At Footsteps Across The Delta (walking safari) you enter one of the great, untamed regions of Africa: the spectacular Okavango Delta. Experience the astonishing contrasts created when the mighty Okavango River flows into the arid Kalahari Desert – the result is a variety of habitats, riverine forest, palm islands, permanent swamps and dry sandveld all with an unparalleled wealth of animal diversity. This safari maintains the elegance and eccentricity of the original ‘under canvas African safari’. The emphasis is on exploring this breathtakingly beautiful and diverse environment as the first African explorers did, either by Mokoro (dependent on water levels) or on foot.
This comfortable and private Footsteps camp accommodates guests in three specially designed twin-bedded Meru tents, complete with sewn-in floors. Each tent has its own bucket shower and porcelain flush toilet, which is attached to the back of the tent and there is even a daily laundry service. The ‘bush kitchen’ is run by our chef and prepares menus to whet all appetites.
Walking in the wilderness is the highlight of a true safari experience. No special training is required as the focus is on exploration and discovery – tracking fresh spoor each morning to reveal the night’s events. Guests will be in the hands of the best professional guides whose first passion is to interpret and bring to life every aspect of the bush. Other possible activities include game-drives, Mokoro or fishing trips, which vary throughout the year.
Day 1 – head out into the surrounding area for a sundowner walk
Day 2 – explore on foot the flora and fauna offered by the Okavango Delta environment
Day 3 – spend the afternoon either on a Mokoro excursion, fishing or on a game drive
Day 4 – final morning walk followed by brunch
Your Day to Day Itinerary
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DAY 1: Footsteps Across the Delta (Okavango Delta)+
On arrival in Maun you will be met by a Ker & Downey Botswana representative, then board a light aircraft transfer to the Shinde Private concession. The flight is approximately 25 minutes and you will be amazed as the desert transforms to delta before your eyes. At the airstrip you are met by your guides and transfer in a 4x4 safari vehicle to camp. Over a refreshing drink and light lunch you will be briefed on activities and safety during your stay, then it is time to settle into camp.
Later in the afternoon begin your first lesson in bush craft and some basic pointers regarding animal behaviour and respect for all the inhabitants of the wilderness. Following this introduction over tea and cake, it is time to set out on your first short walk, allowing you to time to become accustomed to some of the sights, sounds and smells that make up the language of the African bush.
On return to camp take a piping hot, bucket shower under the stars, before aperitifs around the fire. During a sumptuous dinner, we discuss the lessons of the day, and learn more about Botswana, the history and its people
DAY 2: Footsteps Across the Delta (Okavango Delta)+
The day begins before sunrise with coffee/tea around the fire, and breakfast before heading out to see what the bush has in store for us.
Following the water’s edge provides spectacular views of curious hippos and the multitude of water birds often including many migratory visitors. Plains game abounds; giraffe, zebra, tsessebe, impala, wildebeest and herds of lechwe graze on the open flood plains. On return to camp walking along the forest’s edge you will often find bachelor elephants dozing in the shade, or bathing in the lagoons as the day heats up.
After a delicious lunch and a lazy afternoon napping or reading it is time to venture out again, this time (water level permitting) by mokoro on the lookout for the sitatunga, one of the world’s most unusual and secretive species mainly found in the Okavango Delta. The mokoro provides one of the best opportunities to view this wonderful semi aquatic antelope, while discovering some of the multitude of plants and animals that make up this diverse ecosystem.
DAY 3: Footsteps Across the Delta (Okavango Delta)+
Woken early by the sounds of the bush we head out again in search of wildlife learning about tracking skills over the thick Kalahari sands. Lions can be found and other species of mammals seen on walks include buffalo, wild dog and cheetah. All can be viewed safely on foot from a respectable distance and encounters like these are the ones you’ll never forget! The afternoon is time to take it easy after the long morning walk! Perhaps trying a spot of fishing, Okavango style, either along the banks of lagoons and channels or, for the more adventurous from the mokoro! Alternatively should you wish to take a game drive to explore the area slightly further afield you may also do so as the safari vehicle is always at your disposal. The final dinner is cause for much celebration as the safari draws to an end, toasting new friends, reminiscing over unique experiences and lifelong memories, finally drifting off to sleep with the ever-present chorus of the hippos and the tinkle of the reed frogs.
DAY 4: Footsteps Across the Delta (Okavango Delta)+
The morning is spent according to your departure time, and if time allows, a final activity. A final drive back to the airstrip and it is time for farewells to your guides, before taking off to your next destination, leaving you pondering a final thought…
How long will it be before you can return?
