Safari Offers for Botswana, Green Season

Botswana

Come June to October in Botswana,  we scramble at the last minute to find availability due to the high demand over this time.   As we roll into November availability gets a little easier to find and pricing drops. This period (November to March) has warmer temperatures, dramatic African afternoon storms and a new lease on life literally as flowers bloom,  migratory birds return and there is an abundance of young antelope all around. The Delta itself, becomes more spacious as the water recedes and dries up and the green lush new vegetation is revealed. To sum up the USP’s for travel in the Green season are

  • Explosion of new life
  • Summer birds migrate back
  • Excellent lighting for Photography
  • Beautiful colours all around
  • Increase of predator sightings due to all the newborns
  • Dramatic late afternoon African thunderstorms

The following Botswana partners offer some great deals in the Green Season

Machaba Safaris 

15 November 2019 – 31 March 2020

Applicable to Machaba Lodge, Little Machaba and Gomoti Plains

– Guests can stay three nights at any of their camps and receive COMPLIMENTARY INTER-CAMP TRANSFERS EX MAUN PLUS a surprise gift or

– Guests can stay three nights and received the third night complimentary 

NEW: Stay three nights Machaba Camp & three nights Gomoti Plains leading in at USD4333 per person including all inter-camp air transfer

Natural Selection

Validity 01 Nov 19 – 19 Dec 2019

We are able to offer the following INCREDIBLE offers:

– Stay two nights Hyena Pans and, two nights Jackal and Hide and get four nights FREE at Clarendon Fresnaye on a BB Basis.

– Stay two nights Meno A Kwena with three nights Sable Alley and get three nights FREE at Ilala Lodge on a BB Basis including 1 dinner at the Boma and Drum experience

Belmond Safaris offer

Book the best of Botswana

Botswana is one of Africa’s most popular and exclusive safari destinations

PACKAGES

Validity: 01 Nov 19 – 31 March 2020


– Two nights Pangolin Chobe Lodge
– Two nights Belmond Savute Elephant Lodge
– Three nights Belmond Eagle Island 

01 Nov 19 – 23 Dec 19

Package price  = USD5158

SPECIAL OFFER PRICE: USD3782 pp sharing

01 Jan – 31 March 2020

Package price – USD5754 pp sharing

SPECIAL OFFER PRICE: USD3936 pp sharing

Package includes:

– Start Kasane Airport

– Return transfers Kasane Airport / Chobe Pangolin Lodge

– 2 nights Chobe Pangolin Lodge on a Fully inclusive basis

– Mack Air transfers

– 2 nights Belmond Savute Elephant Lodge

– 3 nights Belmond Eagle Island Lodge    

Contact us for any further questions regarding the above offers

ALL RATES ABOVE ARE RACK RATES

Please contact us for your net rate  – janine@personalcollectionbyta.com

BEST PLACES TO SEE THE FELINE KIND

With their combination of feline grace and killer instinct, big cats are some of the most alluring animals on Earth. Watching a cheetah stalk its prey or experiencing the power of a lion’s roar are just some of the unforgettable moments you can hope for when seeing these majestic creatures in their natural habitat.

BEST PLACE TO SEE LIONS

Spotting a lion making a kill or surrounded by adorable cubs is a highlight of any African safari. These big cats are part of the famous Big Five, with the majority found in the East African country of Tanzania. Described as ‘ideal big cat country’, the Serengeti National Park is home to the oldest lion research project in Africa. It’s also the best place to see these iconic felines, with a population of around 3,000 inhabiting its vast savannahs.

Time your safari from July to October for the annual wildebeest migration. These months see hungry lions ambushing unsuspecting wildebeest along the Mara River. January to March is wildebeest calving season and also a great time to visit as vulnerable calves make for easier prey.

 

BEST PLACE TO SEE LEOPARDS

Despite occupying a wide range across Africa, leopards are the most elusive of all the big cats. As they are nocturnal, daytime sightings are most often of leopards resting in thick brush or along a tree branch – where you might glimpse the flick of a tail. South Luangwa is not as widely-known as the likes of Kruger or Etosha, nor is it as accessible (by road at least). Above all else, most people felt that it was the amount of spectacular leopard sightings in the park that set it apart. Hence the nickname: ‘The valley of the leopard.’ Another superb place to experience prolific leopard is Sabi Sands, Kruger Park.

BEST PLACE TO SEE CHEETAHS

Famed as the fastest mammal in the world, cheetahs’ sprints can reach up to 114 kilometres per hour. And this is all thanks to their many adaptations, with large lungs and nostrils, a streamlined body and special paw pads allowing for such incredible speeds.

