This is an action- packed safari especially designed to capture the imagination of young families and engage youngsters in educational and fun activities. Without compromising the game viewing experience, extra activities are included for those with more energy to burn using simple and wholesome safari themed activities with specially trained guides. This itinerary captures the true spirit of adventure in safari and allows families to discover the wonders of the Okavango and Kalahari together. Quad biking across the salt pans, meeting meerkats and educational walks with bushman in the Kalahari. In the Okavango discover the joy of tracking animals and poling a mokoro – Botswana is the perfect natural playground.
Plenty of adventurous activities have been created for families without losing out on a classic safari experience, with traditional game drives where the big game can be approached safely offering excellent photo opportunities. These are prime locations which are visited.
The contrast between the Okavango and Kalahari is beautifully showcased by a 60 minute light aircraft flight. As you fly over the Okavango you will see the change from the lush waterways of the Okavango Delta to the dry harsher landscapes of the Kalahari. Glistening waterways transform to striking salt pans, peppered by rocky outcrops and baobab trees. A sudden and extraordinary transformation. As the landscape changes, so do the activities and it is exactly this that keeps the safari days fresh and exciting – the magic of these ever -changing natural wonders never wearing off.
In the Okavango your family will have exclusive use of a six bed tented camp – Young Explorers is designed to offer families the opportunity to discover the wonders of the Okavango – together, exclusively. The camp includes 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.
The Young Explorers programme is based at Footsteps Camp, an authentic mobile style camp. This is a comfortable, entirely private camp which accommodates six guests in three specially-designed twin-bedded Meru tents. One of the three tents can be converted into a family tent that sleeps three. Each tent has its own bucket shower and porcelain flush toilet, which is attached to the back of the tent and there is a daily laundry service. The ‘bush kitchen’ is run by our chef and prepares menus for all kinds of appetites.
The Young Explorers’ programme places emphasis on learning how to track game – both on foot and in 4×4 safari vehicles, teaching children how to make small animal traps and how to start a fire from nothing more than two sticks. The children learn how to recognize different animal spoor; identify a range of birds; try their hand at poling a Mokoro; drive a game drive vehicle; fish; and shoot an air rifle at tin cans (subject to water levels). On completion of the safari children receive a Young Explorers certificate, t-shirt and cap to mark their achievement.
The traditional safari experience is still enjoyed by all with game drives into the concession boasting superb game viewing. Shinde stands out for its diverse range of habitats. Wide open plains attracts cheetah while lion roam right across the concession. Leopard stalk the forests. Plains game are varied and numerous and include zebra, wildebeest, sable, tssesebe, kudu and more. Large bull elephants are resident near the waters which are home to hippos and crocs too.
After three nights you move to the Camp Kalahari on the edge of the Makgadikgadi pans. Here you will enjoy a very different, desert safari staying at Camp Kalahari. This is a great little bush camp, with a rustic quirky style and very friendly atmosphere.
Camp Kalahari is a great base for exploring the pans and has a stunning array of activities on offer which you will discuss with your private guide. As well as game drives there is walking, a visit to the San Bushman, quad biking across the pans and a visit to a habituated meercat colony.
The game is very different here, concentrating on desert adapted game, such as the incredible Kalahari black named lion, the brown hyena (much more endearing that it’s spotted cousin!), the oryx, zebra and springbok. And more… This is a harsh but fascinating environment, and the stars at night are simply spectacular.
One of the best family safari experiences in Africa. The day to day itinerary below provides a detailed description but the structure of the days could vary depending on conditions at the time. Some activities such as quad biking are seasonal, this will only run when the pans are dry, from Map-September. In the summer months the zebra migration dazzles across the Kalahari from January to March.