibia, becoming the Kavango River and finally entering Botswana where it turns into the Okavango. Eons ago, the Okavango River flowed into a massive inland lake named Lake Makgadikgadi which is now known as the Makgadikgadi Pans. Tectonic activity disturbed the currents of the river, resulting in it backing up and thus creating what is now recognized as the Okavango Delta. This has formed a complex network of waterways that sustain a large variety of fauna and flora.

There are approximately 200,000 large mammals living in and around the Delta. On the mainland and amidst the Delta islands, lion, elephant, hyena, wild dog, buffalo, hippo and crocodile gather with an assortment of antelope and other smaller animals such as warthog, mongoose, spotted genet, monkey, bush baby and tree squirrel. Remarkably, the endangered African Wild Dog lives within the Okavango Delta, displaying one of the richest pack densities throughout Africa. The Delta is also home to over 400 species of bird including the majestic African Fish Eagle. Plenty of these creatures live in the Delta, but most simply pass through during their migrations with the summer rains to seek out renewed lush fields ready for grazing. During the beginning of winter, the countryside dries up and these animals head back to the Delta, making for spectacular game sightings as the massive numbers of prey and predators are forced together. Specific regions of the floodplains provide some of the most magnificent predator action seen anywhere in the entire world.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodation: Bush Camp: www.deltarain.com
Facilities: No facilities – bush camping
Route: Maun to Bush Camp
Activity Package: Transfer to Delta in local 4 x 4 vehicles, mokoro canoe ride (if water levels allow) and a guided nature walk in the Okavango Delta.

Optional Activities: If you wish to participate in additional Mokoro rides or nature walks, apart from what is included in the activity package, please speak to your guide.

PLEASE NOTE: If you have not purchased the Activity Package you will stay at the campsite in Maun for the following 2 days.

Day 28: Gweta

We depart from the Delta today in order to journey eastward to our next campsite. Here, you can explore the thickets surrounding our campsite and check out some of the most ancient Baobab trees in the region.

Planet Baobab creates a shady haven in the centre of the never-ending landscape of the Makgadikgadi salt pans. Renowned as the baobab capital of the world and home of the Kalahari Surf Club, Planet Baobab is possibly the trendiest camp in all of the Kalahari.
Here, you sleep in genuine deluxe Bakalanga huts, but are always free to just set up your tent nearby. The pans are the remainders of the once majestic Lake Makgadikgadi (spreading over approximately 80,000 square kilometres) which, thousands of years back, was Africa’s biggest inland ocean at 30 metres deep. Today, the pans sustain countless majestic Baobabs which are sometimes known as ‘unusual upside down trees’, several of which are over 2400 years old. Elephants can also be found in this area, happily splish-splashing in close by watering holes to cool themselves down, completely oblivious to the presence of any onlookers.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodation: Planet Baobab: www.unchartedafrica.com/page.php?p_id=59
Facilities: Shared ablutions, hot showers, bar, swimming pool.
Route: Maun to Gweta +/-200 kms
Travel Time: +/- 3-4 hours

Day 29: Khama Rhino Sanctuary – Palapye

We depart from the Gweta today and make our way to Palapye, situated on the serene Lotsane Riverbanks. We pay a visit to the Khama Rhino Sanctuary, a community-run wildlife project where we embark on a game drive to observe some of the now guarded rhino.

Throughout the years, the location of Palapye has turned it into a convenient stop-off point in southern Africa’s principal north-south rail and road paths between the capital city of Gabarone and Francistown. It contains a tiny airfield as well as the Morupule Colliery coal mine, which provides energy to the Morupule Power Station – Botswana’s main domestic source of electricity.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodation: Camp Itumela: www.campitumela.com
Facilities: Hot showers, shared ablutions, restaurant, internet cafe
Route: Gweta to Palapye +/- 510 kms
Travel Time: +/- 7-8 hours

Activity Package: Game Drive in Khama Rhino Sanctuary

Day 30: South Africa – Johannesburg

We make our way across the border and into South Africa today and following a lengthy, picturesque journey, we arrive in Johannesburg. South Africa’s City of Gold has plenty to offer and should by no means be underestimated as a spectacular travel destination.

Johannesburg, or the City of Gold, is the biggest and most populated South African city and is the second biggest city in all of Africa (after Cairo). Gold was discovered in the mineral-rich Witwaterstrand in 1886 by George Harrison, an Australian prospector. This find began a massive gold rush as fortune-hunters flocked to the region from all parts of the world. A large labour force of contract workers quickly sprung to work in the mines, and within the span of just three years, Johannesburg transformed into South Africa’s biggest settlement. This city is the now the economic and financial centre of the country and though mining no longer takes place within the bounds of the city, the headquarters of majority of mining businesses can be located here. Johannesburg is also renowned as the world’s biggest man-made forest, with more than ten million trees planted throughout the massive city.

Meals: Breakfast
Accommodation: Own Arrangements/post-tour accommodation can be booked through your travel agent
Route: Palapye to Johannesburg +/- 550 kms
Travel Time: +/- 8-9 hours plus a border crossing
Optional Activities: Dinner out

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