Best safari lodges in Botswana 2020 #SunSafarisSays
Feb18

Best safari lodges in Botswana 2020 #SunSafarisSays

Our choices for the best safari lodges in Botswana for the year 2020 – like any of our recommendations, suggestions, and pieces of advice – are shaped by personal experience. Our holiday experts build itineraries based on confidence and relationships based on trust. Each one of our four safari planners has at least a decade’s experience in the industry and they know what they are looking for in a destination experience. Botswana is a particular area of expertise for our team. It is a country we not only love for its sublime natural areas, but for its conservation ethic and integrity. It is a destination for the mindful traveller and it supports a tourism framework worth celebrating. It is as good to explore as a fly-in safari guest, or as a source of adventure for self-drivers. Tourists are embraced while natural heritage is preserved. This unique combination in Africa makes Botswana one of our best destinations for 2020. We asked our in-house Botswana experts to highlights five safari lodges they are recommending for this new year. We’ve got one for each prime safari region in the country. These well-loved lodges all went through a change in the last year that excites us. They have something new to offer. Without further ado, here are our choices for the best safari lodges in Botswana for the year 2020! Region: Chobe River Lodge: Ngoma Safari Lodge The view of Chobe River is probably the biggest drawcard for Ngoma Safari Lodge. Overlooking the lifeblood that divides Botswana and Namibia, this safari spot is perfectly elevated  to make guests feel like they are dining on top of the world. It’s physical located in the private Chobe Forest Reserve, so night drives and walking safaris are permitted (and encouraged!) The national park is just three kilometres away, so daily game drives are part and parcel of the experience. Last year, Ngoma transitioned to new ownership and partnered with some of our other favourites in Botswana (Gomoti Plains and Machaba Camp) , which really got our attention. Pairing a trusted safari operation with a location like this is what makes a place truly special. For the hours in between your safari activities, you’ll be eating (dining room view: check), swimming (pool with a view: check), and relaxing in your suite (room with a view: check). So, Ngoma Safari Lodge emerged as one of our new favourites, and we’ll put our stamp of approval on that. #SunSafarisSays Region: Okavango Delta Lodge: Kanana Kanana Camp makes our list of best lodges in Botswana for obvious reasons. It was refurbished in 2019 and received a whole new look that...

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Explore the best bits of Botswana in 10 days
Feb05

Explore the best bits of Botswana in 10 days

In a space of 10 days, there is time enough to relax and unwind and explore the best bits of Botswana. You’ll want to truly settle in and become familiar with the chorus of bird calls, the slow and indulgent pace of life. Dipping your toes in for a few days gives you that tantalising introduction to Botswana’s beautiful embrace, but taking the time to see a couple of different areas and experience true safari luxury is what will leave a lasting impression. This 10-day itinerary incorporates the truly mesmerising parts of the country. Not the places that are accessible within a day’s boat ride or drive from Maun. Not the places that are surrounded by a number of other camps and lodges. Rather, this itinerary takes guests to more exclusive regions of the country and seeks accommodation in masterfully constructed safari retreats. These are the best bits of Botswana, explored over nine nights, ten days. From Maun to the Delta  The first three nights are spent in the western territories of the Okavango Delta, in a remote private concession. This region has seasonal access to water, so mokoro and boating activities are an exciting way to explore. The Kwetsani Camp has access to Hunda Island, where game drive routes offer fantastic opportunities to encounter the land-based residents of this wonderland. The camp itself embodies a remote treehouse-style African island retreat. Just five luxury suites are nestled between fig, palm, and mangosteen trees, overlooking a vast floodplain, which is visited by an array of the Delta’s wild animals. Surrounded by water and in a blissfully secluded region, Kwetsani Camp speaks to those who want to escape in a natural wonderland without losing out on comforting luxuries. You’ll be enamoured by the birdlife, and the blue-green vision of the camps surroundings. Hippo, elephant, buffalo, lechwe, leopard, baboon, and lion are among the resident animals in the area. A combination of game drives on the nearby Hunda Island, mokoro cruises through the channels, boat rides, guided walking excursions, and nearby access to scenic helicopter flights and cultural activities makes Kwetsani a place of diverse experiences. A generous offering in the Okavango Delta. Flying to Khwai From one of Botswana’s most enamoured destinations to another, you’ll fly from the western corner of the Okavango Delta to the community-run Khwai Concession in the east. This alluring place in the wetland system bordering Moremi Game Reserve offers exclusive game drive routes with river frontage and teeming game, while sustaining an ethical, community-focused safari experience. The concession is located on the eastern edge of the Okavango Delta and is known for an abundance and diversity...

