The casual visitor to Botswana could be excused for seeing the country as kilometer upon kilometer of flat, desolate scrubland with little or no surface water – closer inspection however will reveal what is arguably Africa’s finest wildlife destination. A country the size of France, over a quarter of Botswana’s land is set aside exclusively for nature conservation. Our tour will take us through the vast Kalahari where we will walk with the local Bushmen people, then to the north – into the magnificent Okavango Delta where we will travel by boat and in dugout canoes (mekoro) with local Bayei tribes people to our private camp in the heart of this unique natural wonderland – home also to a multitude of Africa’s Fauna and Flora. We then explore the renowned National Parks in fully equipped open 4×4 vehicles – depending on the season our route will follow the game migrations. We will spend a night under the stars in the vast Makgadikgadi Salt Pans, will enjoy a game viewing boat cruise on the mighty Chobe River, and finally, will visit “The Smoke that Thunders” – Victoria Falls. Clients may opt to then fly out from Victoria Falls or enjoy the journey back to Johannesburg traveling south overland. These tours offer the adventure traveler, photographer, birdwatcher and naturalist the ultimate natural paradise.
DAY 1: JOHANNESBURG – KALAHARI
Departing from GREENFIRE LODGE JOHANNESBURG at 06h30, we set off to cross the Botswana border near Lobatse. On completion of Customs and Immigration formalities we pass through an area boasting significant history, then, it’s out into the vast Kalahari Plains. We will cover quite some distance today before arriving at our established overnight camp near Kang. Once we have set up tents etc. we will enjoy a short walk out into the bush. Tonight we enjoy a catered meal.
(Lunch and Dinner own expense)
DAY 2: KALAHARI BUSHMEN
Waking early to a spectacular Kalahari sunrise, we enjoy a sumptuous camp breakfast before continuing to the frontier town of Ghanzi. Ghanzi is home to some of the last traditional Bushmen, and it is here that we will enjoy learning about the wilderness from these fascinating people. Our experience will include a bush walk.
B L D
DAY 3 – 5: OKAVANGO DELTA
The Okavango, a massive river spilling its contents into the Kalahari sands, creating one of the world’s only true inland delta’s and a unique ecosystem that supports a huge variety of animal and plant life. The sight of a nervous Lechwe pounding across a flooded plain, the Jacana striding delicately amongst the flowering lilies, the Bee Eater diving to prey on an unsuspecting insect, and of course the familiar cry of the African Fish Eagle – all combine to create one of nature’s masterpieces. We begin our journey into the Delta near the panhandle, gliding through Papyrus lined channels first by motorboat and then by mekoro – the traditional dugout canoe, to our exclusive wild island camp. We spend three nights here in true wilderness, exploring the area on foot and by mekoro. There will also be time to simply relax and to absorb the remoteness and serenity of the area.
B L D ; B L D ; B L D
DAY 6: OKAVANGO – MAUN
Starting early, we begin our journey back to relative civilisation, first by mekoro and then by motorboat to where we are reunited with our vehicle. This afternoon we arrive in Maun and then travel the short distance out to the DRIFTERS MAUN LODGE to freshen up before enjoying a catered meal. The Lodge is situated on the banks of the Boteti River and offers comfortable en-suite accommodation, a swimming pool, bar and restaurant. Clients will have the option to enjoy an own expense game flight over the Delta on one of our visits to Maun.
B L D
DAY 7 – 10: FLEXIBLE GAME RESERVE SCHEDULE
(MOREMI / SAVUTI)
This morning we stop in Maun for the group and guide to stock up with supplies for the onward journey. Now we prepare for the game viewing part of the trip. Perched high on our well-equipped 4 X 4 vehicle we head into the wilderness, passing remote villages along the way. We spend five days in the National Parks following seasonal game migrations, an example of our route could be: starting with Moremi, camping the first night near the well-known 3rd Bridge. Drift off to sleep to the howl of the Hyena or the earthy roar of a Lion, and even the deep grunt of a half-submerged Hippo. We then head on north via Xakanaxa to camp near North Gate. This area is generally excellent for game viewing and we will conduct afternoon and morning drives along the wetland areas. Then on up to Savuti, the area offers a multitude of game drive options and a very active campsite (keep the fruit well hidden from the roving Elephant, and the meat from the prowling Hyenas). The vegetation is constantly changing, from open plains, palm trees and marshland, to dense Mopane woodlands and Acacia scrub. Each night we will camp in pristine, remote, private sites where there is no sign of Mans existence – we leave each site in the same condition, nothing but footprints are left behind.
