Discover Botswana’s breathtaking landscapes, spectacular wildlife, and luxurious camps - from the vast Kalahari Desert to the fertile Okavango Delta. Enjoy wildlife viewing in the otherworldly Makgadikgadi Salt Pans. Venture out in 4X4 vehicles in search of black-maned lion, elephant, buffalo, leopard, cheetah, and the rare African wild dog. Optional post-tour extension to Chobe National Park and Victoria Falls.
Get set for your adventure as you board your overnight flight to Johannesburg.
You will be met on arrival and escorted to your hotel. Welcome to Jo’burg, as the locals say, where the vitality of South Africa’s largest city is reflected in the gleaming facades of abstract modernist skyscrapers and the mercurial flow of its financial center. Gold was discovered in the adjacent Witwatersrand area in 1886. Its nickname, “the Rand” later became the name of South Africa’s official currency. D’Oreale Grande Hotel (Meals Aloft)
Fly to Maun and board a light aircraft to Leroo La Tau at the edge of Makgadikgadi Pans National Park, named for ancient Lake Makgadikadi, which disappeared thousands of years ago. What remains is a collection of salt pans that cover approximately 6,200 square miles due south of the Okavango Delta. Next day, drive to Nxai Pan National Park. These pans transform during the rainy season between July and October, when they fill with water and their stark whiteness becomes lush greenery. Activities during your stay at Leroo are varied and take in the most of the area. These include game drives, night drives and boat cruises on the Boteti River. Year round, small populations of springbok, giraffe, and gemsbok can be found, but during the wet season, their numbers increase significantly as herds of zebra and wildebeest arrive bringing with them opportunistic predators such as hyena and lion. On your last day, drive to the nearby Khumaga Village for an enlightening cultural experience. An open-air dinner with traditional storytelling will bookend your day. Leroo La Tau Hotel (B,L,D Daily)
Today’s flight takes you to one of the world’s most distinctive regions and the largest inland water system on the planet—the Okavango Delta, a place so sprawling and incredible it’s visible from outer space. Explore the elegant Moremi Game Reserve, rated as being one of the finest wildlife viewing areas in Africa. You’ll be thrilled by the excitement of tracking animals in open 4X4 vehicles and boating up channels and across lagoons, all the while viewing the goings on of the delta residents. Moremi Game Reserve supports the most diverse habitat and animal populations in Botswana, with possible sightings of wild dog, cheetah, and leopard being highlights. Resident species include lion, elephant, buffalo, hippo, giraffe, hyena, zebra, kudu, lechwe, tsessebe, and Sable and Roan antelope. Xakanaxa Camp (B,L,D Daily)
Fly to the exceptional Camp Okavango. Activities here center around mokoro (dugout canoe) rides, boat excursions, and walking safaris. See the delta from water level and relax as you glide through quiet, reed-lined channels. Pels Fishing Owl and Wattled Crane are observed regularly in the area. In all, more than 600 species reside within the 7,000 square miles of islands, marshes, flood plains, and channels of which the Okavango is comprised. Feel the beat of Africa beneath your feet on a walking safari, and take a boat through the reeds to spot elephant, red lechwe, zebra, wildebeest, giraffe, baboon, monkey, warthog, and buffalo, along with major predators such as lion, leopard, and hyena. If you are lucky, spot the elusive sitatunga antelope, which have been known to sleep in the water, with only their nostrils resting above the water’s surface. Camp Okavango (B,L,D Daily)
Enjoy a last wildlife run this morning and a hearty breakfast before flying back to Johannesburg via Maun where you connect with your overnight flight to the U.S.A., bringing home with you the memories of all the wonderful sights of Southern Africa. (B, Meals Aloft)
Cost and Details
Land Cost: $8,895 per person (based on double occupancy)
Single Room Supplement: $2,995
Round-trip Trans-Atlantic Flight:
Economy: $2,290 per person (subject to change until ticketed)
All flights between the camps; Roundtrip flight between Johannesburg and Maun; Flight between Victoria Falls and Johannesburg on the post-extension; Superior accommodations throughout as indicated or similar; All meals while on safari. Other meals as specified in itinerary; All wildlife viewing by 4X4 open vehicles, driven by professional driver/guides; Commonwealth Club of California leader will accompany the group with a minimum of 12 travelers on the main and 10 travelers on the extension program; A specialist guide will accompany the group with a minimum of 10 travelers; Gratuities to driver/guides and other conveyance attendants; Laundry and all local beverages during safari in Botswana except for Champagne and imported spirits; Complimentary bottled water in vehicles throughout; All applicable hotel and lodge taxes and gratuities for baggage handling; All park entry fees and sightseeing as specified; Complimentary baggage tags and passport wallet; Complimentary emergency evacuation insurance.
Roundtrip air transportation from San Francisco to Johannesburg, including departure taxes and fuel surcharges (quoted separately); Passport and visa fees and service charges for obtaining visas; Gratuities for Specialist Guide: Gratuities should only be given as a reward for exceptional service and is at your discretion. We estimate $15 per person/per day for the specialist guide; Excess baggage charges levied by airlines; Meals and beverages, other than specified; Laundry, other than specified and other items of a personal nature; Personal and baggage insurance; Cost for anything not specifically mentioned in the listing above.
