FAQ’s & GUEST INFORMATION.
Okavango Elephant Camp is situated in a remote area on the northern fringes of the Okavango Delta. The camp is situated in NG12 a 120,000 hectare concession with iconic landscape and a variety of wildlife
5 18° 49’31.94 E22° 36′ 21.0
THE OKAVANGO DELTA
Botswana’s magnificent Okavango Delta consists of floodplains, savannah, islands a maze of lagoons and channels covering an area of over 16,000 square km in flood and shrinking to less than 9,000 square km in the dry season.
Trapped in the parched Kalahari sands the freshwater oasis attracts a variety of wildlife that depends on the permanent waters of this unique wilderness.
Winter: April- September
In the Okavango Delta winter occurs from April to September. Days are generally dry, sunny, clear and cool to warm whilst in the evening temperatures can drop sharply. During the day temperatures generally reach 25°C and evening temperatures can be as low as 2°C. In some dry areas the temperature can plummet below freezing. Virtually no rainfall occurs during the winter months.
Summer: September – April
In the Okavango Delta the summer starts with temperatures building in October and ends in March with the onset of the dry season. In October before the rains, days are hot and with dry temperatures soaring up to 40°C or more. Cloud cover, coinciding with the arrival of the first rains towards the end of November or in early December, reduces the temperature considerably, albeit only for a short period. During the rainy season, which usually lasts until the end of February, the days are hot and sunny in the mornings with thunderstorms, usually in short, torrential downpours during the late afternoon. Temperatures during the day can rise to 38°C and night time temperatures can drop to around 20°C. Rainfall is erratic, unpredictable and highly regional. Heavy downpours may occur in one area while 10 or 15 kilometres away there is no rain at all. Showers are often followed by sunshine so a great amount of the rainfall does not penetrate the ground, as it is lost to evaporation and transpiration.
The Okavango Delta is best known as a photographic safari destination and offers some of the best unspoilt vistas in Africa. With a variety of habitats and ever abundant water, the Okavango Delta provides the photographer with a wealth of photographic subjects, dramatic landscapes, herds of plain’s game and spectacular birdlife.
Temperature (°C) Rainfall (mm)
|Jan: 19/32||Jan: 110|
|Feb: 19/31||Feb: 80|
|Mar: 18/31||Mar: 70|
|Apr: 14/31||Apr: 25|
|May: 9/28||May: 7|
|Jun: 6/25||Jun: 3|
|Jul: 6/25||Jul: 0|
|Aug: 9/28||Aug: 0|
|Sep: 13/33||Sep: 0|
|Oct: 18/35||Oct: 30|
|Nov: 19/34||Nov: SO|
|Dec: 19/32||Dec: 95|
• Mokoro (canoe)
• Motorised boating trips
• Game drives
• Guided nature walks
• Exceptional bird watching opportunities
Suggested Daily Activity Schedule:
Winter & Summer
05h30 – Early morning wakeup call
06h00 – Light breakfast in the dining area
06h30 – Leave for morning activity (approximately 3-4 hours)
09h30 – A packed breakfast with tea and coffee is served in the bush
13h00 – Lunch in the dining area. Should guests opt for a full day activity we will prepare a bush lunch at a scenic spot for you to enjoy.
16h00 – High Tea in the dining area.
16h30 – Depart for afternoon activity (approximately 1,5 hours)
18h00 – Arrive back at lodge
19h30 – Dinner in the dining area
All game-viewing activities are conducted by experienced professional guides who will navigate guests while they explore the Okavango by canoe (mokoro, motorboat and game drive vehicles.
Switch off and Tune In
Being on an African safari is the perfect time to disconnect from the busy lifestyle you lead at home and fully embrace being in one of the last Edens in Africa. You will embark on an early morning game drive where you can take some time out to listen to the sounds that surround you and breathe in the scent of the bush. We recommend tuning out completely and turning your phone onto airplane mode, making use of your camera function only throughout your trip.
When and What Game Drive to do
As animals stick to their own schedules, the best game viewing is either at first light and around dusk. Even if you’re not a morning person, it is always good to motivate yourself to wake up early for a game drive as this is often the best time of day for sighting predators.
Safety and Security
Our professional and knowledgeable guides have the experience to not only spot animals but to keep you safe and out of harm’s way at all times. We ask that you pay attention to your guide’s safety briefing and refrain from leaning over the sides of the vehicle or leaving the vehicle at any time, unless given instructions by your guide. Remember to keep your voice tones down so as to not disturb animals and other guests.
Being comfortable on your game drive is important as it can last for up to 4 hours.
• We suggest having the following on hand whilst on safari:
• Neutral colour clothing to fit in with your surroundings.
