SADDLE AND PADDLE - 9 Nights
Beginning with a fantastic five-night HORSE-RIDING SAFARI, combining three nights at Camp Kalahari with two nights fly camping on the MAKGADIKGADI SALT PANS. Explore this wild, unspoilt area in the same way as many of the earliest explorers, hunters and missionaries did - on HORSEBACK. Followed by a 3 night adventure along the Selinda Spillway. The ideal setting for BOTSWANA’S ONLY CANOEING AND WALKING SAFARI, hosting only up to eight guests on each departure. The trail harks back to the spirit of safaris of old, when expeditions were spontaneous and unplanned and camps were set up according to the day’s explorations and adventures.
Day 1 - Makgadikgadi Salt Pans, Botswana
From Maun you fly to Camp Kalahari
Apon arrival at Camp Kalahari, you will be greeted by your guide and settled into your room, nestled amongst the acacias and Mokolwane palms of Brown Hyaena Island, on the edge of the Makgadikgadi Salt Pans, adjacent to the Makgadikgadi-Nxai Pans National Park, Botswana. It’s refreshingly simple, yet comfortable, with a traditionally built thatch library, living/dining area and a swimming pool for those hot Kalahari days. Head off after tea in the beautiful afternoon light, for an introductory ride – primarily to match horse and rider and to provide the opportunity for Guests to experience the beauty of this magical area. Return to the camp for sundowners followed by dinner and to kraal the horses close by, before the lions of the Kalahari commence their nightly prowling.
- Camp Kalahari (BLD)
Day 2 - Makgadikgadi Salt Pans, Botswana
Up with the dawn, a light breakfast is followed by a long morning ride through the “land of a thousand islands”. Stranded on the ancient lakebed, these sand dunes covered in palm trees are one of the most beautiful and fascinating areas of the Botswana wilderness. At the height of the migration season, the grasslands are awash with zebra, wildebeest, hartebeest and ostrich and predators! The white encrusted pans between the islands provides excellent going for the horses. Return to the camp for lunch and rest through the heat of the day in the welcome shade of the camel thorn trees or cool off in the camp swimming pool. After tea, head off to see some unique desert species such as springbok, gemsbok, red hartebeest and the elusive brown hyaena; these desert specialists survive in arid areas where both food and water are scarce. The brown hyaena is a timid nocturnal, solitary forager, rarely seen by humans, but in spite of this, are very social animals, living in clans of up to 10-12 hyaenas. Enjoy a night game drive back to camp, and with the aid of a spot light, look for nocturnal desert inhabitants such as aardvark, bat eared foxes, aardwolves, porcupine, honey badgers and perhaps even a black-maned Kalahari Lion. Arrive at Camp Kalahari in time for dinner.
- Camp Kalahari (BLD)
Day 3 - Makgadikgadi Salt Pans, Botswana
Today is a long ride eastwards to Xau Xai Fly Camp, so an early start is imperative. Be sure to pack a few essentials for the next two days of adventure. The journey takes us away from the edge of the Pans and through the mopane and acacia woodlands interspersed with short grasslands allowing for lovely long canters. Whilst the area is rich in birds of prey, bustards, korhaans and numerous other unusual dry woodland bird species; there is also a chance that we will sight kudu and the odd elephant bull. By lunchtime we reach the famous Greens Baobab proudly positioned alongside the well traveled Missionary Road, traversed by David Livingstone on his journeys northwards. The magnificent trunk of this ancient tree is scarred with the initials of early travelers dating back some 150 years thus providing a living testimony to the rich history of this area. Break for lunch at the adjacent Gutsa Pan under a stand of palm trees where we may find Stone Age artifacts and the hunting blinds used over millennium by the Bushmen. Siesta through the midday heat and after tea, continue the journey on to Xau Xai Fly Camp. Camp will be made up of comfortable dome tents, a central mess tent, loos and bucket showers. Enjoy a long cool drink as you watch the sunset followed by dinner out under the magnificent Kalahari sky.
