Botswana Safari + Gorilla Tracking Experience

Local Time

Why You Should Go

Based on our various travels to Africa, we feel the contrasting flora/fauna of Botswana and Rwanda offer among the most intimate wildlife experiences anywhere! UNESCO-designated Okavango Delta/Botswana is among the most important wildlife areas in Africa; including the “Big Five” (lions, elephants, cape buffalo, rhinos, and leopards), and outstanding birdwatching. In stark contrast to Botswana, the Rwandan highlands provides the most intimate closeup with the wild: the gorillas of Rwanda. With only 10 habituated gorilla families, each can only be visited by a maximum of 8 people per day, in order to ensure a low human impact. Even our most seasoned Africa travelers consider the Rwanda gorilla experience to be their number one wildlife adventure activity!

Best Travel Time: Spring Summer Winter

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Rwanda Gorilla

Sample Itinerary

13 Days

Each private luxury tour is custom to the wishes of each client. This itinerary is a sample. Our Sister Company, TRAVNET, may provide assistance with mileage points conversion. Do not hesitate to call Randy to create your custom tour.

1

Day 1

Fly to Johannesburg
Through our sister company, premium air provider TRAVNET, we may assist with your international airfare, as well as with mileage points conversion.

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Nelson Mandela Bridge, Johannesburg
2 - 4

Day 2-4

Arrive Johannesburg + Connect to Botswana
Upon arrival, you will be privately transferred to Vumbura Plains Camp.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodations: Vumbura Plains Camp

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Vumbura Camp at Night
5

Day 5

Vumbura Plains Camp/Chief’s Camp
You will be transferred by light aircraft from Vumbura Plains Camp to Chief’s Camp.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodations: Chief’s Camp

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Chief's Camp
6 - 8

Day 6-8

Chief’s Camp
Expert guides will share their extensive wildlife knowledge while providing you with the awe-inspiring opportunity to view roaming lions, antelope, zebras, buffalo, and wild dogs. You will even get to enjoy a scenic helicopter ride over the Moremi Game Reserve.

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A View of Elephants Beyond Chief's Camp
9

Day 9

Fly Chief’s Camp/Maun/Johannesburg
Upon arriving in Johannesburg, you will be assisted with you transfer to the Intercontinental Johannesburg Airport Hotel for your overnight stay in Johannesburg.

Meals:
Accommodations: Intercontinental Johannesburg Airport Hotel

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Lions on a Chief's Camp Excursion
10

Day 10

Johannesburg/Kigali
Upon arrival in Kigali, you will you be met by a local representative and taken to a local restaurant for lunch. Thereafter you will pay a visit to the sobering Genocide Memorial site before heading to either the Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge or Jack Hanna’s 2-bedroom private home.

Meals: Lunch, Dinner
Accommodations: Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge or Jack Hanna’s Home

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Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge
11

Day 11

Gorilla Tracking
In order to ensure a low-human impact on these extraordinary creatures, only 80 gorilla permits are issued daily. After breakfast you will be driven to the park offices where you will meet your gorilla tracking group. With a maximum number of 8 people per group, this is a personal and sublime experience.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodations: Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge or Jack Hanna’s Home

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Rwanda Gorilla
12

Day 12

Gorilla Tracking + Transfer to Kigali Serena Hotel
After an early breakfast, you will embark on a second day of gorilla tracking to visit another gorilla family, each having their unique social dynamics. Following lunch at a local restaurant, you will be drive to Kigali Serena Hotel for check-in.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodations: Kigali Serena Hotel

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Rwanda Mother and Baby Gorilla, Virunga National Park
13

Day 13

Fly Kigali/Johannesburg/Home
After breakfast at the Kigali Sera, you will be privately transferred to Kigali’s airport for your connecting flights back home.

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Lion Cubs on a Chief's Camp Excursion

Hotels

The Vumbura area comprises two separate satellite camps, Vumbura Plains and Little Vumbura, with Vumbura Plains being our preference. Each of Vumbura’s spacious “rooms” is raised off the ground, with indoor and outdoor showers and en-suite bathrooms. Other features include a private, small plunge pool and “sala” (a place to watch the passing of wildlife of the Okavango). Don’t be surprised to see elephants walking behind the tents and feeding on the trees. Each camp has its own raised lounge, dining bar and area with truly amazing views of the Okavango Delta. Wildlife here is plentiful, including impala, hippos, zebras, wildebeest, and crocodiles (+ amazing bird watching!) Similar to other safari lodges, Vumbura includes morning, afternoon, and night game drives, using 4×4 Land Rovers. If truly adventuresome, you may also request a nature walk (accompanied by an armed guide.) Being a “wet camp” gives you ample opportunity to explore the delta via the fun mokoro (dug-out canoes).

Please note that Vumbura Camp offers night game drives unlike Chief’s Camp. Vumbura’s unique status as a private concession in partnership with the surrounding rural community (whose management was given by the Botswana government) allows for such a unique experience.

Vumbura Plains Camp (RL)

View More Info >>

The Vumbura area comprises two separate satellite camps, Vumbura Plains and Little Vumbura, with Vumbura Plains being our preference. Each of Vumbura’s spacious “rooms” is raised off the ground, with indoor and outdoor showers and en-suite bathrooms. Other features include a private, small plunge pool and “sala” (a place to watch the passing of wildlife of the Okavango). Don’t be surprised to see elephants walking behind the tents and feeding on the trees. Each camp has its own raised lounge, dining bar and area with truly amazing views of the Okavango Delta. Wildlife here is plentiful, including impala, hippos, zebras, wildebeest, and crocodiles (+ amazing bird watching!) Similar to other safari lodges, Vumbura includes morning, afternoon, and night game drives, using 4×4 Land Rovers. If truly adventuresome, you may also request a nature walk (accompanied by an armed guide.) Being a “wet camp” gives you ample opportunity to explore the delta via the fun mokoro (dug-out canoes).

