Botswana Suggested Itineraries
 
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Botswana Suggested Itineraries - Experience the rugged, scenic beauty of the Kgalagadi Desert - magnificent predators & birdlife make this an amazing photographic safari opportunity.

Lion couple at Ta Shebubu Lodge in Kgalagadi

Take advantage of our Stay 4, Pay 3 offer between June - August 2017 & 2018.
 
Ta Shebube’s unique desert safari delves deep into the Kgalagdi - a remote, unspoilt and undiscovered treasure trove with respect to its remote desert and solitude feel, rugged scenic beauty, the abundance and variety of wildlife, wilderness trails and culture. During this quintessential safari, guests traverse the Kgalagadi which is characterized by its red rolling sand dunes and dune crests of the south, the arid fossil river environment of the predator-rich Nossob River valley, open Acacia savannas, grassy plains and vegetated pans of the north. The journey is enhanced by a diverse range of camps and activities. Ta Shebube’s desert circuit consists of three safari camps, Rooiputs, Polentswa and Union’s End all strategically situated along the Nossob River Valley on the Botswana side of the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park (KTP). The dry river beds with its multitude of waterholes show predators and antelopes off at a premium and provide excellent photographic opportunities.

Predators are the area’s big attraction and include the black maned Kalahari lion, leopard, brown and spotted hyena, jackal and wildcat. It is one of Africa’s best parks for the cheetah, which thrive by hunting in its fossil river valleys and the surrounding Kalahari dunes. Due to its extremely remote location and harsh terrain the park gets relatively few visitors making it ideal for dedicated game-viewers, bird-watchers, photographic opportunities and for guests seeking a desert and solitude feel. The Ta Shebube desert camps are the only luxury accommodation available on the Botswana side of the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park.

The area is malaria free.

The Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park is one of the largest conservation areas in the world, and one of the last truly unspoilt ecosystems. This vast wilderness of approximately 38.000km² is a protected area where the boundary between South Africa and Botswana has no physical barriers. This allows for free movement of animals along ancient migration routes that is so necessary for the survival in the harsh desert environment.
The park was officially opened in the year 2000 after Botswana and South Africa had signed a historic bilateral agreement whereby both countries undertook to manage their adjacent national parks, namely Kalahari Gemsbok National Park in South Africa and the Gemsbok National Park and Mabuasehube National Park in Botswana as a single ecological unit thus creating Southern Africa’s first Peace Park, the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park.

Ta Shebube has 2 camps:
Rooiputs - 9 chalets, 1 desert suite, 1 family
Polentswa - 7 tents, 1 desert suite, 1 family

The Ta Shebube desert circuit is a new and exciting tourist destination on the Botswana side of the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park. All camps promote high quality, low density tourism. Each camp is large enough to cater for groups of family and friends, yet small enough to ensure that all guests will experience the tranquility and solitude feel that make Kgalagadi such a desirable holiday destination.

Rooiputs
Ta Shebube Rooiputs accommodation - sunrise from bed
 
Rooiputs is located about 25 km north of Two Rivers along the Nossob River Valley. The lodge is perched along a vegetated red sand dune offering extensive panoramic views of a valley of acacia savannah and grassy plains. Lions are frequent visitors to the adjacent waterhole.

The lodge accommodation comprises of nine (9) privately set chalets, one (1) family unit and one (1) honeymoon suite all under thatch. Each chalet is set on an expansive wooden deck and constructed out of a clever mix of wood, thatch, canvas and glass with furnishings reflecting the rich ethnic textures of Southern Africa and the desert. The chalets are en suite, with outdoor showers.

The honeymoon suite also has an outdoor bath in which guests can cool down whilst enjoying a refreshing drink and the far sweeping views of a treed savanna and a grassy plain with its waterhole.

To keep guests comfortable during the desert summers and winters, the units will have air-cooling features and also be innovatively constructed with insulated walls and thatched roofs. Hot water bottles will be a secret touch during the cold winter nights.

The thatched main building contains a spacious lounge area, a bar, a comfortable dining room and a restful and well-stocked library. There is also a plunge pool and opportunities to indulge wellness treatments.

Polentswa
Ta Shebube Polentswa - Lounge
 
The Polentswa camp located some 220 km north of Two Rivers along the Nossob River Valley, is nestled amongst trees and shrubs on top of a valley with far reaching views of the Polentswa Pan famous for its magnificent sunsets. The pan is known as a bird watchers’ paradise, especially if interested in birds of prey. The Nossob riverbed is rated as one of the best places in Southern Africa to view raptors (martial eagles, kites, pygmy falcons) particularly during the summer months, when they move through the Park. Migratory birds pass through the Polentswa pen, and offers rich opportunities for avitourism.

