The CAAB has advised that all passengers travelling by light aircraft out of Maun airport (applicable to both domestic and international travel) are required to present official personal identification documents at the security check-point.

The only acceptable documents are National Identity Cards (Omang) for Botswana citizens, Passports for non-Batswana and Birth Certificates for children without Passports or Omangs.

Driver’s licences, photocopies or any other form of picture identification that is not a Passport, Omang or Birth Certificate will not be accepted.

So, it’s very important that passengers are in possession of the relevant identification document when they check-in at Maun airport, and throughout their travels in Botswana. (This is especially relevant to residents of Botswana who are self-driving to Maun, as they may not think it necessary to bring with passports for domestic travel!)

Should passengers not be able to produce one of these identification documents to Airport Security when checking in for their flight, they will be denied boarding.

 

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Wilderness Safaris in colaboration with Gunotsoga Village:

Guests are now able to take part in a village tour from Vumbura Plains, Little Vumbura or Duba Plains, travelling by helicopter on a 15-minute scenic flight each way. Gunotsoga is a small community village and has a population of about 750 people. It falls under the jurisdiction of the Okavango Community Trust (OCT) and is one of the five villages from which Wilderness Safaris leases the Kwedi Concession, on which the Vumbura camps are situated.

The economic base of the village is subsistence farming and fishing, and the village has also started a Community Development Fund whereby 20% of the money generated from these tours will be invested in community projects. The tour will include many facets including being met by the chief, seeing the primary school and local clinic and visiting the local ironmonger and see how various implements are forged. The approximate 3-hour trip is sure to enhance guests’ understanding of local Setswana life and culture.

Vumbura Plains Camp

Vumbura Plains camp

 

Offer Open To Southern African Residents:

3 nights Maun – Okavango – Maun package, From P 7,000.00 per person sharing

3 nights Maun – Linyanti – Maun package, From P 7,750.00 per person sharing

Fully inclusive of scheduled light aircraft transfers from Maun / Camp / Maun, all meals, selected beverages including game viewing activities.

On the 29th of April 2010 I sent a post to remind everyone of the Wilderness Safaris special offer that was valid until the 15th of May 2010.

Good news to the safari enthusiasts is that the special offer has now been extended to 15 July 2010! This is some good news looking at the fact that guests will be able to make use of the offer to travel at a time when there is great game viewing opportunities and the temperatures are a bit cooler. So, don’t miss out on this opportunity  to visit some of the best lodges at reasonable prices open to the Southern African market.

Wilderness Safaris is a specialist in luxury ecotourism based Safaris and Lodges and visiting o ne OR  some of their lodges located in Botswana at these remarkably reduced rates is a bonus.

The given rates apply to a three night stay in one of the following Classic Camps: Chitabe, Chitabe Lediba, Jacana, Tubu Tree, Seba, Kwetsani, Little Vumbura, Xigera, DumaTau, Savuti and Selinda. A surcharge will apply for bookings at these Premier camps: Vumbura Plains, Zarafa and Jao.

CONDITIONS APPLY

Another amazing month with Kwando – please read below for more details.

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NXAI PAN CAMP

The seemingly never ending rainy season has some positives apart from muddy roads! The zebra have remained in their hundreds along with large herds of gemsbok, wildebeest. The ready supply of drinking water and abundant grazing means they are under no pressure to return to the Makgadikgadi. The many hundreds of zebra and various antelope species mean rich pickings for the many predators which inhabit the open pans.

A pride of a male, two females and two cubs has been sighted regularly along with a group of four lionesses on a zebra kill. Cheetah have also been sighted on kills including a female with a young cub which was spotted regularly.

The spectacle of the waterhole in front of camp becomes ever more impressive with up to 30 elephant bulls drinking and covering themselves in cooling mud. They are surrounded by herds of gemsbok, zebra and wildebeest all vying for a space to drink. The view from each room’s deck is simply awesome!

 TAU PAN CAMP

The late rains meant that Tau Pan is still the hive of activity with large herds of gemsbok, wildebeest and springbok, as well as honey badgers, jackals and giraffe all being seen regularly. The resident Tau Pan pride have also been seen often especially the two brothers and two females seen hunting on the pan itself.

Elsewhere on the popular day drive activities the other pans and fossil river beds have been providing excellent sightings as large herds are attracted to the sweet grasses. As well as the wide variety off general game, including a herd of over 30 eland, there have been impressive predator sightings. At Phokoje Pan guests have seen a female cheetah accompanied by a young cub and sub adult female on a springbok kill. A pride of seven lion are seen often at Phuku Pan, while San Pan has provided sightings of a small family group of six lion including 3 young cubs, as well as two adult female cheetah with a cub. 11 different lion have been seen within Deception Valley and two male cheetah were spotted feeding on a gemsbok kill in the Passarge Valley.

The most unusual of sightings for the month and especially for the Kalahari was the arrival of a troop of baboon on Tau Pan! The troop spent two days foraging on the pan and then moved away. The presence of such animals so far from their recognised habitat is most likely due to the high rainfall this year. The abundance of surface water has allowed these water dependant animals to roam far into the central Kalahari. 

