On arrival into Maun airport, you will be met by a representative from The Booking Company who will welcome you to Botswana and assist with you connection on to light charter aircraft for a short flight over the Okavango Delta to Kanana airstrip where on arrival you will be met and welcomed by your guide then a road transfer on an open safari vehicle to the camp.
A hidden jewel on the Xudum River, Kanana is located in the southwest of the Okavango Delta. The area encompasses a necklace of islands dotted with palms, figs, ebony and knob thorn, and is home to a myriad of birds, plants and animals. The nature of the habitat means it is the perfect place to experience the diversity of species found within the Okavango Delta.
The annual floods transform parts of this concession into a true water paradise, offering guests the best of both worlds. At certain times of the year guests may actually enjoy the breath-taking spectacle of the water visibly rising around the camp’s raised teak decks. You will experience magnificent game sightings during drives as well as the unique experience of exploring the delta’s beautiful waterways by boat. There is also a Sleep Out Deck that offers guests the opportunity to spend the night under the splendid African night sky.
Situated in the Kanana Concession, the focus of activities at Kanana varies with the rising and falling levels of the Okavango Delta. Activities include morning and late afternoon game drives in open safari vehicles, with afternoon game drives often continuing into the evening. Alternatively you may explore the crystal clear waterways by Mokoro or motorboat, and enjoy the magnificent variety of birds, plant and reptile species found in the area. Birding is spectacular, and Kanana hosts a seasonal heronry that teems with activity, a Kanana highlight which converts all visitors to avid ‘twitchers’. Guided bush walks are highly recommended as is fishing for tilapia, African pike and sharptooth catfish.
This morning after your morning activity and light breakfast (time permitting) you will be transferred to the airstrip where you will board a light charter flight and enjoy your flight across the Okavango Delta to Shinde Airstrip.
On arrival at Shinde Airstrip, you will be met by your personal guide and continue to Footsteps Camp in an open safari vehicle. The adventure begins as the drive allows you to acclimatize to the bush, while your guide gives you tips on how to spot game animals and birds in the wilderness. On arrival in your private tented camp, a refreshing drink and light lunch awaits. Over lunch your guide will brief you on safety, and then it is time to settle into camp, while planning your activities with your guide.
Later in the afternoon, as the temperatures cool, it is time to begin your introduction to bush craft and some basic rules regarding animal behaviour. One of the most important lessons is to treat all the inhabitants of the wilderness with respect and you will learn that the bush is a safe and fascinating place to be. A short walk from camp allows you to become accustomed to the sights, sounds and smells that make up the language of the African bush. The wilderness is constantly talking to you and your guides will begin to show you some of basics. The more you are aware of what is happening around you, the more you will take away from your adventure!
On return to camp, a piping hot bucket shower under the stars awaits, followed by a tasty dinner. Around the campfire we consider the lessons of the day and learn more about Botswana, the history of the country and its people. For those that can stay awake long enough we can view the stars and interesting constellations of the African sky before heading to bed, ready for an early start the following day.
The day begins before sunrise with a gentle wakeup call at your tent, piping hot coffee and light breakfast at the fireside, before heading out on foot to see what the bush has in store for us. One of the most amazing aspects of this bush camp is that the direction of a walk or type of activity is entirely up to you and your guide. An interesting track, circling vultures or even the call of a jackal can lead you on an adventure every time you leave camp! Following the water's edge gives us the chance to examine some of the tracks left overnight, as well as identifying some of the multitude of animals, birds and insects that inhabit the riverine forests. By the end of the walk you should be able to recognise many tracks and have put some of your new bush skills to use. Can you follow a track and find a herd of zebra that passed by earlier that morning? How close can you stalk up to a giraffe? It’s tough with their excellent vision and long necks!
Following another delicious lunch prepared on a camp fire, parents are left to a lazy afternoon napping or reading while the younger members of the family are watched over by their guides. Now is a chance to learn some more traditional skills, using the natural products to create jewellery and tools. Using the palm leaves we learn to weave baskets and carve the palm seed, known as plant ivory into a necklace for Mum! Or perhaps try to build your own digging sticks and bow and arrows from the materials available around you?