B L D ; B L D ; B L D ; B L D
DAY 11 – MAUN
Our last morning in the Parks, we slowly game drive our way back to Maun where we will spend some time before heading out to the comfort of the DRIFTERS MAUN LODGE. This afternoon we will relax at the Lodge before enjoying a catered meal and a comfortable night.
DAY 12: MAKGADIKGADI PANS
A relaxed start today, we will spend some time enjoying the Lodge and the swimming pool before enjoying Brunch and then venturing eastward and into the spectacular Makgadikgadi Salt Pans. Besides the stark scenery, the Pans are known for their prolific birdlife and the other desert adapted animals. Without disturbing the surface, we make our way to a remote site where we set up camp and take in the isolation and serenity of this expanse. Although we set up tents, we encourage clients to enjoy a night out under the canopy of stars.
DAY 13: CHOBE RIVER – VICTORIA FALLS
Venturing north today, we leave the desolation of the Pans behind and make our way up to the mighty Chobe River. The Chobe area is known for the huge herds of Elephants and other animals that are attracted to drink from the River – this afternoon we will enjoy an extensive boat cruise, gliding close to the banks we hope to be able to approach these animals from the River for close up viewing. After our boat cruise we will cross the border and make our way to the GREENFIRE LODGE VICTORIA FALLS which is centrally situated and within walking distance of The Fall’s and other attractions. Lunch today is own expense.
DAY 14: VICTORIA FALLS
Awaking in the adventure capital of Africa, it is with new excitement that we explore the amazing Victoria Falls, “Mosi o Tunya “, “The smoke that Thunders”. After admiring this wonder of the world, various other attractions can be visited and activities enjoyed – the tribal village, the big tree, the curio market and the crocodile farm. An aircraft flip over the falls or a boat trip on the Zambezi River, White Water Rafting or Bungi Jumping are all worthwhile, but allowance must be made for the extra expense.
We spend two nights here, thus allowing clients some time to explore by themselves. Tonight we will eat out in local restaurant (own expense). Relax to the sound of the African night and the distant roar of the Falls and drink the farewell toasts to your adventure.
DAY 15: VICTORIA FALLS
Our Tour ends today after breakfast. Clients will make their way to the Airport for their flight back home.
The day by day descriptions published are intended as a rough guideline only. Adventure travel by nature is unpredictable, weather patterns, game migrations, road conditions and a multitude of other factors may necessitate itinerary changes that ultimately are for the client’s benefit. It is essential that clients are flexible and open minded in this regard.
Please ensure that you are in possession of valid travel documents for all the countries, (Botswana, Zimbabwe and South Africa) that you will visit. If you have any queries in this regard, please do not hesitate to contact us. Please ensure that you have proof of further travel arrangements if you do not have a South African passport, permanent residency permit, work permit or study permit. Although we will endeavor to assist, we do not accept any liability or obligation for your travel documents.
• Telephone number: Botswana Consulate in Johannesburg: (011)403-3748 / 9
Zimbabwe Trade mission in Johannesburg: (011)838-2156 / 9
• Or visit: Botswana Tourism at www.botswanatourism.co.bw
Zimbabwe Tourism at www.zimbabwetourism.net
Make sure that your passport has at least six months’ validity from your planned date of return to your home country. Make two photocopies of valuable documents such as your passport, tickets, visas. Keep one copy with you in a separate place to the original and leave another copy with someone at home. Please note that all guests travelling to South Africa will require two blank facing pages in their passport.
Upon arrival in any respective country we operate in, you will be able to find a Bureau de Change OR ATM Facilities at the airport or in the Town/City the tour is departing from. It is advised to bring any major world currency (US Dollar, Euro or British Pounds) in small denominations and not dated older than 2009. It is advised to get a small amount of local currency upon arrival just to get around until your tour starts.
