Botswana Conservation Safari

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12 Days
Availability : Flexible Dates
Maun, Botswana
Livingstone, Zambia
Min Age : 10+

A Greenloons exclusive safari focused on the 4C’s concepts of Commerce, Conservation, Community and Culture, you’ll enjoy wildlife and scenery as few visitors can while also getting an in-depth view of how some tourism businesses are ensuring the sustainability of the precious conservation areas of Africa. 

This once in a lifetime safari highlights the best examples of sustainable ecotourism in Botswana. Responsible, nature-based tourism is an effective and practical vehicle to ensure the sustainability of African conservation in the modern era. The sustainability strategy is encapsulated by the 4C’s of Conservation, Community, Culture, and Commerce. You will learn about the sustainability initiatives of the area while participating in an African safari like no other.

  • Conservation initiatives focus on environmental management systems that ensure the lowest possible carbon footprints as well as biodiversity conservation that covers the understanding, management, and protection of the surrounding wildlife and ecosystems.
  • Community initiatives focus on the rural community partners that enable community-centric employment, joint ventures, education, training, social and health benefits, capacity building and infrastructure development.
  • Culture initiatives focus on the 27 ethnic groups of Southern Africa to learn ideas, beliefs, values, and knowledge which constitute the shared bases of their social action. This also includes developing a code of ethics for tourist interaction with these ethnic groups.
  • Commerce initiatives focus on the ecotourism offering and its sustainability in the modern world. Companies can only make a difference in Africa if they are doing well.

Each camp visited is selected for its excellence in sustainability in one or more of the 4C’s. There are exclusive opportunities are created at each camp, showcasing its initiatives. Initiatives range from high-level environmental programs and conservation projects to staffing of HIV programs through supporting smaller ventures such as community laundry suppliers and authentic cultural engagement.


Days 1-4Depart from Maun Airport to Kalahari Plains Camp

Kalahari Plains Camp in the Central Kalahari Game Reserve overlooks an immense pan with endless horizons and beautiful skies. This eco friendly camp is beautifully placed to take advantage of the famed, outstanding wildlife of this reserve. Settle into one of the ten en suite canvas units with a unique rooftop sleep-out, built to take in the sweeping views. Our staff will host you in our dining and lounge area or will provide you with a refreshing drink on our viewing deck or while you are taking a dip in our plunge pool. Home to the legendary Kalahari black maned lion as well as a large cheetah population, you can anticipate a magical stay in this enormous game rich area.

The camp is located in a remote part of the Central Kalahari Game Reserve, a place famed for its outstanding wildlife with vast herds of antelope followed by abundant predators including the legendary black maned Kalahari lion. The camp comprises ten en suite canvas units each with a sleep out area from which to enjoy the night skies. Many San bushmen still live a traditional life in the Central Kalahari and traditional culture is very much part of the camp. Solar power provides electricity and hot water, and the innovative insulated canvas walls and roof keep the temperatures inside comfortable.

Activities and Notations During Your Stay

– Presentation on the history and local people of the area and their movements.
– Extended walk and a traditional breakfast led and prepared by members of the San Bushmen people. Game drives and guided walks, available on request, will unlock the wildlife treasures found here, while San Bushman experiences provide insight into the unique culture of the local people.
– Full back of house tour highlighting the solar panels and the challenges of water consumption.
– Some 220 bird species have been recorded in the area.
– During the wet and the dry season, wildlife varies. Invariably you will come across a vast array of plains game followed by their predators including the lion, leopard, cheetah and brown hyaena.
– Enjoy a cultural evening of traditional song, dance, stories, food and shared stories.

Did you know?

