Explore with Sven: Botswana

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Availability : October 13-24, 2019

Explore with Sven: Botswana

Highlights Include:

  • Experiencing Botswana with a small group of like-minded adventurers, hosted by Twin Cities meteorologist Sven Sundgaard and Borton Overseas Africa Specialist Andrea Berger
  • Staying in a mobile camp in the heart of the Okavango Delta
  • Taking part in various safari activities to see the incredible wildlife in Botswana, such as elephants, lions, giraffe, and buffalo
  • Exploring by land, on the water, and from the air, via walks, day and night game drives, village visits, boating, and mokoro canoe trips
  • Visiting the Victoria Falls, a UNESCO-World Heritage Site and one of the most iconic waterfalls in the world

Photo: Kai-Arne Jordan / Nxai Pan Camp

Tour Details

From: $7,970 per person | Single supplement from $1,140

On request only, please inquire

12 days

Tour Dates:  
October 13 – 24, 2019

Ok travelers… here’s your chance to check a big one off your bucket list! You are invited to join our favorite Twin Cities meteorologist, Sven Sundgaard, and Borton Overseas Africa Specialist Andrea Berger on an adventure in Southern Africa this October. We are highlighting areas shaped by water!

Borton Overseas has crafted this itinerary exclusively for those looking to experience the thrill of safari and the vast wilderness of Botswana’s pans, plains, and waterways, ending at the world-famous Victoria Falls! 

We have handpicked a fun combination of accommodations offering excellent value, location, comfort, and ambiance. Our journey showcases the incredible diversity of Botswana’s landscapes and natural habitats, from the stark Nxai Pan to the game-rich Moremi Game Reserve in the heart of the Okavango Delta region. Activities range from game drives, guided walks, visiting a rural village and exploring the Okavango in a traditional mokoro canoe. Elephants, hippos, giraffes, lions, and countless other wildlife await.

Yep — bucket list stuff!

From Botswana we head to a natural wonder of the world and the world’s largest falling curtain of water (one mile across) — the Victoria Falls. We’ll cap our journey here with a 2-night stay in a cozy guest lodge, giving us time to view the Falls, do a bit of bartering in the markets, and contemplate an optional adrenaline activity or two (white water rafting, bungee jumping, canoeing, etc.)

This trip will appeal to anyone with a desire to experience a safari in Southern Africa with a small, like-minded group of travelers. Perfect for friends, couples, and solo travelers alike! Should you have more time, Borton Overseas will be happy to offer options to extend your time in Africa.

QUESTIONS? Email Andrea at Borton Overseas — andrea@bortonovereas.com — or call her direct line at 612-248-8222. Space is limited to just 14 travelers plus the hosts. Don’t let this opportunity slip off your bucket list!

This is a Borton Overseas Signature Journey – a premier, small-group tour hosted by Twin Cities meteorologist Sven Sundgaard and Africa Destination Specialist Andrea Berger.

Sunday, October 13Arrive Johannesburg, South Africa

On arrival at Johannesburg’s O.R. Tambo International Airport, your complimentary shuttle will take you to your hotel. Welcome to South Africa! Overnight at Southern Sun OR Tambo International Airport

Monday, October 14Safari Adventure Begins | Meals: B L D

Today, our group travels to Botswana, where the safari adventure begins as we head to the Nxai Pan National Park, southeast of the Okavango Delta. Here we will learn about the formation of the ecosystem which sustains the entire Okavango Delta region.

The highlights of the park are its waterholes, which provide some of the most dramatic predator-prey interactions in Africa during dry season. Thirsty animals have to come down to drink with the lions in full sight and the air is often sprayed with the dust of an attempted kill during the day. These interactions are so dramatic that the legendary IMAX-movie “Roar: Lions of the Kalahari” was filmed at the main waterhole of the park.

There is only one lodge in the Nxai Pan National Park, Nxai Pan Camp, and this will be our home for two nights. Overnight at Nxai Pan Camp

Tuesday, October 15Nxai Pan National Park | Meals: B L D

Nxai Pan is not a typical safari destination, as the arid environment doesn’t support a large variety of animals. It’s possible to see giraffe, zebra, and wildebeest, as well as the occasional lion and spotted hyena, and perhaps the more elusive brown hyena here. The camp’s custom safari vehicles comfortably seat a maximum of six people in three rows of three seats. Game drives are guided by a two-person team: a guide, who communicates points of interest, and a tracker, who ensures no sightings or tracks are missed.