On Tour -Please be advised that our guides will inform and show you the best places to exchange any Major World Currency with the best possible exchange rates either before your tour starts or during the course of the tour. Our guides will brief you exactly on where to exchange and roughly how much you will need to exchange after discussing possible optional activities, own expense meals or possible curio stops. Drifters trucks have safe-keeping facilities for extra cash/flight tickets/passport.
The preferred currencies per country are as follows:
• South Africa – ZAR; Rand
• Botswana – Pula
• Zimbabwe – US Dollar (it is the official currency); Rand, Pula, Euros, British pounds (at a bad exchange)
Suggested amounts for each currency:
(Without use of credit card)
• Rand : +- R 500 – R 700
• Pula : +- P 1500 – P 4000
• Dollar: +- $ 150 – $ 500
(With use of credit card)
• Rand : +- R 100 – R 600
• Pula : +- P 500 – P 1000
• Dollar: +- $ 30 – $ 200
Credit cards can be used throughout most parts of Southern Africa but it is advised to please ensure you have enough cash for personal expenses and possible gratuities.
Please note the only lodge on this tour to receive card payment will be Greenfire Johannesburg lodge. All other lodges will ONLY receive cash payments.
Areas where you shall be able to use your credit card are as follows:
• Greenfire JHB Lodge for activities; food; accommodation and small extras
• Shopping in Kang; Ghanzi ; Maun at large supermarkets
• Victoria Falls activities
It is compulsory that all passengers make arrangements for adequate travel insurance to financially safeguard against unforeseen circumstances. If you need further information please do not hesitate to contact us. Drifters do not accept responsibility for any loss, injury, damage, accident, fatality, delay or inconvenience experienced whilst on tour. You will be required to complete and sign a full indemnity prior to your tour departure.
HEALTH PRECAUTIONS & REQUIREMENTS
The only necessary prophylaxis for Southern Africa is against Malaria (Botswana Zimbabwe). Adequate chemo-prophylaxis is essential. Prevention is better than cure, so we do advise to also use insect repellent on exposed areas after sunset. Please consult with your general practitioner regarding this. All Drifters guides have first aid boxes for use in emergencies, however we recommend that you bring along your own basic supply of medication, headache tablets etc.
Please bring along any personal medication that you might need on your tour as specific medication could be difficult to find or might not be obtainable in most places we visit. General medication for headaches, colds and fever are easy to get.
Please also inform your guide of any medical conditions. This information will be received professionally and kept confidential.
Please note that Southern African weather conditions vary tremendously from season to season. During summer months temperatures of up to 40°C can be experienced. During the winter months of June, July and August the nights are very cold, temperatures may drop well below 0°C, although the day temperatures will be pleasant at around 20°C. Please take weather conditions into consideration when choosing a sleeping bag for your tour.
CLOTHING & PERSONAL EFFECTS
Herewith a recommended guide of what to bring along:
For walking, hiking and Safaris
Sport Shoes / Sneakers
Smaller day pack
Books (Birds, Mammals, personal reading books, Optional)
For general travelling (to keep yourself entertained on the longer drives)
Personal Reading Books
A deck of cards or something similar
Battery chargers for your personal devices (Ipods, Ipads, E-Readers, Handy’s etc)
Our vehicles are well equipped with charging facilities while driving. A Two-pin charger is perfect.
Clothing and Toiletries
Long Trousers / Tracksuit
Jersey / Jumper
Socks & Underwear
T-Shirts / Shirts
Hat or cap
Swimming Costume & Towel
Mosquito Net (Optional)
Malaria Prophylaxis (please inquire from your general Doctor at home)
Money (Sundry expenses, gratuities)
Headlamp / Flashlight / Batteries
Sleeping Bag & Small Pillow
Passport / Visas (if applicable)
*Please Note- If you wish to see Victoria Falls from the Zambian side or do any activities such as the Microlight Flight across the Falls from the Zambian side, it is advisable to get a Kaza-Visa on arrival of the Kazungula Border going into Zimbabwe. Please speak to your guide for assistance.
