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					                           Inspiratour

      Botswana Jumbo Safari Oct 4.–17. 2008

                              Introduction

              Botswana, The Jewel of Africa

    The question arises why Botswana and not another country in Southern
    Africa? What does Botswana offer? This African country has a stable
   government, good mannered and friendly people belonging to the Tswana
    tribe.
Botswana is described by many as the jewel of Africa. I do believe it is the
   conservation policy of the Government regarding the fauna and flora, to
  ensure the total free roaming of the wildlife with no physical barriers, to
stop the migratory routes of animals. This is where in modern times one can
      still experience the real Africa of days long past like so many early
                               explorers enjoyed.
 Here the off-road 4x4 vehicle is the norm and sand tracks between Mopani
and Acacia forests get the spirit of exploration living in a person‟s veins with
        the drone of the engine and the question of “Will we get stuck”.
                      Welcome to deepest, darkest Africa!
Sitting at night around a camp fire, gazing into the flames with the sound of
 Hippopotamus in the river, the bone chilling call of the Jackal and the laugh
  of the Hyena, gives you the feeling that you are part of the African bush.
 Here you can still have the complete wildlife experience between herds of
African Elephant, Cape Buffalo, Zebra, Blue Wildebeest, Impala, Giraffe and
 predators like Lion, Hyena, Leopard, Jackal, not forgetting the Baboon and
 Monkeys that pays a regular visit to the campsite to do a bit of „shopping‟.

       Every visit to Botswana is the next highlight of my existence.




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                           Tour itinerary:

Oct 4th:     Depart from Norway to fly to Johannesburg International
             Airport, South Africa. Flight itinerary:
             17:55: Departure Oslo Gardermoen       LH 3145
             20:10: Arrival Munchen Airport
             21:55: Departure Munchen Airport       SA 265

Oct 5th:     Arriving at Johannesburg International Airport, South Africa
             at 08:40. After completing the formalities at Customs, you will
             be met by your host, Ben Burger.
             From the Airport, you will be transferred to a Hotel for a
             fresh-up, and then to the 4X4 rental company. Here you will be
             introduced to the vehicles and their equipment. After these
             formalities, we will leave the hustle and bustle of Johannesburg
             which is situated on the Highveld and travel by highway to the
             town of Lephalale which is situated in the Bushveld savannah
             region which lies in the Limpopo Province. On way we will have
             lunch. Tonight we will overnight in chalets at Tsena Khutse
             Lodge outside Lephalale where Schalk & Annamarie will meet
             you and we will enjoy a real African „braai‟( An African
             Barbeque) under African skies.

             Lunch & Dinner is included.

Guide experience: “ Waiting upon the arrival of clients at an airport (as I
            have done so many times before), every time there is still a
            feeling of anticipation with questions running through my mind
            like „how will the clients be?‟,‟ Is everything organized?‟ but the
            thought of going to Botswana and experiencing the real Africa
            causes an adrenalin rush that wipes out all the questions and
            worries.
            “From a guide‟s viewpoint, looking at the expression of a client
            upon realizing that this fully equipped 4X4 exploration vehicle
            that he just received will be his means of travelling through the
            great wilderness area of Africa which is Botswana.
            This always brings a smile to my face! A man and his toys!”

Oct 6th :    A new day dawns in Africa, a new day with new scenery.

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            After a good breakfast we will make our way to Stockpoort
            Border post which will take us into Botswana.
            Botswana is a country with vast plains which covers an area of
            ca. 500 000 km2 and with only 1.8 million inhabitants. A country
            known as the „Jewel of Africa‟.
            We will travel through towns like Mahalapye which means „place
            of many impala‟ and here is also where we will replenish our fuel
            stock. From here, travelling through the towns of Palapye and
            Serowe to our destination for tonight which lies in the close
            vicinity of the town Mopipi.
            Here is where we will enter the Makgadigadi Pans.
            The word „Makgadigadi‟ means area of many pans. This great pan
            area was once the centre point of the Super Continent called
            Gondwanaland and also the middle point of a large inland lake
            that covered most of Southern Africa. It is a great network of
            pans connected to each other.
            Tonight we will set up camp on one of these dried up pans and
            enjoy the brilliant star filled skies and the white reflection of
            the salt pans.