- Xau Xai Fly Camp (BLD)
Day 4 - Makgadikgadi Salt Pans, Botswana
Wake up to a steaming hot cup of coffee and a light breakfast, before heading off on your horses in search of some of the Kalahari’s most fascinating inhabitants, the meerkats. With our horses tethered we will proceed on foot into the midst of the group. Due to an ongoing habituation program by Uncharted Africa Safari co. it’s possible for us to get up close and personal with these captivating creatures. Remember, they are not tame – just used to our non-threatening presence. You also get the chance to see the desert through the eyes of a meerkat – which, despite the fact that it’s only a foot off the ground, is a pretty spectacular vantage point, and definitely one of the most special and memorable game experiences you will encounter in Botswana As the day warms up, leave the meerkats to continue foraging. Mount up and follow the well-worn trails that lead to the resident herds of zebra and large congregations of ostriches attracted to the area by permanent freshwater in hidden waterholes. Return to Xau Xai for lunch, a refreshing shower and a siesta in the shade of the mess tent. In the late afternoon take a walk to a nearby permanent waterhole to look for many of the Kalahari’s special bird species and, as the sun sets, watch the hundreds of sand grouse fly in for a drink. Return to camp for another beautiful evening under a Kalahari sky with a delicious dinner around the campfire.
- Xau Xai Fly Camp (BLD)
Day 5 - Makgadikgadi Salt Pans, Botswana
Wake for a light breakfast before mounting up and heading homewards at a fast pace sometimes riding along the edge of the Pans and at other times heading into the woodlands and open grasslands where the zebra and wildebeest graze. From a great distance, the famous Chapman’s Baobab appears on the horizon. It is acknowledged to be one of the largest trees in Africa, measuring 25metres around its girth, and was the campsite of early explorers like Livingstone and Selous when they pioneered the area. It is near here that we break for lunch before our final ride back across the grasslands and into camp. As the sun dips below the horizon and the last light fades, we will be sure to dwell on these amazing past few days. Incredible scenery, memorable wildlife encounters and above all superb riding! Arrive at Camp Kalahari in time for a refreshing shower and a final Camp Kalahari lamp-lit dinner.
- Camp Kalahari (BLD)
Day 6 - 9 - Selinda Reserve, Botswana
A non-riding day commences with an early morning walk with Zu/’hoasi Bushmen trackers.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. Time for one more Camp Kalahari lunch before you bid farewell to Camp Kalahari in preparation for your flight to Selinda. The Selinda Adventure Trail offers your four days and three nights of unparalleled adventure on a canoe (subject to water levels) and walking safari like no other, taking you deep into the Spillway’s islands and lagoons that cannot be accessed by any other means. The stretch of the Spillway traversed is well known for some of Botswana’s largest herds of buffalo and elephant, roan antelope and the famed Explorer’s pack of African wild dog. Other possible sightings include cheetah, lion and leopard, as well as the “usual suspects” of plains game. Days are spent paddling or walking gently along the Spillway; stopping regularly for breaks. Nights are spent in makeshift fly camps consisting of two-man 3m x 3m dome tents, which are prepared for you by the camp staff, as are all meals. Each canoe has two guests, their bedrolls and bags. Guests should be strong enough to paddle their own canoes but no previous experience is necessary as tuition is readily given to beginners and novices. The only must is a desire to really explore wild Africa!
- Fly Camping (BLD)
Day 10 - Departure
Fly from Selinda to Maun
Following breakfast, your trip ends with your flight back to Maun where you continue your onwards arrangements.
Type of Safari
For individuals, couples, families and groups.
Comfortable Lodge and fly camping
9 Nights / 10 days
Included & Excluded
- Accommodation on a shared basis.
- Light aircraft transfers from Maun return
- All meals
- Soft drinks, mineral water, fruit juice, house wine and beer, as well as local spirits such as gin and Amarula
- National Park fees
- Road transfers
- Scheduled activities
- Flights (other than specified in the detailed safari itinerary)
- Compulsory comprehensive insurance
- All relevant entry and departure Government taxes
- All personal purchases (including curios, spirit liquors, telephone calls, etc.)
- Laundry at Deception Valley Adventurer Camp
- Optional extra activities
- Pre and post safari tours
- All other travel arrangements pre or post the safari and any new Government taxes
- Fuel or industry increases which are beyond our control
Light Aircraft, 4x4 safari vehicle.