The accommodation is a classic tented camp capturing the romance of this nostalgic bygone era. It consists of nine discretely set canvas tents (including a honeymoon suite with an outside sunken bath and a family unit) on elevated deck with en suite bathroom and an outside shower. A comfortable veranda screened from the next door neighbors allows every guest to enjoy the sunsets and the magnificent Kgalagadi sky in the privacy of their own tented accommodation.

The main building consists of a spacious lounge area, a bar, a dining room and a well-stocked library and has a splendid view of the vegetated pan. Here the guests can either recline with a sun downer and a good book, watch the water hole and visiting game or merely contemplate the desert. There is also a lapa (boma) for traditional dinners and a plunge pool and opportunities to indulge in a wellness treatment.

Eco-Tourism
The camps are designed to ensure that its operations are carried out in an ecologically sustainable manner where flora and fauna are fully protected and conserved. Programs are in place to minimize the negative aspect of conventional tourism on the environment and enhance the cultural integrity of the local communities. Therefore all effort is made to use green technologies such as solar power and to promote recycling, energy efficiency and water conservation.

Human Resources
The staff is as far as possible sourced from the local community. Employment opportunities in this largely depressed economic area are scarce and one of the goals of Ta Shebube is to create jobs in the local communities.

Natural attractions
Leopard in Kgalagadi
 
The area is characterized by the rolling Kalahari red sand dunes, fossil river environment of the Nossob, Acacia woodland and dwarf shrubs. The sparse vegetation and fossil riverbeds show off game (antelopes and predators species) at a premium and provide excellent viewing opportunities for visitors.
The animals are concentrated in the fossil riverbed of Nossob thus providing an ideal close-up vantage point for photographers.

Sixty species of mammals have been recorded in the park including the majestic gemsbok, blue wildebeest, springbok, red hartebeest, eland (the world’s largest antelope) and steenbok.
The artificial water holes at Rooiputs and Polentswa are well frequented by wildlife.
Predators are the area’s big attraction and include the black maned Kalahari lions, cheetah, leopard, brown and spotted hyena, bat-eared foxes, jackal and honey-badger. The wild dog is an occasional visitor and is the only endangered species in the KTP.

Meerkat trioSmall mammals include ground squirrels, meerkats, whistling rats and barking geckos.

The Kgalagadi is considered a haven for birders especially when interested in birds of prey. Over 300 bird species have been recorded in the park, including many species endemic to the area such as the world’s heaviest flying bird, the Kori Bustard and the sociable weavers. The Nossob riverbed is rated as one of the best places in Southern Africa to view raptors particularly during the summer months when large numbers of migratory eagles, kites and falcons move through the park. Of the 80 raptors recorded in Southern Africa, 52 have been recorded in the KTP. There are no endangered bird species in the area although some are considered vulnerable, e.g. the Lappet-faced Vultures.

Some of the original inhabitants of the KTP still live in and around the park. Today there are about 100 000 Khoi-speaking people in these parts. The traditional Khomani San are well known for their dancing and music, the mimicking of birds and animals, and their vast knowledge of local flora and fauna.

The area has also got a more recent history, and there are still remnants of graves of inhabitants from the period prior to the area being made a National Park in 1938.

Activities
The Kgalagadi appeals to tourists who wish to realize a desert dream and is the ultimate for tourists with a sense of adventure.
Tough terrain and being away from most major routes the park gets relatively few visitors, making it ideal for dedicated game-viewers, bird-watchers and for photographic opportunities.
Ta Shebube offers numerous activities which endeavor to give each guest the African experience they are looking for.

These include:
Morning, afternoon and sunset game drives exploring the Nossob River Valley;
Spotlight safaris in the camps private concession area during night drives;
Early and mid-morning nature and dune walks in the camp’s private concession area;
4 x 4 trails for the more adventurous visitors with an opportunity of real bush camping;
Star gazing with camp telescope;
Unbelievable view of the flaming Kgalagadi sunsets in the privacy of own veranda;
Interaction with the local communities – approx. 50km from Rooiputs (25km outside the park);
Meeting with the traditional Khomani San who are well known for their dancing and music, the mimicking of birds and animals, and their vast knowledge of local flora and fauna;
Cultural evenings with local food, dance and storytelling;
Wellness treatment.

Child policy
Children over the age of 8 years old are welcome to the Ta Shebube lodges at Rooiputs and Polentswa. Family friendly units for parents and children under the age of 12 years old are available, and there are specially designed game drives for children. While appreciating the endless beauty of the desert, parents must be aware of the danger posed by wild animals especially since the camps are not fenced and the children must therefore be under constant supervision. Parents must also ensure that their children do not disturb the tranquility of the other guests.