Luggage and Packing space on our vehicles
** Luggage should be limited to a maximum of 15kg’s. Each Drifters Traveler have their own locker on our trucks which is accessible even while driving. Backpacks, Barrelbags or Soft Suitcases are strongly advisable as your standard Hard Suitcases sometimes don’t fit into the lockers. Each locker could be locked with your personal lock (which you can also purchase from the Greenfire Johannesburg Lodge upon arrival.
*** Refreshments can be purchased en-route on the first day of the tour, and at regular intervals throughout the tour.
MEALS AND REFRESHMENTS
Meals are provided as indicated in the brochure/website. We do not provide meals on the first day of your tour. We do however stop en-route; therefore it is always possible to buy something along the way. Soft drinks, bottled water and alcohol are for your own expense; there is ample opportunity during the tour to buy refreshments. The guide will advise when you need to stock up for a couple of days.
A reasonable amount of personal spending money must be brought on our tours. This is to cover own expense meals as indicated in our Drifters Brochure, bottled water, soft drinks, alcohol, sundry goods purchased- such as suntan cream etc., curios, optional extra excursions, airport tax, transfers and tips.
In Africa things work a little different to the rest of the World. Tipping or gratuity, unless otherwise specified, is not included in the price you pay for services delivered. This accounts for restaurant meals, casual help and the services of the guide or guides that you will meet on your tour.
In Southern and East Africa it is classified as a common courtesy to TIP “casual help (guides)”.
This TIP is not something that is forced upon you by any means, but in many industries of tourism it is customary. It works as follows: if you believe your guide has lived up to your expectations and has performed his/her job in a way that you respect and are happy with the services rendered, an amount of R 50 per day or equivalent amount of R50 per day in any major currency per person per day would constitute a fantastic tip. Remember that this is just a guideline and is not by any means compulsory, but seen as common courtesy in Southern and East Africa.
• Kalahari – Bushmen walk
• Okavango Delta private camp
• Okavango Boat trip and Mekoro
• Game Walks
• National Parks (Moremi / Savuti – 5 Days)
• Open-vehicle Game Drives in National Parks
• Wild Remote Camping – including National Parks
• Makgadikgadi Salt Pans – Night under the Stars
• Chobe River Boat Cruise
• Victoria Falls National Park
The 15 Day Botswana Tour departs from Johannesburg and ends in Victoria Falls on the last day. Guests can extend their stay in South Africa by booking Pre-Tour at the Greenfire Lodge Johannesburg or Post-Tour Accommodation at the Greenfire Lodge Victoria Falls. Please contact Drifters or your agent for more information.
PRE-DEPARTURE INFORMATION BOTSWANA TOUR
This trip requires a valid passport and for certain nationalities, a visa for Zimbabwe and Botswana. A sleeping bag, towel and pillow are required for this tour. Seasonal Malaria precautions are necessary and are locally obtainable. A barrel bag or backpack is best suited for this trip (suitcases do not fit into the space provided). An extra day bag or camera bag is advised. Spending money required will be for the restaurant meals, drinks, visas, tips, curios, airport transfers, and any other optional excursions. (Zimbabwe airport tax US$30-00 for those flying out on day 15 – subject to change.)
Remember, help us to help you by participating and by keeping an open mind and flexible mentality. Our price includes all food as specified, coffee, tea, juice at breakfast, transport, professional guides, mekoro hire, accommodation, group equipment, permits and park entrance fees.
Our price does not include restaurant meals where stipulated, visas, tips, curios, optional excursions, alcohol, bottled water and soft drinks, airport tax, airport transfers and airfares.
Before departure clients will be required to enter into an agreement pertaining to our booking conditions and general information as defined on our website and in our brochure. Clients are required to have their own comprehensive personal travel insurance.
The 15 day Botswana tour departs from the Greenfire Lodge Johannesburg, 25 Alida Street, Northcliff at 06h30 on the first tour day (Saturday) and ends in Victoria Falls after breakfast on Day 15.
Guests not staying at the Greenfire Lodge Johannesburg pre-tour must arrive at the Lodge at 06h00. The telephone number is +27(0)11 888 1160.