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Indian Ocean to Okavango Delta with Machaba Safaris
Jun30

Indian Ocean to Okavango Delta with Machaba Safaris

Machaba Safaris is known for its fresh, understated classic safari camps in sought after pockets of wildlife paradise in Zimbabwe and Botswana. Camps are simple and sophisticated, and transport discerning guests straight back to the classic 50s safari era, where it was all about immersing yourself in graceful design and style. Machaba’s Okavango Delta camps offer a combination of land and water safari options, with each camp located on the banks of the placid waterways and river systems. The depths of the Delta waters framed by date palms and fringed by reeds, provide the perfect tropical riverfront scenes. Visitors flock to the Okavango Delta for wildlife and landscapes, but Machaba noticed a trend with these eager safari seekers – the desire to combine a pristine water-safari with an idyllic beach holiday. With that, Machaba’s Delta and Ocean idea was born. Machaba Safaris latest offering is their beach and safari combo called “Machaba Blue Safari”, a 15 day journey from Maun in Botswana to Mahe in the Seychelles. The itinerary is :  3 Nights at Machaba Camp in the Khwai region of the Okavango Delta 3 Nights Gomoti Plains Camp situated on the edge of the Gomoti River System 1 Night at the Intercontinental OR Tambo (lay over) 1 Night Eden Bleu Hotel in Mahe, Seychelles 7 Nights Alphonse Island at the Alphonse Group, Seychelles   Machaba Camp in Khwai Machaba Camp is a 50s style camp designed to exude an atmosphere of “vintage explorer”. A few collectables adorn the main area and decor is designed to reflect a safari style from bygone era. It’s fresh simplicity combined with elegant sophistication, and plenty of added value extras, ensures an ultra-luxurious stay. The location speaks for itself. Situated under a canopy of trees along the banks of the much-loved Khwai River in the Okavango Delta, lies 10 luxury tents and a main lounge/dining area leading out into a boma. The pool is situated in an enclave surrounded by greenery overlooking the hippo-filled waters of Khwai. Each tent features an en suite bathroom, living area and a typical safari-style outdoor shower. Guests can expect guided bush walks through the riverine vegetation and surrounding emerald landscapes. Game drives lead to all sorts of noteworthy sightings. It’s certainly not uncommon to spot leopard and wild dog in these parts. The most popular wildlife to spot is hippos and elephants; often seen from the swimming pool and open areas of camp. Of course, there are all the frills and spills that come with staying at an ultra-luxurious safari camp. These include sundowner sessions, boma campfires and al fresco dining under the Botswana sky. Machaba Camp...

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Pangolin Chobe Hotel Designed Specifically for Photographic Safaris
Jun02

