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Kwando Reserve

The Kwando Reserve is a 2,300-square-km (900-square-mile) private concession that has more than 80 km (50 miles) of river frontage. It stretches south from the banks of the Kwando River, through open plains and mopane forests to the Okavango Delta.

It's an area crisscrossed by thousands of ancient game trails traversed by wildlife that move freely between the Okavango Delta, Chobe, and the open Namibian wilderness to the north. As you fly in to the reserve, you'll see this web of thousands of interlacing natural game trails—from hippo highways to the tiny paths of smaller animals. This should clue you in to Kwando's diverse animal life: elephants, crowds of buffalo, zebras, antelope of all kinds, wild dogs, lions, and wildebeests. Participants on one night drive came upon a running battle between a pack of 14 wild dogs and two hyenas who had stolen the dogs' fresh kill. The noisy battle ended when a loudly trumpeting elephant, fed up with the commotion, charged the wild dogs and drove them off. There's a sheer joy in knowing you are one of very few vehicles in a half-million acres of wilderness.

If you have children older than six years, Kwando is a good option (for under-12s, you will need to book a private vehicle). The safari starts with a safety briefing, and kids get their own tents next to mom and dad (or you can share). Kids learn to track and take plaster casts of spoor, sit up in the tracker's seat on the vehicle to follow game, cook marshmallows over the boma fire, and make bush jewelry. Kids can eat on their own or with you, and if you want an afternoon snooze, they'll be supervised in a fun activity. The program's available at both Kwando camps; the price is the same per night as for an adult.

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Fodor's The Complete Guide to African Safaris: with South Africa, Kenya, Tanzania, Botswana, Namibia, Rwanda, Uganda, and Victoria Falls

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