Sand & Stars: Description

Cultural Crossroads Tour Essence of Africa
Natural Abundance
Rock Art Revelations
↓ Sand & Stars
Sounds of
the Bush

Botswana Tour

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Uncharted AFRICA SAFARI Co. has featured in multiple Travel & Leisure’s World’s Best Awards and been voted the Best Safari Camp in Africa by The Good Safari Guide.

Read what AFAR magazine’s contributing writer Tom Downey says


Sand & Stars Tour: Description

Botswana is a land of contrasts …
A wild and unspoilt place where the lush Okavango Delta collides with the mysterious Kalahari Desert – 
home to remote communities of San Bushmen and the endless Makgadikgadi Pans – vast, ancient lake beds strewn with fossilised artefacts and the greatest species diversity in the world.
Summer rains from November to January bring flamingoes by the thousand, along with the second largest mammal migration in Africa – where hordes of zebra, wildebeest and impala move south, with an array of predators in their wake.

”Walking with the Kalahari Bushmen isn’t just another safari with wild people instead of wild animals.
They are our oldest relatives, the people who stayed behind. Visiting them is like coming home”
– AA Gill, The Sunday Times, Critic of the Year  –  

Spend time with San Bushmen hunters and healers – a small group of extraordinary people who offer you a window into the past.
Trackers teach you how they have survived in harmony with this harsh environment  by using their vast and ancient knowledge of plants, animal behaviour and survival skills.
While on a gentle walk, forage with women who gather plants and herbs for medicinal and culinary use, and see how they make striking jewellery and decorate leather.

Enjoy in-depth encounters with Africa’s First Nation, finding out about their social structure, spiritual beliefs and rituals (trance dance and healing) as well as their traditional art.

Uncharted AFRICA SAFARI Co. has created these opportunities in collaboration with local San communities with whom they have long standing relationships so as to offer visitors an authentic and sensitive experience, while staying in a choice of two distinctly different camps – or both …

Experience a mobile safari expedition in classical African safari tradition, with real adventure in unreal style. It’s luxurious as well as eco friendly.
It’s situated on the edge of the vast and mysterious Makgadikgadi Salt Pans, the remnant of an extinct super lake that once covered most of Botswana.
Six classically styled tents with en suite bathrooms, Persian carpets underfoot, cool cotton sheets and mahogany and brass campaign-style kit form a striking contrast with the rugged wilderness viewed from the comfort of your own verandah.
The hub is an expansive canvas pavilion where everyone meets for meals at a long dining table, a drinks tents and a library tent with a fascinating display of local collections of bones, pottery, stone tools and beadwork.
Renowned for delicious fare, you are treated to indulgent teas, freshly baked bread daily and three course meals, sometimes under the stars.

Travel back in time and experience the real Africa. Magnificent and full of surprises. It’s an oasis of comfort with spectacular vistas and unique desert species.
A luxury tented camp
with a swimming pool shaded by a pavilion, decadent mess tent, en suite tents with indoor and outdoor showers and even a natural history museum.
This is where old-world safari styling and superb cuisine all come together to create an experience that is completely different from any other.

Get up close and personal with the Kalahari’s most captivating creatures – meerkats. Spend time with these incredibly social, superbly adapted animals.
Look out for the elusive brown hyena on night game drives and other nocturnal desert inhabitants like the black-maned Kalahari lion. Only found in southern Africa, hyena are part of a conservation project together with the engaging meerkats.
Comb the edge of the extinct lake shore for stone tools and fossils that litter the pan surface.
Visit the famous Chapman’s Baobab, the third largest tree in Africa that was the camp site of early explorers like Livingstone and Selous.
Head off across the pans on trusty quad bikes that are environmentally correct, watching the sun set and the stars rise within a vastness of space and silence – some 16 000 square kilometres of solitude.

Botswana is about the size of France
, with 84% of it comprising the vast Kalahari Desert, the largest continuous stretch of sand in the world.

‘Desert’ is a misnomer because most of the Kalahari is covered with vegetation such as acacia woodland and golden grasslands. When its clay pans are filled during the rainy season, their hard surface layer ensures that water is not immediately absorbed – which creates life-giving sustenance to game and birdlife.

The pulsing heart of the north is the Okavango Delta, some 15,000 sq.kms covered with a glistening network of crystal clear water channels, lagoons, swamps and islands, that’s a unique freshwater system growing with the dry season and shrinking as the wet weather returns. Slightly smaller than Israel, it’s the largest permanent inland delta system in the world that sparkles like a precious jewel in the Kalahari Desert.

In complete contrast, the Makgadikgadi Pans are a huge expanse of pristine, sugary white landscape, bigger than Switzerland. Once a large river-fed lake, the pans now lie saline and empty yet are littered with stone tools and artefacts dating from between 2,000 to 500,000 years old.

During the wet season 35 -75,000 zebra and wildebeest migrate into the area with predators following in their wake. Hundreds of thousands of flamingo appear from nowhere to feed as long as the water lasts.
And it’s a haven for permanent desert species such as the captivating and engaging meerkat and the elusive brown hyaena, the third rarest carnivore in the world.

Within Botswana’s wilds, live some of Africa’s last great free-roaming herds  …
of Cape buffalo, zebra, antelope, and above all … elephants, the largest concentration in the world.

The Central Kalahari Game Reserve has been set aside as a haven for the San Bushmen to continue their traditional lifestyle of hunting and gathering from the desert, and the lands around it support tens of thousands of desert antelope, and predators like lion, leopard and cheetah.

Uncharted AFRICA SAFARI Co. offers other more focussed expeditions, such as taking part in a Bushmen Initiation Hunting in the far Western Kalahari, or exploring the rock art of Tsodilo Hills,
a sacred site inhabited by the First Nations’ ancestors for over 35,000 years.