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Include & Exclude+
IncludesLight aircraft flights as indicated in the itinerary
Road transfers as indicated on the itinerary
Accommodation on twin basis
All meals when in camp
Selected (local brand) beverages (South African wines and spirits)
Activities as indicated on the itinerary
Park fees and concession fees in accordance with the itinerary
ExcludesInternational flights, visas or taxes
Any optional activities not mentioned in the itinerary
Any excluded beverages/items
Any extra purchases (curio shopping etc.)
Tips and gratuities
Medical and luggage insurance (Ker & Downey Botswana camps have emergency evacuation to the nearest regional medical facility, but this covers emergencies only)
All transfer times in light aircraft will be advised the day prior to travel and are subject to fluctuations in accordance with aircraft scheduling. Movements are arranged to be as convenient as possible around activities and meals.
All our private safaris are individually quoted as prices depend on the safari chosen, the duration, the number of guests and the time of year.
NOTES AND TOUR LEADER RATESSingle Room Supplement applies in low and shoulder seasons if more than 2 single rooms are booked in one booking.
A minimum of 2 guests must be booked on any Footsteps safari. The maximum is 6 guests in 3 tents. Minimum age at Footsteps is 16 years unless booked for the Young Explorers safari (see page 2). No tour leader accommodation available.
One tour leader with a minimum of 4 paying guests USD 240t per night in low and shoulder seasons and USD 295 per night in high season, in tour leader accommodation.
One tour leader will receive complimentary accommodation in the tour leader tent with full camp occupancy.
Private vehicle and rates available on request.
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General Information+Luggage Restriction
There is a strict luggage restriction for all guests travelling by light aircraft transfers of 20kg (44lbs), 25cm (10 inches) wide x 30cm (12 inches) high and 62cm (24 inches) long per person in soft, manageable bags, which includes hand baggage and camera equipment. No hard suitcases and no bags with wheels or frame. This is for safety and logistical reasons.
The aircraft in use are Grand Caravans, Airvans and a Kodiak which are perfect for the bush landing strips in the Okavango Delta. However, weight is a safety issue and the small luggage storage pod restricts the storage/transfer of any large or solid suitcases. Please do not bring Samsonite or similar hard suitcases.
Guests are welcome to store excess luggage in our Maun office provided that their safari begins and ends in Maun. If this is the case, guests must make sure they pack smaller bags in advance to avoid delays to onward travel at Maun Airport. Should clients arrive with excessive luggage they will be asked to re-pack into smaller bags or to leave their luggage behind UNLESS they have pre-arranged extra space in the plane by means of booking an additional seat (at full seat rate).
Electricity in Camp
Kanana has been converted to a solar system, Shinde and Okuti’s electricity is generator-powered, both systems allow the operation of lighting, fans and other basic camp facilities.
The charging of camera and video batteries is possible, provided guests bring the appropriate adaptors along to suit Botswana’s 220V power source. An international multi-plug point is available in each tent.
The electricity system (Okuti, Shinde and Kanana only) supports the use of hairdryers but only those issued by Ker & Downey Botswana.
Please note that Footsteps Camp does not have electricity generated at the camp, but the charging of cameras is possible from a battery, provided the appropriate adaptor is brought by the guest.
With regards to the sleep apnea machine, camp needs to be aware and a second power supply will be provided to ensure power throughout the night. This is in addition to the above-mentioned facilities.
Special dietary requirements can be accommodated provided they are advised in advance. Please note that all meals are served with a wide variety of food that generally suits most guests.
Medical Equipment and Insurance
Specific medical conditions need to be advised upon booking; this assists the Camp Managers in making suitable prior arrangements and/or raising awareness in the case of a medical emergency. Ker & Downey Botswana camps have 24-hour radio access to MRI (Med- Rescue International) and in the case of emergency a medical evacuation facility is available.
Emergency evacuation insurance is included in our rates, however the MRI professionals define the nature of the ‘emergency’ and the transfer is to the closest medical facility that has the capacity to deal with the specific injury/illness. Treatment once at the medical facility is not covered.
It is strongly recommended that all guests take out private travel/medical insurance which will cover them for the duration of their stay and that the details of this insurance (policy number, insurance company and emergency contact number) is lodged with their agent and our Camp Managers. This assists with efficient processing of the emergency evacuation.
Useful Information for Safari+What is the best time of year to safari in Botswana?
The best time to visit depends on what safari experience you are looking for and your tolerance of the varying weather conditions.
Winter months (June, July and August) are marked by cloudless days and mild temperatures (average is 5-27°C). In the Okavango Delta, the floodwaters from Angola start to fill the countless lagoons and streams and the landscapes outside the Delta begin their drying process, gradually fading from lush green to dry khaki.
