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Anyone here ever done a Botswana overland mobile camping safari???


Apr 9th, 2005, 10:08 AM
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Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 5,553
Anyone here ever done a Botswana overland mobile camping safari???

I am sick with the thought of having to ever again go 15 months between safaris. There is no way that I want to wait to long to return after my September 2005 safari.

For sure I will return no later than April 2006, but in order to make more frequent trips, I do hope to tone it down some and will consider mobile camping itineraries.

Wilderness Safaris offers quite a few different itineraries, with flexible options for solo travelers, as I may very well be for such an itinerary that lacks the luxury lodges.

Here is one of my favorites:


Migration Routes
Botswana - An Adventurer Exploration - 7 nights / 8 days

Detailed Itinerary


DAYS 1 & 2 – Xigera Mokoro Trails, Okavango Delta
After arrival in Maun, we fly by light aircraft to the water-filled paradise of the private Xigera area, within the Moremi Game Reserve. Xigera is the ultimate Delta experience, with serene waters flowing through innumerable channels around remote islands and a profusion of plants and animals.

There is no better way to experience the Okavango than to travel through it by mokoro, walking and camping out on some of its green islands – all essential elements of the Xigera Mokoro Trails experience.

Activities include mokoro and walking safaris, which enable up-close encounters with the excellent diversity of birdlife (including Pel’s Fishing Owl), frogs and a myriad game species, some specially adapted to water, such as the rare sitatunga and the familiar red lechwe.

DAYS 3 & 4 – Lechwe Island Camp, Khwai region - Okavango Delta
Fly by light aircraft charter from Xigera Mokoro Trails directly to the Khwai region in the north-eastern corner of the Okavango Delta, to our pre-erected Adventurer camp.

Here, in a completely private concession area on the Khwai Channel, we explore this seasonally wildlife-rich flooded region on game drives, game walks and night drives.

DAY 5- Savuti - Chobe National Park
After an early morning drive and departure from camp, we travel directly north through the private concession, stopping en route at a private game viewing hide overlooking a waterhole for lunch. We arrive at our pre-erected Adventurer campsite in the mid-afternoon, in time for a sunset game drive.

DAYS 6 & 7 – Linyanti Trails Camp - Linyanti Concession
We depart early this morning for the Linyanti region. This is an all-day game drive, with lunch at a private game viewing hide in the Savuti Channel.

En route, we are treated to a close-up detailed view of the “Stolen River,” to ensure the best zebra migration and reliable game viewing possible throughout the year. Game species and predators gravitate back and forth according to season between Linyanti and the Savuti marsh.

On our second day in the Linyanti concession, we depart on an early morning activity in the north-eastern corner of the Linyanti, taking in the changing landscapes, from riverine to savannah habitats. Lunch takes place on a shaded deck, with a spectacular sweeping view of the Linyanti waterways. After a siesta in hammocks, we enjoy a leisurely canoe trip before returning to camp in the early evening.

DAY 8 – Chobe River boat cruise and Natural Mystic Lodge, Zambia
After a short morning drive and breakfast, we depart by light aircraft to the northern Chobe region of Chobe National Park. This area is famous for its vast herds of elephants and unique species such as the elusive puku and Chobe bushbuck that move to the river in the hottest hours of the day. Enjoy a lunch served during the boat cruise on the catamaran-style shaded boat.

Leave Botswana and enter Zambia by way of the Kazangula border, a point where the four countries of Botswana, Zambia, Namibia and Zimbabwe meet, to stay at the Natural Mystic Lodge in Livingstone.

DAY 9 - Transfer to Livingstone Airport
Enjoy a morning guided tour of the Victoria Falls, one of the seven Natural Wonders of the World. At 1708 metres wide, it is the largest curtain of water in the world and drops more than 100 metres into the sheer Zambezi Gorge.
Transfer to Livingstone Airport and bid farewell to the adventure.

The price is only $2,290 (sharing) with a very minimal single surcharge of $170.

There are about three different trips per month, making it very easy to find a date that works.

I would just like a little feedback from anyone that has done this type of safari before, especially with a top-notch company like Wilderness Safaris. I am especially interested in the guiding. I mean do Wilderness Safaris guides do an apprenticeship on these type of safaris before being promoted to one of the luxury lodges?

Roccco is offline  
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Apr 9th, 2005, 03:15 PM
Join Date: Nov 2004
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Don't want anyone getting sick!

I did a Wilderness safari very similar to this in 1997. It was called "The Jacana" back then. The new Wilderness Safari options are similar to that one.

It was excellent in every respect. The truly mobile campsites were not as luxurious as permanent tented camps, but I did not expect them to be. Food was great. Guide was excellent, not a work in progress. It was a wonderful experience at a good price that I hope to repeat someday.

atravelynn is offline  
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Apr 9th, 2005, 03:50 PM
Join Date: Nov 2004
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Here are a few more thoughts on the mobile safaris. There are some advantages to traveling like this rather than popping in on this camp and that.

First, you can concentrate your efforts on species you have not seen and there is continuity to the journey. When you show up at a camp you may be going out in a vehicle with people who have not yet seen a cheetah, so that is their focus, whereas you may have other interests. Of course, on the other hand, you are spending the entire trip with a group that hopefully is congenial.

Second, there is a remoteness, seclusion, and intimacy with the environment enjoyed through mobile tented camping that is not possible in the permanent tents.

Here's a company that offers a trip very similar to the mobile Wilderness trip I did and it is even operated by Wilderness Safaris--Natural Habitat.


Their version is called Secluded Botswana, and they only do one mobile camp. The rest are Wilderness Camps. 8 is the maximum number of participants and the custom Land Rovers used easily accommodate 8. That was the max on the mobile trip I went on too.

2 nights River Club Zambia (arrival day, and next day) River/cultural activities
3 nights Chobe using the mobile camp
2 nights Linyanti in Linyanti Tented Camp
3 nights Savuti in Savuti Camp
2 nights in Okavango at a land/water camp either Tubu Tree or Pom pom

This is more expensive than Wilderness at 2005 prices of $6395 and $895 single supplement and up from that in high season.

Though I’ve not traveled with Nat Hab to Africa, I have done 3 other wildlife trips with them (that’s all they do is wildlife) and they are top notch. I have met their guide (actually it is a husband wife team) in other parts of Africa, just happening to run into them. They were very friendly and the group seemed to be having a wonderful time. When you asked about guides, Nat Hab has very high standards and requires extensive previous experience of their guides.

Whoever/whatever you choose, these mobile options are, I think, a superb experience.
atravelynn is offline  
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Apr 9th, 2005, 04:01 PM
Join Date: Mar 2005
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Why don't you rent a 4x4 and drive to camps? Its no big deal. You can get deals with vehicles all kitted out and maps and just go with reservations.
luangwablondes is offline  
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