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CROCODILE TAIL SAFARI

17 days

DEPARTS ZIMBABWE

Zimbabwe AND Botswana:  Continent of Africa (ZB) Botswana: “The real Africa", beckons to the intrepid and to the adventurous. On this ulendo (trip) we will explore the adrenaline raising Victoria Falls, follow in the footsteps of the most famous of explorers, David Livingstone, whose exploration heralded the establishment of missions promoting the spread of Christianity. This safari is a true exploration of the wilderness areas of Central and Northern Botswana. We explore the Central Kalahari, Okavango Delta, Moremi, Savuti & Chobe in an open 4WD game viewing and camp wild in these true wilderness areas. This itinerary includes all of the best wildlife viewing areas in Botswana. This is the ultimate Botswana Adventure.

Botswana, unsurpassed hospitality and unique wildlife, taking in the astounding wildlife and birdlife we will cross into Botswana.  Despite its natural bounty with magnificent landscapes trampled by some of Africa’s finest wild herds, Botswana remains all but unvisited by independent travellers. The endless miles of untouched wilderness invite unparalleled and safe adventure.  So, Dumela Rra, Dumela Mma.

Grading:  Anyone in good health with a sense of adventure and humour should be able to take part.  There is no real physical difficulty involved, and the hikes are in the scope of most; but as in much of Africa, where we go off the beaten track, there will be rough roads, limited facilities, some basic accommodation, and permanent campsites, which may require you to adjust your level of expectations.

NB:  Although it is our intention to operate this itinerary as printed in the brochure and detailed below, it may be necessary to make some changes as a result of alterations to flight/boat/train schedules, climatic conditions, or other operational factors.  As a consequence, the order or location of overnight stops may vary from those outlined.

Included meals are indicated in the daily itinerary (i.e. BLD - Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner).           

         

Prices below are land only, let us know if you require a flight inclusive quote.

From £2897.24 - Price is per person based on four travelling

Price of tour vary depending on date of departure.

If you require further information please fill in the Query form below, also detailing the dates you would like to depart.

Day 01:Victoria Falls – Zimbabwe

Arrive at Border Information: Welcome to Victoria Falls and the largest waterfalls in Africa! If joining the trip in Victoria Falls, you will most likely enter Zimbabwe at Victoria Falls Airport.

There will be a group meeting at 18:00hrs at the Pamusha Lodge. Your leader will leave a note on the reception with the details of this important meeting - when you arrive you will easily spot the Dapitapi Travel truck as well (behind the reception), where you'll be able to meet one of our crew.

This afternoon we will have an included visit to the main viewpoints over the awe-inspiring Victoria Falls.

Overnight Pamusha Lodge on half board basic  - lodging facilities, hot showers, swimming pool, bar & restaurant

 

Day 02: Nata Pans – Botswana

Distance/time: 300km

Includes: Makgadikgadi Pans

You will rise with the sun and head south towards the Makgadikgadi Pans. You will reside on the pan of the Elephant Sands Lodge “where elephants rule” and have the opportunity to visit the pans.

Pelican Lodge on full board basic- lodging facilities, hot showers, swimming pool, bar & restaurant

 

Day 03: Maun Botswana

Distance/time: 300km

Optional Activity:       Scenic Flight over Okavango Delta (7 seat plane – time permitting)       

Inspired by the beauty of the Makgadikgadi Pans you will travel to Maun. You will have the option of taking a scenic flight over the Delta to Maun (1hr scenic flight is EUR 135 per person, min. 6 guests to guarantee the flight). This magical experience provides another perspective of the Okavango Delta's unique water system.

dinner and overnight at Maun Lodge on full board basic - lodging facilities, hot showers, swimming pool, bar & restaurant

 

Day 04-5: The Central Kalahari Game Reserve- Botwana

Distance/time:            280km, ± 6½ hours

The Central Kalahari Game Reserve (CKGR) is one of the largest game reserves in the world (52,800 square kilometers). The area is characterised by vast open plains, saltpans and ancient riverbeds. During the summer months, when the rains fall, the Kalahari grasslands turn green and lush and the good grazing attracts large herds of zebra, wildebeest, springbok and gemsbok (Oryx). Following the herds we hope to find the famed black-maned Kalahari lions. We camp wild in the Deception Valley and explore the northern portion of the reserve.