ACCOMMODATION ON TOUR
PRE and POST night accommodation can be arranged at the Greenfire Lodge in Johannesburg and Greenfire Lodge Victoria Falls respectively. It is advisable to overnight at the Greenfire Lodge if you have not already made alternative arrangements. Accommodation at the Greenfire Lodge can be arranged through Drifters or your travel representative. The Greenfire Lodge is located in the Northern suburbs of Johannesburg – a safe residential area. The Greenfire Lodge has a lovely swimming pool, restaurant, bar & shop. The Lodge is within walking distance of various shopping centers and banks. The Drifters Office is located on the same premises should you have any queries regarding your tour.
Please arrange an afternoon flight as Drifters will not be held responsible for missed flights.
ACCOMMODATION DURING TOUR:
Please note that linen will be provided at Johannesburg Lodge, BUT you will need a sleeping bag and pillow for the rest of the tour. The nights specified as accommodated on tour is a total upgrade from camping, but stays very basic.
• Batteries can be charged from a 220 volt source pre tour departure in Jhb, on most nights at the lodges and every day on the truck while the truck is driving from a 12 V inverter.
• Currency exchange opportunities: Arrival at Johannesburg Airport, the first day of your tour at the Lobatse border, Maun and in Victoria Falls
• Limited Laundry facilities: Maun & Victoria Falls (Essential washing only)
• Internet facilities: Pre night in Johannesburg & in Victoria Falls
We sell a range of sleeping bags in our shop starting from € 40.00 nett per person. We also have a range of barrel bags for sale starting from € 50 nett per bag.
All our tours require participation from all group members. This entails assisting with the food preparation, washing of dishes, keeping the truck clean and the setting up the camp.
Please keep in mind that flexibility and an open mind will greatly contribute to an enjoyable safari.
We are travelling in developing countries therefore please do not expect the punctuality you have come to expect in first world countries. Things do not always run according to plan, however we do endeavor to run according to the itinerary as best as possible.
Rate: € 1875.00 per person
Start – End
11/02/2017 – 26/02/2017
18/02/2017 – 05/03/2017
04/03/2017 – 19/03/2017
18/03/2017 – 02/04/2017
25/03/2017 – 09/04/2017
08/04/2017 – 23/04/2017
15/04/2017 – 30/04/2017
22/04/2017 – 07/05/2017
29/04/2017 – 14/05/2017
06/05/2017 – 21/05/2017
13/05/2017 – 28/05/2017
20/05/2017 – 04/06/2017
27/05/2017 – 11/06/2017
03/06/2017 – 18/06/2017
10/06/2017 – 25/06/2017
17/06/2017 – 02/07/2017
24/06/2017 – 09/07/2017
01/07/2017 – 16/07/2017
08/07/2017 – 23/07/2017
15/07/2017 – 30/07/2017
22/07/2017 – 06/08/2017
29/07/2017 – 13/08/2017
05/08/2017 – 20/08/2017
12/08/2017 – 27/08/2017
19/08/2017 – 03/09/2017
26/08/2017 – 10/09/2017
02/09/2017 – 17/09/2017
09/09/2017 – 24/09/2017
16/09/2017 – 01/10/2017
23/09/2017 – 08/10/2017
30/09/2017 – 15/10/2017
07/10/2017 – 22/10/2017
14/10/2017 – 29/10/2017
21/10/2017 – 05/11/2017
28/10/2017 – 12/11/2017
04/11/2017 – 19/11/2017
11/11/2017 – 26/11/2017
18/11/2017 – 03/12/2017
25/11/2017 – 10/12/2017
02/12/2017 – 17/12/2017
09/12/2017 – 24/12/2017
16/12/2017 – 31/12/2017
23/12/2017 – 07/01/2018
30/12/2017 – 14/01/2018
JOHANNESBURG and SURROUNDS (PRE and POST Tour)
South of Johannesburg is Soweto, the world’s most famous township and important monument to Apartheid. A sprawling, self-sufficient home to millions, Soweto grapples with democratic change, but its spirit resonates in a plethora of shebeens. The focus on this tour is more on community projects & sustainable tourism. The Soweto Fair Tour includes: Nelson Mandela & Hector Pietersen Museums, a visit to Handiworx or the Soweto Green plus a view of Baragwaneth Hospital and an informal settlement. Also included is a cycle tour from Phomolong & visit a day care centre (also available without cycling).
