The remarkable Okavango Delta is our destination for the following week. The largest inland delta in the world, this is an unique haven for Africa’s wildlife. We will be using the lodges and facilities of AndBeyond, one of the best wildlife conservation organisations in the world.
Game drives in the Okavango Delta are remote and secluded, with very few safari vehicles sharing the private concession. &Beyond’s professionally-trained guides tailor drives to our preferences, promising up-close views of unique wildlife and flourishing vegetation. In this untamed landscape, sensitive off-road driving practices allow you to get up close the area’s exceptional wildlife. Each game drive is an adventure, balancing along narrow wooden bridges and splashing through shallow crossings in a rugged open safari vehicle.
A maze of sparkling lagoons, meandering channels and overgrown islands teeming with wildlife, Botswana’s Okavango Delta lies like a sparkling jewel at the heart of the Kalahari Desert. Known as “the river that never finds the sea”, its crystal clear channels spread over the thirstlands of the Kalahari with their papyrus-fringed banks and fertile floating islands. Adapted for a life in and out of water, the elegant red lechwe and shy sitatunga are found in this watery wilderness. Lion, cheetah, leopard and African wild dog share the floodplains with large herds of elephant and buffalo. Hippo inhabit the deeper channels and lagoons, while honey badgers can be seen in broad daylight. Tall termite mounds are homes for families of dwarf and banded mongoose. Experience the delicate details of the glistening waterways on a mokoro (dugout canoe) ride, where iridescent dragonflies, frogs of every colour and jewel-like kingfishers live in the papyrus-lined banks
Explore the open woodlands in search of roan and sable antelope or keep an eye out for graceful giraffes and frisky zebras on the floodplains. On the edges of the Delta, where land blurs with water, marvel at breeding herds of that elephant splash gently through shallow channels. Afternoon drives continue after night, allowing for nocturnal wildlife encounters. Watch out for the rarely spotted serval and pangolin or watch the moon reflect off the backs of a family of hippo coming out of the water to graze, turning them into slabs of shining silver.
BEST of BOTSWANA
Early on Monday morning, 19 February, we will drive the one hour to Cape Town airport for a commercial flight to Maun, in Botswana. After clearing immigration formalities, we will take a small aircraft to our first destination, the Xaranna Lodge, for the first three nights of our Botswana sojourn.
On the 22 February, we will take a short hop to the luxurious Sandibe Lodge for the remaining four nights. Situated on a permanent channel of the Okavango Delta, adjacent to the renowned Moremi Game Reserve, &Beyond Sandibe Okavango Delta Lodge boasts exclusive traversing rights through 270 sq. km (104 sq. miles) of wilderness in a private concession. Its position was specifically chosen for its extraordinary beauty and proximity to region’s game-rich grassy plains.
&Beyond Sandibe’s raised guest areas and suites look out onto the Santantadibe Channel, providing spectacular Okavango Delta views. Drawing its inspiration from nature, the lodge blends into the landscape, providing an experience that is serene, earthy and organic. Secluded plunge pools and outdoor showers in each of the 12 suites allow guests to feel a part of the forest, while private fireplaces warm the African nights once the sun goes down. Cleverly constructed, indoor and outdoor lounging areas create cosy nooks ideal for private dining beneath the stars. An interactive kitchen and interpretive naturalist library encourage guests to become one with the surroundings and to enjoy every aspect of the Delta experience.
On Sunday 25 February, we will reluctantly depart the Sandibe Lodge and take a brief flight to Maun Airport, where we will take a commercial flight to Johannesburg Airport, from whence our guests depart for their international destinations.
NOTE that this program may be altered to reflect availability of the accommodation when the final numbers of guests are known.