With an excellent mix of camps throughout northern Botswana, Kwando Safaris offer a comprehensive safari choice
Kwando Safaris is a wholly citizen owned safari company that operates Kwara in the Okavango Delta. With a focus on Botswana, the company allows guests an excellent opportunity to experience not just the wildlife but also the people and culture of the Okavango Delta.
Kwando Safaris has acquired camps in the Kwando Concession, the famous Okavango Delta, the Nxai Pan National Park and in the Central Kalahari Game Reserve. These camps allow guests to experience unique and diverse wildlife destinations and gain an understanding of the diversity which makes Botswana such a special safari destination.With two private concessions, Kwando and Kwara (NG 22), Kwando Safaris provide first rate safaris in the Linyanti and Okavango Delta regions of Botswana. These vast concessions, 232 000 hectares and 175 000 hectares respectively, allow guests undisturbed game viewing. These concessions each contain two Kwando Safaris camps.
Kwando Concession in the Linyanti is known particularly for its wild dog packs. With two camps, Lagoon and Lebala this concession is particularly rich in wildlife. Operating from exclusive concessions Kwando’s spectacular camps allow guests to experience unique and diverse wildlife destinations. The game viewing is consistent and high quality and the being in private concessions game drive vehicles can drive off the road and operate at night.
The group’s latter additions Nxai Pan and Tau Pan are situated in national parks, these are however some of the most remote national parks in Botswana and offer a comfortable way of seeing these very special regions. North of the Makgadikgadi salt pans Nxai Pan forms part of the great fossil pan system the bed of an ancient super lake fed by the Okavango, Zambezi and Kwando rivers. Tau Pan in the arid Kalahari Desert is home to a diverse population of both flora and fauna perfectly adapted to their harsh environment. These two camps are the perfect foil to the lush Okavango Delta.
Kwando Safaris are wholly locally owned with all of Kwando Safaris’ operations being based in Maun, the tourist capital of Botswana. Staff development is of particular importance to the group and the company takes pride in the fact that many of their camp managers started in junior positions.
Kwando Safaris’ camps in the Okavango Delta
Kwara Concession, eastern Okavango Delta
Overlooking a secluded lagoon in the northern Okavango Delta, Kwara offers the ultimate Delta experience. Its location allows access to the permanent waterways of the Delta as well as expansive dry land areas, admired for their quality game viewing.
Kwara offers, within the exclusive concession in which it is located, a wide variety of activities. In addition to game drives, both day and night, the camp offers mokoro trips, as well as fishing (spinning equipment is provided but fly fisherman need to bring their own equipment). Boat trips are on a double-decker boat that visits the Godikwe Lagoon in the waters of the Moremi Game Reserve, which is known for the abundant varieties of birdlife especially during nesting season.
Kwara is known for its consistent sightings of predators, including lion, cheetah, leopard and on rare occasion – white rhino! Herds of elephants also frequent the area, as well as giraffe, zebra, sitatunga, lechwe, impala and hippos.
Kwara Concession, eastern Okavango Delta
This exclusive camp is located within the game rich Kwara concession, which borders the Moremi Game Reserve on the northern edge of the Okavango Delta.
Little Kwara offers all the activities one expects in an exclusive concession in the Okavango Delta – day and night drives, game walks, power boating, mokoro trips and fishing (spinning equipment is provided but fly fishermen need to bring their own equipment).
Similar to Kwara, Little Kwara is known for its consistent sightings of predators. Herds of elephants also frequent the area, as well as giraffe, zebra, sitatunga, lechwe, impala and hippos. Wild dogs have also been seen in the concession although less frequently than the northern camps.
Other Kwando Safaris’ camps
Kwando Concession – Linyanti
Lagoon is perched on the banks of the wild Kwando River, nestled beneath towering ebony and marula trees. The heavily forested site is home to a wide variety of birds and mammals, while elephant and hippo are normally visible from the camp. The stunning views and close proximity of wildlife all contribute to the pervading sense of calm at Lagoon.
The Lagoon area has a well-earned reputation for big game and large herds of elephant and buffalo, especially in the winter months, when herds of up to a thousand are not uncommon. This vast concentration of game attracts the attention of large predators. The Lagoon wild dog pack regularly den close to the camp and the excellent viewing opportunities have led to Lagoon’s reputation as the place to see wild dog in Botswana.
Seasonally large herds of elephant drink at the river bank near to the camp in full view of the main deck, while playful spotted – necked otters are commonly seen performing in the water.
Kwando Concession – Linyanti
Lebala is situated in the south of the Kwando Concession, adjacent to the headwaters of the Linyanti marshes that form the boundary between Namibia and Botswana. The southerly flowing Kwando River disappears into the vast marshland before emerging as the Linyanti River.
This special ecosystem is home to a wide variety of plains game such as zebra, wildebeest, impala, giraffe and tsessebe and also provides refuge to lechwe, waterbuck and the shy sitatunga. Lebala is also known for frequent sightings of wild dog which denned near to the camp in recent years.
Lebala means ‘wide open spaces’ in Setswana and the scenery is dominated by vast plains with scattered palms and tree islands backed by wooded savannahs. This wild expanse contrasts with the casual understated luxury of the camp itself.
Nxai Pan National Park
Nxai Pan is located on the western edge of the fossil pan from which the camp takes its name. The camp faces east over the open grasslands of the pans. The biggest draw to Nxai Pan National Park are the zebras that migrate by the thousands to the area – the second largest land animal migration in Southern Africa.
Day trips to Baines’ Baobabs are highly popular, and include a picnic lunch at the site. These age-old trees were immortalised in paintings by the artist and adventurer Thomas Baines in 1862. If you were to compare Baines’ paintings to the scene today, you would find that after 150 years, the trees are nearly identical – testament to the age of these magnificent giants.
Another classic activity at Nxai Pan is a walk with one of the San bushmen trackers, an informative walk that takes place within the camp’s footprint. Learn about how the San used to live nomadically: how they used to hunt, gather food, water sources, and which plants were used for medicinal purposes. Their wealth of true bush knowledge is unparalled, and one of our guests’ favourite experiences at our desert camps.
Central Kalahari Game Reserve
Tau Pan is the first semi-permanent camp inside the Central Kalahari Game Reserve and offers truly incredible views from the ridge of an ancient sand dune, an unusual experience in a land as flat as Botswana, and overlooks the famous Tau Pan – recognised for its stark beauty and remoteness.
Activities offered at Tau Pan are game drives, day trips to the well-known Deception Valley, Sunday, Piper and Passarge Pans, star gazing, bush brunches on Tau Pan, and nature walks with Bushman trackers.
‘Tau’ which means lion in Setswana, is so named for the pride of iconic black-maned Kalahari lions who frequent the camp (with a particular preference for the family tent!).
Species that can be found in the Kalahari include oryx, the desert-adapted springbok, jackals, the rare brown hyena, red-crested Korhaan and herds of wildebeest.