Located in the heart of southern Africa, Botswana is a unique and spiritual destination offering an enviable African record of economic and political stability stretching back to its independence in 1966. The discovery of enviable deposits of a ‘girl’s best friend’ spawned a lucrative diamond industry, whose income allowed Botswana to adopt an innovative approach to its tourism by implementing a low impact strategy still seen today in the private concessions and pristine habitats where an unparalleled concentration and diversity of wildlife roam free.
Your safari begins with the legendary Chobe National Park, an area renowned for its large elephant population and excellent wildlife sightings. What makes your stay here so unique is that Chobe Game Lodge, your chosen accommodation for the first two nights in Botswana, employs the only all-female guiding team in Botswana.
You will have the opportunity to meet with the guides and discuss some of the challenges of being a female guide in Botswana and the opportunities that working at Chobe Game Lodge offers to women in the safari industry.
You’ll notice that Chobe Game Lodge also takes its ecological responsibilities very seriously. It is the only lodge in Botswana to use electric game-viewing vehicles and boats (rather than the traditional diesel and petrol-powered craft used elsewhere) and the reduced noise emphasizes the serenity of the wilderness.
You will enjoy the opportunity to head out on both these modes of transport with your guide both by land into Chobe National Park and also onto the Chobe River where you might even be lucky enough to see the elephants enjoying a swim ,
Departing Chobe Game Lodge you will return to Kasane Airport for the fixed-wing charter flight of around 50 minutes over the vast Chobe National Park and into Khwai Concession where you will meet your Letaka guide.
The Khwai concession is a community-run wildlife management area and, due to its location nestled between the Chobe National Park and Moremi Game Reserve – both unfenced protected areas – the abundance of wildlife is phenomenal. The added draw of this area as a concession, rather than a government run park or reserve is that night driving and guided walks are permitted. Additional activities include a traditional mokoro (dug-out canoe) where you will glide silently through the reeds, in an almost spiritual form of travel giving you a more intimate perspective on your wild surroundings.
You have two nights to explore this area with your Letaka Safaris guide who will ensure that any qualms you may have about camping are quickly put at ease. Letaka Safaris is a premier mobile safari company offering comfort-camping without losing the authenticity of being in the wilderness. These tours are non-participation – a crew of staff erect and dismantle both guest and mess tents and dinners are a three-course affair served under the incredible African night sky. Your tents are 4x3m with solid based beds and en-suite bush bathroom and the staff will have hot water showers available at your request.
The sites used have no permanent structures, so all aspects of the camp are brought in with you and not a single trace is left behind after you depart.
Your day between Khwai Concession and the Moremi Game Reserve will be a full day’s drive in order to give your crew time to move the camp. You will have the opportunity to see the change in habitat as you drive between the areas enjoying several stops along the way for snacks and lunch.
This Game Reserve (note game Reserve rather than National Park – allowing local residents to remain living within the boundaries) was the first reserve in Africa to be established by the residents rather than the Government. The Batawana tribe, led my Mrs Moremi, the deceased Chief Moremi III’s wife, initiated the move to protect this area in the 1960’s due to their concern about the rapid depletion of wildlife on their ancestral lands due to uncontrolled hunting and cattle encroachment.
After saying farewell to your Letaka Safaris guide, you will hop on a plane for the short flight to Gomoti Plains. Gomoti Plains camp offers extensive land and water activities with incredible diversity of fauna. The wildlife viewing in the area, both from vehicle or boat is superb with wild dog dens, large prides of lions, recent sightings of leopard and cheetah as well as plenty of other wildlife. The camp itself is located just 18km from Chitabe Camp and is named after the Gomoti River situated nearby with roaming flood plains based on either side of the camp strewn with towering palm trees.
You will have the opportunity – which we highly recommend – to pre-book a helicopter scenic flight (doors off) which offers a unique experience and appreciation of the surrounding area.
You will have time for a final, short morning game drive on the way to the airstrip before flying into the frontier town of Maun. Here, you will have lunch where you will have the chance to meet with some of the inspiring woman from a key women’s group based in Maun before your international flight to South Africa.
About Karen Loftus
KAREN IS A TRAVEL, LIFESTYLE & ADVENTURE WRITER, A GLOBAL PHOTOGRAPHER, INTERNATIONAL COMEDIAN, PUBLIC SPEAKER & THRILL SEEKER
Prior to her journalistic endeavors, the award-winning playwright and Tennessee Williams Fellow cut her travel teeth as an international comedian. ‘Lofty’, as she is globally known toured The Middle East, Asia, and Europe, entertaining the troops and international audiences at theaters, festivals, colleges, and conferences.
After ten years of juggling her groundbreaking tours around the world and her non-profit program, The Body Comedy Project, (sponsored by Comedy Central) where she used humor to heal, both survivors of violence and domestic violence offenders in shelters and in prisons, she took a break and worked as an entertainment reporter. One year on Hollywood’s raging red carpet later, had her running for the global door.
As a travel, luxury lifestyle & adventure writer, Loftus has since written thousands of articles for 90+ media outlets including Vogue, Architectural Digest, American Way, Hemispheres Magazine, Forbes, Robb Report, NY Daily News, The Globe & Mail, South China Morning Post, Grazia Magazine, NUVO Magazine, OK! Magazine, Men’s Fitness, Men’s Journal, Ask Men and Inside Hook, among many others.
This savvy traveler has been to all seven continents and 70 countries and counting. Today she speaks at conferences about women and travel, the transformative power of travel and trends in travel. She co-hosts #WATC-Women’s Adventure Travel Chat on Twitter, a Twitter chat garnering as many as 10 million impressions in the hour and she runs travel and creative writing workshops.
Loftus is very excited to be launching her company, Women’s Adventure Travels and leading her female-driven trips. It’s a full circle moment, one long in the making, a marriage of her many passions with itineraries based on many of her favorite places, people, and passions. Her all-female trips have a feminine thread throughout celebrating and visiting top women tastemakers in many of the markets visited. It will also be a mad mix of outdoor and adventure activity (various levels) together with cultural immersion and top spots to stay in that showcase exceptional local artisans, food, and beverages as well as a bit of wellness. This will often be topped off with authentic community interaction with local women and children and perhaps an evening of storytelling or two or one of her creative workshops. No two itineraries will ever be alike and you will be hard-pressed to find anything else like it online
For more information on Karen, you can go to her LinkedIn profile for the full story. You can email her directly with any questions and or simply click on one of her social media pages below to follow her on The Global Road:
About Revealing Africa
Revealing Africa was founded by Geraldine Gifford together with brothers, Brent and Grant Reed with whom Geraldine has worked for the past 12 years at Letaka Safaris.
Brent and Grant
Brent and Grant, known in the industry as the ‘Letaka Brothers’ (Lethaka is Setswana for reed) have been immortalized in a recent 6-part Nat Geo Wild documentary “Safari Brothers”. Their passion for Botswana is undeniable and each has amassed over 20 years guiding experience in this remarkable country.
Geraldine joined Letaka Safaris in 2007 where she was initially tasked with running the office whilst Brent and Grant were out guiding but it transpired she was also required to ensure that they returned home in one piece!
Accommodation, Rates & Availability
SHARED ACCOMMODATION: $5,770
A $1000 non-refundable deposit is required to hold your spot on this once-in-a-lifetime adventure.
Please note: Payment must be made in full 60 days prior to the date of departure.
Our exclusive program welcomes a maximum of 13 travelers with a minimum capacity at 10.