(Central Kalahari, Okavango, Linyanti)
Your safari starts with a flight from Maun to the Central Kalhari Reserve where you'll spend three nights at the first lodge actually inside the reserve. This area is known to be a hotspot for cheetah, black-maned Kalahari lion along with meerkats as well as large herds of springbok, gemsbok and wildebeest. You will have the chance to explore the area on foot with the San Bushmen. From desert to delta you will next explore one of the most pristine areas on the planet, the Okavango Delta. This area offers you the opportunity to track game both by water and land. Renowned for its mokoro (dugout canoes) trips which offer you close encounters with lechwe, sitatunga and an incredible range of birdlife. You will then board another charter plane as you fly into Linvanti, offering a vastly different landscape where you will discover the vast grassland plains which are famed for its lion and wild dog population. Being in this private concession allows you to go on night drives to search for nocturnal creatures such as the aardwolf.
NOTE: Due to capacity constraints in Botswana, there is a 20% non-refundable booking fee. This booking fee is paid to the lodges directly to secure reservations. This will be paid upon confirmation of your booking.
Upon arrival into South Africa you will be met at the door of your aircraft with your name on a paging board, and your documents will be handed over to you. You will be assisted through immigration, baggage collection and customs.
Upon arrival you will receive all of your necessary documents for your trip which contains a detailed personalized itinerary, maps, restaurant suggestions, Top Tips for exploring each city or region and a 24 hour concierge service (for restaurant reservations, spa treatments, child minders, day tours etc).
A privately driven vehicle will provide you with a transfer between the Airport and your hotel, or vice versa, today.
The pristine four-star Protea Hotel OR Tambo Airport is set in the heart of Kempton Park, minutes from OR Tambo International Airport, South Africa’s largest airport. Themed around an aircraft hangar, the industrial ambiance of the hotel is felt in the polished concrete floors, steel finishes, chrome lighting and top to bottom windows that overlook the aeroplanes as they dock and take off. Protea Hotel OR Tambo boasts 213 superbly appointed bedrooms. Elegant furnishings are complimented by wooden flooring and cool finishes while soundproof windows ensure a peaceful stay.
Take your flight from Johannesburg to Maun today. Flight time is approximately 1 hour and 40 minutes.
Luggage restrictions applicable to this flight: Hand luggage: One piece not exceeding 8kg (18lb) and maximum dimension of 56cm (L) 36cm (W) 23cm (H). Checked luggage: One piece not exceeding 23 kg (50 lb) and maximum dimension of 158cm (62inches).
This flight departs from Maun and travels to the Central Kalahari, Botswana.
Luggage restriction applicable to this flight: 20kg (44lb) per person, for both carry-on and checked luggage. Your checked luggage needs to be soft-sided - no wheels / no spine, a duffel bag is recommended. A small purse/backpack, is recommended as a carry-on, to keep your camera, passport, hat, sunblock or other items you need within easy reach.
The Central Kalahari Game Reserve gets animals such springbok, gemsbok and wildebeest in their thousands and is quite a sight to behold. Predators abound with plentiful Lions – especially the famous Kalahari black-maned Lion, Cheetah, Leopard and Jackals. Brown Hyenas and Wild Dogs are also found in the area. Several species of antelopes make the trip to the sweet grasses of the CKGR which include the Eland, Springbok, Steenbok, Gemsbok, Hartebeest, Kudu and Duiker. Honey Badgers are regular visitors as well as Ground Squirrels and Meerkats and many an hour can be wiled away watching these fascinating animals.
Tau Pan Camp is situated inside the world famous Central Kalahari Game Reserve (CKGR) right on the edge of the beautiful Tau Pan. "Kalahari' is derived from the Tswana word Kgala meaning “great thirst” – and it has vast areas covered by red sand without any permanent water. The Kalahari Desert is the largest sand basin in the world stretching 2,500 kms from the northern regions of South Africa through to Namibia/Angola and ending in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) The Central Kalahari Game Reserve (CKGR) is the largest game reserve in the world (52,800 sq km’s) and for many years was closed to the public, hence it is known for being one of Africa’s last true wild areas.
At first light you'll meet up with others at the lodge for your morning game drive in open 4X4's. Please note that Tau Pan is in a national park and an ecological sensitive area – for this reason we cannot drive off road or at night!
You'll also have the opportunity to have a guided walk with a San who will explain and entertain you by answering all your questions from birth to marriage to bush survival.
This flight departs the Deception Valley airstrip in the Central Kalahari and arrives in Maun, Botswana.