Offering dense herds of game, the Masai Mara in Kenya is prime cheetah habitat and one of the world’s best safari destinations. Cheetahs are often sighted across the open plains eyeing up their next meal, alongside many other iconic African species. The Masai Mara is also home to the Mara Cheetah Project, which tracks the movements of local cheetahs.

 

 

LEOPARD HILLS PRIVATE GAME LODGE

Recently I had the pleasure of visiting Leopard Hills Private Game Reserve on an Educational, courtesy of Sue van Diggele at Seasons in Africa.

Let me assure you dear reader, I have labelled this as one of Personal Collection by TA ‘EMERALD EXPERIENCES!’ Just as ‘Emerald’ is the ‘Trending’ colour for 2018, I regard Leopard Hills Private Game Reserve as a trendsetter – one that should be included as a ‘Bucket list’ must do when planning your safari experience. 

Leopard Hills Private Game Reserve – A luxury Game Lodge that boasts a Prestigious address and setting in the western sector of renowned Sabi Sands Reserve.

The lodge, beautifully positioned on a rocky outcrop, overlooking an active waterhole – one gets to appreciate the beauty of a naturally curated landscape stretching out as far as the roving eye can see, whilst enjoying an armchair safari experience from the wildlife that regularly visits the waterhole – ‘All This’ whilst feasting on the most sublime calamari for lunch – who would have guessed …

You can easily forget that you are in the bush, from all the attention the fantastic team delivers – catering to every guests’ whims and fancies – NOTHING is a task, and all managed so fluidly and with a grace that complements the setting perfectly – I can easily concur with my earlier thoughts – ‘Emerald Experience’ indeed!

The newly upgraded suites are looking chic with a contemporary modern feel to it – there is a wonderful synergy between the earthly elements and woodwork used for the décor, and this is complemented by the splash of colour from the wall and table adornments. The room itself is enhanced by the natural light that comes through the larger than life gallery like windows. It is a gorgeous suite to retire to at days end, where one can settle in to luxurious comforts to soothe a tired body, mind and rejuvenate the soul. 

Your Hosts, the dynamic duo – Duncan and Louise with daughters (Megan & Kiara), Rangers – Hugo, Nigel and Cal and the hosts Jonathan and team all perfectly complement each other as a family unit and as gracious hosts. The people here do not remain ‘Just People’ on your travel diary but become a part of your friendship circle.

Access to the reserve is quick and effortless. Fed air offers direct flights from Johannesburg, which is a great service and value add.

Story and photography by Mohammed Huck

CELEBRATING SAVANNA..

Celebrating another top 5-star lodge, we tell you the story of Savanna Private Game Reserve.

THE LODGE

An exclusive 5 star lodge, Savanna is situated in the internationally famous Sabi Sand Reserve within the greater Kruger National Park conservancy. Savanna lies in an area where ‘Big 5’ sightings are so frequent, it is not unusual to see lion, leopard, elephant, buffalo and rhino in a single game drive.

Specially designed game viewing vehicles and highly trained guides with vast knowledge of the African bushveld, take guests on close and intimate encounters with a large variety of wildlife. Numerous nearby dams and a series of waterholes in front of the lodge attract many species, especially in the dry winter months when elephants are daily visitors.

A close-knit team of friendly staff provides personalised service with each guest regarded as a valued friend. From the moment they arrive guests feel part of the Savanna ‘family’. Nine magnificent suites offer spacious and luxurious accommodation. Seven of the suites have tented roofs, blending the elegance of a by-gone colonial era with all the convenience of modern facilities.

Relaxing in the comfort of the public lounge with its spacious patio, or at the main pool looking out over the lush gardens and floodlit waterhole, the guests are treated with fantastic views of birds and the never-ending wildlife that drink at the waterhole. The barman is constantly tipping up your drinks, you are also able to sit in the viewing loft above the lounge. This makes a pleasant nook for a quiet game of chess while listening to the bush life.

GAME DRIVES

Land Rovers have been specially modified for guests’ comfort and safety with bucket seats separated by large storage boxes. In order to maximize photographic opportunities, there are never more than two people in a row unless guests request otherwise. The vehicles are set up to seat seven but can easily be adapted to seat 10 guests if required. In addition, there are never more than two vehicles at a sighting, except with very relaxed animals in open terrain, in which case three vehicles are allowed. The afternoon game drive includes a stop for sun downers while marveling at the splendor of an African sunset, and the absolute tranquility of the bush. On the morning drive there is a tea/coffee stop with the famous Savanna Amarula hot chocolate or coffee a highly recommended alternative for the more adventurous at heart.

GAME WALKS

Optional game walks are offered to guests who would like to experience the fauna and flora on foot. Led by an armed ranger and tracker, they provide fascinating insight into the geology and botany of the area. Trackers who have grown up in local villages impart a wealth of information on the uses of bushveld trees and plants in tribal customs and rituals, as well as their herbal and medicinal properties and practical applications. A peeled twig from one tree, for instance, makes a good toothbrush while the silky leaves of another provide the softest toilet paper.

