Ker and Downey Botswana

Ker and Downey Botswana Camps In the Okavango Delta

Perhaps Botswana’s oldest safari operator, Ker & Downey Botswana continue to stand among the leading operators in Botswana for luxury vintage style tented safaris. The collection of five small tented camps are set in superb private concessions in the Okavango and Kalahari, ensuring superb game viewing. The camps capture the spirit of vintage safari with all the modern comforts and together with an extremely personalised service and attention to detail Ker & Downey Botswana remain one of the most popular operators.

Ker & Downey Botswana has an excellent footprint of camps. In the Okavango, Shinde Camp lies on the private Shinde Concession in the eastern Okavango and Kanana Camp lies on the private Pom Pom concession in the western Okavanto. Okuti Camp is in the Xakanaxa region of the Moremi Game Reserve. All three offer year round land and water acitvites and for this reason are a superb choice at any time of year. The latest edition, Dinaka Camp, is set on a private reserve on the border of the Central Kalahari Game Reserve.

In addition, Ker & Downey Botswana’s has specialist products such as Young Explorers, for children, and Footsteps Across the Delta which walking safaris for adults.

Ker & Downey Botswana’s genesis lies in the safari business established by Donald Ker and Syd Downey, two well established east African professional hunters, in Kenya after the Second World War. This company was to become one of Africa’s foremost safari outfitters. They were joined six years later by Harry Selby, the renowned professional hunter later made famous in the safari novels by the American author Robert Ruark. The company expanded its operations into Botswana and with Ker Downey & Selby Botswana.

The Botswana government had granted concession areas to the first safari companies, in order for them to conduct safaris on a grand scale in keeping with those in East Africa. Subsequently Ker Downey & Selby Botswana was combined with Safari South in 1978 and became the largest safari company in Botswana, and included in its list of employees the legendary hunters Lionel Palmer, John Kingsley-Heath, Harry Selby, Dougie Wright, Tony Henley, Wally Johnson Snr. and Jnr. and John Dugmore.

Ker Downey & Selby Botswana established the first photographic safari camp in Botswana – Khwai River Lodge in 1968. At the time of the purchase by Safari South the company was operating three lodges: Khwai River Lodge, Xugana Lodge and Savuti South. The photographic operation was marketed under the name Ker Downey & Selby Botswana, while hunting safaris continued to be operated by Safari South. By 1985, Ker Downey & Selby was operating photographic safaris within Safari South’s hunting concessions at Shinde, Mombo and Machaba camps. It was around this time that the Mombo concession was relinquished and the well-known Pom Pom camp was established. In 1990 Ker Downey & Selby, in partnership with Randall J. Moore created Elephant Back Safaris and operated the highly successful Abu’s Camp within the Ker Downey & Selby concession.

In 1993, Harry Selby resigned as a director of Ker Downey & Selby, and the name ‘Selby’ was dropped, becoming Ker & Downey Botswana, to correspond with operations in Tanzania and Nepal. Within Botswana the company saw the inclusion of Xudum Camp in its already illustrious portfolio.

1994 saw huge changes in government policy regarding land use and concession size. The original large hunting concessions were divided and the new areas made available for tenders from the private sector, with an emphasis upon photographic safaris. As a result of these new policy changes, Safari South sold its entire photographic operation, and the 1996 season saw Ker & Downey Botswana operating independently, with its air charter and aircraft maintenance companies, Northern Air and Northern Air Maintenance.

The 1997 season saw the securing of Shinde lease and the inclusion of Kwara Camp in the portfolio, joining the ever-popular Pom Pom and Machaba camps. 1998 saw the creation of Hemingway’s Africa (later renamed Footsteps Across the Delta), a walking and mekoro safari operating in the Shinde concession. This safari provides a unique chance to experience the taste of the original east African safari, which the company had brought to Botswana over thirty years before.

Another expansive season followed, with the acquisition of Gorges Lodge outside of Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe and of Camp Okuti in the Xakanaxa region of the Moremi Game Reserve. Shortly afterwards, in 2000, a new camp was introduced to the portfolio, Kanana Camp situated in the south- western Okavango Delta, on the Xudum River.

