African Safaris Consultants Blog » Botswana http://blog.africansafaris.com Fri, 11 Apr 2014 09:28:03 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Botswana’s Makgadikgadi Zebra Migration http://blog.africansafaris.com/botswanas-makgadikgadi-zebra-migration/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=botswanas-makgadikgadi-zebra-migration http://blog.africansafaris.com/botswanas-makgadikgadi-zebra-migration/#comments Fri, 11 Apr 2014 07:38:53 +0000 http://blog.africansafaris.com/?p=3868 It is well known in traveller circles that Botswana offers amazing safari experiences and untouched, raw natural beauty, but have you heard of the zebra migration in the Makgadigadi? Although not as famous as the Great Wildebeest Migration up in East Africa, the zebra migration is still a spectacular sight and is unique to this corner of Botswana. This particular migration, Africa’s second largest after the Serengeti migration, takes place after the December/January rains which, by February/ March, have transformed the arid expanse of the massive Makgadikgadi salt pans into a paradise of shallow streams, large pool-like puddles and vibrant green vistas.

The Okavango Delta and ancient Lake Makgadikgadi sit in the middle of the arid Botswana hinterland but, fed by the Okavango River (which in turn is fed by the rains in the Angolan highlands), the Delta swells each rainy season and creates a vast wetland teeming with life. A few hundred kilometers south is a dry lake that once would have also been an oasis, but nowadays is a salt pan created by endless seasons of evaporating water that never finds its way to the sea. The migration of some 30 000 strong zebra is a traditional journey between the two, in search of mineral-rich grasses, safe breeding grounds and, of course, water.

makgadigadi_pans_botswana

The unspoilt wonder of the Makgadigadi Pans.

The sight of herds of zebras on the move across the Kalahari Desert on their 680 km migration as they spread out into the remote, briefly verdant salt pans of the Delta, is a breathtaking and unforgettable sight. It’s a little-known wonder (and thus attracts fewer crowds) and is best seen from one of the luxury safari camps in the Makgadikgadi and Nxai National Parks or the Kalahari Desert, all teeming with wildlife and lush greenery during the rainy season. Studies have revealed that these Zebra in the Makgadikgadi can survive for up to a week without water.

Undiscovered Migration

The migration itself, ongoing since time immemorial, was undiscovered until recently when a research team noted zebras fitted with GPS collars had travelled from the southern Okavango to the distant Makgadikgadi grasslands and back, crossing over the region’s two national parks.

If it’s off-the-beaten-track and in search of something unique that you want, then timing your Botswana safari to coincide with the migration season (February and March) is a nice (and definitely different) idea! Here are our accommodation picks:

We suggest visiting Le Roo La Tau Safari Camp which lies nestled on the Makgadikgadi Pan National Park’s western border, just above the Boteti River’s life-giving waters. The lodge features a raised hide which is perfect for viewing the migratory herds clustering to drink and graze the sweet grasslands. Other animals also gather here, as do a wide variety of birds, many of which are in their colourful breeding plumage at this time of the year.

Zebra migration in full flight.

Zebra migration in full flight.

A more luxurious and certainly more remote choice would be Jack’s Camp, also situated in the Makgadikgadi Pans. Jack’s is unlike any other safari camp in the whole of Africa! Guests stay in luxury tents set against a dramatic desert landscape of massive silences and savage beauty. Inspired by the original 1940’s safari camp that old man Jack established, it is steeped in pioneer day history but has all luxury amenities.

Here you’ll see the herds grazing on the move whilst keeping a watchful eye for predators that follow the migration. Vultures and other birds of prey wheel and shriek in the air above the herds, waiting in competition with the local brown hyena packs for the chance to finish off a kill. Both camps offer full-day excursion drives across the vast plains, as well as quad-biking trips and walks led by experienced San Bushman guides.

Jack's Camp

Jack’s Camp

Makgadikgadi Pan

The Makgadikgadi Pan isn’t only one of the most magical of Africa’s remote wildlife regions but also one of the most fascinating for its plethora of species. The great migrations are a focus, not just for zebras, but also for impala, kudu and other plains game, including the endangered white rhino. The beauty of staying at one of the above camps isn’t just the amazing sights, it’s the night sounds of Africa, heard whilst enjoying a delicious meal with fine wine under a myriad stars.