Walks generally take place in the area around Savanna Lodge in between game drives and meals but if guests prefer, a longer walk can replace a drive or be incorporated as part of a drive. The thrill of quietly approaching game while on foot, of close encounters with the smaller creatures and the myriads of wild flowers and beautiful butterflies they attract in summer, brings an added dimension to the magic of an African safari.

 

THE SAVANNA SUITES

The Savanna Suite is an opulent home away from home under thatch. Two large, beautifully furnished bedrooms lie on either side of an inter-connecting lounge. Each has an outsized bathroom with free-standing bath, double vanities, double shower and toilet. The bathrooms open onto paved outdoor showers. The bedrooms have glass doors with screens leading out onto covered patios, plunge pools and private waterholes in the bush.

The lounge is a harmonious meld of elegance and comfort with couches grouped around a television and DVD centre, and a cosy reading nook in front of the fireplace. Step through sliding glass doors onto a large covered patio where candle-lit dinners or private pre-dinner cocktails may be enjoyed. An attached fully equipped kitchen and guest restroom complete the impression of being in one’s own exquisite home.

The Savanna Suite’s unique facilities are much in demand by families who would like to have their children under the same roof but not in the same bedroom, or groups of friends wishing to spend quality time together. A butler in attendance at dinner and a private game viewing vehicle with dedicated ranger and tracker to take care of all their needs completes the Savanna Suite package.

THE FOOD AND WINE

Gourmet dining is an essential component of the Savanna safari experience. Breakfasts provide full English fare plus fresh fruits, yogurts, pastries, home-made mueslis and Savanna’s famous ‘smoothies’. An innovative lunch buffet offers a large variety of salads, hot meat and vegetable dishes and cheeses, as well as a kiddies’ menu for youngsters who prefer simpler meals.

Candle-lit dinners, with traditional local dishes adding spice to the best international fare, are served on the deck of the main lodge. On balmy nights, sumptuous barbecues are enjoyed under the stars round a blazing fire in an open-air ‘boma’ or in a candle-lit clearing in the bush. Guests are often treated to the stirring voices of a local choir who entertain during dinner. Cuisine is of the highest standard, with much emphasis on quality and presentation, complemented by award winning wines, imported and local, from Savanna’s well-stocked wine cellar.

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We highly recommend a 3 to 4-night stay at Savanna, as you will always be pleasantly surprised by the food, wine, luxury and constant 5 five and even the small 5. 

THE GREATEST WILDLIFE SHOW..

Referred to as the “Greatest wildlife show on Earth”, the annual migration of one and a half million wildebees, zebra and antelope followed closely by their predators, makes for one of the most spectacular safari encounters you could ever experience. An adventure that will bring you back to Africa, over and over again.

The Maasai Mara National Reserve is a large reserve in Narok County, Kenya, which connects to the Serengeti National Park in Mara Region, Tanzania. It is named in honour of the Maasai people (the ancestral inhabitants of the area).

The Maasai Mara National Reserve covers some 151 000 hectares in south-western Kenya. It is the northern-most section of the Mara-Serengetiecosystem, which covers some 2,5 million hectares in Tanzania and Kenya. It is bounded by the Serengeti Park to the south, the Siria escarpment to the west, and Maasai pastoral ranches to the north, east and west. The terrain of the reserve is primarily open grassland with seasonal riverlets. In the south-east region are clumps of the infamous acacia tree, a symbolic Africa picture. The easternmost border is 224 kilometres from Nairobi, and hence it is the eastern regions which are most visited by tourists.

Wildebeesttopizebra, and Thomson’s gazelle migrate into the Mara reserve from July to October, making their way from the Serengeti plains to the south and Loita Plains in the pastoral ranches. Herds of all three species are also resident in the reserve. All members of the “Big Five” (lion, leopard,  elephant, buffalo, and black rhino) are found in the Maasai MaraHippos and crocodiles are found in large groups in the Mara and Talek rivers.  Hyenascheetahsjackals and bat-eared foxes can also be found in the reserve. The plains between the Mara River and the Esoit Siria Escarpment are probably the best area for game viewing, in particular regarding lion and cheetah. The plains are also home to the distinctive Masai giraffe.

More than 470 species of birds have been identified in the park, many of which are migrants, with almost 60 species being raptors. Birds that call this area home for at least part of the year include vulturesmarabou storkssecretary birdshornbillscrowned cranesostricheslong-crested eaglesAfrican pygmy-falcons and the lilac-breasted roller, which is the national bird of Kenya.