Today the company continues to change and develop, always offering our visitors the very best safari, drawing from 45 years of operational experience in Botswana. Presently the Ker & Downey Botswana portfolio includes Shinde, Kanana and Okuti Camps as well as Footsteps Across the Delta, covering an incredibly broad range of habitats within the Delta. Each camp is entirely unique and individually or combined will ensure visitors have the safari of a lifetime, each and every time they visit.
Ker & Downey Botswana became a part of the Chobe Holdings Group (a 100 % Botswana owned company) in 2009.

From $545 per person

Shinde Enclave

The exclusive Shinde Enclave is a ‘camp within a camp’, offering the ultimate personal service and exclusive safari experience on the Shinde concession. Perfect for families or small groups, the enclave consists of three luxurious tents built on raised teak decks, with a private dining and lounge area. Both land and water activities are offered year round in this excellent game area.

From $545 per person

Footsteps Across the Delta

Footsteps Across the Delta is one of Africa’s preeminent walking safaris. The camp allows guests to experience the pristine wilderness of the Okavango Delta the most traditional way- on foot. Set on one of the Okavango’s finest private concessions Footsteps is unrestricted by park rules, offering a truly exclusive walking safari experience. This charming small camp offers a really authentic but always comfortable safari experience, with superb guiding.

From $545 per person

Okuti Camp

Okuti Camp is a delightful camp set alongside the Maunachira River which flows through Xakanaxa Lagoon within the world renowned Moremi Game Reserve, famous for the year round big game viewing. Okuti has a unique style, with 7 reed rooms set along the riverbank. Land and water activities are offered year-round, with morning and afternoon 4x4 game drives exploring this particularly pretty corner of the Moremi and boating along the peaceful waterways.

From $545 per person

Shinde Camp

Shinde Camp is a charming camp nestled on a lush palm island on a private concession in the north eastern Okavango Delta. Overlooking the shimmering Shinde Lagoon, this is an area which teems with animals and birds attracted to the permanent waters. The game viewing is varied and interesting, as are the activities with both land and water activities available year-round. This is a luxurious tented camp, with a classic sophisticated style and friendly atmosphere.

From $545 per person

Kanana Camp

Kanana Camp is a hidden jewel set on the Xudum River in the southwest Okavango. Kanana is luxurious tented camp with year round water and land activities and excellent game viewing. The area encompasses a necklace of islands dotted with palms, figs, ebony and knobthorn, and is home to a myriad of birds, plants and animals. Set on a private concession, activities at Kanana include game drives, walking, boating, mokoro and a sleep out option.

From $545 per person

Dinaka Camp

Dinaka is a classic luxury tented camp set on a large private reserve on the border of the stunning Central Kalahari Game Reserve offering an exciting range of activities. The game viewing here makes a fantastic contrast to an Okavango safari and really showcases the variety of Botswana. Dinaka is a smart and well run camp offering game drives, san bushman walks, a photo hide and sleepout options ensuring a well-rounded desert safari experience.

Ker and Downey Botswana Locations

Shinde Enclave

Family Safari From $545
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Footsteps Across the Delta

Family Safari From $545
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Okuti Camp

Family Safari From $545
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Shinde Camp

Family Safari From $545
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Kanana Camp

Family Safari From $545
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Dinaka Camp

Family Safari From $545
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Safaris Featuring Ker and Downey Botswana

7 Nights
From $7,900

Best of the Okavango – walking safari

The ultimate walking safari itinerary for adventurous travellers and safari purists looking for an authentic walking experience in the Okavango. Combining the two best walking outfits operating on private concessions in the Okavango – Footsteps in the east and Beagle Expeditions in the west, this itinerary delivers a fantastic week long Delta adventure. Beginning at a small three tent camp and ending with your own private mobile accessed only by helicopter, this is truly off the beaten track. Superb guiding is at the heart of this itinerary – taking your safari experience to the next level.

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6 Nights
From $3650

Christmas Safari

The ultimate walking safari itinerary for adventurous travellers and safari purists looking for an authentic walking experience in the Okavango. Combining the two best walking outfits operating on private concessions in the Okavango – Footsteps in the east and Beagle Expeditions in the west, this itinerary delivers a fantastic week long Delta adventure. Beginning at a small three tent camp and ending with your own private mobile accessed only by helicopter, this is truly off the beaten track. Superb guiding is at the heart of this itinerary – taking your safari experience to the next level.

