Privately Guided Safari by Doug MacDonald
Remote Botswana. Rustic bridges. Cars fording rivers. Yawning, displaying & fighting pods of hippo. Bull frogs, reed frogs and multi-coloured frogs. Hurricane lamps shedding a golden light on your tent. Dazzles of zebra at the waterhole at dusk. ‘Did you hear the elephant-hyena dispute last night?’ Magical double rainbows slanting across the falls. Eland groves. A pride of lions stalking a buffalo herd. Shy roans slinking into the forest. Remote Zimbabwe in the company of a truly special host and guide, Doug MacDonald.
per person sharing
14 days / 13 nights
Private tented camps and lodges
This safari encompasses the world-renowned Okavango Delta, the beautiful Victoria Falls and the resurgent Mana Pools National Park. It is a superbly paced safari, designed by Doug for those of you who wish to experience some of the best game-viewing and highest concentrations of wildlife in southern Africa, in a way that allows you to observe animal behaviour first-hand and spend quality time at sightings.
The first few days will be spent in a private tented camp in the Okavango Delta, where your game drives will take you through open grasslands and swampy areas for an incredible abundance of bird life and wildlife. The mid-point of the trip will take you to Victoria Falls to enjoy one of the most spectacular natural wonders of the world. The second half of your safari will be spent at Mana Pools National Park, a UNESCO natural world heritage site, located on the Zimbabwean shores of the Zambezi River. Here your time will be divided between the floodplain and further downstream of the park, into a more remote area of Mana Pools called the Nyamatusi wilderness area, on the border of which is located the Chikwenya private concession area and the beautiful Chikwenya safari lodge, overlooking the Zambezi River and its escarpment.
Privately Guided Safari by Doug MacDonald Itinerary
The Chalo Edge
- A privately guided safari developed exclusively for Chalo Africa by Doug MacDonald, one of the best known Zimbabwean Pro Guides on the continent
- An in-depth exploration of some of southern Africa’s parks blessed with the most prolific wildlife
- The ability to anticipate and follow-through on sightings because of the skills and experience brought to this safari by your guide
- Highlights include wonderful walks underneath the large spreading vachellia (acacia) and mahogany trees which teem with wildlife. It is humbling to come close to a large elephant bull on foot or maybe a pack of wild dogs while they interact with another, unconcerned by your presence!
- Mokoro (canoe) rides in the lily-pad strewn and papyrus framed channels of the Okavango Delta
In August 2012, I was fortunate enough to visit the Chikwenya concession with Doug. Chikwenya is located at the confluence of the Sapi and Zambezi Rivers, on the eastern border of Mana Pools National Park. Chikwenya enjoys an exclusive 7000 acre lease of pristine Lower Zambezi floodplain and some 5 kilometres of river frontage. With open grassland floodplains, riverine forests, jesse bush, wooded islands and a 2 km deep Faydherbia Albida band of woodland along the Zambezi river banks, Chikwenya’s diverse habitats lend itself to being one of Africa’s best wildlife sanctuaries. The Faydherbia trees, more commonly known as the winter thorn, produce a highly nutritious seed during Zimbabwe’s winter months and provide much needed sustenance to the wildlife in the dry season.
Mana & Chikwenya are also home to wonderful old elephant bulls. Some of these elephant bulls are followed about on the plains by their ‘acolytes’, 2-3 young male elephants, who always maintain a respectful distance from the old bull, but observe him very closely to learn the bush skills they need to survive to a ripe old age. This is a wonderful example of the sort of behaviour you can actually observe on your safari in Mana Pools. We followed some of these acolytes, who in turn, were following the old bulls – a very special experience, especially because it was all done on foot.