Please note that Vumbura Camp offers night game drives unlike Chief’s Camp. Vumbura’s unique status as a private concession in partnership with the surrounding rural community (whose management was given by the Botswana government) allows for such a unique experience.

Chief’s camp is yet another example of the many luxury safari camps to choose from in the predator-rich Okavango Delta. Set in the Moremi Game Reserve, Chief’s Camp is made up of 10 1,500 sq. ft. luxury bush pavilions and one suite, all with private decks with plunge pools, as well as indoor and outdoor showers. We particularly like the pavilion’s polished teakwood floors, insect-proof netted windows and colorful batik fabrics. Other amenities include a new spa treatment room, a small pool, and picturesque dining area/observation deck. Based on the Chief’s location overlooking a large lagoon on the northwest tip of Chief’s Island, many mokoro (canoe/boat) game excursions are a continuing fun activity in the summer (!)

Notwithstanding the Chief’s extensive renovation and reopening June 1st, one thing has not changed: Chief’s extraordinary location and game-rich Moremi Island. The game-viewing here includes all of the “Big 5” (African lions, elephants, Cape buffalo, and rhino) hence, our choice as a prime family safari site. Chief’s renovation includes 10 luxury bush pavilions (in effect like small cottages), all with private terrace plunge pools, 462 sq. ft.  You should also very much enjoy the pizza lunches from camp’s new pizza oven (!).

Chief’s Camp

View More Info >>

Chief’s camp is yet another example of the many luxury safari camps to choose from in the predator-rich Okavango Delta. Set in the Moremi Game Reserve, Chief’s Camp is made up of 10 1,500 sq. ft. luxury bush pavilions and one suite, all with private decks with plunge pools, as well as indoor and outdoor showers. We particularly like the pavilion’s polished teakwood floors, insect-proof netted windows and colorful batik fabrics. Other amenities include a new spa treatment room, a small pool, and picturesque dining area/observation deck. Based on the Chief’s location overlooking a large lagoon on the northwest tip of Chief’s Island, many mokoro (canoe/boat) game excursions are a continuing fun activity in the summer (!)

Notwithstanding the Chief’s extensive renovation and reopening June 1st, one thing has not changed: Chief’s extraordinary location and game-rich Moremi Island. The game-viewing here includes all of the “Big 5” (African lions, elephants, Cape buffalo, and rhino) hence, our choice as a prime family safari site. Chief’s renovation includes 10 luxury bush pavilions (in effect like small cottages), all with private terrace plunge pools, 462 sq. ft. You should also very much enjoy the pizza lunches from camp’s new pizza oven (!).

Located in a picturesque hill-top at the edge of Volcanoes National Park, this small (only 5 cottages and 3 suites) boutique property is the gateway point to your daily gorilla tracking experience. The lodge’s stone buildings are adorned with Rwandese terra-cotta tile roofs and fireplaces (nice in the chilling evenings here!). Based on the remoteness of the Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge, you will enjoy a comfortable stay and good food with high-touch luxury taking a back seat. (Sorry, water pressure is challenging in the bathrooms here.)

Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge (RL)

View More Info >>

Located in a picturesque hill-top at the edge of Volcanoes National Park, this small (only 5 cottages and 3 suites) boutique property is the gateway point to your daily gorilla tracking experience. The lodge’s stone buildings are adorned with Rwandese terra-cotta tile roofs and fireplaces (nice in the chilling evenings here!). Based on the remoteness of the Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge, you will enjoy a comfortable stay and good food with high-touch luxury taking a back seat. (Sorry, water pressure is challenging in the bathrooms here.)

Animal adventure TV personality, Jack Hanna, built a home in Rwanda after becoming enamored with the amazing gorilla experience here. Fully refurbished in 2010, the 2 en-suite bedroom property is located on the grounds of the Gorilla’s Nest Lodge overlooking the gold course. Although nice, we would described the Jack Hanna home as unpretentious, understated and somewhat spartan. The 2-bedroom cottage is booked on an exclusive basis, 4 persons maximum, full board with a private staff chef to serve you!

Jack Hanna’s Home

View More Info >>

Animal adventure TV personality, Jack Hanna, built a home in Rwanda after becoming enamored with the amazing gorilla experience here. Fully refurbished in 2010, the 2 en-suite bedroom property is located on the grounds of the Gorilla’s Nest Lodge overlooking the gold course. Although nice, we would described the Jack Hanna home as unpretentious, understated and somewhat spartan. The 2-bedroom cottage is booked on an exclusive basis, 4 persons maximum, full board with a private staff chef to serve you!

Request Custom Itinerary

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Location

Overview

Botswana
Temperature
Highs: Low 90’s
Lows: Mid 60’s
Area
581,730 SQ KM
224,607 SQ MILES
Capital
Gaborone
Population
2 Million
Language
English/Setswana
Currency
Pula
Rwanda
Temperature
Highs: High 60’s
Lows: Mid 50’s
Area
26,338 SQ KM
13,880 SQ MILES
Capital
Kigali
Population
11.2 Million
Language
Kinyarwanda/French/English/Swahili
Currency
Rwandan Franc

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