Kweene Trails Expedition and Walking Safari

A safari for adventurous travellers whose idea of luxury is an authentic expedition with a top guide in a remote and pristine corner of the Okavango, far from the crowds. This is one of the few mobile safaris to operate on a private concession, offering a truly off beat and exclusive experience. Privately guided and personally designed for each group- this four night safari explores the untouched wilderness of the Abu concession on foot with one of Africa’s finest guides. Walking is at the heart of this itinerary – though 4x4 game drives and mokoro will be included for a more complete Okavango experience.

This safari aims to explore one of Botswana’s last remaining remote wilderness areas, an area so untouched there is a very limited road network – making it ideal for walking safaris. This area is explored mainly on foot – however shorter 4x4 game drives are offered as a chance to approach predators safely – and boating and mokoros will be offered when water levels permit, for those looking for a quintessential Okavango experience.

This itinerary see you exploring the Kweene River system – beginning in the southern section of the Kweene River for two nights before moving camp to the northern section of the river. This move is usually done on foot but can also be done by mokoro, if water levels permit.

This itinerary is designed to offer a flavour of the kind of safari which can be arranged however the day to day will very much depend on the season of travel and conditions on the ground- water levels and wildlife movements may require alternations to be made to ensure the best possible safari experience.

This safari can be booked for a minimum of two people and a maximum of 10 (14 people may be possible on request).

Day 1

On arrival in Maun you will be met by a representative from Helicopter Horizons who will assist you onto your helicopter transfer to your camp, a spectacular flight of about 30 minutes over the Okavango Delta.

On arrival Simon and the team will be waiting to welcome you to your new home in the Okavango – your private mobile camp set in the Abu Concession.

Mobile camps are lightweight by nature – so this is a rustic but comfortable experience. Rest assured all camp duties are carried out by a team of efficient staff, ensuring all your time is focussed on safari. Guests sleep in 3mx3m dome tents with ground mattresses – the bedrolls are thick and comfortable and the linen a fine cotton. A separate ablution open air tent is set up for every 2 dome tents, with a bucket shower (with hot water) and a bush loo. Dining is all under the skies at night- and here is where the luxury shows itself. The food is variety, fresh and healthy seasonal fare served with fine South African wines.
Having settled in and met the team you will then set off on your first activity - likely a walk but if water levels are up you will also have the opportunity to end the day with a boat ride – either way you will toast the setting sun with a traditional sundowner before returning to camp where a roaring fire awaits and a tasty dinner under the stars. Then it is time for bed and rest- ready for the adventure the next day.

A night in the African wilderness under canvas it truly unique – expect to hear all sorts of wonderful sounds as the bushveld never really sleeps. Safe and comfortable in your tent you can enjoy the wonderful rhythm of the night sounds – jackals calling, owls hooting, the rustle of little nocturnal creates like bush babies and smaller cats like genets and servals and caracals. Porcupines often visit mobile camps and the rustle of their squills is quite unique. Look out for signs the next morning!

Day 2

The next morning you rise early just before sunrise. You will likely wake naturally with the movements of the rest of the camp and sense the bushveld beginning to stir to life again but if not a friendly knock at your tent will wake you. Hot water is brought your wash stand and having freshened up you will meet around the camp fire for hot drinks, a light breakfast and then head off for your first morning walk.

Early mornings are a fantastic time for a walking safari for a number of reasons – this avoids the heat of the day, when it is not comfortable for you or the animals to be out in the sun. This also offers the best chance of seeing the animals active, including predators which have been active during the night.

Today you explore the southern section of the Kweene River, this occasional swamp has an arid feel to it, however as the floodplains are inundated with water less frequently than the seasonal swamps the grass species which are present here are richer and more attractive to grazers – so large herds are found here, along with the predators which follow.

Guided bush walks are not just about finding animals. This is a chance for your guide to offer insight into this unique eco-system, to share his knowledge of the flora, fauna and wildlife as you track animals and learn about the smaller but important aspects of this area.

As the day heats up you return to camp for a hearty brunch and time to rest with a book in the shade or enjoy a siesta or chat in the mess area before your afternoon activity. Once again this is likely to be a walk but the option of a game drive is always available. Particularly useful if wanting to get closer to predators you may have seen earlier, a chance to take photos too. If water levels are up you may take a mokoro ride or boat ride too.

This is the beauty of having your own private camp and guide- the total flexibility to peruse your interests, as much as the conditions on the ground allow. Another sundowner in a beautiful location is enjoyed before you return to camp for dinner and another night in the wilderness, the sounds becoming more familiar and no less magical.

Day 3

Another early start to the day with a morning walk. Today you move camp, leaving the southern section of Kweene for the lusher northern reaches of the river system, to the lush seasonal swamp area in the north.

You will simply pack your bags and leave them in camp, the team will pack up the camp and do all the necessary arrangements, setting up your new camp which will be ready on arrival for you later in the afternoon.

You set off with Simon and your back up guide for a full day of exploring - Depending on the water levels, you will have a chance to explore by mokoro (the traditional Okavango way) or on foot or a mix of both.

The northern section of the Kweene River receives water with the arrival of the annual flood waters from Angola, part of the annual flood cycle. This is a particularly stunning area with classic Okavango scenery, wide open floodplains are dotted with palm tree islands and fringed by riverine woodlands attracting an abundance of wildlife. This landscape is the spectacular backdrop for your walking safaris over the next two days.

Arriving in camp late afternoon for drinks around the fire and dinner in your new Okavango home.

Day 4

Your final day of the safari – you wake early to make the most of it. Today you explore this beautiful northern section of Kweene with Simon, again you will focus on walking, with the option to mokoro as well if water levels permit.

Walking is a chance to get up close and personal with nature- to touch, feel and smell the African bush away from the rattle of the 4x4 vehicle. Out of the safety bubble of the 4x4 your senses truly come alive, nothing will focus your attention more than walking in the wilderness with Africa’s great creatures seen on foot.

Having made the most of your last day you return to camp as the sun is setting – toast to your memories and enjoy your last night in Kweene – by now the sounds of the African bush will send you to sleep like a lullaby.

Day 5

This morning you wake early for one last activity before you return for breakfast and to bid farewell to the team. The time for your departure flight will be advised by radio to camp the night before. Your helicopter will transfer you back to Maun in time for your onward flight. Or to your next camp.

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