This 11N The Epic Elephant Expedition touches 3 countries Botswana – Nambia – Zambia TCUS
Botswana is considered the elephant capital of the universe. And rightly so.
Huge numbers herds roam freely through the countries vast and diverse wilderness ensure memorable encounters on so many different levels.
This 11N Epic Elephant Expedition is exactly what it implies:A monumental adventure tracking the world’s largest land mammal on foot, by canoe, by boat and by vehicle, through breathtaking wild-lands.
Discovering that elephant are indeed highly intelligent and sentient animals, capable of advanced and fascinating behaviour.
On this 11N The Epic Elephant Expedition,
- through a combination of encounters in the bush,
- presentations on the hot topics of elephant conservation,
- speaking to retired ivory poachers,
- meeting established scientists,
- and hospitable discussions around remote campfires
we slowly discover the crucial part elephants play in the ecological vibrancy of an eco-system. And how we can all become actively involved in elephant conservation.
Although the focus is on elephant antics and conservation, there is a lot more to the safari than this. The route incorporates a classic journey through the wildest big-game viewing regions in Botswana and Namibia staying at a combination of camps ranging from luxury tents, mobile fly-camps and a triple deck houseboat.
11N The Epic Elephant Expedition Safari itinerary
Flight from Johannesburg to Maun, Botswana
Light aircraft charter to Stanley’s Camp in the Okavango Delta
Lunch on arrival – Afternoon game drive and introduction – Dinner and overnight at Stanley’s
Elephant interaction based from Stanley’s, walking, touching and learning about the resident herd.
Brunch in the bush with the elephants – Return to Stanley’s – Afternoon at leisure
Dinner and overnight
Breakfast and pack-up – Motor boat transfer to Gunns Camp in the Okavango
Arrive for lunch on the elevated deck – Afternoon boating excursion
Dinner and overnight
Depart Gunns Camp by dugout canoe for 2 nights of fly-camping on Chief’s Island in the Moremi Game Reserve
Accommodation in a tented mobile camp with long drop loo and bucket shower
Two days of tracking and walking in search of elephant on foot.
Return to Gunn’s Camp in afternoon with evening at leisure
Dinner and overnight at Gunns Camp.
Charter flight to a luxury tented camp on the banks of the Savuit Channel within the Chobe National Park
Arrive for lunch followed by an orientation drive and search for elephants
Dinner and overnight
Full day game viewing based from our tented base, returning for meals and overnight
Charter flight to Kasane on the Chobe River
Clear customs into Namibia and then a boat transfer to a luxury houseboat on the Chobe
Check in and orientation – Afternoon boat trip on the river
Dinner and overnight on the houseboat
Two full days game viewing and elephant watching based from the houseboat
Birdwatching, fishing or game drives can be arranged
Morning activity followed by a boat transfer back to the mainland
Drive to Kasane International Airport for on-going travel logistics
Road transfer to Livingstone in Zambia and two nights spent at Sindabezi Island on the Zambezi River
An authoritative presentation of Victoria Falls
White water rafting
Canoeing and/or boating
Road transfer to Livingstone Airport to connect with a return flight to Johannesburg where the safari ends.
11N The Epic Elephant Expedition Safari Description
This safari follows the historical movement patterns and distribution of elephants, and in doing so brings us into contact with a variety of other big-game species.
A truth we have found is, the more you track elephants, the more other animals you will find! In the process we discover more about the perils and hurdles of elephant conservation in Africa, the illegal ivory trade and what can be done to create more living space for these incredible animals.
In the process we visit some sublime wilderness, stay in unique accommodation and enjoy adventurous game viewing.
If you ever thought that elephant were just another animal, this safari will amaze you. And if you have a soft spot for them, this safari will provide you with endless days of pleasure.
A Little More Information
Located within the Kalahari Desert of northern Botswana, the Okavango is a vast oasis of fertile grasslands, waterways and secluded islands. It provides sustenance to a variety of big-game such as buffalo, hippo, crocodiles, lion, leopard, wild dog, an array of antelope, zebra, giraffe … and of course elephants.
The birdlife is phenomenal and the scenery is breathtaking. We spend six days in this wildlife paradise.
We begin the expedition with a day walking through the Okavango with a herd of semi-tame elephant which we can touch and interact with.
Actually, ‘semi-tame’ is not the correct description as these elephants consort with wild individuals and have never been hand reared. Please note that we don’t actually ride these elephant but the experience provides a unique insight into the day to day lives, complex communication, advanced behaviour and surprising levels of intelligence of these remarkable animals.