Spring months (late August through September) are a wonderful time to visit Botswana. The timing, between the cold of winter and the intense heat before the rains, ensures temperatures of 15-31°C. It heats up toward the end of September and into October where highs can reach above 40°C. Game viewing is excellent due to the lack of thick vegetation and the water holes are drying up.
Summer months (November, December through to March) enjoy temperatures averaging 16-35°C. These months include the rainy season (generally Jan/Feb), when you may encounter brief but heavy rain and thunderstorms. This period can offer excellent game viewing and you may be lucky to witness the miracle that the rains bring, transforming the dry land to a vibrant abundance of lush greenery.
Autumn months (April and May) are marked by moderate temperatures, 15-30°C, which is a lovely time to visit Botswana with the lands lush and green after the summer rains.
How safe is Botswana?
Botswana is considered a safe travel destination and is both financially and politically stable having been spared much of the unrest and turmoil which plagues so many countries in Africa. As is the case elsewhere, the larger cities and population centres generally have the most crime, but once you are on safari, such problems are all but non-existent. It is, however, a good idea to leave your valuables (expensive watches, jewellery, etc.) at home thus eliminating the temptation for possible thievery. Luggage locks are always advisable when flying.
What types of travel documentation do I need?
Citizens of certain countries are required to obtain visas for entry into Botswana. As this list of countries changes from time to time it is important to check with your travel consultant regarding current visa requirements, well in advance of your departure. Other possible document requirements:
New Immigration requirement for travelling to Botswana
Parents travelling to South Africa and Botswana with children under 18 years old are required to produce an unabridged birth certificate (including details of the children’s father as well as mother) for all children travelling in addition to their valid passports. In the event that one parent is not travelling with the child, the other parent’s affidavit consenting to such travel should be availed. However, an affidavit will not be required if the father’s name does not appear on the child’s birth certificate. Adults travelling with children under 18 years old who are not the parents must produce a signed affidavit from both parents stating that the identified adult has been given their authority to travel with their child, said adult will need unabridged birth certificate of all children in their care.
Yellow Fever Vaccination
All travellers from or through the countries which have been declared yellow fever infected areas must provide an international health certificate of vaccination for yellow fever upon arrival into Botswana. A list of the yellow fever declared countries can be obtained from your safari designer.
Who will meet me upon my arrival, and where?
You will be met at the airport in Maun. After passing through customs, you should look for a uniformed Ker & Downey Botswana representative with a sign showing Ker & Downey Botswana on it. The representative will then transfer you either to your flight to camp, your hotel or other appropriate destination.
What type of clothing will I need for safari?
Depending upon the time of year, lightweight clothing of cotton and cotton/blends are most suitable. During the winter months it can be very cold and a warm/windproof jacket will be needed for early morning and evening game viewing activities. During the summer months bring a lightweight water/windproof jacket in case of rain, but otherwise temperatures are very warm. For evenings bring lightweight long sleeved clothing as protection from mosquitoes. Neutral colours such as khaki and drab or olive green are appropriate, and are less conspicuous to the animals. Laundry is done daily in camp, so it is not necessary to over pack.
What type of food will I be eating?
Dining in the bush is a delight in itself. A typical day’s menu might be as follows:
Assorted fresh fruit, cereals, yoghurts, homemade toast, (muffins or flapjacks) with preserves, and a cooked breakfast to order, tea, coffee & fruit juice.
A delicious hot meat dish such as a local beef bobotie or honey mustard chicken skewers, for those who enjoy a vegetarian option on offer you can enjoy a scrumptious lentil shepherd’s pie or baby marrow and chickpea fritters, there is always a choice of 3 salads, green salad, tomato, red onion and basil salad or avo and paw paw salad, home-made bread, a fruit bowl, a cheese platter, tea, coffee, soft drinks and a home-made fruit smoothie.
Tomato & basil soup, Fillet with green pepper sauce, a vegetarian option of Chickpea, potato and cashew nut curry, creamed potatoes, glazed carrots, beans and Chocolate Cream with black cherries. A cheese platter. We will make every effort to cater to special dietary requirements, with advance notification.
What medical precautions should I take?
When travelling to any foreign destination, we strongly suggest that you check with your local immunisation authority, public health facility or personal physician to find out what immunisations and medications are required/suggested for your travels. Botswana is considered a malarial area, and preventative medications should be taken. You should bring any personal medications or prescription medications.