For the thrill of a lifetime and an up-close and personal experience why not see the Botswana zebra migration on horseback? Spend up-to six dream days exploring the mysterious, millennia-old lake bed and its seasonal waterholes on horseback, accompanied by experienced guides. David Foot and his team are the best outfitters in the region and operate in collaboration with Unchartered Africa. Guests stay at Camp Kalahari which is located on the path of the migration and surrounded by the region’s desert-adapted wildlife including meerkat clans, aardvarks and porcupines.

For an unforgettable experience in one of Africa’s most remote locations why not follow the zebra migration across the Makgadikgadi salt pans? You may just be completely enthralled.

Zebra migration on horseback.

Zebra migration on horseback.

If you’d like to get more information on Botswana and the fascinating zebra migration, Contact Us and our expert consultants will be glad to answer any questions you might have.

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Press Release: Great Plains Conservation and &Beyond join forces to translocate 100 rhino. http://blog.africansafaris.com/press-release-great-plains-conservation-beyond-join-forces-translocate-100-rhino/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=press-release-great-plains-conservation-beyond-join-forces-translocate-100-rhino http://blog.africansafaris.com/press-release-great-plains-conservation-beyond-join-forces-translocate-100-rhino/#comments Wed, 29 Jan 2014 11:32:02 +0000 http://blog.africansafaris.com/?p=3632 With rhino poaching at an all-time high in South Africa, two of Africa’s leading conservation companies, Great Plains Conservation and andBeyond, have joined forces to safely translocate up to 100 rhino from South Africa to the safe haven of Botswana.

“There is a battle for Africa’s wildlife raging as we speak. Rhinos are being poached at a rate of one every nine hours and the official number is 1 004 dead in 2013 alone. The unofficial number, because we simply do not find them all, is well over 1 000. Like everyone, I’ve been watching this desperate situation worsen, which is why Great Plains Conservation and &Beyond have decided to take action. This is not a Great Plains Conservation project or an &Beyond one, it is a global one that we can all play a role in, small and large. I don’t believe in branded conservation — it needs to be something we all get behind to save a species,” says Dereck Joubert, Great Plains CEO.

White Rhino & Calf

White Rhino & Calf

“Botswana has an excellent security system in place to protect these endangered animals and will be a safe haven for the relocated rhino. Translocations are fundamental to secure the ongoing survival of endangered species and this groundbreaking project aims to protect the species for future generations to enjoy. A project this size requires a strong partnership and a huge resource pool to pull it off. We are therefore very pleased to be joining forces with Great Plains Conservation for this mass translocation. We share the same mission and operating ethos and together we believe we can make this happen,” says Joss Kent, &Beyond CEO.

Having successfully translocated six rhino from South Africa to Botswana last year, &Beyond’s conservation team will lend its expertise to the project. Up to 100 rhino will be captured and safely transported from South Africa and released in Botswana’s remote wilderness. Each rhino will be tagged and microchipped for research and monitoring purposes. A dedicated anti-poaching team will then work in conjunction with the Botswana government agencies to monitor the animals using the latest technology.

A rhino relocation in progress.

A rhino relocation in progress.

This operation will cost USD8 million and both Great Plains Conservation and &Beyond will announce specific fundraising initiatives to enable tourism stakeholders, travel partners, tour operators and guests to help save this iconic species and ensure Africa’s Big Five remains for future generations to enjoy.

The battle to save the rhino from extinction won’t be won tomorrow; however, with joint initiatives such as this, the battle won’t be lost tomorrow either.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION:

Hilton Walker

T. +27 (13) 7502005 | M. +27 (82) 5799055

hilton@greatplainsconservation.com

Twitter @ZerosForRhinos

 

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Botswana: 8 Reasons You Should Go http://blog.africansafaris.com/botswana-8-reasons-go/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=botswana-8-reasons-go http://blog.africansafaris.com/botswana-8-reasons-go/#comments Fri, 15 Nov 2013 13:51:43 +0000 http://blog.africansafaris.com/?p=3463 The Southern African country of Botswana is currently enjoying a golden period of tourism and is probably the African safari destination of the moment. With a friendly population, good infrastructure, unbelievable wildlife and a wide range of accommodation options, it has become the darling of the African continent. But just what makes Botswana so special? We look at 12 reasons that Botswana is on everyone’s lips below.