This flight departs from Maun and travels to Okavango, Botswana.
Here in the Okavango Delta lives some of the most spectacular and varied wildlife on Earth. Famed for its big cat and bird population, the delta is a peaceful haven where animals have been protected for decades and know they will not be disturbed. You'll have the opportunity to see animals up close when expert guides accompany you on morning and evening game drives in open 4 x 4 vehicles. The park also boasts a diversity of landscape with desert, dry savannah, lagoon and swamps in close proximity – cheetah, crocodile and elephant can also be seen on a game drive.
This well-known camp is set overlooking a secluded lagoon in the northern Okavango Delta. This region offers a contrasting experience, as its location allows access to the permanent waterways of the Delta as well as expansive dry land areas, admired for their quality game viewing. The camp fronts onto a huge floodplain, adjacent to the permanent water of the Delta and is backed by extensive bush. It is a magnificent wilderness area in excess of 1,700 square kilometres, bordering the Moremi Reserve.
The Okavango Delta is of course flooded for much of the year and when it is, you can experience serene silence at the gentle pace of a poled mokoro excursion along the narrow Delta channels. Just sit back and relax as they glide through lily ponds on local dugout canoes while they get eye to eye with a buffalo as it laps water from the river, watch crocodiles sunbathe on the banks or cruise past a pod of hippos as they lie in a pool. Fish eagles, frogs and fabulous lilies form much of this experience, but more frequently it is the quietness and gentle pace that makes its impression on you after a mokoro morning.
After a leisurely lunch and perhaps a siesta, head out on an afternoon game drive, which in the Okavango are typically done at around 4pm when the wildlife is most active. They usually last for a few hours and you will be back at the lodge in time for dinner. This activity is shared with other guests of the lodge in the lodge's 4x4 vehicles.
The Okavango Delta features some of the best game viewing in all of Africa. Drives are typically done very early in the morning and last for a few hours, after which you return to the lodge for breakfast. (shared with other guests at the lodge).
This flight departs the Okavango airstrip and arrives in Linyanti.
Later this afternoon you will meet up with others from the lodge for your game drive.
Selinda Camp rests on the banks of the eastern Selinda Spillway in northern Botswana. This prime location is deep within rich wildlife territory. Completely rebuilt in 2007, Selinda Camp is a relaxed, yet luxurious tented safari camp and has established itself as one of the gems in the region. Each of Selinda Camp's 9 spacious, sturdy canvas tents are shaded with thatch roofing and are raised on wooden decks. Just adjacent to the fire pit, “Zanzibari” doors lead down to a generous wine cellar. Commence your day with a light breakfast at dawn, or a hearty brunch on return from the morning activity. Enjoy afternoon tea and snacks before afternoon game watching, rounded off with a sumptuous dinner in the evening. Offering privacy and lush surrounds, the onsite plunge pool is a fabulous afternoon retreat. Explore the surrounding area with expert guides in search of fascinating wildlife, such as elephants, hyenas, wild dogs and hippos.
The Linyanti Wildlife Reserve is considered one of the few remaining "untouched" game viewing gems of Africa. This absolutely superb safari area boasts similar characteristics as the nearby Okavango in terms of geographical trademarks and of course, wildlife. The truly gorgeous waterways and lagoons are ideal for attracting some of Africa's Big 5 species amongst the thousands of birds whom inhabit these lands. During the dry season, June to October, a variety of game including elephants, buffaloes, lions and wild dogs gather around the various watering holes and rivers in large numbers. During the green season, November to May, the game extends their reach further throughout the reserve into the blooming bush. Equally exciting morning or evening game drives through the reserve will provide an almost unreal game viewing experience during both the dry and wet seasons.
Continue on this exploratory adventure of the Linyanti Wildlife Reserve on another game viewing drive, or if you wish spend time relaxing around your camp. Depending on the location of your camp a variety of optional activities are made available for you to enjoy including day and night-time game drives, nature treks, motorized boat cruises or traditional dugout “Mokoro” canoeing.
During your time in the Selinda Reserve you'll have the choice of Game Drives in open 4X4's and also the chance to explore the area by boat.
This flight travels from Linyanti to Maun, Botswana.
Take your flight from Maun to Johannesburg today via Gaborone. The flight duration is approximately 1 and a half hour.
Depart from Johannesburg international airport - End of itinerary.
