Day 1: Maun to Xakanaxa. Travel Day. 30 minute charter flight. You will arrive from Johannesburg at approximately midday into Maun Airport where you will be met by Mack Air and be flown by charter plane into the Xakanaxa airstrip in Moremi Game Reserve where you will be met by your guide. Spending our first three nights camping in the Xakanaxa region, we explore the surrounding wilderness on game drives during the day. Accommodation: Mobile Tented Camp. Activities: Game Drives, scenic flight.
Wildlife: From the air only the larger animals are seen easily. These include large breeding herds of African elephant that live in the mopane scrub. On the open plains large herds of buffalo and lechwe can be seen and in the waterways rafts of hippopotami are a common sight. Once you land in Xakanaxa the smaller game can be found.
Birding: A good day for raptors with African Hawk-Eagle, Gabar Goshawk, Shikra, Little Sparrowhawk, Dark Chanting Goshawk, Tawny Eagle, Lesser Spotted Eagle* and Steppe Eagle* all inhabiting the mopane and adjacent woodlands. Other birds common along this route includes most of Botswana’s hornbills including Red-billed, Southern Yellow-billed, African Grey, Bradfield’s and the Southern Ground Hornbills. A large number of brood-parasites may also be seen. Diederick Cuckoo*, Levaillant’s Cuckoo*, Jacobin Cuckoo*, Great-spotted Cuckoo*, African Cuckoo*, Common Cuckoo*, Shaft-tailed Whydah, Pin-tailed Whydah, Eastern Paradise Whydah, Greater Honeyguide, and Lesser Honeyguide.
Days 2 & 3: Xakanaxa Exploration Days Moremi Game Reserve. Accommodation: Mobile Tented Camp. Activities: Game Drives and Boating.
Habitat: Moremi lies on the eastern extremity of the Okavango Delta. Habitats here range from wide-open floodplains, marshes, lagoons, papyrus fringed channels, vast reed-beds of Miscanthus and Phragmites, woodland and savannah. As a result of the extremely variable habitat the diversity of both wildlife and birdlife is excellent.
Wildlife: Moremi is amongst the best game reserves in Africa for viewing the endangered African wild dog. Xakanaxa is home to a resident herd of several hundred buffalo whose range covers the territories of at least 4 prides of lion which may often be seen flanking the ever moving herd. Breeding herds of elephant move between their browsing areas in the mopane forests and the fresh water of the Okavango. Red lechwe are one of the more unusual antelope species and commonly found here, while the rare sitatunga antelope may be spotted from motor boat along the water-ways.
Birding: The swampy areas of Xakanaxa are home to African Rail, Coppery-tailed Coucal, Black Coucal*, Red-chested Flufftail, African Crake*, Black Crake, Chirping Cisticola, Luapula Cisticola, Purple Swamphen, Allen’s Gallinule to name but a few. The open waters attract African Skimmer, Saddle-billed Stork, Yellow-billed Stork, Intermediate Egret, Goliath Heron, African Fish Eagle as well as the globally threatened Slaty Egret and Wattled Crane.
Day 4: Xakanaxa to Khwai. Travel Day. 60km. 3-4 hours. Following and early morning breakfast you take a slow drive through Moremi Game Reserve North-East towards the Khwai Community Area. Accommodation: Mobile Tented Camp. Activities: Game Drive.
Habitat: The Manuchira Channel is known as the Khwai River at its eastern most extremity. The day’s journey follows this water course, with the track weaving from the riverside and floodplains into the mopane veld and the woodlands that make Khwai one of the most scenic areas of the Okavango. We pass the magnificent Dombo Hippo Pools in the morning stopping to enjoy the scenery and the antics of the resident hippo.
Wildlife: The western mopane veld is home to mostly breeding herds of elephant whilst the eastern reaches of Khwai is home to some impressive old bulls. The mature bulls revel in the cool waters of the Khwai and are far more approachable while drinking and bathing than the breeding herds. The river has an unusually high density of hippo as well as some huge crocodile. Leopard, cheetah, serval and lion are common predators along this route and both Xakanaxa as well as Khwai are included in the home ranges of 2 different packs of wild dog. General game includes southern giraffe, Burchell’s zebra, tessebe and red lechwe with roan and sable antelope being less common residents.