• A warm layer for the early morning and late evening drives. Blankets are provided in the early mornings to keep you warm, but we do suggest you dress accordingly too.
• Comfortable walking shoes.
• Head protection in the form of a wide brimmed hat in the summer and a warm hat or beanie in the winter.
• Sunblock and sunglasses to protect your face from the African sun.
• A good camera with a spare pack of batteries, just in case.
• Good quality binoculars ideally one pair for each person (there is a lot to see)
• A bag that can seal to hold all your belongings on the drive.
Teaming up with your Guide
Feel free to engage with your gUide at any time and to ask as many questions as you would like to. Point out anything you may see when you’re an the move as your guide will be focused on the road. Whilst on safari, nothing is too much trouble for our guides who love meeting new guests and sharing their wildlife experiences with them. They will be happy to help you check off ‘The Okavango Elephant Camp Species Checklist” which features all the birds and wildlife in the area.
The Okavango Delta is famous for its large elephant population, buffalo herds, painted dogs and much more. However, no game drive guarantees you will see everything, and this is part of the experience. Our guides will use their tracking skills and do their best to find the animals you wish to see, whilst you enjoy the scenic landscapes.
A game drive takes place in a wild and foreign environment and it can be a little scary on your first drive. If you have any concerns that you think may impact your experience, it is best to communicate these to your guide or the camp manager. They will change things if needed to ensure you feel comfortable throughout your stay at the camp.
Walking in the bush that the very creatures you are observing is as enlightening as it is exciting, and there is much to observe. Follow your guide in single file on your walk. Along the way, you will get the chance to learn about the smaller details in the environment and the smaller creatures that are often overlooked when on a game drive. Although though less ground is covered on foot, you still stand a chance of seeing elephants, antelopes and other wildlife. There are five simple rules that we talk guests through before each walk.
Walk in single file -this means that both the lead and back-up rifle have gone before the guests and should spot any danger that may be ahead. It also means that we are seen as one mass unit rather than a herd that can easily be split.
Stay behind the rifles at all times. I often get asked why we walk with both armed guides at the front. Simply put, this is where the danger is most likely to come from. With this in mind, it’s useful to have an extra pair of eyes and a rifle up front rather than at the back.
Silence is golden
Walk in silence. Enjoy the peace and quiet of the bush. The quieter you are on a walk, the more likely you are to see animals, and it’s important so that you can hear any danger that may be up ahead.
Listen and obey
Obey the guide’s commands immediately.
Whatever you do, don’t run. Running in an encounter is the worst thing to do. Even unthreatening situations can be escalated as soon as somebody runs, by running you will be identified as prey by predators.
All guides have a valid specialist guide’s licence. In addition, they have grown up in the Delta and have years of experience negotiating the Delta waters and a good knowledge of the wildlife and the area. The Head Poler will give the guests a detailed brief on safety and what to expect on the trip. The Head Paler will take the lead, and will not put you in a dangerous situation. If you encounter elephant’s, hippo’s or other potentially dangerous animals remember your poler will provide the animal enough space to ensure the animals comfort zone is not compromised.
HELICOPTER SCENIC FLIGHT
Our scenic/photography flights are an opportunity not to miss. Moments after departing you’ll enjoy the breath-taking views seen only from a helicopter. Experience the crystal-clear water channels meandering their way through lagoons, while journeying deep into the lush green flood plains to explore the abundant wildlife of the Okavango region. We take the doors off for an even better photographic experience while flying over some of the most remote, uninhabited and wild areas of the Okavango Delta.
Scenic flights are conducted any time of day, with keen photographers usually preferring the early morning or late afternoon. While some guests prefer flying during the siesta period in order to not miss other camp activities. We have a designated landing area on the outside, northern edge of the camp, and we offer scenic chopper flights with Helicopter Horizons. Our guides have been briefed on the safety protocols of approaching the helicopter.
Air – Kadizora airstrip is served by Mack Air, Major Blue Air, Air Shakawe.
Aircraft from Maun International Airport (IATA:MUB) as well as Kasane International Airport (lATA: BBK)
Airstrip GPS Co-ordinates: 518 54 72.9 E22 35 37.41
The airstrip is a CAAB licensed Class B airstrip and can accommodate aircraft up to MAUW S700kg’s (Cessna Caravan)
Airstrip length: 1100m
Please note there is a limit of 20kg’s per person (including hand luggage) in SOFT BAGS (No hard bags or soft bags with hard wheel bases allowed e.g.: Samsonite’s). Kadizora Airstrip to Okavango Elephant Camp is a 40 minute journey consisting of a short drive, a short boat ride and a final drive to the camp. During the flood season it is mostly a scenic boat trip into camp.
