African Vet Safaris – Feline Veterinary Group – South Africa, Botswana & Namibia

This safari has been created to offer an exclusive experience to an exclusive group…. Come to Africa for a brand-new wildlife experience in two different countries, uncovering more amazing wildlife secrets and joining Dr Peter Brothers and local Namibian veterinarians working hands-on with multiple large wild cats!

Description

Start in the wilds of Botswana which are best enjoyed and experienced in a luxurious mobile tented camp, with new unscripted adventures daily….. Experience wildlife game viewing like never before, with professional wildlife guides and Dr Peter Brothers, sharing conservation and veterinary aspects of these amazing animals with you. Only your group in camp and on drives….

In Namibia you will experience landscapes and wildlife in remote places, as is rarely witnessed anywhere else on earth. This arid country has necessitated adaptation in the extreme, in order to survive…

To top it all off we visit the world famous AfriCat Foundation and Okonjima Game Reserve, to learn first-hand of the struggle for survival that big cats face daily, in Namibia and Africa. During our stay we assist with various veterinary procedures with these amazing animals and in so doing fund this much needed conservation work.

Join us on this exclusive amazing adventure and contribute to wildlife conservation – we only have space for 8 guests…..

Itinerary

Tour Itinerary

Day 1 :

Arrive at O.R. Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg.

On arrival at O.R. Tambo International Airport, you will be met by a representative of Brothers Safaris and transferred to your first destination – a small hotel in the heart of Sandton, north of Johannesburg. Transfer time approximately 45 minutes.

Check in on arrival at the hotel.  A complimentary early check-in has been arranged from 11.00.  If you arrive a little earlier than this please feel free to freshen up in the hotel’s hospitality room.

Dr Brothers will meet you at the hotel during the course of the afternoon and accompany you for the rest of the safari until it ends in Windhoek.

The hotel is an intimate and elegant hotel hidden in the peaceful suburb of Morningside in Sandton. The beautiful gardens and sparkling pool provide a surprising escape just a stone’s throw from the Sandton Gautrain station, Sandton Convention Centre, major highways, shopping centres and restaurants.

Enjoy dinner at your hotel or one of the many quality restaurants nearby (for your own expense).

Enjoy a good night’s rest to recharge for your upcoming travels.

Overnight at the hotel on a bed and breakfast basis. All drinks and extras are for your own account.

Day 2 & 3

After early breakfast, you will check out and be met at 08.00 by a representative of Brothers Safaris and transferred to O.R. Tambo International Airport for your flight to Botswana – another adventure awaits! Transfer time is approximately 45 minutes.

Check-in for your flight departing from Johannesburg to Maun International Airport.  This is an international flight so check in time is 3 hours before departure.   (Flight cost is included in the safari cost).

Early arrival at O.R. Tambo International Airport will also ensure you have sufficient time to take care of any Foreign Exchange transactions you would like to make to ensure you have ready cash for the next leg of your journey.

Our hosts for the first leg of the safari will be at the airport to give you a warm Botswana welcome when you arrive at Maun International Airport. Your guide will help you feel immediately at home and brief you on what to look forward to on your safari.

You will be provided with a snack pack to enjoy whilst you set off for your drive to your first mobile tented camp at Xakanaka.  This is roughly a 4-hour drive, through the bush.  You will head north until you reach the Sankuyo Community Area and then turn in a northwesterly direction to enter Moremi Game Reserve at South Gate, before proceeding on to Xakanaka.   Although your vehicle will not be able to delay for too long as you need to arrive in camp before dark, you will still be able to stop every now and then to take your first pictures of game sightings – especially if there is something very exciting to be seen.

The Moremi ecosystem is home to the most endangered species of large mammals: the cheetah, white rhinoceros, black rhinoceros, African wild dog and lion. Over 500 bird species (from water birds to forest dwellers) and over a 1000 species of plants are also recognized in the Moremi. This ecosystem is amongst the richest in Africa. And thanks to effective protection, the flora and fauna are relatively undisturbed.