            All meals are included and prepared by Anna Marie.

Guide experience: “Today I can‟t wait to pass through the border and enter
            Botswana. Again seeing the familiar places that we travel
            through on way to the Makgadigadi Pans which is a very special
            place to me!
            I remember the moon shine on the white pan and the flash of
            lightning in the far distance while camping on this desolate
            area.”

Oct 7th :   After breakfast in the Makgadigadi Pans, we make our way
            through the pan areas to arrive in Maun in the early afternoon.
            The town of Maun is the gateway to the Okavango Delta and it
            is here where we will spend the night at the Audi Camp which
            lies on the banks of the Thamalakane River.
            In the late afternoon, you will if you want to - be escorted to
            Maun Airport for a scenic flight over the Okavango Delta.
            (optional).
            The Okavango Delta receives it‟s water from the Okavango
            River which starts in the Highlands of Angola in the North and

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            flows dew South to enter Botswana and forms the Pan shape
            Delta or swamp area which covers an area of ca. 16 000km2
            This is an almost magical water world in an otherwise desert
            like area.
            On such a scenic flight, one can experience the immense size of
            the Okavango Delta and the wildlife that is drawn there by the
            crystal clear water of the Okavango River.

            Audi Camp: www.okavangocamp.com

            Breakfast and lunch is included, dinner on own account.

Guide experience: “My memory of the Okavango Delta and Maun always takes
            me back to my first tour in Botswana. I was inexperienced and
            working for Sanbib Safaris, doing a fly-in safari into the
            Okavango Delta. That morning before departure I was so
            nervous that I kept looking for my camera only to be told that
            it was hanging around my neck!
            Flying over the Okavango Delta and experiencing the vast
            beauty of this landscape, I was so busy taking photographs of
            the animals that we passed while flying, I cleaned forgot my
            nervousness. (The tour went perfect)”.

Oct 8th :   An early departure from Audi Camp, with a vehicle of the camp,
            we proceed on to the Poling station. A poling station is the place
            where the dug-out canoes better known as mokoros are kept.
            From here we will be travelling on the Delta waterways by
            means of mokoro.
            The propulsion is in the form of a man standing at the back of
            the mokoro and using a long pole to propel the mokoro forward.
            This person is called a „poller‟ (African Gondolier).
             The tranquillity that one experiences while gliding through
            these waterways was previously described by clients as the
            African Venice!!
            Upon arrival on one of the Islands in the Delta, we will do a
            game walk on the Island with an experienced African Guide who
            will share his knowledge and expertise on this specific area.
            Having returned to our mokoros after the game walk, we will
            have a well deserved lunch and enjoy a bit of rest.


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            After this stop, we will travel back in our mokoros to the Polling
            station. From there we will travel by vehicle back to Audi Camp.

            Today breakfast and lunch is included. Dinner on own account.

Guide experience: “For me the peace and quite of sailing through the water
            channels, closing your eyes and just indulging in the time that
            you can spend in this unspoilt wilderness area.
            Sometimes having this silence disturbed by the song of a poller
            or the call of a hippo in the far distance.
            What amazes me is the knowledge and interaction of the guides
            that escorts you on a game walk.
            The knowledge that these people have, is not obtained by books
            but by the teaching by their parents and living in nature from
            childhood.”

Oct 9th :   Today we will depart early from Maun to the Moremi Game
            Reserve. The first few kilometres will be on tar road and there
            after you will not see tar road for ca. 600 kilometres during the
            next 4 days that will be spend in the Moremi Game Reserve and
            the Chobe National Park. This is a pure wilderness area of
            great beauty with sand tracks between large Mopani and Acacia
            forest areas. The Moremi Game Reserve is partly situated in
            the Okavango Delta. This wildlife Reserve is ca. 18 000km2. This
            area of Botswana has the largest concentration of African
            Elephant in the world. The Park has a high concentration of
            birdlife as well as a multitude of antelope and predators to be
            seen while travelling through the Park.
            This wilderness area will be our home for the next 2 days.

            A motorized boat cruise on the waterways of the Okavango
            Delta in the late afternoon is available. This is optional and at
            own account.

            Today all meals are included and prepared by Annamarie.