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6 Nights
From $5700

Starbed safari

Experience the best of the Okavango as you visit two luxury tented camps set in prime locations in east and west Okavango. Both camps offer year round land and water activities offering a complete Okavango safari experience, perfect for the Christmas season. Small and friendly camps with superb guides and a full range of activities make this the perfect itinerary for family holidays in the festive season. With a private vehicle offered complimentary for all groups of four or more this is perfect for families.

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4 Nights
From $3500

Classic 4 night Okavango Safari

A classic six night Okavango safari with a dazzling and romantic twist- sleep beneath the stars on private stardecks to the sounds of the African bushveld. A perfect blend of adventure and luxury without compromising on your safari experience. Visit two traditional luxury camps in the Okavango, each with a one night sleep out option - offering the best of both worlds. This is no rough and ready experience – high treehouse style structures complete with four poster beds on the open top deck and bathrooms below ensure comfort is never compromised. A complete range of land and water activities combined to ensure a fantastic all round Okavango safari – deal for romantic holidays and intrepid travellers.

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5 Nights
From $4100

Classic 5 night Okavango Safari

A perfectly balanced itinerary exploring the best of the west and east Okavango. Visiting two luxury tented camps set on excellent private concessions with abundant game and a full range of activities. Both areas have permanent water channels ensuring both land and water activities are available year round for a complete Okavango safari experience. This itinerary covers a diverse range of habitats and wildlife encounters. Authentic luxury camps with a maximum of four people per vehicle ensure an exclusive safari experience. A superb year round safari itinerary.

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3 Nights
From $1900

Best Short Okavango Safari

A wonderful Okavango safari with 2 nights in the west and 3 nights in the east, ensuring a wonderfully varied and well-rounded safari experience. Visit two luxury tented camps set on top private concessions with abundant game and a complete range of activities. Both areas have permanent water channels ensuring both land and water activities are available year round for a complete Okavango safari experience. This itinerary covers a diverse range of habitats and wildlife encounters. Authentic luxury camps with a maximum of four people per vehicle ensure an exclusive safari experience. A superb year round safari itinerary.

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3 Nights
From $1500

Young Explorers Safari

Experience the best of the Okavango with both land and water activities guaranteed year round at Shinde Camp. Set in a game rich private concession in the east of the Okavango, with permanent waters and wide open plains, Shinde delivers a fantastic safari experience at any time of year. A luxurious tented camp delivering a traditional safari experience at excellent value, this is a great camp. Only 4 people per vehicle ensures this is an exclusive safari experience. A great choice for those short on time.

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9 Nights
From $5090

Nine Night Okavango and Kalahari Safari

The Young Explorers safari is designed to offer families the opportunity to discover the wonders of the African wilderness – together, exclusively. Each family has the use of a private six-bedded camp, a professional guide, personal chef, waiter, housekeeper and dedicated Mokoro guides. It literally allows guests to explore the bush at their leisure, while never losing sight of the fact that being in the wilderness is also about having fun! Set on one of the best private concessions in the Okavango with excellent game viewing, families follow a special programme designed to educate children about the Okavango with fun interactive bush skills like tracking and making bows and arrows. One of the best family safari experiences in Africa.

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6 Nights
From $3720

Six Night Okavango and Kalahari Safari

Experience the striking contrast of the harsh Kalahari and lush Okavango in this powerful combination of three luxury tented camps. Perfectly located in private concessions in the Kalahari, West and East Okavango, this is an exclusive safari experience. The Okavango camps are set near permanent water channels ensuring year round water activities. The Kalahari showcases desert adapted species not seen in the Okavango. A fantastic year round safari showcasing the amazing diversity of Botswana.

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6 Nights
From $3750

Six Night Okavango Safari

Experience the striking contrast of the harsh Kalahari and lush Okavango in this powerful combination of three luxury tented camps. Perfectly located in private concessions in the Kalahari, West and East Okavango, this is an exclusive safari experience. The Okavango camps are set near permanent water channels ensuring year round water activities. The Kalahari showcases desert adapted species not seen in the Okavango. A fantastic year round safari showcasing the amazing diversity of Botswana with a stunning range of activities.

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