A classic activity at Nxai Pan is a walk with one of the San bushmen trackers, an informative walk that takes place within the camp’s footprint. Learn about how the San used to live nomadically; how they used to hunt, gather food, locate water sources, and which plants were used for medicinal purposes. Their wealth of true bush knowledge is unparalleled, and this just might be your favorite experience during our stay here!

Day trips to Baines’ Baobabs are popular, and include a picnic lunch at the site. These age-old trees were immortalized in paintings by the artist and adventurer Thomas Baines in 1862. If we were to compare Baines’ paintings to the scene today, we would find that after 150 years, the trees are nearly identical — a testament to the age of these magnificent giants. Overnight at Nxai Pan Camp

Wednesday, October 16The Jewel of the Kalahari | Meals: B L D

From the vast salt pans, we’ll travel on to the Okavango Delta, an area filled with water and forests and teeming with wildlife.

Often referred to as the “Jewel of the Kalahari,” the Okavango Delta is situated deep within the Kalahari Basin. Swollen with floodwaters from the summer rains, the Okavango River travels from the Angolan highlands, crosses into Botswana from the Caprivi in Namibia, then later spills over the vast, fan-shaped Delta.

Our safari camp sits on an palm island less than a mile long and less than half-a-mile wide and surrounded by seven lagoons, deep within the Okavango Delta. Overnight at Setari Camp

Thursday, October 17Moremi Game Reserve | Meals: B L D

Setari Camp is the perfect place from which to immerse ourselves in this extraordinary wilderness. Being where it is, the camp has year round water surrounding the island and activities at camp are all designed to give us the ultimate Okavango experience. Overnight at Setari Camp

On Foot
Walking is a wonderful way to understand the bush a little better and to feel, smell and hear the bush up close. Walks are conducted on the islands in the South of the concession, so they involve a boat ride to get to the best islands! Walks are all taken by expert professional guides who carry a rifle. Maximum people on a walk is six.

On Water
What better way to become acquainted with the Delta than on the water where it all happens! Boating trips are a fantastic way to explore the intricate waterways and immense flood plains. The camp has three specially adapted boats, two of which have an upper deck, enabling us to get a birds eye view of the Delta.

Catch & Release Fishing
Catch and release fishing is available at Setari and tackle and rods are provided. Spend a lazy afternoon trying your hand at fishing with a professional guide exploring the lagoons or main channels. The fishing at Setari is amazing and the Barbel run between August and end of October makes for an exhilarating sport for the keen fisherman with Tiger fish in abundance. All fishing equipment is available at the camp. Maximum of six people per boat.

Jao Village Visit
Go and visit the villagers to see their fascinating way of life. A 30-minute boat ride from camp takes us to the island, where we’ll have a short walk around and a chance to talk to the ladies of the village about their basket making.

Friday, October 18Khwai Community Area | Meals: B L D

The safari continues as our group heads into another area of the Okavango Delta called Khwai.

The Khwai River traverses a picturesque region characterized by tall evergreen trees lining a wide floodplain. It is situated on the north-eastern tip of Moremi Game Reserve and provides remarkable sightings of predators and prey. The elusive leopard is spotted regularly and birdlife is abundant with saddle-billed storks, wattled cranes, and many species of kingfishers and bee-eaters present. The wildlife experience in Khwai is the same as inside the reserve with the key advantage being the freedom to participate in walking safaris, off-road driving, and night drives as the area is not governed by national park rules.

It is here that the real adventure begins, as our group will spend four nights on an authentic African mobile safari! Overnight in Mobile Camp

Saturday - Monday, October 19 - 21Mobile Camping in the Delta | Meals: B L D

What is a Mobile Safari?
A mobile safari is essentially a privately guided safari where our group will travel as one unit with our Professional Guide and camp assistant in a private safari vehicle with a fully-equipped trailer. This will allow us to experience the adventure of bygone days, traveling through diverse areas, witnessing the transformation as the landscapes change and different habitats meet.

Where am I sleeping?
The mobile safari provides spacious dome tents with bedding (camp beds, bedroll — mattress, pillow & sheets, duvet, blankets and towels) and sets up bush showers and toilets. The tents are about 9 feet x 9 feet with 2 windows and an attached bathroom with bush toilet, bucket shower, mirror, and handwash basin.

How do we eat?
All meals are prepared for us over an open fire, whetting our appetites with tantalizing aromas as our camp crew cooks and offers hearty and healthy bush cuisine. Meals can either be taken at a set dining table or enjoyed in a relaxed manner around the campfire. Evenings are spent relaxing and star gazing, as the guide and camp crew take care of cleaning up after dinner.