Includes: Entrance fees to Central Kalahari Game Reserve, game drives in open 4WD vehicle Overnight: Wild camping  on full board basic– basic ablutions with bucket shower

 

Day 6:Maun Botwana  

Distance/time:            180kms, ± 5½ hours

We return to Maun Lodge in the mid afternoon where you will re-unite with our truck and prepare once again for the trip into the Okavango Delta, Moremi, Savuti, Chobe and Victoria Falls.

Maun

Maun, the fifth largest town in Botswana, is known as the tourism capital and the gateway to the Okavango Delta. It is an eclectic contrast of modern buildings and traditional huts. Now home to over 30 000people, the town was founded in 1915 as the tribal capital of the Batawana people. It originally serviced the local cattle ranching and hunting operations of the area, and had a reputation as a hard-living ‘Wild West’ town. With the growth of the tourism industry and the completion of the tar road from Nata in the early 1990s, Maun developed swiftly, losing much of its old town character. However, it is still infamous for its infestation of donkeys and to lesser extent, goats. These animals can be seen wandering around freely as the local farmers arrive in the innumerable taxis to sell their wares on the kerbside.

With the influx of tourism dollars, the typical traditional rondavels (round huts) of the past have been replaced by square but modestly sized cinderblock homes roofed with tin, or sometimes tiles. It is not unusual to see mud rondavels with satellite dishes, attesting to the increasing affluence of Botswana, and the increasing reliability of power and communications in the town. This striking contrast of the traditional and the modern is also evident in the multilevel air-conditioned shopping centres incongruously surrounded by potholes, dusty parking lots and lively market places. Overnight Maun Lodge (en-suites per room)

 

Day 7-8: Okavango Delta

Distance/time:Maun to Pole station 50km (2.5hr) > Pole station to camp 10km (2hr) = 60km & ±4.5 hrs driving for the day.

Our local guides will take us deep into the heart of the Okavango Delta on mokoro (dugout canoes). The delta forms as water flows from the Angolan highlands out over the Botswana flat Kalahari Desert sands creating a delicate, green oasis for birds & wildlife. We will camp wild on remote islands in this amazingly dynamic environment & enjoy bush walks, bird watching & swimming in the clear water. Camping with our local guides we learn more about their lifestyle & culture.

Spending time close to nature in this unique part of Botswana is a memorable and rare experience, far from the trappings and bustle of modern living. During our delta trip we camp in the wild with bush ablutions. The camping areas selected on this Botswana Wildlife Safari are remote and rugged offering a genuine African bush experience.

 

Please Note:

You will only be able to take overnight bags (hand luggage or small backpacks) into the delta, as we travel by mokoro canoes which limit the amount of luggage that can be carried with us. The rest of your luggage remains in the trailer of our safari vehicle, which is parked in a secure area for the duration of our two-day delta island excursion.

 

Includes: Entrance to Okavango Delta, mokoro excursion, morning and afternoon game walks with local guides Overnight: Wild camping – basic facilities with bucket shower

 

Day 9 -10: Kwai River

Distance/time: Maun to Tshaa on the Kwai River 360 km, 3.5 hours

We have 2 nights in these conservation areas with time to explore the various habitats. We spend our time on game drives watching the plentiful wildlife including wild dog, elephant, hippo, buffalo, lion & other game.

The Kwai River rates as one of the leading wildlife areas of the world and we take our open 4WD vehicle for fantastic game viewing! Grasslands, floodplains, forests, lily lagoons and winding water channels combine to form a variety of game viewing habitats.  This area allows us to do Night drives.

Includes: Entrance fees, morning and afternoon game drives in open 4WD game viewing vehicle Overnight: Wild camping – basic ablutions with bucket shower

 

Day 11-12 savuti Conservation Area - Botwana

Distance/time:North Gate to Mababe Gate 55km (4hr) > Mababe Gate to Savuti 60km (3hr) = 130km & ±7 hrs driving for the day.

We have 2 nights in these conservation areas with time to explore the various habitats. We spend our time on game drives watching the plentiful wildlife including wild dog, elephant, hippo, buffalo, lion & other game.