Pangolin Chobe Hotel Designed Specifically for Photographic Safaris

Pangolin Photo Safaris is a brand specialising in tailor-made photographic safaris in Africa. In-house photographers have selected wildlife-rich regions in Africa, renown for game viewing, unique landscapes and sweeping sunset scenes. Remote locations, both water-based and land-based have been carefully selected for idyllic Botswana photographic safari. Seasoned professional or amateur shutterbug, there is an itinerary and a place for you. Pangolin has a number of hand selected, trusted partners and lodges for their safaris. But the good news is, is that Pangolin owns 3 of its own destinations that have been specifically designed for photographers. We’re talking camera equipment on offer, gimbals on vehicles and boats, and even memory cards for use. The most recent addition to the Pangolin portfolio is the outstanding and innovative Pangolin Chobe Hotel. Chobe Mobile Camp, situated in the western side of Chobe National Park, offers photographers an opportunity to experience a rustic glamping style safari that encourages you to connect with the wilderness on a different level. The intimate camp can only accommodate up to 8 guests, and an experienced Pangolin host is always on hand. The Pangolin team have carefully selected a few private locations within the Chobe National Park ideal for photographic safaris. Pangolin decided that offering land based safaris wasn’t enough, so they took it upon themselves to kit out a boat complete with accommodation, so that shutterbugs can spend days on the water photographing all that is amphibious and aquatic. The name? The Pangolin Voyager ! A luxurious floating hotel. The Voyager is moored on the Namibian side of the mighty Chobe River, which means yet another diverse area to capture through your lens. Each party has a private tender boat with a dedicated guide for the duration of their stay. Grab that lens and start capturing the splashes from a honking hippo, or the snorkelling activities from elephant herds – after all this is Chobe, the land of giants! So, let’s turn our attention to the latest addition to Pangolin : the Pangolin Chobe Hotel.  Overlooking the powerful Chobe River and the remarkable floodplains of Namibia’s Caprivi, is the contemporary Pangolin Chobe Hotel. This photographic hotel rests comfortably on a plateau, and certainly enjoys its elevated position overlooking the wilderness of both Namibia and Botswana. A unique position. Coupled with its superior position, the hotel is also ideally located at the entrance of the Chobe National Park, which means an advantage in terms of accessing the park. The highly specialised 8-seater photographic boats are moored on the river directly below the hotel, and they’re kitted out with rotational seats and gimbals. Game drives take place in an 8-seater...

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Going on Safari in Botswana? We Answer Your FAQs.
Mar14

Going on Safari in Botswana? We Answer Your FAQs.

Famed for its abundant big game, scores of predators and rare species of bird, Botswana most certainly offers its visitors the opportunity to observe a spectacle of wildlife in a pristine location. The country is home to a diverse eco-system and unique biome, brimming with water wonderlands such as the Chobe River and Okavango Delta and authentic desert location such as the semi-arid Kalahari desert. Botswana is hemmed in by 4 countries, which means it enjoys contrasting scenes and a range of remarkable habitats. Lest we not forget the forests, salt pans and national parks dotted across the flat country! Sparse, lush, mysterious and exciting – Botswana is a world in one! Armed with the knowledge that this is an exceptional destination, you’ve now set your sights on going on safari in Botswana. And we’re pretty sure you have plenty of questions. We’ve extracted the most commonly asked FAQs, and answered them as best we can. When can you visit Okavango Delta? The Okavango Delta is a permanent body of water and is a year-round safari destination. During the drier months (May-Sep) the tributaries have less water and the vegetation is thinner. This does make it easier to spot game on the banks of the Delta, and it’s also the time of year when the temperatures are more moderate. June – August provide the best opportunities for boating and canoe safaris  – this is when the water level is higher. Do I need shots to go to Botswana? The most common vaccinations that travellers get prior to travelling to Botswana is Typhoid and Hepatitis A.  Typhoid injections are recommended, but not a necessity. Just make sure you’re up to date with all of your standard shots. You could also invest in getting a tetanus booster prior to travelling. Malaria is prevalent in most safari regions in Africa, so we recommend you take precautions. Chat to your local GP about the various preventative measures on offer. Do I need a yellow fever certificate for Botswana? Botswana does not require a yellow fever certificate. However – if you are travelling from a country that has a high risk of yellow fever (Uganda for example), then you will need to produce your certificate upon arrival. If you arrive from international destinations such as the UK and US, you most certainly won’t need a certificate. Do I need a visa for Botswana from the UK? It’s always best to consult with your embassy to confirm what entry visa you will need when travelling to another country. The current entry regulations state that British nationals do not need a visa to enter Botswana for stays of up to 90 days....