The Moremi Game Reserve protects the central and eastern areas of the Okavango Delta – around a third of the entire Okavango Delta ecosystem – some 5 000km2 (1 930 square miles). By combining drier areas and waterways, the contrasts are astonishing. Imagine views of savannah game as well as birdlife around the rivers, or elephants and hippos splashing in the lagoons. Often referred to as a ‘Garden of Eden’, the Moremi Game Reserve offers excellent game viewing year-round and stunning landscapes of Savannah, floodplains, lagoons, dense forests (where leopards and wild dogs hide) and winding rivers.

Enjoy the opportunity to get the complete Big Five in front of your camera lens; since the reintroduction of the impressive (white) rhino, the quintet is complete again. Elephants, hippos, buffalos, blue wildebeests, impalas, red lechwe, giraffes, impalas – they all love to take a splash in Moremi’s fresh waters. And is spotting the rare wild dog on your list? This smart hunter also calls the Moremi his home; the people of Botswana cherish their strong population of wild dogs. Don’t forget to look up: the shy leopard loves to drag its fresh kill high up in a tree and enjoy a meal undisturbed…..

On arrival in camp the friendly, attentive staff will help you feel immediately at home and brief you on the program and camp “rules”.

You will spend your first two nights camping in the Xakanaka / Third Bridge area, and explore the surrounding wilderness on daily game drives.

The magic of a mobile camp becomes apparent as the sun sets and you enjoy drinks around the fire before a starlit dinner and a great night’s rest, falling asleep to the sounds of the African bush.

Your stay until Day 7 includes: comfortable walk-in tented accommodation in Meru style tents with built-in floors and mosquito gauze at windows and entrance; beds are comfortable camp full size metal single beds including all bed linen 2 x pillows and a towel; en-suite bathrooms with a bucket shower and bush loo; an experienced licensed professional guide for the duration of your safari; one way light aircraft game viewing flight over Chiefs Island from Moremi to Maun; game drives and local transfers in custom made open game drive vehicles (with shade roof, game viewing seats and long-range fuel tanks), satellite phone and first aid kit; all entrance and camping fees within the National Parks & Game Reserves in private and semi-private campsites; all meals & selected drinks (wine, beer, Gin & Tonic, Coke, Coke Lite, fruit juice, bottled water; no other spirits); a dedicated safari team including cook, camp assistant and back up driver;  bathroom amenities (soap, shampoo and insect repellent – all eco-friendly). Excluded (Day 2-7) is laundry, spirits (other than Gin), items of a personal nature, tips and gratuities. 

Day 4, 5 & 6:

Following an early breakfast, pack up the camp and continue your journey to Khwai, stopping for a bush picnic lunch en-route. The Khwai River forms the boundary between the reserve and the local Khwai Community Area.

Spend the next three nights camping at a campsite in the community area, exploring the Khwai floodplains on day and night game drives.

You will also experience a 2½-hour mokoro trip, discovering channels and lagoons at a relaxed pace in a traditional dug-out canoe, getting up close with wildlife…. 

Night drives (using filtered spotlights to find the game without affecting their night vision – or yours) offers a unique opportunity to encounter less well-known nocturnal species, as well as possibly witness hunting and other behaviours which more often takes place under the cloak of darkness. As night drives are not permitted within Botswana’s national parks and reserves, these nocturnal safaris are conducted in the Khwai Community Area.

Retreating to the comfort of your tent after enjoying a nightcap around the campfire, you can fall asleep to the calls of the African wild.

Day 7 :

Start your last day in Botswana with an early morning game drive before returning to camp for breakfast.  Alter breakfast you will be transferred to the local airstrip to meet your pilot for your stunning light aircraft scenic flight over the Okavango Delta and Chief’s Island on route back to Maun!

What an awesome way to end your safari in Botswana.  This flight gives you a fish eagle’s eye view of this amazing ecosystem…

You will be dropped in Maun around noon to 1pm and have sufficient time to enjoy a packed lunch before heading out on the start of your next adventure…..

Check-in for your light aircraft flight from Maun International Airport to Hosea Kutako International Airport, Windhoek, Namibia.

On arrival at Hosea Kutako Airport, you will be met by a representative of Brothers Safaris and transferred to your next destination – The Hilton Hotel, Windhoek. Transfer time is approximately 25 minutes.