Moving north over the sand ridge and into the Mababe depression we arrive at the Savuti Marsh. This open grassland area attracts herds of zebra and wildebeest, which in turn draw the large lion prides for which Savuti is famous. We camp wild in the central Chobe National Park at either Savuti or Zwei-Zwei.

Includes: Entrance fees, morning and afternoon game drives in open 4WD game viewing vehicle Overnight: Wild camping – basic ablutions with bucket shower

 

Day 13 - 14: Chobe National Park  Botwana

Distance/time:            Savuti to Gcoha Gate 28km (1 hr) > Gcoha Gate to Kachekawe 42km (2.5hr) > Kachekawe to Ngoma Gate 35km (1 hr) > Ngoma Gate to campsite 25km (1.5 hr) = 130km & ±6 hrs driving for the day.

The Chobe River flows lazily along the northern boundary of the Chobe National Park attracting some of the largest herds of elephant in Africa. In the early morning we search for game on the flood plains of the Chobe River.  The late afternoon game viewing “sundowner” cruise is a highlight as we see the mighty elephant herds returning to the Chobe River to quench their thirst. We stay in Kasane for night 14.

Includes: Entrance fees, morning and afternoon game drives in open 4WD game viewing vehicle, sunset cruise

Overnight:Wild camping – basic ablutions with bucket shower (day 13) and day 14 lodging - facilities, hot showers, swimming pool, bar & restaurant (Kwalape Lodge or similar)

 

Day 15 – 16: Zimbabwe- Victoria Falls

Distance/time: 70kms – 1 hour, excluding border formalities (which can take 2 to 3+ hours)  Victoria Falls Today is a short but interesting ulendo to one of the seven natural wonders of the world; the Victoria Falls.  These are the greatest curtain of falling water on earth.  The clouds of spray and tremendous roar produced by this immense amount of water crashing down into a narrow chasm, gave rise to its more evocative African Name, Mosi-O-Tunya, “Smoke that Thunders”.  About 1,708 metres wide and 103 metres deep at the highest point; the Victoria Falls is in fact divided into six waterfalls:  Devils Cataract, Main Falls, Horseshoe Falls, Rainbow Falls, Armchair Falls and Eastern Cataract.

For centuries, these dazzling waterfalls were considered to be sacred and local people came here to pray and make their offerings.  Only following the visit of David Livingstone on 16th November 1855 did they come to the attention of the western world.  Soon they became an integral part of the grand African tour for the adventurous and wealthy.  However, only with the explosion of air travel have more people been able to view them.  After settling into our lodge we head for a visit to the falls.  There can be few experiences on earth as gratifying as watching the gushing white waters of the magnificent Victoria Falls.  The experience is enhanced by the fact that it is possible to walk in front of them, unlike many other waterfalls, which are seen from the side.  Well-kept paths lead to different points for the views of the falls.  But the most astonishing view is from the Knife Edge Bridge.  This is as close as you will ever get to the falls. Includes: Entrance Fees to see the Victoria Falls Overnight: Pamusha Lodge on full board lodging facilities, hot showers, swimming pool, bar & restaurant Optional Activities: White water rafting, sunset cruises, scenic flights & many more

 

Day 17: Zimbabwe- Departure

Distance/time:20KM

Tour ends at 08:00 after breakfast.  Transfers to local airports are available.

Includes: transfer to airport

Safari Inclusions

Itinerary as specified, fully equipped safari vehicle, arrival and departure transfers, services of Professional Safari Guide and camp assistant, lodges accommodation as per itinerary. Breakfast (B) Lunch (L) Dinner (D), No Meal (NM) where specified. Meals not shown will be to the clients account. Occasionally breakfast and lunch may be combined into a brunch where necessary e.g. mornings with early game drives, entrance to the Victoria Falls, and entrance fee for all Botswana park fees for game drives, drinking water, bottled of winery on dinner( day 1 up to 7)

 

Safari Exclusions

Restaurant meals (Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe), International airfares, travel and medical insurance, personal spending money, visas, passports, vaccinations, personal taxes (including departure and border taxes) all optional activities, unscheduled or optional National Parks / Reserves entrance fees, gratuities, restaurant meals and all other items of a personal nature. All drinks, even on days with full board basis, sleeping bag( and small pillow) on all camping sectors. Any increase in National Park fees.