From R590 per person for 3 hours
You can also do a cycle tour of Soweto – pricing depends on the time you cycle for.
JOBURG CITY TOUR
The tour includes a panoramic view of the city, a drive within the business district, visit to traditional African shops, the bohemian Hillbrow and Museum Africa in Newton, the cultural district of Johannesburg. Extend to 8 hours & include Constitution Hill, SAB World of Beer & more.
From R590 per person for 3 hours
SOWETO & JOHANNESBURG COMBO
Combining the Soweto & Johannesburg City tours will give you a great overview of the area.
From R850 for 5 hours
The path through the museum leads you on a journey beginning with segregation, the cornerstone of apartheid. It takes you back through the history of the myriad cultures converging during the pre-apartheid era. Through the years of race classification, the 150 acts of apartheid, detentions and the oppression of the nationalist regime. Examine the rise of black consciousness, the armed struggle & finally witness the release of Nelson Mandela after 27 years of imprisonment which finally led to the final negotiations for peace. The Apartheid Museum experience is one of upliftment and liberation both personally & socially and leaves each visitor with a feeling of hope for the future, unburdened by the ills of the past.
Duration: 3 hours R550
CRADLE OF HUMANKIND
The tour visits both the Sterkfontein caves, where the oldest hominid fossils (dating back to over 3 million years) in the world were found & Maropeng where you can experience the fascinating, interactive representations of the origin of Earth & all that lives on our unique planet. Interesting to both adults & children alike, this is a must visit on anyone passing through Gauteng’s itinerary!
Duration: 4 hours R990
PRETORIA CITY TOUR
Pretoria generates a multicultural energy from a harmonious blend of traditions, culture and architecture. Pretoria has historic value extending to that of the British Empire and Apartheid. The tour includes the either the Voortrekker Monument or Freedom Square, the Union Buildings, Kruger House, Church Square, Mirramen Hindu Temple and thousands of Jacaranda trees. Extend to 8 hours and include both the Voortrekker Monument & Freedom Square as well as the Transvaal Museum. Lunch in Pretoria
Duration: 4 ½ hours R850
Duration: 8 hours for the extended tour, incl. lunch R1500
Botswana and Victoria Falls
Scenic flight over the Okavango Delta (Highly Recommended)
The flight prices range from between R665 – R3760, this is dependent on how many people decide to go on a flight. If you are interested inquire with your guide. (you can use Credit Or Visa cards for payment)
Village walk from our Drifters Lodge in Maun (Pula 50) -Prices may vary
• White Water Rafting – Low water – USD 150
• White Water Rafting – High water – USD 140
• Gorge Swing – USD 95
• Tandem – Gorge Swing – USD 140
• Zip line – USD 70
• Tandem – Zip line – USD 110
• Flying Fox – USD 45
• Canopy tour – USD 55
• Half Day Adrenalin (Adrenalin High wire pass) – USD 140
• Adrenalin high wire & canopy tour pass – USD 175
• Full Day Chobe – USD 160
• Horse Riding Safari – Experienced – USD 85
• Horse Riding Safari – Novice – USD 80
• Game Drive – USD 95
• Night Drive – USD 130
• Sundowner Cruise – USD 50
• Fishing (3 Hrs) – USD 120
• Upper Zambezi Canoeing – USD 150
• 12/13 Minutes Helicopter – USD 150
• Micro light Flight- USD 174
(this only happens in Zambia, and if planning to do it, it will mean you will need to acquire a dual visa when going through the border to Zimbabwe)
Choose any two of the following for only USD 305.00 and get a cruise almost free!!!
– White Water Rafting, Upper Zambezi Canoeing, Half Day Adrenalin, 12/13 Minutes Helicopter, Night Drive
Choose any one of the following plus a Chobe trip for only USD293.00
– Half Day Adrenalin, White water rafting, Upper Zambezi Canoeing, Night Drive
RAFTING + G/SWING COMBO
Book White water rafting and Gorge swing and pay USD200.00 only.
Optional Activities can be booked on arrival. No bookings are made in advance.
Rates are subject to change without notice
Activities are subject to availability
Activities are weather dependent