Enjoy an evening of leisure to recharge in the comfort of this luxurious hotel, after the nights of camping.

Dinner and transfer to and from the dinner location is for your own expense.

A dinner reservation has been made for 19.30 at the legendary Joe’s Beerhouse in Windhoek.  There’s an unofficial saying that goes “You have never been to Namibia if you have not been to Joe’s”.  A little bit rustic and a whole lot casual, this is not fine dining but fine eating with a sensational menu from Namibia’s exotic game meat to the simple salad …. but be prepared for Namibian size portions.

Your stay at the Hilton Hotel is on a Bed and Breakfast basis.

Day 8 :

Enjoy breakfast before checking out. You will be met by a Brothers Safaris Representative at 9.30for your transfer to Okonjima Bush Lodge, (approximately a 2 ¾ hour drive – depending on wildlife sightings, scenery and photographic opportunities along the way).

Check in on arrival and enjoy lunch, followed by some time to settle in.

The family-run Okonjima Game Reserve rests at the foot of the sandstone Omboroko Mountains amidst Acacia thornveld in a Malaria-free area. It is halfway between Namibia’s capital city, Windhoek, and the Etosha National Park.

The Reserve is equally famed for frequent cheetah and leopard sightings on its safaris, as well as The AfriCat Foundation. Since being founded in 1991, AfriCat’s mission has been to make significant contributions to conservation, while trying to ensure the survival of Namibia’s predators in their natural habitat. It undertakes research, community support and environmental education projects, as well as conservation work to rehabilitate carnivores such as cheetah and hyaena.

The elegant Luxury Bush Camp is situated within the 2 000-ha enclosed wilderness area of Okonjima Nature Reserve. The Luxury Bush Camp consists of eight thatched, safari-chic chalets with earthy tones and African design elements. Each chalet offers large glass panels and canvas windows that can be completely opened for unrestricted views of the savannah that offers a truly magical African bush experience as well as an open-air sala with a semi-detached lounge area complete with a minibar, tea/coffee station and ample space to relax, and offers panoramic views of the natural surrounds.

From 14h30 to 16h00, there will some introductory talks on the reserve and their various research and conservation projects. On the days to follow more details will be added to fill in the gaps, as we take a more in depth look at these projects and conservation.

The talks will also cover the veterinary involvement on the reserve and at AfriCat Foundation, and will prepare us for any vet procedures which may already take place this evening.

During our stay, we will aim to replace a tracking collar on one of the park leopards. This is very unpredictable and cannot be guaranteed, hence we will use any opportunity that presents to get this important procedure done. This is normally done at night due to the leopard being primarily nocturnal. Guests may thus be notified at any time to head out at short notice to participate in this amazing experience! However, being a wild animal, and a leopard, there are of course no guarantees that we will have success…with this in mind we will already monitor the cage traps from tonight in the hope of success. It is also possible that work may involve a different nocturnal species such as a brown hyena, as part of an ongoing study on the reserve. This will apply to each night of our stay until we hopefully have success. The aim is to work with one leopard/brown hyena during our stay.

After the talks, we head out on a game drive in an open game viewer on Okonjima Game Reserve, with a local guide and your African Vet Safaris vet. While we will stop to view any of the wildlife we come across, the focus tonight will be on the leopard….

Return to camp early evening to freshen up and enjoy a delicious dinner.

Your stay at Okonjima (Day 8-11) includes park entry and environmental education fees; accommodation; three daily meals; all activities; coffee/tea and fruit available throughout the day; drinks, excluding premier and imported alcoholic brands; Namibian Tourism Association levy and VAT.

Day 9 :

After a good night’s rest, we start with an early breakfast in preparation for a busy day….

We leave camp at 07H00 on a game drive vehicle to track and locate one of the park cheetahs in need of a tracking collar replacement. This is part of the reserve’s ongoing management needs.

Once located, the resident vet will aim to dart the cheetah in the field, to facilitate tracking collar replacement…. This needs to be done early morning while it is still cool. You will assist the head vet with the procedures, hands-on….. If all goes well and the patient is stable, there will be a chance for some quick photos too.