Birding: In the mopane woodlands African Hawk-Eagle, Tawny Eagle, Gabar Goshawk, Little Sparrowhawk, African Harrier Hawk and Shikra are common raptors. Mixed bird parties move through the canopy and include Red-headed Weaver, Stierling’s Wren-Warbler, Scarlet-chested Sunbird, Neddicky, Yellow-breasted Apalis, Chin-spot Batis, Diederik Cuckoo* to name but a few. The verges of the swamp form breeding grounds for the Rosy-Longclaw, Black Coucal*, Long-legged Bustard and the African Crake*.
Days 5 & 6: Khwai Exploration Day. Accommodation: Letaka Tented Camp. Activities: Game Drive, Guided Walk and Night Drive.
The Khwai River forms a boundary between the reserve and the community area. We spend the following two nights camping at an exclusive campsite in the community area, exploring the Khwai floodplains on game drives both during the day and at night. Exploring after dark with spotlights offers you an opportunity to experience some of the nocturnal animals that are rarely encountered during the day. We will also have the opportunity to explore the surrounding wilderness on foot and enjoy an up close and personal encounter with Botswana’s flora and fauna. It is important to note that night drives and guided walks are not permitted within the national parks and reserves. These activities are conducted outside the boundaries of the Moremi Game Reserve in the Khwai community area.
Habitat: We spend our time between the dry-land habitats of the lead-wood and camel-thorn woodlands and savannahs and the riverside and marshy back-waters of the Khwai. Time permitting we may visit the lagoons and waterways of Xakanaxa where the largest heronry in southern Africa exists.
Wildlife: The Khwai region boasts excellent populations of both bull elephant as well as breeding herds. Lion, leopard, serval and African wildcat are common predators of the region with wild dog and cheetah being less common. Buffalo use this area seasonally with large herds moving in during the summer rains. The swampy areas in the west are home to red lechwe. Other ungulates include tsesebe, blue wildebeest, giraffe, kudu, sable antelope, roan antelope and impala.
Birding: Truly one of Botswana birding Mecca’s. The western reaches are prime habitat for the uncommon Rosy-throated Longclaw. The entire length of the river is hunting domain for the Bat-Hawk. Other interesting raptors here are Cuckoo Hawk (rare), Long-crested Eagle and Black Sparrowhawk. More commonly Tawny Eagle, Steppe Eagle*, Lesser-spotted Eagle*, Martial Eagle, Bateleur and African Hawk-Eagle. The waterways host Africa Rail, African Crake*, Greater Painted Snipe, Allen’s Gallinule*, Lesser Jacana and Lesser Moorhen*.
Day 7: Khwai to Maun. Travel Day. 30 minute Charter Flight. After breakfast we take a game-drive to the airstrip where you will be met by your charter flight back to Maun. This marks the end of your Safari.
- Travel Days: On our travel days we have an early start, pack our bags and leave camp to have breakfast somewhere scenic. Following breakfast we gamedrive towards our next camp stopping for tea/coffee and cookies and later for a relaxing lunch under a shady grove of trees. Invariably lunch finds us within a short distance of our camp and we arrive in camp to find our crew has once again erected the camp at our new destination. There is time for a shower before afternoon tea and then it is time to begin our exploration of the area.
- Please note that this is a rough outline of a travel day and events change from safari to safari depending on the distribution of game, distance between camps, conditions of the roads and the decision of your guide etc.
- Travel times are a rough indication of the driving time from one camp to another and do not include time taken for breaks and wildlife viewing.
- Exploration Days: The best game viewing is the early morning and so each day begins at the first hint of dawn with a coffee and light breakfast around the fire. From here we go straight into gamedrive, walking safari or boat trip. After several hours of wildlife viewing we stop for a comfort break and have tea, coffee and cookies. Between 10 and 11 am we return to camp where there is time to freshen up with warm water in your standing basins before enjoying a sumptuous brunch consisting of fresh-baked camp bread, baked dishes and cold salads. After brunch there is time to relax, siesta, read a book, shower etc. before heading out in the late afternoon for our game-drive or boat trip. In areas outside of the National Parks we may also return to camp after dark with the use of a spotlight to look for nocturnal game.
- This is a guideline as to what happens on most exploration days. The course of each days events will be determined by local conditions, distribution of wildlife and birds, safety and the decision of your guide.
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