– The camp is 100 percent solar powered.
– The camp is characterized by open grassy plains, seasonal pans, wooded acacia islands, scrub covered dunes and fossil riverbeds.
– As Kalahari Plains Camp settles in, various conservation and community initiatives are being put into place. These involve the unique Kalahari fauna and various ecological monitoring projects. For example, our guides work closely with the coordinators of the Central Kalahari Wild Dog Project and the Okavango-Kalihari Wild Dog Research Project.
– In addition, Kalahari Plains Camp has actively engaged the local Basarwa Bushman people to integrate them into the potentially mutually beneficial ecotourism industry. Thus, the majority of staff members were sought out in the villages of the dusty Kalahari and first trained and employed in our Okavango and Linyanti camps prior to deployment back to the Kalahari. A number of local Bushman clans, also known as the Basarwa, have been resident in and around this area for thousands of years. Originally nomadic hunter-gatherers, their lifestyle has gradually changed with the times and they now live in settlements, some of which are situated within the southern half of the Central Kalahari Game Reserve.

Days 4-7Depart from Kalahari Plains Camp, Arrive Vumbura Plains Camp via Maun Airport

The ultimate in luxury, Vumbura Plains Camp is comprised of two separate seven-room camps with spectacular vistas across the floodplain. Each camp has its own raised dining, lounge and bar area tucked beneath the canopy of large shady trees. Prepare to indulge in your large, elevated en-suite bedroom, with its own sunken lounge, sala, outdoor shower, private deck and plunge pool. The family suite has a private deck which links the two separate bedrooms. Throughout camp, the furnishings and design offer a unique contemporary feel with an emphasis on relaxation and style. Home to a spectacular variety of wildlife, Vumbura Plains Camp provides the quintessential Okavango experience.

Activities and Notations During Your Stay

– Presentation of the history of the area and the role that the Okavango plays in Botswana including the benefits of the safari industry in this area.
– Learn about rhino and sable conservation in the Kwedi.
– Mokoro excursion; learn about the history and cultural significance of the small canoe.
– Basket weaving with local staff, which is a traditional skill passed down through generations.
– Experience a cultural dinner with local dishes and wear local garments.
– You can explore the varied habitats by open 4×4 vehicle day and night, boat, mokoro, or on foot.
– Woodland loving antelope like sable and kudu roam side by side with water-loving red lechwe and reedbuck. The diversity of prey species results in a wide variety of predators from lion and spotted hyaena, to leopard, and occasionally cheetah and wild dog.
– The diversity is a boon for keen birders with Rosy-throated Longclaw, Black Coucal and Wattled Crane.

Did you know?

– Vumbura Plains Camp is part of a community participation plan known as the Okavango Community Trust bringing the benefits of ecotourism to the communities that live in the Okavango Delta.
– Vumbura Plains Camp is part of a groundbreaking partnership that brings the benefits of ecotourism to five rural villages. The five villages which are located on the northern perimeter of the Okavango Delta in the Moremi Game Reserve are part of the Okavango Community Trust which helps to manage the affairs of the community as a whole and to ensure that rewards are fairly distributed.
– The Okavango Community Trust has now developed a partnership. The land on which Vumbura Plains Camp is located is leased from the community and our company markets, sells and manages it. Locals also benefit from the many employment opportunities, skills development and the ongoing commitment to uplift the living standards of the community.
– Vumbura is home to a number of wildlife conservation research projects supported by the Wilderness Wildlife Trust. The camp also operates as a joint venture with the Okavango Community Trust.

Days 7-10Depart Vumbura Plains Camp, Arrive Duma Tau Camp

Overlooking the broad Linyanti River, DumaTau means roar of the lion, but it is the large herds of elephant for which the area is most well-known. These and much more can be seen on game drive or from your spacious tented unit. There are ten luxurious, canvas roofed en suite tents consisting of eight twin and two family units all with wide angle views of the river. The same spectacular vistas can be seen from our expansive open deck, the dining room and lounge areas. With easy access to a range of habitats, you can look forward to excellent wildlife viewing all year round prolific plains game along with abundant predators. DumaTau Camp is set on an exquisite new site on the banks of the Linyanti River Osprey Lagoon. It is located close to the source of the Savute Channel in the western part of the Linyanti, between two elephant corridors, thus offering an exclusive combination of land and river experience. The ten en suite tented units are raised off the ground to overlook the Lagoon.