After this exciting start, we join some of the predator researchers in the field, where they will explain their leopard and hyena research projects and methodology in more detail, showing us camera traps, trap cages, etc and explain their use in the research projects.

On route back to camp we stop at the AfriCat information centre where we will discover further information on the big cats and their conservation challenges, in Namibia, and on a bigger scale.

After a very busy morning, we enjoy lunch back in camp and some leisure time to take it all in….

Late afternoon we head out again, to release the cheetah darted in the morning from the capture crate (for controlled recovery that can be monitored, and safety from other predators). It is always rewarding to see our immobilised patients released back into the wild safely.

The game drive continues, focusing on tracking other cheetah in the reserve, and may involve some tracking on foot….

We return to camp early evening to freshen up and enjoy dinner.

After dinner we head out on a night game drive, accompanied by one of the researchers and will focus on hyena (probably brown). You never know what you might find at night and there is always a chance of encountering an elusive aardvark or some of the smaller cats…..

After the drive enjoy a good night’s rest back in camp after a busy day!

Day 10 :

Its another early start with breakfast in camp, before heading to the nearby AfriCat centre.

Here we will aim to work with two of the captive cats (probably cheetah or leopard, depending on management needs) that need their annual health checks doing as part of the ongoing management of these animals. Not only is it part of the centre’s management plan, but national laws for captive animals make it a legal requirement in Namibia, ensuring that captive animals health status is monitored regularly. Your participation funds all these veterinary procedures and thus contributes to the health of these animals – thank you!

Depending on the procedures and species, you will be involved hands-on, assisting the head veterinarian with the various procedures. As for all our veterinary procedures, the patient’s health and well-being is our priority, but all being well there will no doubt be plenty of photo opportunities too…

Once we are done and our patients are safely recovering in their crates, there will be some talks of a more technical nature on captive cheetah health. These will take place at the AfriCat centre.

After another busy morning, lunch is back in camp. This will be followed by some leisure time – a time to relax after all the information and activities of the past few days!

Late afternoon we return to the AfriCat centre to release our patients back into their enclosures, and then continue on a game drive. This afternoon we will focus on locating rhino and the elusive pangolin….. but you never know what we may find….

Tonight we enjoy dinner around the camp fire with team AfriCat, a time to relax and reflect on our time here….

Enjoy a good night’s sleep.

Day 11 :

For those wanting to go out again, it’s an early start for a game drive to look for any of the species not yet spotted; for the others, it’s a rare chance to lie in and wake to the sounds of the African bush….

After breakfast, it is time at 9.00 to check out and transfer to our next lodge…. The drive is approximately 4 hours, and will give you the opportunity to take in some different Namibian landscape on route……

On arrival check in and enjoy a light lunch and spent time settling in before we head out for a late afternoon game drive. We explore a completely new area, in search of dessert adapted elusive species….. You’ll be accompanied by a knowledgeable local guide and your African Vet Safaris guide.

Doro Nawas Camp is located in the dry Aba-Huab River Valley, within the Doro !Nawas Conservancy in central Damaraland, and commands spectacular views of the Etendeka Mountains to the north and the red sandstone cliffs of Twyfelfontein in the south.

Doro Nawas rests on the edge of the dry Aba-Huab River overlooking ancient plains with glorious views of the rugged Damaraland area. The camp provides an excellent base for exploring in game drive vehicles and on foot, as well as excursions to view fascinating geological phenomena, petroglyphs – prehistoric rock engravings – and San rock art at Twyfelfontein, Namibia’s first World Heritage Site.

Accommodation comprises a mix of stone and canvas walls with wood and glass doors, shaded by a thatch roof. Each unit, designed to blend into the hillside, consists of a bedroom, en-suite bathroom (with outdoor shower) and a veranda for star gazing or sleep-outs. The main area is perched atop a rocky knoll offering unspoilt panoramic views from the indoor and outdoor dining areas, pool area, bar and a local curio area. A staircase to the flat roof leads to a place perfect for relaxing sundowners and star gazing.