To/from Maun: 40 minutes
To/from Kasane: 90 minutes
8 Meru style safari tents consisting of
• 8 x twin bedded tents
• 2 Chalets
• 2 Suites (known as the Tau and Kubu – ideal for honeymooners or families)
• 1 x guide/pilot tent
• The camp can accommodate a maximum of 16 guests
Guest room details
• Comfortable Meru style safari tents on raised platforms
• En-suite bathroom comprising of a double shower, hand basin and toilet
• nov Plug points for charging equipment
• A range of soaps, conditioning shampoo, hand wash, body lotion with insect repellent and shower caps are supplied in each room
• A safe is available in the office for valuables
Camp Description Chalets and Tents
The accommodations are hidden in the tree line along a channel with flood plain views for each accommodation unit.
Main Lodge Building
• Features a dining area, a bar, a lounge and library under a large thatch and wooden pole structure overlooking a nearby lagoon.
• A plunge pool for cooling off during the hot midday hours.
• An open air boma where you can enjoy a sunset drink around the fire and later some night sky star gazing.
Electricity & Water
Okavango Elephant Camp operates on AC 220V solar power which is available day and night. Guest accommodation is equipped with 2 x 220-volt AC plug which is suitable for the recharging of camera and video batteries. The generator is only used to supplement the Solar system when sufficient energy has been supplied to the batteries due to cloudy conditions.
Water Sources Surface Water
Water reticulation through the camp and for guest use is pumped from the adjacent lagoon. There is sufficient surface water during the flood season
Water Sources Borehole or Groundwater
During the time of the year when the flood has subsided, we pump water from shallow well points.
Water Treatment Systems
During the redevelopment of the camp, we conducted water tests to ensure the water is safe for reticulation through the camp and for guest use. We do conduct an Annual water tests. Treating the water before reticulation to guest rooms and staff accommodation is mandatory (unless water results indicate that the
water is safe to drink directly). The quality of the water at Okavango Elephant Camp is safe to drink, we do however offer a cooler with reverse osmosis water in the common area.
The simplest treatment is an activated carbon and sand filter, which is the most common form of treating drinking water. The sand filter removes particulate matter, whilst the charcoal/carbon filter removes some particulate matter and absorbs dissolved organic and inorganic cOllstituents. After the charcoal and sand
filters, chlorination should follow if required depending on the quality of the water, so as to reduce the bacterial loads in the water.
Chlorine does pose a negative impact on natural systems and so newer technologies that do not use chlorine should be investigated and preferably used. With the above mentioned system using chlorine is a last resort. Okavango Elephant Camp does not need to use Chlorine because of the good quality of the water.
A detailed map of the water reticulation map for the camp is available in the office. It includes positions of all pumps (from source to storage and reticulation to camps and staff accommodation), valves, t-pieces and unions. This will allow for better maintenance and improved understanding of the water reticulation system in place when new staff joins the camp. Monthly checks are to be made along the reticulation routes so to ensure no leaks occur. Monthly checks on the water consumption will also help in identifying possible leaks
due to unusually high-water use. During the dry season we look for green areas along the reticulation route as they may indicate a leak.
Reverse Osmosis (RO)
Reverse Osmosis is a process that cleans water to the extent that all pathogens, bacteria, and dissolved minerals are removed and for the most part only allows the H20 molecule to pass through the system, producing purified water. This system is in the dispensing water cooler in the dining area. This not only reduces the carbon footprint due to reduced deliveries, but also reduces the petroleum needed to produce plastic bottles as well as the amount of plastic waste. Guests can then fill their reusable bottles from these dispensing units. RO systems do require regular maintenance and depending on the quality of water require regular changing of the film that purifies the water.
Laundry is done on a daily basis and inclusive in the nightly rate.
Tipping is at your own discretion.
Our suggested guideline is:
• US$ 5.00 per person per day for General Camp Staff which goes into a central tipping box situated at the bar.
• US$ 5 per person per day to the mokoro polers.
• US$ 10.00 per person per day to the Guide.
It is preferred for the guests to pay the tips directly to the guides and place the general staff tip into the tipping box at the bar. We have envelopes in the office if your guide is unavailable at the time of tipping, please place the tip in an envelope with the guides name written on it and place the envelope in the tipping box. The staff complement consists of 16 staff members.
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Book your 3 night stay with us now and get one night extra on us. There's so much to do here, you'd want to stay a 4th night!
This offer is valid until 30 April 2020.
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Follow our stories from the Okavango Delta. Life in the African bush is exciting and there are always something interesting that takes place. Read about sightings, changes at camp, stories from the guides and feedback from our conservation partners on their wins to conserve the Okavango's habitat and beautiful wildlife.