Malaria including Plasmodium Falciparum exists in certain areas. All clients must consult with their own Medical Doctor, the Center for Disease Control or their National Health Authority regarding the use of anti-malarial tablets prior to departure. There are many brands available and we recommend that clients consult their doctor, health clinic or health department as to which brand they should take.
What if there is a medical emergency?
In the case of a genuine medical emergency, Ker & Downey Botswana can have a Medivac aircraft dispatched to camp. Depending upon the needs of the patient, he/she will be transported either to a hospital in Maun or Johannesburg for treatment. Minor medical needs can be treated in camp.
NOTE: Our Medivac coverage is restricted. It does not extend to those who have pre-existing conditions, are pregnant or are over 81 years of age. It is imperative that you arrange your own comprehensive travel/medical insurance policy prior to travelling.
Is the water safe to drink?
Each of our camps has a reverse osmosis water treatment system that produces drinking water for the whole camp. The system is Botswana Bureau of Standards approved and is laboratory tested quarterly.
As part of our drive to reduce, if not eliminate, plastics in our pristine environment we provide 500ml glass bottles in our camps for guests’ use, which they can refill at any time from the chiller dispensers in the main areas. At Footsteps RO water supplied by Shinde is served in glass bottles kept in a cooler box.
What type of safari vehicles will I be game viewing in?
Ker & Downey Botswana use Toyota Land cruisers which have been specially built for game viewing and photography. All have completely open seating areas and cabs for unhindered photography. Each has ample seating (although we normally keep occupancy to four in each vehicle), with seat pockets, reference books, snacks, bottled water, toilet paper, insect spray and a cool box for refreshments. Window seats are guaranteed on game drives at Shinde, Kanana and Okuti. The vehicles roof can be removed for excellent bird viewing.
Is electricity available in the safari camps?
A solar system at Kanana then generators at Shinde and Okuti provide electricity. Due to their noise, these generators are normally used during the day, when guests are out of camp. In the evenings, the generator is switched off, and lighting is provided by battery. Camera batteries may be recharged in the guest tents during the day.
How long do camp transfers take?
On our standard fly-in safaris, inter-camp transfers are provided by light aircraft Transfer times are minimal, averaging 30 minutes, but can be longer to areas outside the Delta.
What about tipping?
Tipping is not obligatory. It is, however, appropriate if you feel that the measure of service you received warrants a show of your personal appreciation. This is purely discretionary. The average tip amounts are approximately per guest, per day. Customarily, per day will go to your driver/guide directly and per day is placed in the Tip Box provided in the camps. Camp Managers distribute the latter among the camp employees.
Is a safari strenuous?
No. Getting into and out of vehicles and light aircraft as well as some walking is the most strenuous activity you will encounter. Our safaris are considered 'soft adventure'.
How much baggage can I bring on safari?
Since most safari travel is done in small aircraft, each passenger is limited to one soft-sided bag, weighing no more than 20kgs. This includes your hand baggage.
How much money will I need?
Most major currencies are accepted throughout Botswana. You will not need large sums of cash while on safari, as our camps are all inclusive. However, some guests enjoy shopping in Maun. Each camp has a small gift shop stocked with various curios and safari items;
credit card are accepted (Master or Visa cards). Otherwise, you may need money for any accommodations, meals and shopping before or after your scheduled safari as well as for visas (Zimbabwe etc.) and taxes. The amount needed, of course, is your personal decision.
What about insects or snakes?
Surprisingly, there are very few insect or snake problems in Botswana. Insect repellent is provided in all tents and safari vehicles. However, for your personal comfort, we recommend you bring some insect repellent of your own. It is also a good idea to bring some sunscreen.
What contact details should be left at my home/office?
Leave the contact details for the Ker & Downey Botswana Maun office. You can be contacted in the camps by radio from Maun in the case of an emergency. Our booking form asks for an emergency contact for your next of kin, in case we should need to send an urgent message through. All camps have satellite phones providing guests an option to call home if required, this service carries a charge which clients settle direct in camp based on the length of time on the phone call.
What to bring
Passport with appropriate visas
Health Certificates as recommended by your physician for your specific destination(s)
Airline tickets (always reconfirm reservations 72 hours in advance)
Customs registration (sometimes required for cameras, videos, binoculars and expensive watches)
Flashlight – optional (provided in all Ker & Downey Botswana camps, only necessary if you go to other camps)
Pen and paper, or writing journal/diary
Locks for luggage
Pack your equipment in a good, soft-sided case, and carry it on the plane with you. Africa can be dusty and you should protect your equipment well. Plastic ‘Ziploc’ bags or cloth pillowcases are ideal means of covering and storing your photographic equipment during your safari.