This is an invitation to join me on one of Mafunyane’s outings to the Okavango Delta area in 2012. These yearly outings to the North Western area of Botswana have become one of the most popular destinations over the past few years, hence Mafunyane runs two outings each year to this area.
This outing starts at the very popular Elephant Sands, 50km north of Nata. Here we will enjoy a famous Elephant Sands dinner sitting around the water hole watching animals coming to quench their thirst. There is a great bar and swimming pool. After a hearty breakfast we drive to the Nxai Pan National Park.
Part of the great Makgadikgadi complex, Nxai Pan National Park covers an area of 2 100 sq km, and comprises several larger pans – Nxai Pan, Kgama-Kgama Pan and Kudiakam Pan, which were once ancient salt lakes. These larger pans are now grassed, and are scattered with islands of acacia trees, and smaller pans that fill with water during the rainy season – thus providing rich resources for wildlife.
Common species to be sighted here are zebra, wildebeest, springbok, impala, gemsbok, hartebeest, giraffe, lion, cheetah, wild dog, brown hyena, bat-eared fox, and sometimes elephant and buffalo. Then there is of course the famous Baines' Baobabs, named after the 19th century explorer Thomas Baines.
Then it’s on to Maun to refill supplies, refuel and take the opportunity to take a scenic flight over the Okavango Delta - a must if you have never done so before. These flights are also well priced. From Maun we head north to the Khwai Concession area on the northern border of the Moremi National Park
The Okavango Delta is one of the world’s largest inland water systems. Its headwaters start in Angola’s western highlands, with numerous tributaries joining to form the Cubango River, which then flows through Namibia (called the Kavango) and finally enters Botswana, where it is then called the Okavango.
Millions of years ago the Okavango River used to flow into a large inland lake called Lake Makgadikgadi (now Makgadikgadi Pans). Tectonic activity and faulting interrupted the flow of the river causing it to back up and form what is now the Okavango delta. This has created a unique system of waterways that now support a vast array of animal and plant life that would have otherwise been a dry Kalahari savanna. The delta’s floods are fed from the Angolan rains, which start in October and finish sometime in April. The floods only cross the border between Botswana and Namibia in December and will only reach the bottom end of the delta (Maun) sometime in July, taking almost nine months from the source to the bottom.
This slow meandering pace of the flood is due to the lack of drop in elevation, which drops a little more than 60 metres over a distance of 450 kilometres. The delta’s water dead-ends in the Kalahari, via the Botetle River, with over 95 per cent of the water eventually evaporating. During the peak of the flooding the delta’s area can expand to over 16,000 square kilometres, shrinking to less than 9,000 square kilometres in the low period. As the water travels through the delta, the wildlife starts to move back into the region.
The areas surrounding the delta are beginning to dry out (the rains in Botswana occur approximately the same time as in Angola) and the wildlife starts to congregate on the edge of the newly-flooded areas, May through October. The delta environment has large numbers of animal populations that are otherwise rare, such as crocodile, red lechwe, sitatunga, elephant, wild dogs, buffalo, wattled crane as well as the other more common mammals, predators and birdlife.
The Khwai river area is undoubtedly the best game viewing area I have ever visited. The Khwai River is a beautiful watercourse lined with vast flood plains and shrouded by giant evergreen trees. It flows from the Okavango Delta to form part of the border of Moremi Game Reserve. This area is popular for the abundance of diverse concentrations of wildlife.
It is not unusual to find elephants all year round as well as numerous buffalo, lion, wild dogs, leopards and
cheetahs. Like the Xakanaxa Lagoon in the Moremi Reserve, the Khwai River also boasts large numbers and species of bird life making it a
wonderland for the avid birdwatchers.
One can simply sit in your vehicle near the river under a large tree and watch the animals and birds go about their daily lives.
This trip will undoubtedly be the game-viewing trip of the year and, for some, of a lifetime. There are no fences and encounters with wild animals in the camps (including lion and hyena) are very possible.
VHF radios are a prerequisite for this trip. Mafunyane can arrange the purchase of radios.
Please ensure that your passport is valid for 6 months.
Other than dinner and breakfast at Elephant Sands this is a self-catering adventure and you will need to be completely self-sufficient, including water. More guidelines on this at our pre-trip meeting.
Trailers and off-road caravans can be used on this trip.
Duration: 9 days / 8 nights.
Costs are R4000 per person. Kids 8-16 half price and under 8 are free.
A maximum of 20 persons or 10 vehicles will be accommodated.
Tour price includes
Tour price excludes
We will have a pre-trip meeting for those attending to discuss the trail, itinerary, border requests and more. A non-refundable deposit of 50% is required to secure your booking. Balance to be paid four weeks prior to departure. Please complete the attached booking form and email to email@example.com Invoices will be sent once booking forms have been received.
This is a very popular trip so get your bookings in early to avoid disappointment.
Please contact me should you require any further information.
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