Doro Nawas is a joint venture between the lodge management company, the Doro !Nawas community and a Namibian empowerment company, creating a safari experience those results in economic empowerment for the local community.

Your stay at Doro Nawas (Day 11-14) includes all meals, scheduled camp activities twice daily, park fees, laundry, Namibian VAT & Tourism Levy, and local drinks. Excluded drinks are premium imported brands and champagne.

Day 12 & 13 :

With an early morning wake-up call, your day of exploration begins.  Enjoy a light breakfast before departing on the morning activity – open to a group discussion with the local guide, but likely to be a game drive, perhaps combined with some walking. On one of the days, a geological excursion or cultural visit are also recommended.

This is a wonderful area for enjoying the dramatic Damaraland landscape. There are no large concentrations of wildlife, however, this seemingly stark environment is amazingly home to a range of wildlife, including desert-adapted elephant, gemsbok, springbok and a variety of other species such as bat-eared fox and the occasional glimpse of black rhino and cheetah. Birdlife is excellent with several Namibian endemics, such as Damara hornbill, Carp’s tit and Rüpell’s korhaan.

Return to camp for brunch/lunch and enjoy some leisure time.  Relax in the comfort of your villa with its thatched roof and latte screens to provide a cool respite from the sun, take a splash in your private plunge pool, or enjoy a quiet walk on the sandy walkways.

Tea is served at around 15H30, and then its time to head out on your afternoon guided activity. Look for species not yet seen or simply explore a new area of stark beauty….. After a break and drinks with a view, we head back to camp.

Back at camp, you will have time to freshen up before dinner.  Enjoy a nightcap before turning in for the night, under the amazing stars that will dazzle you!

Day 14 :

Enjoy an early morning game drive and breakfast and it’s now sadly time to check out to start your journey back home.  At a time to be advised by the camp management but around 10.00 you will be transferred to the airstrip for your circuit light aircraft transfer from Doro Nawas to Hosea Kutako International Airport (Windhoek).

This is another opportunity to marvel at this unique landscape, this time with a bird’s eye view….ending the safari with another amazing experience…

The safari ends in Windhoek today at Hosea Kutako International Airport.

Onward travel arrangements are for your own expense and arrangement, but please note that Brothers Safaris can assist with quotes and booking of these if required.                                                                                                 

*** END OF SERVICES**

 

Please note that due to the nature of this experience, times and plans may need to be adjusted slightly as we proceed. Please bear with us should this become necessary.

Please note the following regarding the darting/other procedure/s:

While every endeavour is made to locate and dart the animal in question, factors such as severe weather conditions or illness involving the animal, which are unpredictable, may prevent the darting from going ahead.

Every effort will be made to ensure that the client participates in the darting procedure, or similar, as laid out in the itinerary, but the animal’s welfare will not be compromised at any stage, and a procedure may have to be aborted and the animal revived in certain circumstances. This may shorten the procedure/downtime and hence the close-up experience for the client.

Brothers Safaris, its staff, and appointed agents will not be held liable for any losses incurred by a client as a result of such situations, and accept no responsibility whatsoever. Every endeavour is made to ensure the health and safety of all our clients, but any procedure with a potentially dangerous wild animal is of such a nature that certain circumstances may be beyond our control.

Should any such situation arise which leads to death or injury due to any reason whatsoever, Brothers Safaris, its staff, and appointed agents will not be held liable for any losses incurred as a direct, or indirect, result of such a situation, or our actions in such a situation.

Photos

Included

  • Flight from Johannesburg to Botswana (Maun) and all internal flights
  • Transfers as specified
  • All accommodation and meals as stipulated in the itinerary
  • All activities and entrance fees as stipulated in the itinerary
  • The services of an African Vet Safaris Wildlife Vet throughout, and the services of local guides and staff, as indicated
  • Veterinary excursions and activities
  • Donations to veterinary work as detailed
  • Tourism levies and Government VAT

 

Excluded

  • Items of a personal nature
  • Drinks (unless otherwise specified)
  • Additional excursions/activities not included in this itinerary
  • International flights (to Johannesburg and out of Windhoek)
  • Medical/travel insurance (compulsory)
  • Meals indicated as not included
  • Gratuities

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