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5 Types of Safari Experiences to Explore in 2019
Jan05

5 Types of Safari Experiences to Explore in 2019

2018 went by in a flash – quicker than a fleeting glance of a leopard under the twilight sky. Let’s make 2019 the year to start planning your African safari. Your first option is to narrow down the type of safari you would like to do, and then move onto the safari destination. Of course, you can combine a number of countries and types of safaris; it’s all dependent on you, your budget and your time. Let’s unpack a few of the types of safaris on offer in Africa. Here are 5 types of safari experiences to explore in 2019. The Water Safari Experience Botswana is the home of the water safari, with the Okavango Delta being the obvious destination of choice. The low gradient alluvial fan of the Okavango Delta is a remarkable region well-worth visiting. There is nothing more rewarding than the soothing sounds of the water mingled with the call of the African fish eagle. A water safari promises a wealth of bird-life, abundant elephant sightings (the wrinkled grey giants LOVE to swim and bathe), crocodile, and hippo sightings. Predators can be spotted in the Moremi Game Reserve, which forms part of the Delta region and guests can enjoy a fully immersive island experience when they stay on one of the islands in the open waters (Chief’s Island is the most famous). The narrow papyrus-lined channels are perfect for exploring on a traditional guided mokoro trip and the open waters offer endless views of crystal clear waters framed by savannah landscapes. The Chobe region also offers water-based activities, with the Linyanti and Savuti swamps offering up a great diversity of game viewing. The swamps are a result of the Linyanti River rising up in the Angolan Highlands, and joining forces with the Chobe River. Savuti has gained an international reputation for being the region where lions take down elephants. The Savuti channel dried up years ago due to tectonic plate movement, and the predators were forced to adapt and survive, creating a lineage of lions that hunt elephants. When the Linyanti swamps are full, the river tends to flood the once barren Savuti Marsh; an area that now enjoys prolific game. Click on this link for your Botswana safari options: https://www.sunsafaris.com/safari/botswana/ The Bucket List Safari Experience The bucket list safari experience is a well-documented type of wildlife holiday centred around major migrations and unique experiences. These safari experiences have made it to mainstream media and have been dubbed “not-to-be-missed” experiences. If you’re a bucket list chaser then we recommend heading to the Masai Mara to witness the annual wildebeest migration, go trekking with gorillas in Uganda, go to Chobe National...

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3 Safari Lodges on the Riverfront in Chobe National Park
Nov08

3 Safari Lodges on the Riverfront in Chobe National Park

The contrasting landscapes, abundant wildlife, and untouched pockets of safari paradise make Botswana a sought after safari destination. The country is home to premier land and water based safari activities, and a range of lodges are peppered throughout the country. Want a water safari? Head to the Okavango Delta, a world heritage site and home of the water safari. Want a savannah style safari combined with mighty rivers? Then head to the popular Chobe National Park, the land of giants. Want a desert safari? Then head to the arid Kalahari, a culturally significant area home to vast landscapes and mind-blowing mirages. There are so many lodges peppered throughout Botswana that it’s hard to pin down our favourite safari hideaways, so today we’re focusing on 3 safari lodges on the accessible riverfront area of Chobe National Park. Staying here will ensure The Chobe National Park is in the north east part of Botswana, in close proximity to the Okavango Delta. The mighty Chobe river meanders its way through the park, and the Chobe Riverfront is home to hoards of big game. The area is known as the land of giants because of its high concentration of elephants. The park is the third largest in the country, and the riverfront region is the most accessible.  Of course, the geographical marvel of the Linyanti Marshes, and the ferocious predators of the famous Savuti region also fall within the national park. Chobe National Park is home to contrasting eco-systems, and therefore offers a variety of habitats for a wealth of different species. Kasane is the town that serves Chobe, and this is where the four countries of Namibia, Zambia, Botswana and Zimbabwe meet. It is also where the mighty Chobe river and powerful Zambezi rivers converge.  Chobe Game Lodge Chobe Game Lodge is situated on the banks of the Chobe River, inside the Chobe National Park. This is the only permanent lodge situated inside the national park. The lodge is expansive and has 47 rooms, sleeping a total of 94 people. It’s a 5-star lodge in a prime location, and all rooms are river facing. Sit on your private balcony and watch the elephants, hippos and birdlife flock to the shores. Chobe Under Canvas Chobe Under Canvas offers guests the opportunity to stay in a mobile tented camp on the banks of the Chobe River in the heart of the national park. This mobile camp is the ultimate in luxury safari living and has 6 East African style tents nestled on the banks of the river. Enjoy boat cruises, game drives and a relaxed safari in the Chobe National Park. Chobe Elephant Camp Chobe Elephant...

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