 

You only need to pay a 20% deposit

Full payment is due 8 weeks before departure

Please be aware that arrival times and the itinerary may change due to unforeseen delays or events such as festivals and public holidays. However, we shall endeavour to ensure all sites are visited and that your tour runs as smoothly as possible but please note that Africa does not run like clockwork, therefore do not expect the streamlined travel arrangements associated with some other continents. Things do not always go to plan; there will be times when you will need to be patient and philosophical about your travels. Conditions in Africa can vary dramatically; for example, whilst we always try to use the best campsites, there is a big difference between those found in Eastern Africa to those found in Southern Africa, which are generally better.

Be flexible, you will enjoy your tour much more. Our Company makes a point of visiting the indigenous populations of each country you visit, in order to give a true reflection of the country; please treat the local people and their customs with respect.

Lastly, your tour leader is always conscious of everybody's views, but sometimes he/she will have to make an unpopular decision and your understanding will be appreciated in these circumstances.

 

Photography

Africa has some of the most spectacular photographic opportunities in the world. To capture these scenes you will need to bring a camera with a good zoom lens. For game photography, a 200mm lens or higher is recommended. Tripods tend to be bulky and cumbersome and a versatile beanbag is a good substitute.

If you are using print film, all supplies plus any filters and other accessories should be obtained prior to departure. We do not recommend that you develop your film whilst in East Africa, as the standards vary considerably and are often unreliable.

NOTE:- Protect your camera from the elements, particularly dust, as getting your camera repaired will be impossible in most places.  A good idea is to use an old tea towel or t-shirt to wrap your camera up inside it’s dustproof camera bag when not in use.

Please remember, we are guests in the countries through which we travel and we may sometimes inadvertently cause offence by taking photographs without first asking permission. It is absolutely forbidden by law to take photos at any borders, as they are all active military installations

 

Tour Feedback

Tour Questionnaire - We would like to hear about your experiences on tour. Immediately after your tour ends you will automatically receive a feedback questionnaire from your Tour Leader.

Email - If you have any specific comments about your tour then please write to us by email to our good office.

 

Food

Please note we will attempt to provide for travellers with special meal or dietary requests, however they cannot be guaranteed - please ensure the tour leader is aware of any special requests.

Vegetarians or those with special dietary needs or allergies can be catered for, however in some countries the type of food may be limited, you may like to bring some supplies from home. It is your responsibility to ensure that our reservations team know of your special requirements at time of booking in order for us to do all possible to assist your needs.

Our Company provides all meals whilst camping. The variety of food will differ, as you will be visiting a number of different countries. Everyone helps out with the cooking and all are encouraged to join forces and put their culinary skills (or lack thereof!) to the test over the campfire! You will be surprised with what you can create with a little imagination!

 

Stay in Touch

Whilst on tour you will probably want to stay in touch with family and friends. There are several ways of doing this:

Mobile Phone – Before departing your home country check with your phone supplier to see if it compatible with the mobile phone networks in the countries that you are traveling to, and how much will it cost to use abroad.

Email – Internet Cafes are very cheap and popular, and you are sure to come across several during your tour. If you haven’t done so already, set up a free Google Mail, Hotmail, or Yahoo email account which you can then access from any computer. Internet Cafes will charge a nominal fee for using their computers. Within Europe some hotels charge a wifi connection fee and we cannot guarantee a wifi connection at all hotels we use.

Postcards – The good ol’ fashioned postcard. But you will probably get home before the postcard does!

 

Time

For detailed information see www.timezoneconverter.com or www.timeanddate.com

Personal Effects

We suggest that you take into account the time of year you will be travelling, and pack accordingly to the season. Quick drying clothes are recommended, and at many campsites there are laundry facilities. Your tour leader will advise where this is possible.

Contrary to expectations it does get cold in Africa. Southern Africa, particularly South Africa, and Zimbabwe get quite cold at night between June and August. You will need to bring your warmest clothes.

 

Personal Effects:

Torch (we recommend a head torch), camera & film, spare passport photos, water bottle, money belt, sewing kit, sunhat/sunglasses, discman/MP3 player, books, wet ones, tissues, soap to wash clothes, writing materials, swiss army knife, calculator, personal toiletries, including tampons, contraceptives, insect repellent, sunscreen.

