Mobile Tented Safaris
Mobile Tented Safaris
Mobile safaris are an ever -growing popular holiday option, and Botswana has a good number of professional mobile safari operators, offering camping trips to various fabulous wildlife areas including the Central Kalahari, Makgadikgadi Pans, Moremi Game Reserve, Khwai, Savuti and Chobe National Parks.
The core principal of these safaris is based around the more traditional old style safari adventure experience, where you are camping out under the African skies, moving by vehicle from place to place, game viewing along the way, your meals cooked over an open fire, and in general, having a far more ‘in touch with the Earth’ safari. There is no wifi or cell phone reception, no crowds, and although the safaris do have a satellite phone for emergencies, you are very much ‘out there’ in the wilderness, enjoying nature in its purest form without any of the distractions of modern day living.
One aspect to bear in mind however, is that these trips operate only in the National Parks, and whilst you will have your own private camp site, there will be other mobile safaris and self drive safari-goers using the same areas. To this end you will often be sharing sightings with other groups/vehicles. Additionally, the National Parks do not permit off road driving or driving after dark, so your chance to see nocturnal animals is restricted to the Khwai wildlife area just north of Moremi Game Reserve, where drives are allowed to extend to an hour or so after sunset.
Safari options range from the cheaper semi-participation budget level, right up to quite luxurious large en suite meru tent accommodations, and everything in-between. One can join a group safari, or arrange to have a private safari with just you and your group enjoying your very own private camp, vehicle and guide. And this is truly the beauty of mobile safaris – the flexibility to pretty much be able to book exactly what suits you best!
Group Budget Safaris
The group mobile safaris are run on a set date departure basis throughout most of the year, so you would need to check for available safari dates before booking your international airfares, so that you have the flexibility to fit in with what’s available around your time frame. The more affordable group safaris on offer are the budget semi-participation level, where you are expected to assist with camp chores such as loading/unloading the equipment trailer and putting up your own small sleeping tents. The long drop toilet and bucket shower ablution facilities are shared (not en suite) and all meals (but not drinks) are included in the price.
There are various different itinerary options on offer, depending on where you want to go, and trips run from 6 nights all the way through to 16 nights, with some trips including a night in Victoria Falls as part of the package.
Some itineraries include various additional activities besides game driving, including Okavango Delta island camping, mokoro excursions, and motor-boating on the Chobe River.
Luxury Mobile Safaris
If you fancy having a higher level of comfort, you may want to consider the more luxurious level of safari, where you have a larger sleeping tent, stretcher beds and an en suite bush bathroom attached to each tent. These safaris provide a higher standard of catering and drinks are included in the packages. The safari comes with a full complement of staff and you are not expected to assist with camp chores. There are set date group departure trips on offer, as well as the option to book a private safari, usually with a minimum of 3 nights stay in each campsite.
Most companies also offer private safaris, which range in price from the budget semi-participation level, to luxury.
A private mobile safari works out more expensive, but can be booked for 2 or more people, and if your group is 4 or more, then the price per person decreases. The private trips are completely flexible and we can build itineraries around exactly where you want to go and what you want to do, and for however long you want to be out.
Lodge to Lodge Mobile Safaris
It is also possible to arrange lodge to lodge safaris, where you have your own private guide and vehicle, and drive (as opposed to light aircraft transfers) between the lodges. Again, these can be arranged on a group set date departure safari, or as a private trip. These trips are of course more expensive, but are very popular with people who want the adventure of being mobile, whilst still having the added comfort of staying in a permanent camp/lodge.
Another popular option are the motorboating safaris. These are run on the same principal as the 4x4 mobile camping safaris, except with motorboats instead of vehicles. The area used for these trips, on the southern edge of Moremi Game Reserve, is exclusive to boating safaris, and totally inaccessible by vehicle. Options include group set date departures and private trips, of between 2 and 6 nights duration, on a budget or luxury level.
These boating safaris are exhilarating and wonderfully adventurous. Travel deep into the Okavango Delta, cruising through the papyrus lined winding channels, passing hippo, elephant and crocodile before arriving at your private campsite approximately 3 hours or more into the Delta. Activities include walking on the islands, mokoro excursions and exploring the Delta by motorboat. The trips start and end in Maun, and run from June to September, water levels permitting.