Activities and Notations During Your Stay

– Presentation and back of house tour highlighting the light footprint and camp design, a standard across all our camps.
– Inspect the old DumaTau site with regards to our decommissioning of camps.
– Learn about the company’s HIV programme and other health initiatives. Discuss our training system in camp and the training of the local people.
– Presentation on the Wilderness Wildlife Trust and Children in the Wilderness and the work they do, in particular in the Linyanti.
– The activities on offer are day and night game drives, guided walks on request and seasonal boating. Nearby platforms and hides also present excellent wildlife opportunities.
– Red lechwe, zebra, giraffe, lion, leopard, cheetah, wild dog and spotted hyaena are some of the other species that can be found in the area.

Did you know?

– DumaTau is involved in elephant research and the possible impact that the high numbers have on the vegetation and other animal species.
– The camp lies on the Linyanti River, close to the drier mopane woodlands and the Savute Channel; the latter being famous as a sporadic and unusual watercourse.
– The activities on offer are day and night game drives, guided walks on request and seasonal boating.
– DumaTau is a paradise for birders. The area has been internationally recognized as an Important Bird Area.
– Rebuilt in 2012 with only sustainable considerations in mind, DumaTau operates completely on solar energy, for hot water, lighting and other energy needs, and is built of timber certified by the Forest Stewardship Council. In addition, the camp has waterwise waste removal and uses green and thermal insulating materials.

Days 10-12Depart DumaTau Camp, Arrive Toka Leya Camp

Set on the western sector of the Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park, Toka Leya Camp perches on the banks of the precipitating Zambezi River. Only 12km upstream from the world-renowned Victoria Falls, the camp is well placed for you to explore the scenic and vibrant region. Limiting our footprint on this pristine land, wooden walkways snake between the 12 spacious en-suite safari-style tents. You will feel safe and comfortable in your tastefully decorated room with an expansive wooden deck looking out at the mighty river – often presenting the sight of rambling elephants, grunting pods of hippo and idle crocodiles. Under a canopy of shady trees, the camp’s dining, lounge and bar areas offer ample space for you to relax, complete with an infinity pool. Overlooking the Zambezi River and some of its islands Toka Leya Camp comprises 12 raised, spacious en-suite safari-style tents with expansive wooden decks from which to soak up the views. Activities include a tour of the Victoria Falls on the Zambian side, game drives within Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park and river cruises. Wilderness projects include a reforestation program, water recycling and organic waste composting. Wilderness also supports the local community with various initiatives.

Activities and Notations During Your Stay

– Back-of-house tour highlights the green initiatives of the camp including the very important reforestation program. Here, guests are asked to offset their carbon footprint and plant a set number of trees.
– Driving business in the area, a visit to Victoria Falls highlights the importance of commerce.
– Visit Sinde Village and the school supported by Toka Leya and its guests.
– Celebrate the end of your journey at a traditional evening and enjoy the music of the local people.
– Additional activities on offer include guided walks and adventure pursuits.
– The park offers wildlife viewing of buffalo, giraffe, zebra, impala and white rhino.
– The prolific bird life includes the African Finfoot, a rarity elsewhere, yet here a resident.
– Scheduled tour of Victoria Falls on the Zambian Side
– Explore the rainforests of the Victoria Falls with its abundance of birdlife.
– Visit the Eastern Cataract of the Falls.
– Cross the footbridge to the Knife Edge for spectacular photographic opportunities.

Victoria Falls is one of the seven natural wonders of the world. David Livingstone was the first European to visit the Falls, and named it after Queen Victoria. To the locals, it is known as Mosi oa Tunya meaning The Smoke that Thunders, which is an accurate description of what happens when the waters of the Zambezi River plunge over the 1700 meter wide and 100 meter deep chasm, creating a shower of spray and a deafening noise. From January to June the Zambian side of the Falls benefits from the increased water flow over the Falls and paths enable one to explore the rainforest, right up to danger point. During our tour we visit the Eastern Cataract of the Falls and cross the foot bridge to the Knife Edge, a perfect vantage point to view the Falls as well as the boiling Pot where the river turns and heads down the Botoka Gorge.

