ANIMAL KINGDOM

Botswana and Zambia's Best

 

... If you can afford the time, we recommend that you make a three-night stop at one of the destinations on your itinerary. Clients who have done so comment that the extra night at camp allowed them a respite from flying considerations, which otherwise can seem relentless. Every day, they’ve commented, you are either flying or planning for a flight the following day. In this itinerary we give you a 3 day stay in Johannesburg,but you must arrive in the early morning of Day 1 so that in the afternoon you can start your flight preparations. If you arrive a day earlier you can have one day to rest from the long haul flight, perhaps to recover from jet lag. There are many things to do in the Johannesburg area from visiting the Cradle of Humankind to learn about our earliest ancestors to touring SOWETO to hear about South Africa’s struggle through apartheid. All worthwhile tours.

 

Price for two people sharing is approximately $16,800 per person assuming 1 pilot and 1 non-pilot sharing an aircraft.

Exact quote will be given when booking is placed with us subject to Rand/Dollar exchange rate and lodges chosen.

 

Price includes all accommodations; all meals, except only Bed and Breakfast where noted; local drinks except premium drinks at lodges, all road transfers from airports or airstrips; National Park entrance fees, where applicable; and a rental car while you are at Lanseria. It includes rental of a Cessna 182 dry for 30 hours (2 hrs per day for 15 days); Dual flight time with instructor for your validation; Excess insurance (hull deductible); landing, parking, enroute, and approach fees, license validation fees; an ATC briefing by a working controller on local airspace; Hanks Aero briefing, courier services, flight following by Hanks Aero and Cockpit Trip Kit and Advance Preparations Kit including charts, and airfields directory.

 

The Cockpit Trip Kit™ is an extensive and detailed flight planning aid. Use it also in the cockpit, enroute. It contains information on the airports or strips including photographs, suggested routes to your destinations, nav logs tailored to your itinerary, alerts on significant airspace, communication and nav aid frequencies enroute, reporting points, and other notes which are useful aids for pilots who've never flown in southern Africa. Further, it details procedures for operating in Johannesburg's own airspace. We go over the entire Kit with you in our own briefings prior to your departure on safari.

 

The Pilot’s Advance Preparation Kit includes a CD with ATC, tower and pilot transmissions to familiarize you with accents and phrases used. This is transcribed. Also in the Kit is an Airlaw book, an Airfields Guide and other preparatory material for your validation.

 

Not included: Fuel for aircraft, which is approximately $7.00 per gallon, fuel for rental car, airfare to South Africa and return, curios, tips and laundry unless stated, items of a personal nature, and conservation or tourist levy fees charged at some of the lodges (about $1-$5 per person).

 

  • Day 1 -Arrive Johannesburg International Airport. Met by Chris and Nick Hanks. You are transferred to the Hertford Hotel www.hertford.co.za. Shumba Valley Lodge, www.shumbavalley.co.za or Toadbury Hall www.toadburyhall.co.za Lanseria on the outskirts of Johannesburg for 3 nights while completing pilot validations. You'll get an introductory briefing along with your Cockpit Trip Kit. If you arrive in the morning you will have an afternoon ATC briefing. You’ll have the rest of the day to look over the material. (Bed & breakfast, transfer).

  • Day 2 – Instructor’s briefing; review cross country flight planning and airlaw written exercise; handling check ride. You’ll get a chance to focus on some of the differences of flying in Africa. Professionals do all the briefings. You’ll get the lay of the land and a taste of how ATC works (and sounds) in Africa’s busiest airspace. Optional tours for non pilots can be arranged with Chris to do various activities such as visit the Lesedi Cultural Village, Museum Africa, Origins Center or Apartheid Museum, Soweto, Sterkfontein Caves, Cradle of Human Kind, Lion Park and Botanical Garden. Hertford Hotel (Bed & breakfast, rental car)

  • Day 3 – Morning on your own. Lunch with us followed by an extensive afternoon briefing. Optional tours for non pilots. Hertford Hotel (Bed & breakfast, rental car)

  • Day 4 – Fly the African Bush! We'll meet you early at the airport to assist in your Self-Fly Safari departure. You'll sign out the aircraft, load it, check the fuel, top off the tanks, and take care of all the last-minute details. Soon, you're away!

