Big Five Tours & Expeditions has launched two new safari adventures into Botswana and Zambia that perfectly fit the outfitter’s guiding principle. The seven-day Botswana & Zambia- Three Rivers and the nine-day Botswana & Zambia delve into iconic locations in southern Africa, beginning with Victoria Falls, a two-mile wide curtain of water that is the largest sheet of falling water in the world, and into Botswana’s Linyanti Wildlife Reserve and the private Selinda Reserve.
Selinda Camp’s sustainable practices echo its mission to “walk quietly and softly on the Earth.” The region is one of the least visited and most untouched corners of Botswana, shared by a very small number of camps on private concessions, assuring outstanding wildlife viewing of elephant, lion, wild dog, hippo, buffalo and giraffe. Selinda’s game drive vehicles operate on a mix of vegetable oil and diesel, a completely new initiative in safaris as well as the drinking water, which is treated through a UV filtration system, eliminating the use of disposable plastic water bottles. Sustainable principles only enrich the guests’ safari experiences here, and help enhance the old-world safari experience.
“Botswana was one of the pioneers of sustainable-style journeys, and its definition echoes our own,” says Ashish Sanghrajka, president of Big Five. “Botswana has faced many challenges as tourism has become a major part of their economy; and it is amazing to see how they have tackled the myriad of issues involved. Most recently, we were extremely pleased to learn that the government has announced that hunting will be banned in Botswana beginning in 2014.”
New tour highlights include:
Seven-day Botswana & Zambia – Three Rivers
This journey goes on to explore the Okavango Delta, one of the Seven Natural Wonders of Africa and home to an amazing variety of species, both resident and seasonal, including some 450 bird species, vast herds of elephant, buffalo and hippo, antelope, giraffe and zebra, lion, leopard, and cheetah. Other activity options include safaris in open-sided 4×4 vehicles and water safaris at a gentle pace in a poled mokoro or by safari motorboats. Here, too, night game drives and walking safaris with skilled, armed professional guides are available.
Nine-day Botswana & Zambia
Leaving Selinda Reserve, this safari heads into the Moremi Game Reserve, also part of the Okanvango and replete with rich and diverse wildlife defined naturally by the river systems. A network of game drive routes through the reserve and access to the permanent delta waterways in Xakanaxa make this an outstanding safari locale that is home to a resident herd of several hundred buffalo that range over the territories of at least four prides of lion. Breeding herds of elephant move between their browsing areas in the mopane forests and the fresh water of the Okavango.
New for 2014, the seven-day Botswana & Zambia- Three Rivers starts from $6,345, land price, per person, double occupancy; and the nine-day Botswana & Zambia safari starts from $9,135, land price, per person, double occupancy.
Big Five Tours & Expeditions, www.bigfive.com