Sundowner Cruise on the Zambezi River
We head for the mighty Zambezi River where you will board a sunset cruise boat. The boat is shaded and gently makes its way upstream towards the Zambezi National Park, usually accompanied by a brief talk about the river and its wildlife by your skipper. You can relax and enjoy the riverine vegetation and spot the excellent birdlife as well as hippo and occasional crocodile. In the drier months, wildlife such as elephant and many antelope species can be seen grazing on the riverbanks or swimming across to the smaller islands. This iconic river is the fourth largest in Africa after the Nile, Zaire and Niger respectively. With its source in northwestern Zambia, it flows approximately 2800 kilometers before reaching the warm Indian Ocean off the coast of Mozambique. It is a wide, attractive river dotted with islands and sandbanks and the stretch of river preceding Victoria Falls is bordered on the Zimbabwean side by the Zambezi National Park.

Did you know?

– Toka Leya has a worm farm and indigenous nursery so as to rehabilitate the plant species of the area.
– Toka Leya Camp has a number of systems in place that aim to rehabilitate indigenous flora in the area. The systems include a greenhouse and nursery project to grow seedlings, an environmentally friendly wastewater treatment plant, and a worm farm. The fertilizer created by the worms is then placed in the greenhouse and nursery to start the cycle once more.
– In addition, Toka Leya Camp pioneered the use of innovative energy saving systems, which are being used as a model to lower the environmental footprint
– One of the most innovative ideas yet is the Elephant Chilli Pepper Project, where farmers of Simonga and other villages are being encouraged to plant a chilli patch around their food crops. The chillies are used to prevent elephants destroying food crops as well as earning the farmer extra cash. This idea, which helps farmers protect their food crops and generate income, is run by the Elephant Pepper Development Trust, which also advises farmers on natural resources conservation and sustainable utilisation of such resources in relation to the management of conflict with wildlife.
– Community involvement is vital in the greater Livingstone area and one of the projects is cultural visits to a nearby village, where guests interact with villagers. Projects are focused particularly on assisting children via schooling, and include those that help the inhabitants in general generate an income and therefore help the entire community.

Day 11Departure

Scheduled road transfer from Toka Leya Camp to Livingstone Airport.

Tour Details

This tour is for a maximum of 8 people.  

International air connection onto the safari: If arrival is planned for the day of departure, please ensure that this arrival is with the earliest possible flight from Johannesburg. It is important that all guests are ready to depart with the guide by no later than 1 pm or 13h00. Arrival on a later flight may necessitate additional road or air transfers as the departure for the first lodge will already have taken place, subject to extra cost.

International air connections leaving the safari: Please ensure that your departure flight is booked for after 12h30 from Maun. For earlier international departure flights, an additional transfer will be required to arrive for this connection, subject to an extra cost.

Flashlights or torches
Please ensure that a minimum 2D cell flashlight is brought on safari, with spare batteries. Headlamps are also useful.

Camera battery charging facilities
Please note that a 12V cigarette lighter adaptor will be required that is compatible with camera make on this safari for charging batteries while on game drive or transfer drives. 110 or 220V outlets are available Toka Leya Camp; however Linyanti Discoverer and Khwai Discoverer Camp have 12V electricity only.

Price Includes

  • Luxury Accommodations
  • All Meals
  • Activities Including Park Fees & Entrances
  • Air Transfers as Indicated
  • Laundry At Most Lodges
  • Services of the Camp Guides & Staff
  • Taxes, Tourism Levies, VAT Tax

Price Excludes

  • International Airfare
  • Gratuities
  • Any Drinks, Fees, Porterage, Excursions, Transfers Not Specified
  • Cancellation, Baggage, Medical Insurance
  • Any New Government Taxes or Levies Beyond Control
  • Visa Fees & International Airport Departures Taxes
  • Any Private Expenses

Optional Activities

  • Tailored Explorations Available