  • Day 4 & 5 KALAHARI PLAINS CAMP – CENTRAL KALAHARI GAME RESERVE, BOTSWANA (344 nm with 1 fuel and customs stop Private airstrip, 2 nights, all meals and local drinks and laundry, activities, and transfers. Your first flight out takes you into the Kalahari Desert of Botswana. Kalahari Plains Camp overlooks an immense pan with endless horizons and beautiful skies. The area in winter is a dry desert-like system, with game viewing focused on antelope as well as predators such as lion, cheetah, leopard, brown hyaena and caracal. Small predators also found here are black-backed jackal, meerkat (suricates), Cape fox, honey badger and several mongoose species. The Lodge has ensuite canvas units with an optional sleep-out area above each room from which to enjoy moonlit or star-studded nights www.wilderness-safaris.com. Or JACK’S CAMP --MAKGADIKGADI PANS, BOTSWANA Private airstrip, 2 nights, all meals and local drinks and laundry activities, and transfers. The Makgadikgadi Pans Game Reserve – once a super lake - represents something unlike anything you will see elsewhere (except at Namibia’s famous Etosha Pan). The Reserve is made up of two vast salt flats and surrounding grass and woodland savanna. It is not a regarded as a big game area. The area does support a large wildlife population but animal migration makes game viewing unreliable. A decision to visit the Pans should be prompted by a desire for a complete desert experience from its geology and archeology to contemporary inhabitants and their dwellings as well as its wildlife, by day and night. Old-school Africa tented luxury at the oasis. www.unchartedafrica.com.

  • Day 6 & 7 SHINDE, KWARA, CAMP KANANA, VUMBURA CAMP, NXABEGA or STANLEY’S CAMP-OKAVANGO DELTA, BOTSWANA (180nm north with 1 fuel stop) Private airstrip, 2 nights, all meals and local drinks and laundry, activities, transfers. This leg is a flight to the heart of Botswana's Okavango Delta with a landing at one of the Delta’s exclusive camps. The Delta is created by a fast flowing river that gets much of its water from the rains in Angola. The river branches, slows down, and spreads over tens-of-thousands of square miles bringing life to the desert. Then it evaporates. It’s a river with no mouth. Your choice of camps. Some camps have both a water and a land experience. Others have water only when the floods come to the delta (usually by May). And still others have only a land experience. Game drives in open land rovers ensure the safe sighting of predators at a discrete distance, while a game walk with a Ranger makes one feel close to the African bush. Unique to a Delta experience is being polled slowly through reeds so close as to scrape the sides of a mokoro (dug out canoe), following a path made by a grazing hippo.  Some benign, some not. Another push of the pole and you glide into an open pool --floating on a carpet of pastel lilies, bathed in sunshine, and silent, except for the ensemble of birds. The water isn't deep but it's alive with creatures of all sizes.The water is pure enough to drink. Lodge will be determined by availability and by your request. Please look at these web sites to determine which camp looks best to you. KWARA www.kwando.com , VUMBURA PLUS MANY OTHERS www.wilderness-­safaris.com NXABEGA & SANDIBI www.ccafrica.com or SHINDE & KANANA www.kerdowney.com STANLEY’S, CHIEF’S & BAINS www.sanctuarylodges.com

  • Day 8 & 9 RIVER CLUB or TOKA LEYA, ZAMBEZI RIVER, LIVINGSTONE, ZAMBIA(188 nm with 1 customs stop) Livingstone Airport, 2 nights, all meals and local drinks and laundry, some activities, transfers. On this leg fly east to Victoria Falls and over fly them before landing at Livingstone airport. You’ll be met at the airport and driven through town before turning west to follow the Zambezi River upstream 15 miles to stay at one of the many lodges perched along the Zambezi River. The River Club is built in a colonial, Victorian-era style with individual split level chalets built on high stilts overlooking the wide, slow flowing Zambezi. There’s plenty to do but it may be best as a tranquil setting and an ideal place to relax and watch the hippos and birds that live by the river. A trip to the Falls can be arranged. Boat to islands in midstream, take a picnic, and have cocktails as the sun sets. Horseback riding. Visit the neighboring African village. Go fishing with River Club’s expert guides. The “Club House”, where meals are served on the verandah, has a lounge, pub, and library. A rewarding stop. Toka Leya is their sister camp but accommodation is in safari tents. Similar activities as River Club www.wilderness-safaris.com OR ROYAL LIVINGSTONE, VICTORIA FALLS, LIVINGSTONE, ZAMBIA Livingstone Airport, 2 nights, Bed & Breakfast, access to the Falls on Zambia side, transfers. Your base is on the banks of the legendary Zambezi River in the Royal Livingstone Hotel. The Falls Park is a short walk from your room. Located on the property is an activity center. Here you can arrange white water rafting, bungee jumping or a sunset cruise above the Falls. It’s a great way to see hippo and crocodile while viewing a spectacular sunset. You can explore the town of Livingstone, visit a village with a local school and clinic, and perhaps meet the headwoman or man. You can also arrange to cross the Victoria Falls Bridge to the Zimbabwe side to see the Falls from there or to relax and have afternoon tea on the porch of the historic and grand Victoria Falls Hotel. www.suninternational.com

