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Wilderness Diaries Part 1- Lose yourself at Chitabe- Okavango Delta
Our adventure started the minute we took off from Maun in the Cessna operated by Wilderness Air. From our aerial vantage point we could glimpse the vastness of this diverse terrain but nothing would prepare us for the magnificent experience ahead.
Arriving at Chitabe Camp is like attending a family reunion with only your favourite family members, such is the warm welcome received upon arrival here. Situated in a private concession on an island in the south-east of the Okavango Delta, Chitabe is set among a breath-taking mosaic of wooded, wetland and grassland habitats. Covering 22 000 hectares of pristine wilderness and situated between 2 major river systems – the Gomoti and the Santantadibe – the area is famed for its incredible numbers and diversity of wildlife, particularly predators.
Luxury is the key thread throughout the Wilderness Safari experience. At Chitabe your accommodation is a spacious Meru-style tent built on an elevated wooden deck amongst the trees with en-suite facilities and an indoor and outdoor shower.
Here time stands still and yet goes so quickly. The ultimate ‘new luxury’ of having no Wi-Fi connectivity, no doubt, playing its part in this altered experience of time.
As we landed, the legendary OB (immediately re-christened Obi-Wan Kenobi), was waiting to welcome us. OB was our guide and wildlife mentor and guru during our Chitabe stay. While self-drive may have merits, exploring this rich territory with a knowledgeable and experienced guide has some serious benefits.
From the moment our Wilderness Air plane touched down, we were on the hunt for a leopard that had been ‘spotted’ a few hours before in the area.
We discovered the ‘elephants’ playground’ – water and mud baths in excess lay scattered throughout the area at this time of year, ensuring both the pachyderms and the visitors were entertained for hours.
We found the angriest hippo in the Delta. Bathing alone, with a huge gash on his back from a previous fight with another hippo, he clearly did not like the idea of being stared at. Note to self: It’s not a brilliant idea to watch a charging hippo through binoculars… a genuine 4D experience!
Bird life is abundant with over 400 recorded species . OB’s knowledge of all creatures great and small, left us in awe.Baboons come to provide a show at the pool while guests can cool off during the heat of the day.
The meeting of Okavango and Kalahari provides excellent habitat to an abundant array of herbivores: giraffe, buffalo, red lechwe, tsessebe, impala and elephant, which in turn support the larger predators: lion, leopard, spotted hyaena, cheetah and wild dog.
Leaving Chitabe one leaves behind a piece of your soul, but in return you have gained so much more. The people of Botswana are surely among the friendliest in the world, from the moment you step foot in this magical country you are greeted with an ever-present smile. And it’s with a smile that you’ll think back on your experience and plan your next visit.
Founded in Botswana in 1983, Wilderness Safaris is widely acclaimed as the continent’s foremost ecotourism operator, dedicated to conserving and restoring Africa’s wilderness and wildlife. Creating life-changing journeys in some of the most remote and pristine areas in Africa while helping to conserve Africa’s spectacular biodiversity and share ecotourism’s benefits with the communities that live alongside
For more information ww.wilderness-safaris.com
Pioneering World First: Silversea announces first ever expedition world cruise among two world cruises in 2021
Manfredi Lefebvre d’Ovidio (Executive Chairman of Silversea Cruises), is recognized as an innovator in the ultra-luxury cruise line industry, offering guests large-ship amenities aboard its intimate, all-suite vessels: Silver Wind, Silver Shadow, Silver Whisper, Silver Spirit and Silver Muse – all designed to offer an atmosphere of conviviality and casual elegance. With the inclusion of the expedition ships Silver Explorer, Silver Galapagos, Silver Discoverer, and with Silver Cloud recently joining the Expedition fleet, Silversea’s itineraries encompass all seven continents and feature worldwide luxury cruises to the Mediterranean, Caribbean, both Polar Regions and hundreds of fascinating destinations in between.
This fully inclusive, Silversea’s Expedition World Cruise 2021 is unprecedented with regards to the scope of immersive experiences on offer: the itinerary is crafted to connect the most rewarding travel experiences around the planet. This experience-focused expedition will appeal to those with a passion for discovery and continue to challenge their own sense of adventure. From Ushuaia to Tromsø, the 167-day voyage will call at 107 of the planet’s most amazing destinations, in 30 must-visit countries.
Guests will have the opportunity to engage with remote destinations through hands-on exploration; immersive shore excursions, informative lectures from Silversea’s Expedition Team and featured lectures from many world-class experts, including, among others, Felicity Aston MBE—a recipient of the Polar Medal and the first and only woman to cross Antarctica alone—and Tim Severin—a world-renowned explorer who has retraced the storied journeys of Saint Brendan the Navigator, to Sindbad the Sailor.
Departing Ushuaia on January 30, 2021, Silversea’s ultra-luxurious ice-class crossover, Silver Cloud, will journey between Antarctica’s highlight destinations concluding in Tromsø, Norway, on July 16, 2021.
The Finest World Tour is for connoisseurs of travel who wish to get closer to the authentic beauty of the world at a relaxed pace. This 54-port, 150-day, 34-country itinerary will begin with the departure of Silversea’s Silver Whisper from Fort Lauderdale on January 7. Guests on this cultured voyage will enjoy two new Silversea initiatives: “Dine Around Town”, offering the chance to indulge in a ‘meal on us’ at fine restaurants in their choice of two of five cities and “Your Day Your Way”, which will enable travellers to travel deeper on their own or with friends, accompanied by English-speaking guides and transported in private sedans or minivans.
Aboard Silversea ships, guests enjoy ocean-view suites, sumptuous cuisine, and the personalised service of a butler, in this all-inclusive experience.
Luxury House Party accommodation package at Grande Provence
Grande Provence has created an all-inclusive luxury House Party accommodation package for the ultimate escape with friends and family in the Franschhoek winelands.
The House Party package offers exclusive use for a maximum of 10 people for a two night’s stay in the complete privacy of the secluded Owner’s Cottage. Steeped in period grandeur, the beautifully appointed Owner’s Cottage offers contemporary luxury and warm hospitality with four luxurious en suite bedrooms, a deluxe suite, lounge and conservatory leading out to the soothing pool area set in a country garden. Blanketed in a palette of muted charcoal greys and white linen, the rooms beckon an indulgent experience.
House Party guests will be treated to a selection of tailor-made experiences including a harvest table feast upon arrival for dinner, a country-style picnic under majestic oaks and a guided wine tour and tasting. Alternatively guests have the option to make use of the famous Franschhoek Wine Tram for a hop-on/hop-off self-tour through this French inspired village. For the ultimate culinary indulgence guests will be treated to dinner at The Restaurant at Grande Provence with access to all that this magnificent 17th century estate has to offer including the magnificent Sculpture Garden. Framed by a backdrop of lush vines and majestic mountains, this tranquil setting is a great way to create lasting memories.
This all-inclusive package is tailor-made for a group of 10 guests at R79 000 per night for the entire cottage with a minimum stay of two nights.
To book your stay, visit www.grandeprovence.co.za, call Tel: 021 876 8600 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.