African Itinerary and Campsites

The cover picture is sunset at the Savute safari lodge. It was our first camp site of the trip.

To give you a sense of location, distance and time this post provides maps, lodging, accommodations, and transport details

This map shows the scope of the trip:

Here is a map of the big picture locating the campsites of the African continent

Africa Camp sites were:

  • Savute Safari Lodge on the Savute Channel and water hole Linyanti, Botswana,
  • Camp Okavango on the remote Nxaragha Island on the edge of Moremi Game Reserve, Botswana
  • Chobe Game Lodge in the Chobe National Park on the Chobe River, Botswana
  • Sweetwaters Reserve, private 24,000-acre sanctuary, Kenya
  • Samburu Game Reserve, Kenya
  • Kichwa Tembo Camp in the Maasai Mara National Reserve, Kenya

All of our accommodations were in “tents”. These were substantial secure structures with partial masonry walls and floors and included lavatories and toilets, electricity, beds with nets, flaps over screens that open to panoramic views of the wilderness and walking paths. The camp sites had a central hotel like area that included meeting and dining areas, full service bar, and observation decks,

We stayed two to four nights at each camp site. We took as many as four “game drive” trips from the central camp with a private driver/guide to see the surrounding countryside and wildlife. The vehicles were open sided with covered or convertible tops. In the afternoon there was always a civilized picnic from the parked car, parked in a cleared spot in the bush, with coffee, tea, mixed drinks or wine along with baked snacks. Breakfast, lunch and dinner were served buffet style at the camp site dining lodge.

Although the camps were fenced, animals were able to pass through the camp. Walking guests were always accompanied by staff in the twilight as they went to or from the central lodge. The animals were diverse and not threatening. On every walk in camp I saw small hippo, dic-dic, antelope, baboon, warthog or impala. Many of these were visible throughout camp during the day or night.

This fawn wasn’t shy and scampered along the elevated board walk providing photo opportunities.
Detailed map showing the relationship of the two locations and travel from Okavango to the Massai Mara

The travel distance between the two target areas is about 1500 miles by air. We flew from Okavango delta to Chobe by bush plane and then drove to Livingston and continued to Nairobi by jet. From Nairobi to the Sweetwater lodge we went by private car. From Sweetwater we flew to Kichwa Tembo.

The bush planes were modern single engine aircraft with a passenger capacity from 12 to 20 people. These bush planes did have a luggage weight limit of 30 pounds, however, it was not severely enforced. There were no scales and some passengers did have hard suitcases. I would not recommend pushing the regulations. There is no real need to take more as the weather is relatively constant and there are laundry options at all of the lodges.

There are other travel options such as automobile which were greater in duration and have additional risks. Driving from the Okavango to Massai Mara takes two days to cross Botswana Zambia, Tanzania and Kenya. Considering the condition of the roads, questionable accommodations, and cost differential I don’t thing that it is advisable.

Aerial: Are there roads in Okavango? The green is actually vegetation over the marshlands
Aerial: Nairobi to Moremi road. Yes, those are elephants crossing the road.
Road: Outsides of cities were lined by huts, stalls, standing people and motorcycles.

For more information, all of the camp sites and lodges have their own websites. They are reasonably accurate. If you consult the national websites they provide excellent detailed information. When we were in Zambia and Kenya no-one checked for yellow fever vaccination. There were no significant insects seen on our travel throughout our trip. We did wear long pants and shirts and hats for insect and sun protection. Most of our clothing was purchased from REI or Eddie Bauer. There was no internet service. Emergency communication services was available for guests through the business offices at most camp sites.

All of our travel arrangements were done through Nature Expedition International agency. I provided an agenda, list of desired observations and time schedule. The agent then shopped the trip to providers and agencies to build a trip. This included camp sites, accommodations and transportation. All meals were included. We arranged all of our in and out of Africa flights. These flights could be cancelled with full refund up to 24 hours prior to departure. We purchased travel insurance through Berkshire Hathaway Travel and did not include the cost of the flights.

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#Okavango #Kenya # travel #Savute Safari Lodge #Camp Okavango #Chobe Game Lodge #Sweetwaters Reserve #Samburu Game Reserve #Kichwa Tembo Camp

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