  • Day 10 & 11 CHIAWA CAMP. LOWER ZAMBEZI, ZAMBIA (236nm) Private airstrip, 2 nights - all meals, local drinks and laundry,activities, transfers. You will depart early in the morning and fly east along the Zambezi River and Lake Kariba   to your destination, Chiawa Camp. Chiawa has been owned and operated by the Cumings Family since 1989. It is within the Lower Zambezi National Park. Activities include day & night game drives, nature walks, game viewing by pontoon boat, canoeing, fishing (catch & release only) and birding. Excellent guiding, wonderful food, personalized service. The lounge area is set under a large winter thorn tree overlooking the Zambezi River. Accommodation is in safari tents on wooden decks with king size beds and ensuite facilities including his & hers washbasins, roll top bath, indoor and outdoor showers with views of the Zambezi, flush toilets, 24 hour lighting, hot & cold water, 220v electric power for fans and charging batteries. Www.chiawa.com. OR Further into the park is Chiawa's sister camp Old Mondoro. You will have a game drive to your last night’s accommodation. Activities include walks, drives (day & night), canoeing, and game viewing by boat and catch & release angling. The lounge area of canvas and reed overlooks a maze of islands in the Zambezi River. Accommodation is in four screened-in reed chalets with canvas roofs. All chalets have shaded timber viewing decks, 220v lighting & power point, indoor flush toilet & wash basin, outdoor shower & bath -all with 24/7 hot & cold water. Great game viewing with the possibility of seeing wild dog. www.chiawa.com

  • Day 12 & 13 BUSANGA BUSH CAMP, KAFUE NATIONAL PARK, ZAMBIA (221 nm with 1 fuel stop) Private airstrip, 2nights -all meals, local drinks and laundry, activities, transfers. From Chiawa you fly inland to the Kafue National Park to the Busanga airstrip. The camp lies in the heart of the Busanga Plains, an expansive grassy seasonal floodplain. The camp, on a well-vegetated tree-island of sycamore fig trees, can accommodate eight guests in four well-appointed tents. The lounge and bar area is under canvas with an uninterrupted view out over the plains. In winter, due to mist rising off the floodplains, guests can experience incredible sunrises and sunsets. The Plains provide some of the best lion viewing in Africa. Activities include game drives, walking safaris and night drives. As the plains dry out, this camp is perfectly situated to see large numbers of plains game such as puku, red lechwe, buffalo and wildebeest, followed by predators, most notably lion. Cheetah and wild dog are also to be seen, while a special treat is the resident herd of roan antelope. For those interested in birding, the park boasts 491 species, including endemics such as Chaplin's Barbet. www.wilderness-safaris.com

  • Day 14 & 15 ICHINGO CHOBE RIVER LODGE, IMPALILA ISLAND LODGE, NAMIBIA (259 nm with 1 fuel and customs stop) Impalila Island Airstrip, 2 nights, all meals, activities, transfers. You are now headed south, passing through Livingstone to Impalila Island for a relaxing 2 days on the Chobe River. This area is where Namibia, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Botswana all come together. Chobe National Park is well known for huge elephant and buffalo herds that cross and re-cross the river daily. Winter is the best time to see these crossings and doing so from a boat is spectacular. Fishing expeditions are also an option. The lodge is owner run. Accommodation is in large safari tents situated under large Jackal-berry trees. Each has its own balcony overlooking the Chobe River with ensuite facilities. www.ichobezi.co.za

  • Day 16 & 17 MASHATU GAME RESERVE -TULI BLOCK, BOTSWANA (350 nm south with 1 fuel & customs stop) Limpopo Valley airstrip, 2 nights, all meals and local drinks, activities, photographic hide, transfers. From Impalila you continue south into Botswana and fly to the Tuli Block --an 18,000-acre private game reserve. Desolate to the casual glance, the burned sand and scrub is the domain of elephant, lion, leopard, hyena, eland, and other antelope. Mashatu Main Lodge or Mashatu Tented Camp. "Amongst the Giants -the elephant and baobab tree". Both camps are a 40-minute drive in an open land rover north from the airfield. Along the way you’ll spot antelope, cross dry streams, and gaze out to the distant horizon. During your visit an experienced guide and tracker team will seek out elephants, lions, and the elusive leopard! We suggest a morning visit to a special photographic hide, where you view animals from ground level at a waterhole. Incredible experience. Dine at set tables around a warm fire in the boma. As the night progresses – you may be treated to singing and dancing by the staff. Retire to your twin-bedded tent or thatched chalet for a comfortable night's sleep. Additional activities that do cost extra are horse riding or cycling (fantastic experience) or a special program on elephants or lion or a cultural tour presented by specialist guides. www.mashatu.com http://www9.nationalgeographic.com/ngm/wildcamafrica/ Go to this website to see live feed from a Mashatu waterhole.

  • Day 18 Return to Lanseria (233 south) 1 night, Bed & Breakfast, transfer. We will meet you at Lanseria Airport, debrief you at dinner and return you for a good nights sleep at Southern Sun in Fourways, a Johannesburg suburb. Call home and tell them you are back in civilization!

  • Day 19 A chance to do last minute shopping at a nearby African market and repack your bags. Transfer to Johannesburg International airport for an evening flight home. Let the stories be told!