BOTSWANA MAKGADIKGADI PANS
4-Day Adventure to this incredible, giant, salt pans in the Kalahari
Once a large river-fed lake, the Makgadikgadi Pans now lie saline and empty, covering an area bigger than Switzerland. The pans are littered with stone tools and artifacts dated from between 2,000 to 500,000 years old! You can visit with bushman – the San who still maintain many traditional practices. The region is also a permanent haven for desert species such as the captivating & engaging meerkat and the elusive brown hyena, the third rarest carnivore in the world! And then there are the stars.
Luxury Option: Jack’s Camp has ten roomy and stylish canvas tents with en-suite bathrooms and indoor and outdoor shower. Tents have been fashioned in classical style and are set into a palm grove creating an oasis of civilization in what can be the harshest of stark environments. Persian rugs underfoot and cool cotton sheets form a striking contrast with the rugged wilderness viewed from the comfort of one’s own verandah.
Deluxe Option: San Camp sits serenely in a reef of palm at the edge of the world. Six white canvas tents make up the camp, each with bucket showers, flush toilets, four-poster beds, mosquito net canopies, percale sheets, and paraffin lamps. San Camp runs almost entirely on solar energy, dramatically reducing the use of fossil fuels; there is no electricity here.
DAY 2 – KALAHARI DESERT: Set off in the morning to visit some of the Kalahari’s meerkats. Get up close and personal with these captivating creatures. After a picnic breakfast, visit a remote cattle-post to learn about the traditional culture of the Batswana people. Close by is the famous Chapman’s Baobab (acknowledged to be the largest tree in Africa) and was the campsite of early explorers like Livingstone and Selous when they pioneered the area. Return to camp for a rest and refreshing lunch. After tea, travel down to the pans where you will be given a brief safety talk before mounting your trusty quad bike to head off across the pans. Watch the sun set and the stars rise. Return to camp for dinner and overnight. (B, L, D, Dr)
DAY 3 – KALAHARI DESERT: Early in the morning, comb the edge of the extinct lake shore to find some of the many stone tools and fossils that litter the pan surface and learn of the origins of early man. Return to camp for brunch. Later, head off in search of some unique desert species such as aardvark, bat eared foxes, aardwolves, and the elusive brown hyaena, which is the third rarest large carnivore in Africa, with only about 8,000 in the wild and a timid, nocturnal species rarely seen by humans. Back to the camp for dinner by candlelight and overnight.(B, L, D, Dr)
DAY 4 – LOCATION 2/MAUN: Spend the morning walking with Zu/’hoasi Bushmen trackers. We are privileged to have a small group of these extraordinary men to guide guests on a morning’s walking safari. Offering a window into the past, they teach us how they have survived in this harshest of environments. Using their vast and ancient knowledge of plants, animal behavior and survival skills. Later you will take a light aircraft flight to Maun. Here you will catch your onward flights. (B)
NOTE: While the Makgadikgadi is dry much of the year, it springs to life in the wet season. During the wet season (Jan to Mar), 35,000-75,000 zebra and wildebeest migrate into the area with regular sightings of lion, cheetah and other predators who follow in their wake, representing southern Africa’s last surviving zebra and wildebeest migration. Hundreds of thousands of flamingo appear from nowhere to feed as long as the water lasts.
END SERVICES FOR BOTSWANA MAKGADIKGADI PANS
Photo courtesy of Uncharted Africa
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Luxury and Deluxe Tented Camps
Game drives, nature walks, cultural visits
Value I Deluxe I Luxury
Call for pricing
*$ = >$4,999; $$ = $5,000 – $9,999; $$$ = $10,000+
All pricing per person based on double occupancy. Pricing varies based on travel dates, call for a customized quotation matching your travel needs. Changes to itinerary and pricing may apply. Price includes all accommodations, meals, some drinks, transfers, vehicles, park fees, guides and activities as indicated, and a $25 donation to a worthy African charity. Price excludes international flights, visas, tips, inoculations, travel insurance, and anything not specified above. We accept Visa, Master Card, Discover & AMEX. No refunds—see terms & conditions for details.