African Adventure: Namibia & Botswana
May 6-21, 2012
We will be photographing and exploring the Dunes of Sossesviei in Namibia, The Skeleton Coast in the Kulala Desert, the Vumbra Plains in Botwana, and a very special trip as an add on to Mombo in Botswana.
The itinerary (below) first and foremost has been customized to take you to the BEST wildlife areas at this time of the year, giving you a real sense of wilderness, and a true Africa experience, in total comfort.
This trip is truly going to be like no other. We will be utilizing planes, private open-air vehicles,hot air balloons with the most experienced, elite guides. This is the best of the best of Africa. Creativity, composition, exposure, workflow, and post-processing are only a few of the topics to be presented by world -renowned photographer and your workshop leader Seth Resnick.
This is truly a once in a lifetime African Safari, limited to 12 people with 3 guides and Seth.
Cost: $19,480 ($5,380 for Mombo Extension)
May 4th: Arrive in Johannesburg and spend two nights in Johannesburg at Hotel
May 5th: Private Group Tour of Soweto/Townships with Robin Binckes (Culture!)
May 6th: Depart for Namibia and visit the Dunes of Sossesvlei staying at Kulala Desert Lodge for 3 Nights
Namibia, an arid country of startling contrasts, is home to two great deserts. Along its length, the vast shifting sand sea of the Namib sprawls inland along the Atlantic coastline. In the interior, the plateau slopes away to the north and east to meet the Kalahari Desert. This is a country famed for its expansive landscapes, fascinating geology, sun-drenched weather, wildlife and intriguingly diverse peoples.
At first glance seemingly lifeless, the reality is astonishing – some 4 000 plant species, 650 bird species and 80 large mammals can be found here. The world’s tallest sand dunes, desert-adapted black rhino, one of the oldest Bushman rock art sites, and fascinating Himba cultures – all these and more combine to make Namibia a wilderness destination with a difference.
In the Namib Desert on the private Kulala Wilderness Reserve, this lodge provides convenient private access to the iconic dunes of Sossusvlei. You will see sparsely distributed desert-adapted wildlife such as ostrich, springbok and gemsbok. Predators such as spotted hyaena and the occasional brown hyaena as well as bat-eared fox, black-backed jackal, porcupine, Cape fox and aardwolf. The aptly named Dune Lark is only to be found in this area.
At dusk the calls of barking geckoes resonate, while smaller creatures include the buck-spoor spider or the ambush specialist ant-lion. The thatched and canvas “kulalas” we will be staying in are built on a wooden platform to catch the cooling breezes with a rooftop deck for those who want to sleep under the myriad stars of Namibia’s clear night skies.
The main area has a lounge, dining area, plunge pool, and deck overlooking the ephemeral Tsauchab River. A waterhole attracts a variety of local wildlife and provides a perfect location to view and photograph the desert scenery.
The Skeleton Coast National Park is one of the planet’s most inhospitable yet hauntingly beautiful places; Skeleton Coast Camp provides a true wilderness experience in one of the most spectacular settings in Africa.
The terrain is rugged and harsh, yet, for all this, life – unusual and unexpected – prevails. The coastline harbours black-backed jackal and reclusive brown hyaena while inland secret water seeps attract gemsbok, springbok, ostrich, elephant, giraffe, Hartmann’s mountain zebra and occasionally lion. Unique bird species include Damara Tern and Gray’s Lark.
Remote Skeleton Coast Camp is set out along the banks of the ephemeral Khumib River and comprises six Meru-style canvas-walled tents with spacious bedrooms and en-suite bathrooms. An intimate main area sports an open-air ‘dining room’ under an ancient leadwood tree.
May 12th: Fly to Botswana, and connect to Kings Pool for 3 Nights
Kings Pool Camp overlooks the oxbow-shaped Kings Pool Lagoon and Linyanti River system in the central part of the concession. The area around Kings Pool is characterised by open floodplain, typical riparian forest and mopane woodland. Large elephant herds usually traverse the area together with wildebeest, zebra, giraffe, waterbuck, steenbok, warthog and roan. Predators such as lion, cheetah, leopard, hyaena and wild dog all occur.
This luxurious and stylish camp has nine well-appointed rooms of canvas and thatch, each with a large en-suite bedroom and lounge. Folding doors lead to a veranda with private plunge pool, separate thatched sala to soak up the views, and an outdoor shower. The lounge and dining areas are set on expansive decks, and there is a pool and an open-air ‘kgotla’ (boma) for evening dining under the stars.
May 15th: Depart Kings Pool to Vumbura Plains for 3 Nights
On land or water, Vumbura Plains hosts abundant iconic wildlife of Botswana – and is part of a ground-breaking partnership that brings the benefits of ecotourism to five communities around the Okavango Delta.
Vumbura Plains comprises two separate seven-roomed satellite camps with a view across the floodplains; each has its own raised dining and lounge area beneath a shady canopy, furnished with soft sofas and idiosyncratic objets d’art. Each elevated en-suite room, unique in contemporary design and with extensive use of light, wood and space, comprises a large bedroom, sunken lounge, “sala”, outdoor shower, and plunge pool.
Vumbura features a broad complement of antelope (including contrasts such as the water-loving red lechwe and the sable of the dry savannah), good populations of elephant, buffalo, hippo and giraffe, and large predators: lion, spotted hyaena, leopard, wild dog and cheetah. Bird life is abundant with Okavango specials such as Rosy-throated Longclaw, Black Coucal and Wattled Crane. The woodlands in the east harbour White-breasted Cuckooshrike and Racket-tailed Roller.
May 18th: Return to Johannesburg for those not doing the Mombo Extension
May 18th – 21st: Mombo Extension: Fly from Vumbura to Mombo (15min Flight) for 3 Nights
Mombo Camp, overlooking a plain invariably dotted with wildlife, offers arguably the best big game viewing in Botswana.
The area has prolific concentrations of plains game such as giraffe, zebra, warthog, red lechwe,tsessebe, wildebeest, kudu, elephant, buffalo and impala. Abundant predator sightings include lion, spotted hyaena and leopard. Chief’s Island is also home to the only white and black rhino in the Okavango Delta. The birding, a result of diverse habitats, is equally attractive. Large concentrations of plains game often occur in front of camp and their almost ubiquitous presence.
Mombo Camp, on Mombo Island, has nine spacious tents raised off the ground and under shady trees, all built to maximise the view over the floodplain. The tent interiors are elegantly furnished with polished parquet floors, an outdoor thatched sala, and en-suite bathrooms with indoor and outdoor showers. The main living and dining area is under thatch and there is a boma for traditional dinners, small library and a plunge pool to relax in the heat of the day.
May 21st: After an incredible safari trip, return to Johannesburg for your flights back home. For more info about the slaughter of the Rhinos
ALL the CAMPS we are traveling to are OWNED and/or OPERATED by WILDERNESS SAFARIS