1. The Okavango Delta

The gem in Botswana’s crown, the Okavango Delta is undoubtedly the country’s most popular destination. With a rich variety of plant, animal and bird life, the game viewing here is truly exceptional. Take a traditional makoro ride through the channels and explore this beautiful oasis the traditional way with an experienced guide – it will make you feel like the first explorer in Africa!

2. An Authentic Safari Experience

Botswana is an incredibly vast country, with the majority of it being completely natural undeveloped. This makes for an authentic safari experience as you explore the beauty of untouched Africa. Gaze upon a sky filled with stars and hear the sounds of the animals as you lie in bed at night, just as nature intended. Botswana prides itself on its model of sustainable tourism so most of the lodges are built with locally sourced, sustainable materials and have minimum environmental impact. The remoteness of the camps also means that you’ll enjoy an unrivalled sense of privacy and solitude with no other tourists for miles (and miles) around.

okavango_delta

The Okavango Delta

3. Three Vastly Different Ecosystems 

From the wetlands of the Okavango Delta, to the sparse, dry environment of Makgadigadi Salt Pants and The Kalahari Desert, to the grasslands of the Savuti, Botswana is blessed with an enviable ecological diversity. A trip to the country should ideally encompass all three, as each ecosystem brings with it a uniquely beautiful set of characteristics. The Kalahari Desert is famous for the phenomenal zebra migration, where thousands and thousands of Burchell’s zebras traverse the harsh environment in search of greener pastures in what is truly an unforgettable safari experience; while Chobe National Park and Savuti are internationally renowned for having some of the highest concentrations of elephant on the continent.

4. Variety of Safari Activities

Botswana offers visitors the chance to experience the magnificent fauna and flora in a variety of ways. The country has some incredible fishing spots (with all fish being protected by the compulsory catch and release system) suitable for both novices and professionals alike. With a trained fisherman guide at your side – and waters rich in tilapia, catfish and African pike – you’re almost guaranteed a big catch, made all the more enjoyable by the pristine natural surroundings you’ll find yourself in. As mentioned above, the mokoro makes for an exciting, authentic way to view game in the Okavango Delta for those with a taste for adrenaline, as do the expertly guided bush walks. Botswana has some of the best rangers and guides in Africa, so a game drive in the country is always richly rewarding and informative.

botswana_game_drive

Game drives in Botswana are successful more often than not.

5. Cultural Interactions with the San People

Botswana is one of the last remaining strongholds of the ancient San people – thought to be among the very first inhabitants of the continent. With an understanding and love for the land and its creatures that is second to none, a cultural visit to a San village is a must. Extremely welcoming, the San love sharing their culture with visitors and offer fascinating insight into the lives of one of the world’s last remaining hunter-gatherer tribes.

6. A wide range of Accommodation Options

Botswana has camps and lodges to suit all tastes and budgets. From the rustic and minimalistic to the opulent and luxurious, there is an accommodation option for everyone. All the camps are expertly managed, with highly trained staff and incredible food. Our expert safari consultants have visited them all and will offer fantastic advice as to which would best complement your Botswana experience.

7. Good Infrastructure

Botswana is a stable and (relatively) wealthy democratic country with little to no political upheaval. Access is easy with regular flights between Sir Seretse Khama International Airport in Gaborone (Botswana’s capital) and Johannesburg. Most of the camps have airstrips, so getting around is a breeze. The majority of camps in Botswana accept international credit cards, as well as US Dollars, so one needn’t worry about paying for that beautiful stone carving you just cannot resist.

fishing_okavango_delta

8. Climate

The climate in Botswana is semi-arid which means that the country has a short rainy season and enjoys warm weather for most of the year. Temperatures in summer can be very high, so it’s best to consult with the ASC experts to find a travel time that’s most comfortable for you.

Contact Us about putting together your Botswana trip of a lifetime!

accommodation_botswana

Botswana has some incredible accommodation options.

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Dereck & Beverly Joubert win Outstanding Achievement Award http://blog.africansafaris.com/dereck-beverly-joubert-win-outstanding-achievement-award/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=dereck-beverly-joubert-win-outstanding-achievement-award http://blog.africansafaris.com/dereck-beverly-joubert-win-outstanding-achievement-award/#comments Fri, 04 Oct 2013 10:26:25 +0000 http://blog.africansafaris.com/?p=3395 Dereck and Beverly Joubert are rightly regarded as being amongst the leading conservationists in the world. Having started out as photographers nearly thirty years ago, the Jouberts have become leading proponents of sustainable tourism and conservation in their beloved Africa. Renowned filmmakers, their films have touched the hearts of millions of people around the world as they advocate the merits of wildlife conservation. Recently awarded the Outstanding Achievement Award in recognition of their continued devotion to the African continent at the Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival, the Jouberts join the illustrious ranks of past winners Dr Jane Goodall, Dr Richard Leakey and Sir David Attenborough.

