Kalahari desert expedition safari, Botswana
Description of Kalahari desert expedition safari, Botswana
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Small group tour:
Small group travel is not large group travel scaled down. It is modelled on independent travel but with the advantage of a group leader to take care of the itinerary, accommodation and tickets, and dealing with the language. Its easy to tick off the big sights independently but finding those one-off experiences, local festivals, travelling markets and secret viewpoints is almost impossible for someone without the insider knowledge gained from years in the field. Those with a two-week holiday, a small group tour will save valuable planning time.
'Free from' food:
We can cater for Vegans, Vegetarians, gluten free and celiac. We will just need to know this ahead of time when the bookings are being made.
With experience of personally guiding tours through a large number of African countries, and having previously led groups including LGBT travellers through those countries, I have not experienced any issues in accommodations or during the trip as a whole to date. The important thing is to know the local laws and gain an understanding of local points of view before you travel – we can advise you on these and the UK Foreign office FCO also has lots of country-specific information on local laws and customs. If a country is on the conservative side, generally being careful not to openly show affection in public for example is enough to ensure a safe and enjoyable trip. All our guides are welcoming of LGBT travellers and will be happy to give advice on the trip when/where needed.
As the pioneers of responsible tourism, we've screened this (and every) holiday so that you can travel knowing it will help support the places and people that you visit, and the planet. Read how below.
PlanetLow Impact tourism:
- Camping safaris mean that the environmental impact of your visit is a bare minimum. We stay in designated campsites, and we leave each campsite in the same pristine condition when we leave. Camping safaris leave a very small footprint
- Cooking on gas when feasible so that we dont have to burn firewood which depletes limited resources (particularly in desert environments Central Kalahari Game Reserve, Nxai Pan National Park & Makgadikgadi Pans National Park),
- Requesting clients to purchase small wooden carvings curio instead of large pieces, again to conserve the forests around the carving markets.
- Ensuring that we take all of our rubbish out of wilderness areas and use proper waste disposal facilities on all tours (and in the workshop). Entrance Fees: All entrance fees for the National Parks are used by the Botswana of Wildlife to maintain the condition and infrastructure of the National Parks, and run regular anti-poaching patrols.
As it is such a unique National Park all of the clients who join us on this trip are giving a full briefing of the fragility of the environment. Litter is strictly policed, the potential of creating wildfires is great, so the group is briefed on smoking restriction, etiquette within campsite, wise use of water in a very dry environment, and how to behave with the wildlife. All camps are un-fenced, so the potential is there for the wildlife to come into camp. The tour leaders are very experienced in dealing with such situations. Clients are advised to stay calm, listen to the tour leaders instructions, and never put the wild animal in a situation where they feel threatened which may illicit a fight or flight reaction. The tour leaders always teach the clients to allow the wildlife to have right of way so that no incidents occur. If an incident does happen the animal will have to be destroyed. Protecting the natural habits of the wildlife is of utmost importance, so client are told not to feed animals or leave food in a place where wild animals might feel tempted to eat it.
We travel through wild areas and stay in un-fenced campsites, the tour leaders make clients aware that animals have right of way, and that as visitors to the area we must not affect the animals in any way. By building a healthy respect for wildlife within the people who visit the area, the impact of people in this area, and on the wildlife is hugely minimized. Due to careful management of the wildlife in the area, and how people interact with the wildlife, the animals no longer see man as a threat, and are often curious to see these strange 2 legged creatures, instead of fearing them. A huge part of the tour leaders mandate is to ensure that clients respect the wildlife and eco-system and to be aware that they are only visitors to the area, and should feel extremely privileged to be able to visit the area, with local guides who know the environment intimately.
PeopleFood: All food and drink on tour are bought in local grocery stores which creates economic activity directly from tourism.
Charities: When in Maun we visit Sibandas Fine Art Fabrics. This is a local community initiative to employ local women who produce hand crafted fabrics. This is a non-profit organisation, and all visits from our groups generate some revenue for the charity and if any clients buy some of the products, it ensures that the charity remains self sufficient.
Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre: We assist a wildlife rehabilitation centre in Springs, outside Johannesburg. Judy Davidson runs a licensed rehab centre from a small holding. She is an amazing person, dedicating her life to the welfare of animals and makes enormous personal sacrifices to live on this plot and care for sick and injured birds. A variety of birds are cared for, from injured barbets, doves, and crows to a brown snake eagle, a gymnogene, and a spotted eagle owl. All birds are treated in a small makeshift clinic, and then kept in aviaries until they have recovered. Once able to fly, or care for themselves again, they are moved to a 'flight' aviary, for a period until they have regained strength. They are then released back into the wild. Those birds which are unable to be released are kept in large aviaries and fed through various donations. We assist the project with donations of practical equipment including shade netting, paint, etc. These are used to repair and maintain several of the existing aviaries.