In no time at all, it is time to venture out again, this time it’s a water adventure! Using the traditional dugout canoe (mokoro), we explore the reed beds and Okavango waterways. Her we learn many skills developed by local people, allowing them to survive in this environment. How do you get a drink of cold water using a water lily stem? If we are especially quiet, we may even spot the sitatunga, one of the world's most unusual and secretive antelope, which has adapted perfectly to live in aquatic environments. They are capable of hiding underwater leaving only their nostrils above water to breathe!
Before dinner this evening, we are off to visit the bush kitchen. You will be astounded as you learn how the mouth-watering fare is produced in camp. There’s no electricity here, all the food, savory and dessert, fresh bread, cakes are cooked on the campfire or in the steel bush oven! Spend some time with the staff and learn how it is possible to live comfortably in the wilderness without electricity and modern gadgets. It worked well enough for our ancestors after all!
With the sunrise comes an introduction to working in the African bush and some of the many tools which we use. Any idea how to drive a 4x4 across a river or through thick sand or mud? Ever changed a tyre on a 4x4? While out and about we are sure to bump into some of the many species of large mammals that inhabit the Okavango Delta including wild dogs, elephants, lion, buffalo, cheetah, wildebeest and impala. Spending time quietly observing these mammals will give you an insight into the structure of their society and how we may understand their moods through their body language. Reading animals’ body language is vital in being able to safely live and move among the other inhabitants of the bush.
That afternoon while in camp you will learn some of the rules required in order to handle a rifle safely. This is an important tool in our world and is not a toy and should be respected at all times! Once you understand the safety of handling a firearm, perhaps you can put your new found skills to the test with a pellet gun, on our very own bush range! No doubt Dad will be hanging around for a go as well, and a little family competition usually results!
Later, you may wish to try your angling skills Okavango style, either along the banks of lagoons and channels or, for the more adventurous from the Mokoro! Here you will learn how to catch, handle and release a fish correctly, ensuring you do it no harm. We may choose to keep a couple for dinner, in which case be ready to learn how to clean and prepare it yourself!
Though the safari draws to an end, the final dinner is still cause for celebration toasting new friends, reminiscing over many unique experiences, many new bush skills and lifelong memories. The grown-ups would like to drift off to sleep with the ever-present chorus of the hippos and the tinkle of the reed frogs. But for the young bush rangers it is the perfect opportunity to head off with a spotlight to try and identify some of the many species that wake up as the sun sets!!
The morning is spent discussing your stay and your guides will ask you to identify several tracks, birds and animals, and to explain some of the skills that you might use to survive in the bush. After this informal bush evaluation you will then be awarded your Okavango Delta certificate and shirt making you an official member of a truly select group of bushrangers, the Ker & Downey Young Explorers!!
After your award ceremony, you will be transferred to Shinde airstrip where you board a light charter aircraft for a transfer to Xakanaxa Airstrip. You will enjoy a scenic view of the Okavango Delta and Moremi Game reserve en-route to the airstrip. On arrival at the airstrip, you will be met by your guide and from there it is a short road transfer to Okuti.
This delightful camp lies alongside the Maunachira River which flows through Xakanaxa Lagoon within the world renowned Moremi Game Reserve, Okuti is built amidst the wilderness of one of Botswana’s prime game viewing regions. Refurbishment of Okuti took place at the beginning of 2014 and draws its influence from water which flows in front of the camp, with its abundant birdlife, fish and sandy river banks, it remains an oasis of serenity and peacefulness.
Situated in the heart of the world-renowned Moremi Game Reserve, guests can experience unhindered views in specially-designed safari vehicles. Moremi Game Reserve is rich in wildlife, and its consistent year-round game viewing makes it ideal for the first time visitors to Botswana. Guests can also explore the Okavango Delta waterways by motorboat, and the areas open lagoons and winding channels make it a birder’s paradise, complete with herons and storks in the breeding season.
After breakfast and a morning activity (time permitting) you will be transferred back to Xakanaxa Airstrip where you will board a light charter aircrafts for a 20 minute transfer to Maun Airport from where you will connect on to your onward flight.
Notes/Other: This itinerary is an example only, and can be tailor-made to suit your personal requirements. We can combine this proposed itinerary with other camps in Botswana.