“Stop the Killing, Stop the Trade and Stop the Market,” was the core message of the Joubert’s keynote speech at the Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival on the 26th September. “Poaching today has reached epidemic proportions and the same individuals who deal in drugs, slavery and arms are also dealing in ivory and rhino horn. And they are not playing by any rules. There is a $27 billion a year trade in illegal animals and animal parts out of Africa so unless we are in a position to fight that with real money, we will lose. When we lose, elephants, lions and rhinos lose. When they lose, communities in Africa lose, Everyone loses. This is a declaration of war against poaching and a call to action to everyone. We are about to record the 700th rhino poached this year alone. Unless we are making conservation films at this time we are wasting our voice. This is when we are most needed to drive home messages of conservation to the world. The area that natural history filmmakers can play a role is in stopping the market. Our films collectively reach billions of people, that opportunity is completely wasted by producing television fluff and broadcasting meaningless TV fodder.”

dereck_beverly_joubert

Dereck and Beverly Joubert

“Wildlife filmmaking has changed over the three decades we have been involved. It’s time for filmmakers to develop into conservationists and not be afraid of advocacy. We are starting a new conversation movement and a film company, both based in China, because this is where our voices need to be heard, this is where the largest consumption of lion bone, rhino horn and elephant ivory is, and without those three species, African wildlife will collapse” they say.

Dereck and Beverly Joubert are co-founders of ASC preferred partner Great Plains Conservation, a groundbreaking project whereby land in Kenya and Botswana that is earmarked for hunting, or is under threat in some way, is acquired by Great Plains and turned into sustainable safari properties. This sustainable model sees an increase in land and animal conservation, plus the development of the local community.

Congratulations Dereck and Beverly! Keep up the good work!

Read our recent post on the Jouberts here: Safari Icons: Dereck and Beverly Joubert

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Why We Love Botswana http://blog.africansafaris.com/why-we-love-botswana/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=why-we-love-botswana http://blog.africansafaris.com/why-we-love-botswana/#comments Fri, 26 Jul 2013 13:45:51 +0000 http://blog.africansafaris.com/?p=3322 Botswana is undergoing a tourism renaissance of sorts at the moment, with the country enjoying its most popular spell in decades.  In this post, we’ll attempt to explore a few of the reasons for this success and try to understand just what it is that’s convincing more and more people to travel to one of our all-time favourite destinations.

Botswana is not defined by its various tribes; rather it is defined by its success in creating a fully functioning economy and peaceful, economically and politically democratic society post independence. These factors, coupled with the Batswana’s (people of Botswana) culture of respect, has contributed to Botswana’s “safe country to visit” reputation for foreign travellers.

A greater differentiating factor for Botswana from a tourism perspective is the foresight of government officials to protect and conserve the abundant natural resources of Botswana, through an innovative (and very long-standing) tourism policy and best practices focused on environmental sustainability. Botswana’s national eco-tourism policy has been in place since 2002 – long before it was fashionable to have one.

Sunset over the Okavango Delta.

Sunset over the Okavango Delta.

The government’s tourism policy is fully embraced by Botswana’s tourism industry (private sector), who are dedicated partners through public-private partnership programs, as well as independent private sector contributors to nature/wildlife conservation and eco-tourism (responsible/sustainable tourism) practices that benefit the local economies. Somewhat hard to describe, it’s almost like responsible tourism practices are the DNA of the industry.

Safari experiences in Botswana feel different and special because of the diversity of wildlife all year round. Botswana has one of the richest wildlife densities in Africa and is particularly well-known for it’s large elephant, lion and wild god populations. With 38% of Botswana carrying ‘Protected Land’ status, there is an abundance of remote, pristine wilderness areas to explore. Accommodation is plentiful, world-class and varied, with most lodges built using sustainable practices.

We have some great deals available on Botswana at the moment, so Contact Us to put together your dream safari vacation.

PS. Check out more pictures of Botswana at our Botswana Pinterest Board here.

The banks of the Okavango.

The banks of the Okavango.