LAGOON CAMP

The northern Kwando region has been home large numbers of zebra, giraffe, tsessebe and wildebeest which have been attracted by the excellent grazing resulting from the seemingly never ending rains. The relative absence of lions this month as they follow the buffalo herds means that Wild dog and leopards have been a regular sighting, including a large male found in a tree guarding his impala kill. The buffalo sightings remain sporadic due to the excessive water and grazing found in the mopane forests though guides have spotted small herds on several occasions.

An additional and unusual sighting made this month was the regular sighting of large herds of Livingstone’s eland. This is the largest member of the antelope family and is extremely shy, generally residing in dense forests. Sightings are therefore very unusual and often fleeting.

 LEBALA 

The above average number of zebra, giraffe and wildebeest in the region has led to an increase in the number of predators hunting a wide variety of game species. A mating pair of lion were found on giraffe kills on two separate occasions while several other male lions have been sighted this month stalking wildebeest. Several leopards were also followed on drives both during day and night drives as they stalked warthog and impala. The three cheetah brothers, not to be out done, were observed hunting wildebeest, while the three separate packs of wild dog were sighted hunting regularly and kills were made on lechwe and two kudu.

Further sightings of an eland herd, of approximately 20 animals, has also been spotted on more than one occasion. These sightings bode well for the eland population which is notoriously difficult to estimate due to their shy nature and the remoteness of their habitat

KWARA 

The Kwara concession continues to disprove that the commonly held view that the rainy season is not a good time of year to see game. Consistent quality game viewing in February and March continued in April with regular sightings of lion, cheetah, wild dog, leopard, hyena, honey badger and elephant. Of course there was also the usual lechwe, reedbuck, giraffe, zebra, tsessebe, wildebeest, warthog kudu, impala, hippo, crocodile, jackals, cobras, pythons, ostrich, ground hornbills and wattled crane to name but a few!!

Significant sightings included a lion pride chasing a male leopard up a tree and an incredible confrontation between two pack of wild dog, in which the heavily pregnant alpha female was targeted and almost killed. She was last seen with serious wounds and the guides are unsure whether she survived or not.

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If all this is taking place over green season, we can only imagine what the dry season hold in store!

Offer open to Southern African Residents!

Valid Until 15 May 2010

3 nights Maun – Okavango – Maun package, From P 7,000.00 per person sharing

3 nights Maun – Linyanti – Maun package, From P 7,750.00 per person sharing

Fully inclusive of scheduled light aircraft transfers from Maun / Camp / Maun, all meals, selected beverages including game viewing activities.

CONDITIONS APPLY

 

RE-OPENING SPECIAL OFFER!

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Sanctuary Chief’s Camp will re-open on 21 April 2010 after an extensive upgrade and extension of the camp’s main lounge and dining area. 

The lounge and dining area decking was extended and decorated with new furniture and covered by a new thatch roof. The boma area offers incredible views over the flood plain, perfect for evening dining and barbeque nights. In addition to this, the bar area and gift shop area have also been refurbished and extended.

The Okavango Delta flood waters have already reached Sanctuary Chief’s Camp offering guests the opportunity to experience the hugely popular mokoro excursion activity in the tranquil waters of the Okavango Delta…

In celebration of this the lodge is offering an exclusive special offer saving of $1840.00 per couple!

STAY 4 NIGHTS AND ONLY PAY FOR 3!!

Stay a minimum of 4 nights at the newly upgraded Sanctuary Chief’s Camp,

 in the exclusive Mombo Concession and only pay for 3 nights!!

 Valid for travel between: 1 May 2010 – 30 June 2010.

NEW RATES FOR AFRICAN RESIDENTS

Sanctuary Retreats now offers incredibly reduced rates for residents across Africa!

From as little as P 1550.00 per person per night

For more details click on this link Botswana’s Exceptional Safari.

 

Sanctuary Retreats camps are spectacularly located in some of truly unspoilt areas spread out across Africa, with the highlight this time being on the ones in the beautiful Botswana. Sanctuary Retreats has a collection of luxury safari lodges in  the Okavango Delta, Chief’s Island and Chobe National Park, which are arguably the most important areas for game viewing in Botswana. The properties are perfectly located in secluded and pristine wildlife-rich areas with amazing game viewing opportunities. Each area offers a unique experience and game viewing opportunity and as such it is always advisable to combine your stay with various lodges for a comprehensive Botswana experience.

One good thing to note is that Sanctuary Retreats is offering reduced rates for those who stay in Africa and would ‘love‘ to visit Botswana for an affordable trip of a lifetime (proof of residency is required). This is a good opportunity to visit their camps and make use of this special offer.

Sanctuary Retreats camps in Botswana:

Okavango Delta (Sanctuary Stanley’s Camp & Sanctuary Baine’s Camp),

Chief’s Island (Sanctuary Chief’s Camp)

Chobe National Park (Sanctuary Chobe Chilwero)