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Letaka Safaris presents you the perfect safari for keen amateur photographers who want to do a safari with like-minded photographers. These safaris will be led by one of their top photographic guides who are passionate photographers. Based on Letaka Safaris' very popular northern highlights safari, the itinerary ensures that you get the best out of everything in the safari.
During this safari, you will stay in a fully serviced en-suite tented camp. The tents are 4x3-meter Sahara style tents with a high roof, a 2x3-meter en-suite bathroom with toilet facilities and a bucket shower at the rear of the tent, and a 2x3-meter covered area in front of the tent. The tents are fitted with solid base camp beds made up with mattresses, sheets, duvets, and pillows.
Showers can be ordered as hot, cold, or warm and the water is heated in a bucket on the fire. Showers may be taken at any time but on Kalahari safaris, the guide withholds the right to limit water use and showering depending upon the availability of water. Both hand towels and bath towels are supplied for the guests’ convenience but please note that guests should bring their own personal items and toiletries.
Each tent has an oil / paraffin lamp on the veranda and in the bathroom and within the tent itself, a LED rechargeable camp light is supplied along with a side table in the sleeping area and in the bathroom. Although each tent has lighting and there are lamps strategically around the camp for navigation, an essential tool for your safari is a headlamp which lets you read a book at night in your tent or catch up with your safari journal as you listen to the sounds of the wild outside.
If you don’t buy the headlamp from Letaka Safaris, make sure you buy it from someone and don’t pack the free headlamp you got at the supermarket with your battery purchase. Spending a little bit of money will save you a lot of frustration. If you are traveling as a couple, then pack one per person.
For families traveling with younger children on private trips, Letaka Safaris has designed a family safari tent, ensuring the children’s safety and their parent’s peace of mind. A family tent is a 2-bedroom unit with an adjoining bathroom and lockable exit and entrance with each tent taking 2 people in each.
Your safari will start with Kalahari Tours in Kasani at 09:00. For guests who will transfer across from either Livingstone or Victoria Falls town, your transfer should be organized to arrive at Kalahari Tours offices by 08:45 in time for the boat cruise. Enjoy a morning boat cruise along the Chobe river before your guide drives you through Chobe National Park to your campsite in Central Chobe.
The habitat on today’s drive will take you from the Chobe River through the wonderful Zambezi teak woodlands of the Chobe Forest Reserve, across the sand-ridge and into the stunted mopane scrub of the Goha clay basin. While there will be community areas that you'll pass through that are settled by local tribes, for the vast majority of the day’s drive, you will pass through a wild country where wildlife moves uninhibited by fences or man.
Roans and sable antelopes thrive in the teak woodlands where the low density of predators and lack of competition for food by other ungulates make this prime habitat for these large ungulates. Leopards occur in these woodlands in low numbers but they are highly secretive and seldom seen. The Goha region has natural waterholes that hold water well for herds of buffalo, Burchell’s zebra, greater kudu, and elephant to drink during the dry season.
The most unusual species are to be found in the teak (Baikea plurijuga) woodlands. This broad-leafed woodland, or miombo as it is locally known, provides good pickings for insectivorous birds that favor canopy habitat. Grey tit-flycatcher, shy flycatcher, paradise flycatcher, pallid flycatcher, scarlet-chested sunbird, amethyst sunbird, yellow-throated Petronia, red-headed weaver, and violet-backed starling are only some of the species that move around in the “bird parties” in the canopy.
Dickenson’s kestrel, red-necked falcon, peregrine falcon, and lizard buzzard are some of the raptors to keep an eye out for, while the diminutive white-faced owl can often be seen roosting in the road side vegetation. Flappet lark, fawn-coloured lark, dusky lark, olive-tree warbler, and neddicky are species more likely to be enjoyed by the birding enthusiast. For the night you will stay at a mobile tented camp. And the activities for the day are game drive and bushman painting walks.
On this day, you will explore Central Chobe with activities such as a game drive and bushman painting walks. Unlike the vast majority of the country, Central Chobe is not a flat landscape. Large outcrops of volcanic rock reach up out of the Kalahari sands, towering over the endless savannah. These hills provide habitat for a completely different array of small wildlife, birds, and plants.
The Savuti Marsh has been the stage for many of the most dramatic wildlife documentaries in Africa. The wide open country, good ungulate populations, and particularly strong pride of lions and hyaenas clans make for dramatic wildlife interaction and excellent viewing opportunities.
The now dry Savuti Channel runs through this landscape linking the dry sand-veld, the waterholes, the hills, and the grassland that was the Savuti Marsh. Undoubtedly, it is the interaction between lions and elephants that are the most interesting aspect of Savuti. You will stay in a mobile tented camp during the night.
