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                                                                        Gavin Blair Safaris

Best of the Wildlife Safari

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15 Day Botswana & Namibia Best of the Wildlife Safari


Day 1


Arrive Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe where we will meet you and transfer you to the Victoria Falls Safari Lodge, a beautiful brick and thatch lodge that provides the best accommodation in Victoria Falls and where you will overnight.  The lodge is situated on the edge of Victoria Falls town and looks out across the valley to the Victoria Falls National Park, beyond which you can see the Zambezi River.  Warthogs, banded mongooses, baboons and monkeys are regular visitors, while elephant and buffalo roam in the valley below.  In the afternoon we will take you to the world famous Victoria Falls, locally known as "Mosi oa Tunya", the smoke that thunders. In the evening we will take you to dinner at the Victoria Falls Safari Lodge restaurant, which overlooks a floodlit waterhole from where you can watch the animals coming down to drink while you dine.  Victoria Falls is also the centre for a number of adventure activities such as the best one-day white-water rafting in the world, horse or elephant back riding, scenic flights over the Victoria Falls in a helicopter, microlight or ultralight, bungee jumping off the Victoria Falls bridge or a sunset cruise on the Zambezi River.  (For additional activities you will need to spend two nights.)

Day 2


Immediately after breakfast you will be transferred the short distance across the border to Botswana and then on to Savuti Wildlife Camp in the Savuti area of the Chobe National Park. Accommodation is in large en suite air conditioned tents situated on the banks of the flowing Savuti Channel.  Early in the year this area is the focus for Botswana’s zebra migration, while later in the year the area becomes home to large numbers of bull elephants.  Breeding herds of elephant and buffalo can be seen all year round, along with giraffe, wildebeest, impala and warthogs.  Lion, leopard and wild dog can also be found and the birdlife is prolific year round.  Enjoy your first afternoon of wildlife viewing in Savuti.

Days 3 & 4


Full days spent wildlife viewing in the Savuti area.  Early starts are preferable in order to give the best opportunity to experience the predator activity that has made Savuti famous in numerous National Geographic films.  One can spend many hours at the various water points where the animals concentrate to drink, and you can get close to the bull elephants for that special photograph.  The area has many interesting natural history aspects as well as a great variety of animals and bird life to find and learn about.  Whether looking into the life cycle of the termite, the aerobatic mating display of the lilac-breasted roller or the interesting feeding habits and social structures of the elephant herds, this is an area where your interest can be held at every turn.

Day 5


After a last morning wildlife viewing we will depart Savuti for the Chobe River area of the Chobe National Park.  Most of the afternoon will be spent wildlife viewing along the western end of the Chobe River front before arriving at Chobe Lodge where we will overnight.   The lodge is situated on the banks of the Chobe River and has a swimming pool.  The air conditioned rooms and outdoor dining area overlook the Chobe River.  Baboons, monkeys, warthogs and banded mongooses are frequent visitors by day, and by night larger mammals wander by.

Days 6 & 7


Full days wildlife viewing in the Chobe National Park where, thanks to the permanent waters of the Chobe River, one can be assured of seeing a wonderful variety of animals including breeding herds of elephant, buffalo, giraffe, roan, sable, kudu, impala and Chobe bushbuck, as well as keeping a look out for the predators.  This is also the only area in Southern Africa where the puku can be seen.  On one of the afternoons Gavin will take you out by boat on the Chobe River to photograph hippos, crocodiles and, if lucky, find a herd of elephants swimming and playing in the water.  Good bird sightings that include the malachite and giant kingfishers as well as the endangered African skimmer can be found along the river's edge.

Day 8


After breakfast we will transit through the Chobe National Park to the Ngoma border post where we will cross the Chobe River into Namibia.  We will then traverse the full length of the Caprivi Strip (the thin strip of land that separates Botswana and Angola) en route to Rundu.  On arrival we will enjoy an afternoon stroll along the banks of the Okavango River in search of some of the many species of birds that inhabit this area.  Overnight at the River Lodge.