Guide experience: “Here is where I became REAL4X4 exploration fanatic!
            Trying to explain the feeling of slogging through the deep sand,
            hearing the strong engine making a low growling sound as it
            labours through this harsh terrain and eventually conquering it!
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             What makes camping in this Park unique is that there are NO
             fences around the camp sites and you can be sure to have
             animals like Hyena, baboons and monkeys visiting to do a bit of
             shopping.
             The scars of these visits can still be seen on my cooler box that
             luckily withstood all of these „shopping‟ raids.
             These are the best opportunities to do wildlife photography at
             close quitters”.

Oct 10th :   Because animals are more active in the early mornings and late
             afternoons, an early departure for a game drive on way to the
             next campsite is essential!
              In the late afternoon we will do another game drive and have a
             few drinks at a waterhole while enjoying the sunset.
             At night we will have a bush „braai‟ and reflect on the day‟s
             experiences.

             Today all meals are included and prepared by Annamarie.

Guide experience: “As a guide you sometimes have to take some calculated
            risks to ensure that clients get the best possible photo
            opportunities. One such time near Third Bridge in Moremi Game
            Reserve, there was a pride of Lions lying on the opposite side of
            water channel. We made the decision to cross the water and
            get as close as possible to the lions for the perfect photo.
            When entering the water, the nose of our vehicle dipped deeper
            than expected under the water. With a prayer in my hart, we
            safely made it to the lions and got the pictures that we so
            dearly wanted.
            Afterwards there was a lengthy discussion that if we got stuck
            in the water, who would have been prepared to take the winch
            cable out and tie it around the tree where the lions because it
            was the only tree around to anchor the cable”.

Oct 11th :   Departing from our camp in Moremi Game Reserve, we will
             travel along a track running parallel to the Kwai River on way to
             cross a difficult sand ridge that is between the Kwai River and
             the entrance of the Chobe National Park.



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             Entering the Chobe National Park at the Mababe entrance.
             From this entrance, you will travel on the Mababe Depression
             which is a prehistoric floodplain.
             This track takes us to the Savuti area which is a grass land
             where migration of Zebra and Blue Wildebeest takes place on a
             yearly basis. This is one of two places in Africa where a pride of
             lions have perfected the skill of stalking and killing fully grown
             Male Elephants.
             We will set up camp at Savuti campsite in the Chobe National
             Park. Because of frequent visits by Elephants, the ablution
             facility at Savuti is encircled by a high wall and narrow
             entrances to keep the Elephants out.

             Today all meals are included and prepared by Annamarie.

Guide experience: “With the first tour that we did on route to Savuti Camp,
            the road was in such a bad state that the roof rack on top of
            the vehicle broke loose and it had to be repaired with rope and
            wood.
            What a feeling getting out of your tent in the morning, only to
            find a large Bull Elephant passing your tent on way to the
            waterhole or finding a male Impala running past your camp site
            with a pack of African Wild dogs hot in pursuit of their morning
            meal”.

Oct 12th :   After breakfast, we will make our way on the last stretch of
             the most horrible sand track imaginable to Ihaha campsite on
             the banks of the Chobe River, which forms the border between
             Namibia and Botswana. On route again challenging the sand
             ridge to arrive at Kachikau from where there is a hard
             corrugated road that takes you on the banks of the Chobe River
             to Ngoma Gate which is the Border post between Botswana and
             Namibia. In the late afternoon we will go for „sundowners‟ along
             the river where there is great opportunity for excellent
             photo‟s.

             Today all meals are included and prepared by Annamarie.




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Guide experience: “ For me, this day is the highlight of the whole 4x4
            experience. Every time you travel on this stretch of track, the
            conditions are different.
            With all the experience of 4x4 driving that the clients have
            build-up through the tour, this will be the ultimate test for man
            and machine.
            Some inexperience people call this „the road to hell‟ after
            spending sixteen hours driving ca. 120km of sand, sand and more
            sand!!

Oct 13th :   From here we will do game viewing along the Chobe River on way
             to Kasane which is situated on the banks of the Chobe- and
             Zambezi River.
             In the afternoon we will do a boat cruise on the Chobe River
             and overnight at Toro Lodge.

             Toro Lodge: www.torolodge.co.bw

             Today only breakfast and lunch is included, dinner own account.