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The McClay’s African Adventure http://blog.africansafaris.com/the-mcclays-african-adventure/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=the-mcclays-african-adventure http://blog.africansafaris.com/the-mcclays-african-adventure/#comments Wed, 30 May 2012 08:17:27 +0000 http://blog.africansafaris.com/?p=2762 The team at African Safari Consultants recently received this amazingly positive feedback from the McClays, for whom we’d organised their dream African safari. Donna McClay was kind enough to provide us with some excerpts of her travel diary, which we’ve included below. Enjoy!

After all the months of planning and research, I can honestly say that everything exceeded our expectations and then some!  You both provided us with fantastic guidance and our final itinerary of Cape Town, Botswana and Zambia could not have been more perfect for us and our 2 adult children.  Nothing can quite prepare you for the magic that is Africa.  Here then are the highlights of our trip.

As you know, this trip was planned to coincide with our daughter, Mary, finishing her semester abroad program in South Africa.  We arrived in Johannesburg on May 4th and met up with Mary at the airport.  We spent the night in Johannesburg and left for Cape Town the morning of the 5th.  Charlie, our guide in Cape Town, was just the best!  He deftly arranged for us to see all the highlights Cape Town has to offer in 3 full days.  Our tour of the Cape Peninsula, the Eagle and Cheetah conservation projects in Stellenbosch, and our excursion to Table Mountain were spectacular indeed.  Charlie was even able to find a store in the Cape Quarter for me to buy some of the Cape Malay spices to take home.  Of course, having the opportunity to meet up with Jeff at Beluga our last night in town was a special treat.

Camps Bay © Jeff McClay

Camps Bay © Jeff McClay

 

The morning of the 9th we departed for Botswana via Johannesburg and Maun.  From Maun, we took our bush flight to Savute Safari Lodge in the Chobe National Park where we were met by Gee, our guide during our stay at Savute.  The lodge is just fantastic – our rooms overlooked the watering hole where elephant herds would make regular visits during our stay.  Our hosts, MC and Michelle made sure we had all the comforts of home.  The game drives in Savute were the best viewing we had the entire time on safari.  In the first two days we saw leopard and lions, which according to my daughter, is very lucky indeed!  Gee’s skill at tracking wildlife made the game drives very exciting, and we loved the sundowners out in the field with our safari buddies from the Netherlands.

During our last sundowner, the call came in that lions had been spotted and we literally dropped everything and jumped in the jeep for a wild ride reminiscent of the Indiana Jones attraction at Disneyland!  Our wildlife sightings also included elephant, zebras, cape buffalo, wildebeest, giraffe and warthogs.  After 2 nights, we departed Savute for Camp Moremi in the Okavango Delta (Xaxanaka Lagoon).

 

Zebra  © Jeff McClay

Zebra © Jeff McClay

 

Camp Moremi was a very different environment where we were able to see many avian species on the water (and kept our distance from the hippos!), including a fish eagle who had just scooped up a tilapia and was enjoying his dinner in a tree.  Frank, our guide, was delightful, and even made a necklace for Mary out of a water lily during our afternoon cruise on the lagoon.  We found the elusive wild dogs hanging out under some bushes during one of our game drives.  BK, Hannah and Charity were lovely hosts and we so enjoyed the evening choir concerts before each dinner.  After our 2 nights at Moremi, we left for Leroo La Tau in the Makgadikgadi Pans National Park.

Our rooms at Leroo La Tau faced the channel where we watched herds of elephant and zebra come down to the water.  We even heard lions roaring during the night.  Juan, Priscilla and Fred were terrific hosts, and arranged a lovely 21st birthday celebration for Mary, complete with birthday cake and candles!  It certainly was a far cry from the standard Las Vegas blowout most of her friends have experienced.  How many college students can say they spent their 21st birthday in Botswana?  Calvin, our guide took us on a tour of his village where we visited a primary school and a clinic.  We brought some school supplies and marveled at the dedication of the teachers and the politeness of the students who greeted us as we walked into their classrooms.  By the end of our week-long safari in Botswana, we had seen everything but rhinos.

Leroo Le Tau © Jeff McClay

Leroo Le Tau © Jeff McClay

 

Our last stop was Zambia and the Isands of Siankaba, located about an hour from Victoria Falls.  Our trip would take us by plane from Leroo La Tau to Kasane, where we were met by a Bushtracks guide who drove us to the Chobe River.  From there we transferred to a boat to cross the river into Zambia, where we were met by another Bushtracks guide who drove us to the lodge.  We were able to experience the African version of Four Corners where the countries of Botswana, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe meet in the middle of the Chobe River, much like the states of Utah, Colorado, New Mexico and Arizona meet in the southwest U.S.