Optional Post-Tour Extension
Chobe & Victoria Falls: November 2 – 5, 2019
Land Cost: $3,695 per person (based on double occupancy)
Single Supplement: $995
To fully enjoy this trip, participants:
• Must be able to fly in small planes. Some may be 12-seater caravans and others may be as small as 4-seaters.
• Must be able to climb in and out of, as well as move around in confined quarters within safari 4 x 4 vehicles and boats/mokoros unassisted. People need to be willing to rotate seats.
• Must be able to tolerate riding on uneven, bumpy roads during wildlife drives, as well as some off-road experiences when opportunities allow.
• Must be able to stand and/or walk moderate distances when visiting villages, towns, or other sites. Walk on uneven ground or uphill, sometimes at altitudes many people are not used to.
• Be in good health and prepared to travel in locations without medical facilities.
JD has experience working with some of the most prestigious companies in African tourism, including &Beyond, Wilderness Safaris, and Singita Sabi Sands, across several countries and unique ecosystems. He is well versed in naturalist insight, wildlife, astronomy, and even wine production and local cuisine.
JD plans to spend the rest of his career leading safaris throughout the African continent, imparting his first-hand knowledge of the natural world and his contagious passion for Africa’s wildlife with every guest he is fortunate enough to guide through his home turf.
Terms and Conditions
Cancellations are only effective on receipt of written notification. The following per person fees are applicable on this tour:
• Up to July 20, 2019, $300 handling fee, plus $300 non-refundable deposits given to overseas suppliers.
• July 21 to August 9, 2019, deposit is forfeited.
• August 10 to 19, 2019, less 75% of tour cost on both the main trip and the extension.
• After August 19, 2019, no refund is possible.
These cancellation fees are also in addition to any fees imposed by airlines.
We require membership in the Commonwealth Club to travel with us. People who live outside of the Bay Area may purchase a national membership. To learn about membership types and to purchase a membership, visit commonwealthclub.org/membership or call (415) 597-6720.
We strongly encourage guests to carry comprehensive travel and medical insurance to cover themselves, as well as any dependents/traveling companions for the duration of their trip to Botswana. This insurance should include cover in respect of, but not limited to, the following eventualities: cancellation or curtailment of the trip, emergency evacuation expenses, medical expenses, repatriation expenses, damage/theft/loss of personal baggage, money and goods. The Commonwealth Club and Classic Escapes, including their representatives, employees and agents will take no responsibility for any costs, losses incurred or suffered by the guest, or guest’s dependents or traveling companions, with regards to, but not limited to, any of the above mentioned eventualities. Guests will be charged directly by the relevant service providers for any emergency services they may require, and may find themselves in a position unable to access such services should they not be carrying the relevant insurance cover. The Commonwealth Club of California will forward insurance information upon receipt of reservation form. Information will be sent upon registration and can be viewed Travel Insurance Services website
Neither the Commonwealth Club and Classic Escapes (the Company) nor any person or agent acting for, through or on behalf of the Company shall be liable for any loss or damage whatsoever arising from any cause whatsoever, and without restricting the generality of the aforegoing shall particularly not be responsible for loss or damage arising from any errors or omissions contained in its brochure or other literature, as well as loss or damage caused by delays, sickness, theft, injury or death. In addition the Company shall have the right at any time at its discretion to cancel any trip or the remainder thereof or make any alteration in route, accommodation, price or other details and, in the event of any trip being rendered impossible, illegal or inadvisable by weather, strike, war, government or interference or any other cause whatsoever, the extra expenses incurred as a result thereof shall be the responsibility of the passenger. The Company may at its discretion and without liability or cost to itself at any time cancel or terminate the guest’s booking, and in particular without limiting the generality of the aforegoing it shall be entitled to do so in the event of the illness or the illegal or incompatible behavior of the guest, who shall in such circumstances not be entitled to any refund.
You must be in good physical and mental health. It shall be your duty to inform us in case you have any medical condition that may affect your ability to enjoy and pursue fully the services of the Commonwealth Club and Classic Escapes. By registering for a Commonwealth Club and Classic Escapes service/program, you certify that you do not have any mental, physical, or other condition or disability that would create a hazard for yourself or others.
Rates are based on the minimum number of guests outlined in this document, plus airfare costs and other factors and are subject to change. Though it is rare for The Commonwealth Club and Classic Escapes to make a price adjustment after promotion of an itinerary, we do reserve the right to assess a surcharge if the minimum is not met, or if increases are forced upon us by airlines or other partners.
How to Book
Fill out and sign the enclosed reservation form and send it, along with the relevant deposit of $1,000 per person for the main trip and $250 for the extension, to: Commonwealth Club Travel, 110 The Embarcadero, San Francisco, CA 94105. Upon receipt of your signed reservation form and deposit, we will, subject to availability, reserve your spot on the tour. You may consider your booking confirmed when you receive a confirmation notice and invoice from us.
Commonwealth Club of California-CST# 2096889-40