Guide experience: “The boat cruise on the Chobe River is not only a highlight
            for me but also for anybody else that has ever done a cruise on
            the Chobe River.
            Never before have I seen so many different species of birds,
            especially rare specimens in one area. Anything from the
            majestic African Fish Eagle to the smallest of Kingfishers, the
            Malachite Kingfisher, with it‟s multitude of colours.
            The two biggest killers in Africa, crocodiles and Hippos, are
            readily on display for you to take the perfect pictures.
            My personal highlight on the boat cruise is watching the
            Elephant herds crossing the Chobe River, sometimes only their
            trunks being visible above the water, working as a snorkel to
            breathe.
            Sipping on my drink, having a heard of Elephant passing through
            my view of the red setting sun, WHAT TRANQUILLITY!!!!

Oct 14th/15th: After a good breakfast, we will continue on to Kazangula to be
             transferred by Ferry over the Zambezi River into Zambia.



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             After the Border formalities, we travel to the town of
             Livingstone which is situated ca. 10km from the Victoria Falls.
             We will have lunch at a Traditional Restaurant.
             We will set up camp at Zambezi waterfront Campsite where we
             will be staying for the next 2 days. In the afternoon you will be
             able to do excursions.
             The area in and around Victoria Falls is regarded as the
             adventure capital of Africa. White Water Rafting on the
             Zambezi River, Kayaking on the Zambezi River Bungee jumping
             into the Zambezi River Gorge, Jet boating on the Zambezi
             River, scenic flights over the Victoria Falls and doing a bit of
             souvenir shopping at the Victoria Falls Market are just some of
             the adventure activities on hand for you to indulge in over this
             2 days that we spend in the vicinity of the Victoria Falls.

             Zambezi Waterfront: www.safpar.com
             Excursions in Victoria Falls: www.safpar.net

             Breakfast and lunch is included. Dinner on own account,
             The next day Breakfast and Farewell Dinner is included. Lunch
             is on own account.
             There will also be a small amount for visa for Zimbabwe, paid to
             the border patrol.

Guide experience: “The Victoria Waterfall always reminds me of how small
            man is against the might of nature.
            This is the only place were you can get completely wet without a
            rain cloud in the sky. “When I think of Victoria Falls, I think of
            one thing: White Water Rafting!!! Where do you get to raft on a
            grade 5 river and especially in such beautiful surroundings?
            Before getting into a major rapid and feeling you hart pounding
            in your ribcage and the adrenalin washing through your system,
            either making it clean through the rapid or getting washed out
            by the powerful current are all different thoughts that passes
            through your mind!!”
            “Having the nerve wrecking experience of standing on the ledge
            of the bridge spanning the Zambezi Gorge, making a leap of
            faith into the 110m deep gorge with your only life-support being
            the bungee cord that will keep you from plunging into the
            Zambezi River”.
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             “The Victoria Falls Market is well worth a visit. This market
             offers a wide variety of African woodcarving and art products.
             I have picked up great souvenirs at this market for next to
             nothing prices. Shoppers Heaven!!!”

Oct 16th :   Today we will visit the Victoria Falls. Where after we will leave
             for the Victoria Falls Airport, where we will return the vehicles
             to the Rental Company, before flying back to Johannesburg
             International Airport 13:50 (BA 6282). To depart to Norway.
             The flight back to Norway leaves at 19:45 (SA 234).

Guide experience: “On this day, the last day of travelling, there is a sombre
            feeling and a lot of thoughts that pass through your mind.
            All the experiences of the past days, all the lasting friendships
            that was forged around the campfires, all these things fills your
            mind and the longing to return to Botswana occupies the time
            spend travelling back to Modern Civilization( Rat race!!)”
             “When meeting the people for the first time at the airport
            they are clients, and on the day of their departure they have
            become friends of mine.

Oct 17th :   Flight itinerary:
             06:25: Arrival Heathrow Airport London
             10:20: Departure Heathrow Airport London SK 804
             13:30: Arrival Oslo Airport Gardermoen
             Arrive in Norway

During the writing of this itinerary and putting down some of our
experiences that we had on all our travels through Botswana, we had relived
it all with smiles and laughs.
Sometimes we had the smell of the dust and the bush in our noses; felt the
vibration and the sound of our land cruiser engine groaning as we climb the
sand ridges of Botswana, taking us were we are free!!!




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