The lodge is located on the Zambezi River and is an idyllic setting located in the treetops and connected by rope bridges and platforms above the river.  Nothing can compare to listening to the sounds of the mighty Zambezi at night as you are falling asleep, including the occasional hippo snort!  What an incredible ending to our vacation.  The lodge is truly 5-star with amazing food and lovely accommodations.  Graham, Brett and Claire and their staff are definitely top notch.  They arranged a lovely birthday celebration for Paul’s 60th birthday.  Matthews took us on a tour of his village which included a stop at the preschool where the children entertained us with songs and imitations of Zambian chameleons!  They were thrilled to line up for happy face stickers which we brought along with more school supplies.

 

Leopard © Jeff McClay

Leopard © Jeff McClay

The highlight of our stay was the trip to Victoria Falls escorted by Lucky, our guide.  He took us on all the trails for the best views of the falls, and gamely carried 5 sets of rain gear for us to put on!  Needless to say, I was a bit nervous listening to Jeff and Mary talk about swimming in Devil’s Pool and white water rafting (both of which were closed, thank goodness!).  When they decided on the zip line across the gorge, I felt my stomach turn as I realized they expected me to do it too!  Well, there was no way I was going to wimp out, and on the video you can hear Jeff say, “I can’t believe she actually did it!”  The falls was truly awe-inspiring and like nothing we’ve ever seen.  We left Zambia on the 18th for our marathon flight home to San Diego.

Jeff and Liesl, every aspect of our trip was spot on – no delays, missed connections, late flights or missing transfer drivers.  We came home with thousands of pictures, some of which I have included here, and many incredible memories.  Thanks to your expert consultation, we had the trip of a lifetime and have been smitten by the people and places we’ve experienced.  We hope to plan another adventure to Africa – perhaps Namibia next time and will be sure to call you!

Many thanks to the McClay’s for the kind words and awesome pictures! If you’d like to see more of the McClay’s pictures, check out our Client Submissions pin board on Pinterest.

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Abu Camp welcomes Elephant Baby Girl http://blog.africansafaris.com/abu-camp-welcomes-elephant-baby-girl/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=abu-camp-welcomes-elephant-baby-girl http://blog.africansafaris.com/abu-camp-welcomes-elephant-baby-girl/#comments Wed, 07 Dec 2011 08:48:38 +0000 http://blog.africansafaris.com/?p=2234 December 2011 – Abu Camp, located in Botswana’s pristine Okavango Delta, is proud to announce that Shireni, one of the Camp’s leading elephants, gave birth to her third surviving calf, a healthy female, at 22:05 on the 17th December. Measuring approximately 90cm at the shoulder and weighing about 110kg, the new-born stood on her own feet, wobbling, within 20 minutes.  The elephant handlers have named her Warona, the SeTswana name meaning ‘For Us’.

 

Warona resting

Warona taking a short nap.

 

Warona and Shireni

Warona and mother Shireni

 

Warona - Elephant Calf

Warona being carefully watched over by mom

 

Many thanks to the Wilderness Collection for their amazing images. We wish little Warona all the very best!

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Beautiful Botswana http://blog.africansafaris.com/temp-gallery-test-1/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=temp-gallery-test-1 http://blog.africansafaris.com/temp-gallery-test-1/#comments Wed, 16 Nov 2011 11:48:23 +0000 http://africansafaris.feedmydemo.co.za/?p=1244 Beautiful Chobe sunset Lioness Sighting A Game Drive through the Okavango Delta The Kalahari National Park Sunset in Linyati ]]> http://blog.africansafaris.com/temp-gallery-test-1/feed/ 0 Birders vs non-birders on safari http://blog.africansafaris.com/birders-vs-non-birders-on-safari/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=birders-vs-non-birders-on-safari http://blog.africansafaris.com/birders-vs-non-birders-on-safari/#comments Fri, 07 Oct 2011 09:07:16 +0000 http://africansafaris.com/blogdirectory/?p=1082 Non-birders on safari

Now here is a dilemma. We recently had a couple who all in all had a fantastic safari in Botswana and Kruger except for one recurring problem….They proclaimed to not be very interested in birds, but just as luck would have it, they found themselves on game drives with keen birders, or twitchers or bird fundis or whatever other
name you give to people who want to stop, reach for their binoculars, and identify and observe our little feathered friends! Our clients found this boring and frustrating, and would have preferred to have spent the time
tracking the Big Five as opposed to sitting in hushed bird-watching mode.