November 08, 2012
"I am a world traveller and this was one of my Top 3 vacations ever! Kensington Tours did a great job with EVERY little detail, from the planning to being met and catered to every step of the way. Our favorite lodges were Tau Pan in the Kalahari, Botswana & Moon Mountain in Sossusvlei, Namibia. We especially loved the Batswana people and all the animals we saw at Camp Moremi on the Okavanga River. The highlight of our trip was actually our stay in Swakopmund when we stayed on the South Atlantic & went for an exciting boat ride to see all the sealife up close and personal (like a seal coming onboard the boat!), a rollar coaster dune ride in a 4 X 4!! the balloon ride over the red sand dunes over Namibia and several champagne brunches in the middle of the desert. Also, will never forget all the sundowmer game drives which ended with our favorite cocktail, watching the sunset with wildlife close at hand!
Unforgettable. Thanks Ivona for planning it all!"
October 26, 2012
"35 Goose Pond Road
Lincoln, MA 01773
Re: Steven Weru Kinyua, Kenya tour guide
We recently returned from a wonderful 8 day tour of Kenya with Steven, he is an exceptional individual. But one example: As we returned to the Samburu lodge from our first game drive, Steven pointed out a young, sick-looking lion in the shade of a tree. We observed it momentarily and soon returned to the lodge for dinner.
The next day Steven mentioned he had reported the weak young lion to the local Samburu ranger. Steven explained that due to the arrival of a new alpha male in his pride the young lion had likely been chased out before he was able to hunt for himself. He further explained that the young lion would be welcome back in a week or two, if he were alive. I pursued the full story w/Steven. The ranger Steven had reported the weak lion to had been unresponsive, indicating he would do nothing. Steven, unsatisfied w/that response told the ranger to report it to the Head Park Ranger, or he would. The Head Ranger agreed with Steven's analysis of the situation; bought 10 kilos of meat for the young lion; and directed his staff to feed it appropriately.
Steven understood the workings of that lion pride, and has an exceptional knowledge of all the wild animals of Kenya. Furthermore he has a passion for their well-being. He would not accept a lazy, disinterested response from the local ranger. During our trip in Kenya I had occasion to speak to groups of secondary school students. I related Steven's actions as an excellent example of a Kenyan's knowledge, passion and commitment.
One day Steven pointed out a cheetah. We saw the cheetah w/a young impala in its mouth. After the cheetah had choked the young impala, Steven explained the mother cheetah was calling her cubs --it was thrilling to see the 3 cubs come tearing across the plain creating a mini-dust storm in their wake. The mother gave the kill to her cubs. Steven explained they had to learn to open it up. Shortly she sent them off the kill, twenty paces or so, then froze, looking westerly. A lion, smelling the kill Steven explained, was moving off to the north about a 1000 yards away. Intent on the lion the mother cheetah remained frozen in place (as we're the cubs, mimicking their mother). After the lion passed the mother called the cubs back to the kill. Not 15 minutes later the lion came back, followed by yapping jackels, this time moving off to the east of the cheetahs. As soon as the lion appeared, the mother cheetah repeated her previous actions, sending off the cubs and freezing over the kill, intently watching the lion. Steven explained that the jackels were distracting the lion from the kill, knowing if the lion found the kill, nothing would be left for them. Again the lion passed off to the southeast, never able to find the cheetah kill.
This summary highlights events that played out over a 90 minute period. In that time several tourist rovers and vans came, took pictures of the cheetahs, and left. None of those tourists had a complete explanation of the scene that was playing out before us. Game-viewing w/Steven is a rich experience, a clear cut above the average.
In our time w/Steven we had lengthy conversations about the pluses and minuses of grass-burning, the challenges of maintaining wildlife corridors, park encroachment by locals, roadway underpasses for big game, etc. in addition we discussed ukabila and other political challenges facing Kenya. Steven Kinyua is an exceptional Kenyan guide. He has a wonderful sense of humor, and made our Kenya safari a wonderful learning experience we will cherish for years.
Mark Masterson, Ed.D."
Avi J.Moskovitz ,
February 03, 2014
"We finally returned from the most magical vacation in Morocco and we cannot thank Lily and Kensington Tours enough!! This trip was beyond amazing and we are so appreciative for everything done to make this trip happen last minute for us!
We had a spectacular tour guide that spoke 8 languages, Ismail, and the friendliest and warmest driver, Said, whom made the experience absolutely phenomenal! I seriously doubt that two other people could have made this trip as fantastic and special as they did! Within days, it was like 4 friends were traveling together through the country.
Ismail did the tour in English and Spanish for us to ensure that we fully understood everything we saw and experienced. His passion for his country and culture was incredible and we learned an astounding amount about Moroccan history, food, agriculture, business, religion, fashion, and people. Through his shared knowledge, we have a deep love and appreciation of Morocco that we have would not have had otherwise.