NOTE: If you wear glasses, it is advisable to bring a spare pair since opticians are uncommon. If you wear contact lenses you may find that climatic changes and dust can create visual irritation, therefore, it is advisable to bring a pair of glasses.

 

Money

Currency and how much to take is something that we’re always asked about.   We hope that the following information will assist with your budgeting. 

Please keep in mind that only YOU will know how much you’ll spend on souvenirs, drinks, meals off the truck, internet fees etc. It is always best to allow for more than you think you’ll need rather than go without.

Our recommendation is to allow for at least US$25 to US$30 per day for incidentals over and above the cost of optional excursions and visa fees which should be budgeted for separately.  There will be days when you will not spend anything and other days when you may blow your budget entirely on that souvenir that you have to have, or a round of drinks for your fellow travellers.

US Dollars CASH is the most widely accepted currency in most parts of Africa, except for South Africa and Namibia where you should travel with Rand. Please ensure that all notes are clean and printed AFTER 2001. Small denominations are best for changing into local currencies and tipping i.e. US$5, US$10 & US$20. Where visas are required (refer to our visa guide) you can pay with US$50 notes however keep in mind that it is ALWAYS best to have the correct denomination as you will find immigration officials rarely have change available.

When changing money from USD to local currency be aware that you will NOT be able to change back to USD or into another currency, what money you don’t spend will be useless after you’ve left that country.   It is also often a good idea to join forces with other travellers to do one large money change transaction, thus avoiding excess conversion fees. 

If you are travelling to South Africa or Namibia you can easily withdraw Rand from an ATM in South Africa or Namibia, just be mindful of security when doing this.  Please note that it is not necessary to travel with USD in South Africa or Namibia.

Other currencies accepted but not as popular are Pounds and Euros; however you will find the exchange rate is not as favourable as USD.

Do not rely on credit cards for payment nor the use of working ATM’s to withdraw money as it is very common for the card facility to NOT be working when you most need it.  There have also been instances of credit card fraud and many ATM’s have been tampered with in the major cities.  

Where credit cards ARE accepted you will find that VISA CARD is more widely known than Mastercard or Cirus

Traveller’s cheques are not widely accepted and when the facility is available often you will receive a much lower rate of exchange.   If you do wish to take traveller’s cheques, we recommend taking 10% to 20% of your overall budget to use in case of emergency.

NOTE: - For passengers joining or visiting Victoria Falls, please do not change any USD to local currency without speaking with your tour leader first.

 

Participation

The more you put into your tour the greater the experience you will get from your trip. It is all about participation and mucking in with your fellow passengers!

Participation is a key factor on a tour of this nature and everyone is expected to pull their weight and get involved with the daily duties (e.g. cooking, cleaning and food shopping). The most successful trips are those where people become involved.  Naturally, amongst any group of people you will find a multitude of personalities, just remember that this is YOUR trip of a lifetime and don’t let other people’s quirks and habits bother you too much – take home your happy memories of Africa.    On the flipside you may find your tent partner will become a lifelong friend, which is one of the joys of the internet & social networking sites!

 

Security

Whilst all DapiTapi Travel vehicles have secure doors and are fully lockable, it always pays to be cautious.

Do not bring any unnecessary valuables such as jewellery or electronic equipment with you.   Be aware of your surroundings and keep your personal belongings close to you at all times as pickpockets operate everywhere, particularly in built-up tourist areas.

A money belt or something similar worn close to your body is the best way to carry passports and other important documents.    DO NOT be overt about how much money you are carrying or walk around with your camera dangling around your neck, no matter where you are travelling on the globe, you will be a walking target for opportunistic thieves.

If staying in hotels, do not leave your valuables in the room, make use of the safety deposit boxes available.  Likewise, do not leave ANYTHING of value in your tent unattended; leave these onboard the truck in the safe.

Guaranteed from 4 clients, maximum group size: 10 clients

 

DEPARTS: Victoria Falls on Thursday at 07:00pm                

ENDS: Victoria Falls on Saturday at +/-08:00am

Highlights

* San Bushman experience

* Central Kalahari – open 4WD game drives

* Makgadikgadi Pans NP – seasonal visit

* Okavango Delta – mokoro excursion 

* Moremi Game Reserve – game drives

* Savuti – game drives

* Chobe National Park – game drive and river cruise

* Victoria Falls – adventure activities

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