Stanley’s Camp, with its luxury tented accommodation and beautiful setting ensures a fantastic base camp for this special experience which is highly recommended …you will look at an elephant through different eyes after this!
A boat transfer to Gunns Camp takes us along the Boro River deeper into the Delta and we often encounter animals along the way. The superb setting of Gunns Camp’s elevated deck and lounge overlooking the Moremi Game Reserve ensures the best sunset in Botswana.
We will base ourselves for a two night mobile camping safari on the islands of the Okavango. All supplies are loaded into dugout canoes and we pole to a remote spot where a tented fly-camp will be pre-erected for us.
This is Africa at it’s best … living under canvas … a remote campfire … open air bucket showers … surrounded by animals … and tracking elephant on foot.
Watching elephant (and of course other game including predators) is a stirring experience and an important imprint of the bigger picture. It’s very exciting, and at times, deeply emotional as close up encounters can be moving indeed.
Chobe National Park
This famous reserve is an elephant and big-game hotspot which we explore by vehicle.
The northern reaches on the Chobe River support the largest concentrations of elephant in Africa (and the world) and it is here where we base ourselves for three days.
We also visit the seminal region known as Savuti where the mysterious Savuti Channel is flowing after decades of dust, bringing new life, colour and animal congregations into the parched landscape.
Savuti – once referred to as the Stolen River – is a an enigmatic region in the southern Chobe. The Savuti Channel started flowing again recently after decades and empties it’s life blood into the Savuti Marsh which has returned to it’s former glory of a lush green wetland.
Large numbers of elephant, general game and predators congregate along the channel and marsh and game viewing is often sublime. The huge elephant bulls here are known for their placid behaviour and some close up encounters are predicted. We stay in a luxury tented camp close to the channel which is our base to explore the region by open game viewer.
We wing our way above the Chobe to Kasane, a small town on the banks of the Chobe River overlooking the Namibian floodplains beyond. Kasane is the safari-capital of northern Botswana, and we clear immigration into Namibia where we take a motor boat transfer into the Chobe National Park to our next destination … a luxury houseboat.
With a prime position within the national park, and moored in Namibia waters, the luxurious triple deck houseboat offers a unique overview (literally!) of the river and floodplain.
We explore the region with motor boats, taking advantage of stupendous elephant viewing on the river in the afternoons. Game drives can be arranged from our watery base, and fishing excursions and birdwatching are also possible.
On return to the Botswana mainland we are able to arrange a scientific presentation from a leading elephant research organization.
The plight of elephants is one of the most controversial topics in Africa, and these eminent conservationists will be able to shed some light on their hopes, dreams and fears. These talks are educational, entertaining and poignant.
The safari winds down on arrival at Kasane International Airport, where your on-going travel plan would be coordinated. However for the adventurous-at-heart, an add-on module is highly recommended….
From Kasane we drive to Kazungula, a river crossing on the Zambezi River. The region is geographically unique as there is an island where the territories of four different countries merge; Botswana, Namibia, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.
We cross the river by boat and clear immigration into Zambia and take a short road transfer toward the historic town of Livingstone. We stop at Tongabezi on the banks of the Zambezi and from here take a motor boat to the exclusive Sindabezi Island.
Not quite how Livingstone would have done it 150 years ago! Sindabezi, with its three-sided reed and thatch river chalets is the perfect hideaway to explore the Zambezi and the great Victoria Falls.
Based from Sindabezi we have ample time to visit places of interest, canoe trails, white-water rafting or cultural excursions. All activities here are based around the spectacular Zambezi River, which after the Nile, Congo and Niger is Africa’s largest artery. The highlight is undoubtedly a tour of the majestic Victoria Falls, one of the seven natural wonders of the world.
A comprehensive interpretation of the Falls comes standard, and we take our time exploring the numerous look-outs on the trail. When in flood, the Zambezi is a mile wide as it cascades over a 100 metre chasm into a series of gorges and pools below. It’s a phenomenal sight!
A road transfer to Livingstone Airport on the final day connects us with an international flight to Johannesburg, or perhaps another destination. From here your travel logistics are met.
Four – South Africa, Botswana, Namibia and Zambia. It is also possible to do a day tour into Zimbabwe based from Sindabezi.
Rivers along the way:
Okavango Delta, including the Boro River, Savuti Channel, Chobe and the Zambezi.
Possible mammal highlights (amongst others):
Red lechwe, wild dog, eland, puku, Chobe bushbuck, Crawshay’s zebra and loads and loads of elephant.