Day 9


After breakfast we will depart for Etosha National Park.  The scenery and habitat will change dramatically as we travel.  We will set off on our first afternoon of wildlife viewing in the Namutoni area of the Etosha National Park, home to some of the greatest concentrations of wildlife in the whole of Southern Africa.  Alternating between the various waterholes and access points on the Etosha Pan we will observe the comings, goings, trials and tribulations of the animals who live in this harsh environment.  This is also the area of Etosha where we may see the endangered blue crane.  Overnight at Namutoni Bush Camp where we will probably be greeted by kudu and common duiker.

Day 10


A full day wildlife viewing in the Namutoni area of the Etosha National Park, known as the "Great White Place" because of the white clay pans that cover almost a quarter of the park's 22,270 square kilometre area.  Among the large diversity of species you can expect to see, this is also the area we will find the rare Damara dik-dik, and perhaps even the less common white rhino.  Overnight at Namutoni Bush Camp.

Day 11


After breakfast we depart Namutoni and spend the day wildlife viewing en route to the Halali area of the Etosha National Park, stopping at the numerous waterholes along the way to see what activity is taking place.  Overnight at Halali where the floodlit waterhole attracts regular rhino visitors and other nocturnal animals, so presenting an opportunity for some special night time wildlife viewing.


Day 12


A full day wildlife viewing in the Halali area of the Etosha National Park.  Etosha waterholes are unique in the sheer diversity and impressive concentrations of wildlife they attract, being as the dry waterless interior means that herds of elephant, giraffe, gemsbok, zebra, wildebeest, black-faced impala and springbok are frequently drawn from the arid feeding grounds to these waterholes.  Overnight at Halali.


Day 13


Departing Halali we continue our wildlife viewing while travelling west along the edge of the Etosha Pan, a great ancient salt lake, observing the changing habitat and vegetation en route to the Okaukuejo area of the Etosha National Park.  We will look out for cheetah, spotted hyena, black-backed jackals, warthogs and ground squirrels as well as eland, red hartebeest and kudu.  We will overnight at Okaukuejo.  For those with enough energy there is the famous floodlit waterhole where you can sit up all night to watch the coming and going of the animals including rhino, elephant and lion, with the draw of the water once again resulting in some excellent wildlife viewing.


Day 14


A full day wildlife viewing in the Okaukuejo area of the Etosha National Park.  The waterhole at Okaukuejo is one of the most frequented waterholes in Etosha, and so we will spend most of our time between this waterhole and others in the surrounding area, watching the constantly changing movement of the animals.  Overnight at Okaukuejo.

Day 15


After a last morning wildlife viewing we will depart Etosha for Windhoek, arriving in plenty of time for your onward connections.

 

Gavin Blair Safaris aim is to give you the maximum wildlife experience, and as such Gavin will give you the opportunity to be out wildlife viewing from dawn to dusk and often beyond.  As you will have the exclusive use of our own safari vehicles this also means that you will not in any way be tied to the lodges strict timetables, that typically offer a maximum of a three to four hour game drive in the morning and just three hours in the afternoon - i.e. a safari with Gavin Blair Safaris can double your time out in the bush.  Of course having a vehicle to yourself has other advantages, not least the fact that you will not have to fit in with other guests conflicting interests.  You will also have the benefit of a highly experienced and respected guide, who has an intimate and inexhaustible knowledge of the wildlife as well as a very genuine and infectious enthusiasm for all aspects of Africa's fauna and flora - so ensuring a safari adventure not to be forgotten.  Our return rate of 78% is further proof of our high standards and commitment to your enjoyment of the complete safari experience, as the testimonials page on our website will show.

The safari will be exclusive to you, your family and any friends you choose to accompany you - i.e. we do not mix groups unless specifically requested.  Prices, worked out on a sliding scale with the price varying depending on the number in your party, are fully inclusive of all accommodation, transfers, park fees (excluding any Government increases between the time of booking and your safari), meals and activities as per the itinerary (except additional activities in Victoria Falls).  Drinks (excluding premium brands) are included in Botswana only.  International flights are not included.  The vehicles used will be for your exclusive use and Gavin will be your personal guide throughout, offering maximum time out in the field for the duration of your safari.

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