You will leave the parched landscape and continue the journey south to the Khwai community area where a game drive is waiting for you. You will experience fascinating days drive looking at some of the evidence of the Paleo-Lake Makgadikgadi that dried up some ten thousand years ago. The most challenging part of the trip is crossing the Magwikwe Sandridge that formed the shoreline for this massive inland sea.
The winding track through this deep sand makes for interesting travel in the early summer. The old lake bed is now the Mababe Depression. You pass through excellent lion country and some of the best cheetah country that our safari will cover.
Elephants occur throughout the drive but are more common at the start and end of the drive where permanent surface water can be found. Mababe Depression bird paradise will also be one of the attractions. Various beautiful and rare birds will be seen during this time. During the night, you will stay in a mobile tented camp.
On the fifth and sixth day, you will go to Khwai River. You will spend the following two nights camping at an exclusive campsite in the community area, exploring the Khwai floodplains on game drives both during the day and at night. Exploring after dark with spotlights offers you an opportunity to experience some of the nocturnal animals that are rarely encountered during the day.
You will also have the opportunity to explore the surrounding wilderness on foot and mokoro, and enjoy an up close and personal encounter with Botswana’s flora and fauna. It is important to note that night drives and guided walks are not permitted within the national parks and reserves. These activities are conducted outside the boundaries of the Moremi Game Reserve in the Khwai community area.
You will spend your time between the dry-land habitats of the leadwood and camel-thorn woodlands and savannahs and the riverside and marshy backwaters of the Khwai. If the time permits, you may visit the lagoons and waterways of Xakanaxa where the largest heronry in southern Africa exists.
On the seventh day, you will go from Khwai to Xakanaxa for about 60 kilometers. The journey will follow the water course of Manuchira Channel, with the track weaving from the riverside and floodplains into the mopane veld and the woodlands that make Khwai one of the most scenic areas of the Okavango.
You will pass the magnificent Dombo Hippo Pools in the morning stopping to enjoy the scenery and the antics of the resident hippo. There will be a full day of an extended game drive and journey time with picnic lunch between camps.
General game includes southern giraffes, Burchell’s zebras, tsessebes and red lechwes with roans and sable antelopes being less common residents.
On the eighth and ninth day, you will explore Xakanaxa and Moremi Game Reserve. Every type of mopane habitat is well represented in this drive from the towering cathedral woodlands Xakanaxa to the classic climax mopane woodland and in the drier and harsher habitats, extensive stretches of scrub mopane.
On the last day, following breakfast and an early morning game drive, you will be taken to the airstrip for your charter flight back to Maun at approximately 12:30.
Central Chobe is not flat landscape. Large outcrops of volcanic rock reach up out of the Kalahari sands, towering over the endless savannah. These hills provide habitat for a completely different array of small wildlife, birds, and plants.
The Khwai River forms a boundary between the reserve and the community area. 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 a 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.
Truly one of Botswana birding Mecca’s, the westerns are a prime habitat for the uncommon rosythroated longclaw. The entire length of the river is a hunting domain for the bat-hawk. Other interesting raptors here are cuckoo hawk, long-crested eagle, and black sparrow hawk.
More commonly, there are tawny eagle, steppe eagle, lesser-spotted eagle, martial eagle, bateleur, and African hawk-eagle. The waterways host an Africa rail, African crake, greater painted snipe, Allen’s gallinule, lesser jacana, and lesser moorhen.
Moremi lies on the eastern extremity of the Okavango Delta. Habitats here range from wide-open floodplains, marshes, lagoons, papyrus fringed channels, vast reed-beds of Miscanthus and Phragmites, woodland, and savannah.
As a result of the extremely variable habitat, the diversity of both wildlife and birdlife is excellent. Every type of mopane habitat is well represented in this drive from the towering cathedral woodlands, Xakanaxa to the classic climax mopane woodland and in the drier and harsher habitats, extensive stretches of scrub mopane.
Moremi Game Reserve is a place for many birds. It is a good place for raptors with African hawk-eagle, gabar goshawk, shikra, little sparrowhawk, dark chanting goshawk, tawny eagle, lesser spotted eagle, and steppe eagle. All inhabit the mopane and adjacent woodlands.
Other birds that are common along this route include most of Botswana’s hornbills including red-billed, southern yellow-billed, African grey, Bradfield’s, and the southern ground hornbills. A large number of brood-parasites may also be seen.
During this safari, you will be served daily breakfast, lunch, and dinner. You will also be provided with drinks including filtered water, soft drinks, beer, wine, as well as gin and tonic. Other dietary requirements and allergies can be catered for if you inform Letaka Safaris in advance.
Due to the sporadic availability of some items in Maun, Letaka Safaris may have to request for certain items from South Africa particularly for those guests who are gluten intolerant, but they will always endeavor to accommodate all requirements if given notice.