Now this is a tricky potentially explosive situation! And as a safari operator, I have given a solution some thought.

Firstly, serious birders would let us know that they are looking for a specialist birding trip and we would arrange a birding guide and exclusive use of the safari vehicle accordingly. Fanatical birders can be quite weird and potentially intimidating! They are known to travel vast distances in extreme conditions to tick off a sought-after rare species. Dinner table conversation will be exclusively about birds and brag stories about which SBB (small brown bird) was spotted where. They are a mixed bag of humans, coming from all walks of life but will definately have a pair of super-binoculars hanging around their neck at all times.

In this particular case, the other guests on the game vehicle were most likely just keen birders who love seeing the animals, but who have seen their share of lazy lions lying in the shade. These folk have probably been on safari a few times and want to learn more about the birds and the trees. It is generally first-time safari goers who aren’t particularly interested in birds and the ‘Little Five’, and who still have a lot to learn about the African bush. For them (and our recent past clients), being on safari with keen birders can be dull and seemingly time wasting. I am tempted to say to these folks ‘sit back, relax and enjoy the sounds and smells of the bush…you never know what might walk out from under a tree off to the left while everyone else has binoculars glued to their faces looking right!!!‘ But in all seriousness, the solution lies in the hands of the safari lodges. Lodge staff and rangers should chat to their guests and get an idea of their interests and then, if possible, assign them to separate safari vehicles so that…birds of a feather can flock together!

African Jacana - his long toes allow him to 'walk on water'

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We’ve been nominated for Travel & Leisure magazine’s A-List Travel Agent awards! http://blog.africansafaris.com/we%e2%80%99ve-been-nominated-for-travel-leisure-magazine%e2%80%99s-a-list-travel-agent-awards/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=we%25e2%2580%2599ve-been-nominated-for-travel-leisure-magazine%25e2%2580%2599s-a-list-travel-agent-awards http://blog.africansafaris.com/we%e2%80%99ve-been-nominated-for-travel-leisure-magazine%e2%80%99s-a-list-travel-agent-awards/#comments Mon, 03 Oct 2011 08:50:42 +0000 http://africansafaris.com/blogdirectory/?p=1057 “As long time T&L (Travel & Leisure Magazine) readers and subscribers, we want to tell you about our recent trip to South Africa, Botswana, Zambia & Namibia, and to nominate our Tour Operator, African Safari Consultants, for your 2012 A-List. We were celebrating our 20th anniversary, and wanted to plan a “trip of a lifetime.”  We knew we wanted to go to Africa, but had no idea where to start or how to narrow down our choices.  Enter African Safari Consultants.  With over fifteen years of experience, and a wonderful, informative website, ASC’s head honchos Jeff Ward in NY and Liesl Matthews in Cape Town worked tirelessly with us to figure out which countries, habitats, and lodges would best suit our needs.  They were wonderful at planning a trip that fit our budget, and the varied needs of two old fogies, as well as our teenage children.  They were endlessly patient as we went back and forth about cost, level of luxury, and types of lodges, giving advice that was helpful, accurate, and based on a thorough first-hand knowledge of the locations we were considering. They even considered when we would need unscheduled down time (after our two day journey from IAH-LHR-CPT), and when we would be happy to go-go-go.

We were particularly cognizant of the value of having someone in NY and in Cape Town looking out for us when, in the middle of our trip, a Chilean volcano eruption caused the cancellation of one of our flights.  Liesl quickly got us rebooked and all of our downline transfers re-organized so that we were able to rejoin our intended itinerary as soon as the skies cleared.  This had the potential to be a nightmare, but ended up being a small blip on our radar screens thanks to the excellent in-country support of ASC.

Our expectations were high, but our trip far surpassed them.  Every part of the trip was just as advertised by the folks at ASC.  There were no unpleasant surprises, and we would HIGHLY recommend them to anyone planning a trip to Africa.

We would be happy to answer any questions you might have about our experience with ASC.”

Jill & John Pollock, Houston, TX

 

 

 

 

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