The climate
The climate is typical for an arid area. During summer between October and April the average temperatures go beyond 40°C. This is the rainy season, but precipitation is scarce, often only between 150 and 250mm per year. During this period dramatic thunderstorms can be experienced.
During winter between May and August the highest day temperatures are a comfortable 26 – 30°C, however the nights can be exceedingly cold with temperatures falling as low as 10°C below zero. This is a very dry season with an absolute clear sky due to lack of rain. This is also the best time to view game which often is congregated near the waterholes in the valley. Good game viewing can also be experienced towards the end of the rainy season.

How to get there
Once guests have landed either in Johannesburg or Cape Town in South Africa, the journey continues by schedule flights to Upington approx. 250km from the park gate. From Upington access to the camps is by light aircraft transfer using locally based air charter companies to an airstrip at Twee Rivieren 25km south of Rooiputs. Alternatively, transfers can be by road from Upington to Rooiputs. The camps can also be reached by tarred roads from Botswana, South Africa and Namibia.
From Rooiputs transfers to the other camps is currently by good gravel road. Various transfer packages are offered to ensure an interesting and exhilarating drive along the fossil riverbed.

Suggested FULLY INCLUSIVE Itinerary:
Day 1
Lions of the KgalagadiEarly afternoon: meet & greet at Twee Rivieren (park entrance or airstrip), game drive transfer to camp, approx. 30 minutes; welcome drink and camp orientation, chalet check-in from 2pm onwards, time to settle in and relax around plunge pool or have afternoon tea, choice of 1 activity: night game drive in private concession area with star gazing. Guest to pre book wellness massage.
Overnight: Rooiputs.

Day 2
Full day at Rooiputs, 2 game activities. Early or mid-morning nature and dune walk (or game drive), afternoon game drive along Nossob River followed by sun downers & snacks in private concession area and sunset/night game drive back to camp. Boma dinner under star-studded Kgalagadi sky.
Overnight: Rooiputs.

Day 3
Full day at Rooiputs, 2 game activities or full day safari with picnic (min. 4 people and subject to availability) to Auob River Morning game drive and afternoon game drive along Nossob River or full day safari with picnic along Auob River or visit to local community. Finish your day with your pre-booked complimentary wellness massage. Candle lit dinner and drinks round the camp fire.
Overnight: Rooiputs.

Day 4
Full day at Rooiputs, 2 game activities. Nature walk or game drive. After brunch time to recline with a refreshing drink and a good book from the camp’s well stocked library, watch the game visiting the camp’s waterhole or merely contemplate the desert. Afternoon tea and then depart for game drive along Nossob River with sun downers & snacks in private concession area and sunset/night game drive back to camp or opt for a night game drive.
Overnight: Rooiputs.

Day 5
Morning game walk, complimentary transfer Rooiputs to Twee Rivieren.

Rates at Rooiputs and Polentswa (per person sharing):
Standard FULL BOARD + rates: May – October 2017 November 2017 – April 2018
Standard Chalet / Family Chalet (9 / 1) USD 439 USD 325
Desert Suite (1) USD 464 USD 350

Standard FULL BOARD + rates include:
Accommodation, full board, complimentary wine at dinner (local brands); laundry.(at Rooiputs only)
2 game activities per day
Road transfers: Twee Rivieren/Rooiputs return; if applicable.
Park entry fees, bed levy and VAT.
 
Standard FULL BOARD ONLY rates: May – October 2017 November 2017 – April 2018
Standard Chalet/Family Chalet (10) USD 359 USD 260
Desert Suite (1) USD 384 USD 285
 
Standard FULL BOARD ONLY rates include:
Accommodation, full board, complimentary wine at dinner (local brands), laundry (at Rooiputs only)
Park entry fees, bed levy and VAT.
 
Both rate options exclude:
All flights and airport taxes (international, regional flights, inter camp air charters)
Applicable road and inter camp transfers – see transfers
Private vehicles
Full day safari along Auob or Nossob River, minimum 4 pax, subject to availability
Curio shop purchases and Gratuities
 
We also have a Stay 4, pay 3 special valid June - August 2017 & 2018.

Family Chalets:
Rooiputs:
Of the 10 Standard Chalets, one unit is a family room which can accommodate 2 children under the age of 12 years on a sleeper couch. If the Family Suite is occupied by only 2 adults the rate will be as per the Desert Suite rates.

Polentswa:
Two family rooms/desert suites can accommodate 2 children under the age of 12 years on a sleeper couch. If the Family Tent is occupied by only 2 adults the rate will be as per the Desert Suite rates.

Children under the age of 8 are not permitted at either lodge.

Rate inclusions: Accommodation, all meals, 2 daily safari activities as well as soft drinks on activities, park fees, bed levy and VAT.
Rate exclusions: All flights and airport taxes, all drinks and items of a personal nature.

Single supplement – 20% in high season only, no surcharge for low season.
Children under the age of 12 years – 50% of the adult sharing rate when sharing with two adults.
Children under the age of 12 permitted on safari at the sole discretion of the manager or guide.

Transfer & private vehicle rates available on request.

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