5 NIGHTS ADVENTURE- QUAD BIKE EXPEDITION TO KUBU ISLAND

Itinerary Highlights

Day 1

Arrive at San Camp – surely one of the most romantic camps in Africa… Completely rebuilt in 2011, San Camp offers a serene atmosphere and beautiful views of the endless Makgadikgadi Saltpans. San Camp is perfectly adapted for Guests that would prefer to spend a little less time exploring and little more time lounging.

Enjoy a light, but delicious lunch and rest up in your tent through the early afternoon. Join your Guide for tea before driving into the grasslands and the beautiful evening light. Stop to watch the sun set and listen to an explanation of how the Makgadikgadi pans, the remnants of the world’s largest ever super-lake, were formed.

Return to camp for a lamp-lit dinner in the elegant mess tent.

Day 2

Set off in the morning to visit some of the Kalahari’s most fascinating inhabitants, the meerkats.

As a meerkat’s wake up time is weather dependent, breakfast might be enjoyed in camp on cooler and rainy days, or as a picnic on warmer, sunnier days.

Due to an ongoing habituation programme, it’s possible for Guests to get up close and personal with these captivating creatures. Remember, they are not tame – just used to our nonthreatening presence.  This is definitely one of the most special and memorable game experiences you will encounter in Botswana.

Leave the meerkats as they continue with their eternal foraging, to visit a remote cattle-post. Here you will learn about the traditional culture of the Batswana people.

Head to the site of the famous Chapman’s Baobab (also known as the Seven Sisters) which was acknowledged to be the third largest tree in Africa until it recently fell to the ground.

This was once the campsite of early explorers like Livingstone and Selous when they pioneered the area and a visit here gives you an opportunity to gain a fascinating insight into the history of the early explorers.

Return to camp for a rest and refreshing lunch.

After tea, head off to see some unique desert species such as springbok, gemsbok, red hartebeest and the elusive brown hyaena; these consummate desert specialists survive in arid areas where both food and water are scarce.

Teas are indulgent affairs with treats like mini tomato tarts with goats cheese and parsley, chocolate melting moments and the best brownies in the bush!

The brown hyaena is a timid nocturnal, solitary forager, rarely seen by humans, but in spite of this, are very social animals, living in clans of up to 10-12 hyaenas.

Enjoy a night game drive back to camp, and with the aid of a spot light, look for nocturnal desert inhabitants such as aardvark, bat eared foxes, aardwolves, porcupine, honey badgers and perhaps even a black maned Kalahari Lion.

Arrive at San Camp in time for dinner. We are renowned throughout the industry for menus that emphasise fresh tastes and originality!

Day 3

After an early breakfast, wrap a kikoi around your head in the style of Jack Bousfield and set off on the quad bikes across Ntwetwe Pan for The Lost Island of Baobabs, your campsite for the next two nights.

The journey to and from the heart of the Makgadikgadi Salt Pans is completely extraordinary. A convoy, driving Indian-fashion ensures low-impact trespass and that you leave as little behind as possible as you barrel across the vast lunar expanses of scorched white earth. As the day heats up, mirages swim and eddy. Topiaried bay trees appear to hang above shimmering lakes – actually families of ostrich.

Flocks of swallows fly in ragged formation in bas-relief on the parched earth, and lie perfectly preserved in salt where they fall to earth with exhaustion. Elephant tracks walk in a circle and then enigmatically disappear, past the skulls of zebra, the bleached remainders of a previous migration.

Lose contact with time, space and direction. Travel without perceptively moving. Open the throttle and close your eyes and travel, knowing there is nothing to crash into until you fall off the edge of the earth.

Break the journey and your astral reveries for a picnic lunch on the moon!

As the sun begins to drop, arrive at The Lost Island of Baobabs, where the Staff has set up camp; a cauldron of water bubbles for the shower suspended from a tree. The dining table is set and the drinks tray stands waiting. Your bedrolls replete with hot water bottles and duvets have been arranged on the high places in a five gazillion star bedroom. Enjoy a star-spangled silver service dinner and fall into bed.

Day 4

Wake up to an early breakfast then head off for Kubu Island. This is what you have come to see. A granite extrusion island studded with baobabs, one of the most graphically beautiful spots in Botswana and rich with intriguing detail, such as walling, trade and Bushmen beads brought here to barter in pursuit of the salt that ices the surrounding pans.

KUBU IS CLOSE TO WHAT IS PROBABLY THE BIGGEST GREATER AND LESSER FLAMINGO BREEDING SITE IN THE WORLD.

Filigreed with baobab trees like fat, red ballet dancers bigger than buses, older than Christ.

The place has been the holiest secret of the Kalahari Bushmen for longer than anyone knows, a place of power and ritual.

Not far away is an ancient defence fortification that was only discovered a couple of years ago. Clamber to the top for an aweinspiring view of the enormous Sowa pan, and a picnic lunch amongst the boulders and baobabs of Kubu Island. 

Visit the extinct mouth of the Zambezi, which together with various other rivers, once flowed into the Pans.

The remaining beach is covered with beautiful water-worn pebbles amongst which you can find semi-precious stones such as garnets and cornelians.

Kubu is close to what is probably the biggest greater and lesser flamingo breeding site in the world.

30 000 flamingo fledge there when water is good and although nests are abandoned during the dry season, the acres of strangely shaped mud mounds are an eerie and strangely compelling sight.

Return to camp for one last night out under the stars.

Day 5

Set off once more across the Pans on the quad bikes, ending your desert adventure with a night of comfort back at San Camp.

Day 6

Arise to a morning bushwalk. On arrival, the elders of the community will meet you in a traditional manner after which you will walk out into the bush with the men, women and children.

The focus of the walk will be to provide a gentle introduction to the Kalahari and Bushmen way of life. The group will point out the distinct ecological characteristics of this area and its animal and bird species.

Spontaneous gathering and discussions about the uses of plants and wildlife by your Bushmen Guides provide the link between culture and wild environment that we seek to offer our Guests.

Time for one more lunch; before you bid farewell to San Camp in preparation for your onward journey.

Inclusions

5 Nights’ Accommodation

(3 Nights at San Camp & 2 Nights at The Lost Island of Baobabs)

Transfers to/from Maun International Airport

All activities as specified on itinerary

All Meals as specified on itinerary

Exclusions

International and Regional Flights

Travel Insurance (Mandatory to have travel Insurance)

All Items of personal nature (Crafts, Gratuity etc.)

All other items not mentioned on this itinerary