Breakfast comprises cereals, toast, fruit, and tea or coffee. Lunch is generally salads, cold meats, cheese and bread with fruit. Dinner is a hearty meal with meat and vegetables.

A Typical Day on Safari
Our days will be spent exploring the national parks and reserves on game drives in an open safari vehicle, designed for optimal game viewing and photography in safety. In addition, our itinerary may include a mokoro (traditional canoe) excursion and guided walks depending on the area.

On a full day in camp, we will generally wake at sunrise and gather around the campfire for that first “essential” cup of tea or coffee. As everyone rises and prepares for the morning game drive a light breakfast is served of cereal, toast, fruit, and rusks. Our group will head out as early as is permitted in the national parks in order to be the first on the roads to track fresh spoor left from the animal’s overnight activities – we may spot fresh lion tracks walking straight past the camp or evidence of a passing herd of buffalo not far away. Our guide assesses where would be the best area to head on the game drive depending on what calls were heard during the night as well as the tracks found on the road and off we go to investigate further. Part of the unique appeal of Botswana is that the wildlife moves naturally and we are actually “searching” for them, which can lead to the most amazing sightings and a great appreciation and respect for the bush.

Generally on the morning game drive we stop for morning tea and generally head back to camp by late morning. In camp we enjoy a lunch or brunch, depending on the time, and then there is plenty of time for showers and that great safari tradition of “siesta time.” Many people read or write in a journal and others may choose to catch up on sleep after their early awakening! We meet together for afternoon tea and then head out on the afternoon activity, perhaps seeking a new area or returning to a great morning sighting. Overnight in Mobile Camp

Tuesday, October 22The Magnificent Victoria Falls | Meals: B D

Our journey ends at Victoria Falls, where the earth splits open and swallows one of Africa’s greatest rivers, the mighty Zambezi, creating one of the largest sheets of falling water on the planet.

As a group, we’ll enjoy a few “classic” Victoria Falls activities:

– A sundowner cruise on the Zambezi River
– Dinner at The Boma
– A guided tour of Victoria Falls

Overnight at Batonka Guest Lodge

Wednesday, October 23Explore Victoria Falls | Meals: B

Victoria Falls is one of those great places to visit because it has something to offer for everyone:

– Witness the natural beauty of the Falls themselves on a walking tour or from a scenic helicopter flight
– See the wildlife of Zambezi National Park in a safari vehicle or on a guided walk
– Dive into activities for adrenaline junkies, like bungee jumping or ziplining, or for the more sedate, sunset cruises on the river
– Learn about the history of the area, “discovered” by Dr. Livingstone, as well as the history and construction of the Victoria Falls Bridge
– Soak up the culture of the local people on village tours
– Meet an elephant up close and personal at a local sanctuary
– Explore the town and its craft markets and restaurants
– Relax at a spa or with a drink at a cafe with scenic views of the Falls

Activities are optional and available to book for extra cost.
Overnight at Batonka Guest Lodge

Thursday, October 24Saying Goodbye | Meals: B

Our journey comes to an end today as we transfer to the Victoria Falls Airport for a flight to Johannesburg and onward connections.

  • One night at airport hotel in Johannesburg
  • Two nights at Nxai Pan Camp
  • Two nights at Setari Camp
  • Four nights on Safari Life Africa Mobile Camping
  • Two nights at Batonka Guest Lodge
  • Meals as indicated (B-breakfast, L-lunch, D-dinner), including dinner at The Boma
  • Most beverages while at safari camps – full inclusions available on Digital Itinerary
  • All transfers, including inter-camp air transfers
  • Game activities while on safari, including game drives, nature walks, bushmen experiences, village visits, and stargazing
  • Zambezi River Sundowner Cruise
  • Guided tour of Victoria Falls, including park entrance fee
  • Pre-departure services of Borton Overseas
  • Twin Cities meteorologist Sven Sundgaard and Borton Overseas host Andrea Berger accompanying on safari
Not Included
  • International flights to/from Johannesburg, South Africa
  • Internal flight Johannesburg – Maun, Botswana
  • Internal flight Victoria Falls – Johannesburg
  • Fees for passports, visas, health vaccinations
  • Zimbabwe single entry visa fee (currently $30 per person)
  • Travel insurance (emergency medical & evacuation coverage is required)
  • Gratuities & porterage
  • Beverages, including bottled water, unless noted
  • Additional or optional activities
  • Items of a personal nature (e.g. laundry, spa services, excess baggage fees etc.)
  • Any other item not mentioned as included
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