We were so happy with all of the amazing places Ismail took us which included the common tourist spots but also a ton of local places tourist never experience. We were exceedingly thrilled and it enriched our vacation beyond any expectations. Ismail even helped us get jobs in Morocco; I kissed snakes and Armando worked in a public bakery. ;-) (see the pics)
We are also aware that we would not have experienced 10% of what we did had we done this trip alone or been on a large bus tour. Clearly, you have given us a wonderful gift of special memories, which we will never forget. We both want to return to see the north and of course we want to have Ismail and Said with us.
Not only did we learn and see, but we laughed, danced, ate like pigs, kissed camels and snakes, ran in the Sahara desert under the stars, and enjoyed life - which is the best gift of all!
Thank you from the bottom of our hearts,
Avi J. Moskovitz & Armando Silva
October 18, 2013
"I am so happy that I used Kensington Tours to help with my dream trip to Cape Town South Africa. I was looking for a well respected tour company that planned private guided tours that was not going to cause me my leg, lol. I begin searching companies by reputation and value. I narrowed it down to Kensington Tours because of the quality and value. I felt taken care of prior to my departure due to the detailed itinerary.
From the time of got off the plane to the time I headed back to the states, I was in excellent hands. The service was EXCELLENT! I will definitely use Kensington again. Certainly, a trip of a lifetime!"
October 29, 2013
"My husband and I have just returned from the trip of a lifetime in Egypt. The sites were amazing and overwhelming. Everything was as promised. We had the most amazing pyramid view and Nile view from our hotels. Our itinerary included the most magnificent sites and we were accompanied by the most informative and friendly people. I highly recommend visiting Egypt. It is totally safe. Thank you to everyone at Kensington for this experience. It was so beyond our expectations!"
October 31, 2013
"From our greeter, who whisked us through customs in Johannesburg, to all our excellent drivers, guides and associates in Lions Sands, Cape Town and the wine country, everyone was highly professional, well dressed, well mannered, and well informed. Overall our tour worked like a superbly designed, technically perfect Swiss watch. An experience for the ages. Bravo!"
October 29, 2013
"This was a trip of a life time for me and I was never disappointed. Sylvia listen to me and give me exactly what I wanted in the way of a photo Safari as well as full tour of Cape Town and the wine country. I never had to wait one minute for a guide or any of the transportation provided. The people I dealt with along the way could not have been more courteous and friendly. I just cannot say enough about my experience with Kensington Tours, it was fabulous! "
Hanne Jones ,
October 24, 2013
"I have travelled all my life. I've combed much of Europe, from The arctic north in Norway to the streets of Seville in Spain, the beaches of Cannes and Nice in France and the medieval heart of Bologna in Italy. I've been on two African safaris (one tented, one not), both "luxurious." I've been on more than a dozen jaunts to India, some guided, others not. Over the years I have discovered that I had rather be lost and disoriented in a foreign country than submit once again to the unbending schedule of a guided tour. Hence I had given up tours of any kind, until Molly Kelly, an American Express travel agent, suggested I might want simply to list the places my friends and I wished to see in Morocco then let Kensington Tours make accessing them in an orderly way not only possible but thoroughly enjoyable as well. And this Kensington Tours did. They pulled our disparate destinations together and designed a far, far better route than we could ever have done on our own. They satisfied all our requests and threw in delicious additions, areas of interest we had never considered or even heard of. Our accommodations were well within our means and wonderful. Our guide and driver, not to mention our Mercedes SUV, could not have pleased us more. In other words, thanks to Molly and her recommending Kensington Tours, we had a sensational holiday. "
Anthoula Korina ,
September 05, 2013
"Africa had always been a myth in mind since I was child that was up until a week ago. I just returned from an epic safari adventure! Kenya, Tanzania and the Maasai are sorely missed.
Words cannot fully express the magic of this ever-flowing journey. It was awe-inspiring, breathtaking, free and powerful. My mind keeps playing tricks on me; thinking rather hoping that I'm going to see a giraffe cross a busy NYC street :)
The memories will resonate for a lifetime. To boot, I went on this trip solo; female traveler. Not sure any of it would have been possible w/out Kensington Tours!!! Thank you..."
July 12, 2013
"I had a wonderful trip visiting the mountain gorillas in Uganda. We were able to get really close to the gorillas and watched their interactions with each other. The local people are so gracious and made every minute a delight. The accomodations were great. I loved waking up in the morning to the sounds of the forest. The added luxury of a massage was a great way to end the trip!"
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