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Botswana and Zimbabwe – Southern Splendors

Le Figaro Evasion offers you an exceptional getaway in Botswana and Zimbabwe from September 19 to 28, 2019 accompanied by Bénédicte Menu, editor-in-chief, in charge of the Figaro Tourism division.

Blessed are the travelers who will discover Botswana and Zimbabwe, two countries which are among the most beautiful safari destinations in Africa. The Okavango Delta in particular remains the holy grail of lovers of African wildlife. This river, born in the mountains of Angola, comes to die in the Kalahari desert, north of Bostwana, without ever reaching any ocean. A geographical curiosity which explains the profusion of fauna in its delta. Recent studies have identified 444 species of birds, 122 of mammals, 71 of fish and 64 of reptiles. Hence its inclusion by Unesco in June 2014 as a World Heritage Site. During this trip, you will experience private plane flights and secluded canvas camps … all comfort. You will also discover endearing populations and overwhelming landscapes. An unforgettable stay.

Trip program:

DAY 1: PARIS – JOHANNESBURG – MAUN

DAY 2: MAUN – OKAVANGO DELTA

DAY 3: OKAVANGO DELTA

DAY 4: OKAVANGO – KASANE – CHOBE NATIONAL PARK

DAY 5: CHOBE – VICTORIA FALLS

DAY 6: VICTORIA FALLS

DAY 7: VICTORIA FALLS – HWANGE NATIONAL PARK

DAY 8: HWANGE NATIONAL PARK

JOUR 9: HWANGE – VICTORIA FALLS – JOHANNESBURG

DAY 10: JOHANNESBURG

The Figaro Privileges:

  • Two conferences by Bénédicte Menu on Africa.
  • Safaris in mokoros (traditional canoes) and 4×4 in the Moremi reserve and in the heart of the Okavango Delta.
  • Visit of Chobe National Park and its huge herds of elephants.
  • Victoria Falls tour on foot.
  • A dinner around a boma under the stars.
  • Visit of Hwange National Park in Zimbabwe in the footsteps of hippos, lions, leopards.
  • Figaro support
Cruise

Bénédicte Menu

Editor-in-chief, in charge of the Figaro Tourism department

Detailed program:

DAY 1 – THURSDAY SEPTEMBER 19: PARIS – JOHANNESBURG – MAUN

Meet at Roissy-Charles-de-Gaulle airport.

• 11:20 pm – Take off to Johannesburg on an Air France flight.

DAY 2 – FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 20: MAUN – OKAVANGO DELTA

• 09.55 am – Arrival in Johannesburg.

• 11:45 am – Take off to Maun on South African Airways flight.

• 1:15 p.m. – Arrival in Maun.

Air taxi flight between Maun and the Okavango Delta and photo safari in the Moremi reserve.

Once you arrive at Maun airport, at the south-eastern tip of the delta, it’s the start of the Out of Africa-style adventure: you will board a plane-taxi. You will fly over the extraordinary Okavango Delta, the largest oasis in all of Africa, which covers 10,000 to 15,000 km2 depending on the season. You will land on the Xakanaxa Trail in the Moremi Reserve. This nature reserve, which borders the east bank of the delta over nearly 5,000 km2, is the ideal theater for observing animals. Access roads are scarce, entry strictly controlled, and on-site accommodation limited. You will be driven to your first camp, on the shores of Xakanaxa Lagoon and Khwai River. An idyllic setting imbued with great authenticity. After some free time, you will leave at the end of the day, when the light is the most beautiful, for a safari in 4×4 (or in mokoros, traditional canoes) in this private concession. The Moremi Game Reserve covers a third of the Okavango Delta. It offers very contrasting landscapes (large dry expanses, vast wetlands, mopane forests). It is inhabited by the Big Five (lions, leopards, buffaloes, elephants, rhinos) and is also home to two endangered species: Lechwe kob and wild dog.

Installation for 2 nights at Xakanaxa Camp 4 *.

184905868 / jtplatt – stock.adobe.com

DAY 3 – SATURDAY SEPTEMBER 21: OKAVANGO DELTA

After a first night in the bush, you will get up early to go and observe, aboard the traditional canoes, the aquatic life at dawn – abundant poultry fauna, hippos – when it is of rare intensity. Local guides know how to spot them by the bubbles they make when they are immersed. But your shipment will be safe!

You will then return to the camp and start to take the tempo of your African days: it will be time for lunch and then to take a nap while listening to the savannah grilling under the hot midday sun.

Mokoro safari in the delta.

A little later in the afternoon, a new 4×4 safari is offered to you to find other animals. It is also an opportunity to observe the work of the rangers constantly on the lookout for new traces and always in contact with each other so as not to miss anything of the great spectacle of wild life: here, a family of lions in full force; elsewhere, a herd of elephants come to quench their thirst.

Your dinner will be served to you under the stars.

DAY 4 – SUNDAY SEPTEMBER 22: OKAVANGO – KASANE – CHOBE NATIONAL PARK

Flight between Moremi and Kasane by plane taxi and cruise on the Chobe river.

In the morning, you will leave the Moremi reserve to head by small carrier plane to Kasane. You will then be very close to the “Four Corners” of Africa, where four countries are neighbors: Botswana, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe. From there you will go to Chobe National Park. Covering an area of ​​11,000 km2, permanently fed to the north by its eponymous river, it was the first national park in the country to officially open in 1968. You will discover your second lodge there: the Cresta Mowana Safari Lodge 4 *. In the north-eastern part of Botswana, this national park hosts many hippos and crocodiles on the river during the day, while the surrounding forest is home to giraffes, zebras, lions, leopards … The area is mainly made up of shrub savannah (mopane bushes , acacias, Kalahari apple trees), but you will also find areas of forest along rivers and large marshes covered with reeds. After lunch at the lodge, you will depart for a boat cruise on the Chobe River. Its banks attract many animals: elephants, giraffes, zebras, buffaloes, impalas and wildebeest, without forgetting in the sky, the vociferous eagle which utters its cry as it dives to catch a fish.

DAY 5 – MONDAY 23 SEPTEMBER: CHOBE – VICTORIA FALLS

You have to get up early in Africa to make the most of the spectacle of nature. The departure will therefore be early – by 4×4 or by boat – for a photo safari in Chobe National Park. The plains of Savuti (less frequented), the impressive marshes of Linyanti and the forests of mopanes of Ngwezumba form a large panel of ecosystems explaining the diversity of the fauna.

After this intense morning, your journey will continue to Victoria Falls. Lunch will take place at the Makuwa Makuwa restaurant and the rest of the afternoon will be free to let you discover this extraordinary site and settle in at the Victoria Falls Safari Suites 5 *, one of the most beautiful establishments in the country. Victoria Falls stretches for 1.7 km and is 108 m high at its highest point. Their discovery dates back to 1855, when David Livingstone – a Scottish physician, missionary and explorer – embarked on a wild expedition across the African continent. He named the site after British Queen Victoria, but before his arrival the locals called the site Mosi-oa-Tunya, “the smoke that thunders.” Livingstone’s discovery of the falls quickly attracted visitors, traders and businessmen. The town of Old Drift was soon founded on the Zambian side, before being moved to present-day Livingstone in Zambia.

DAY 6 – TUESDAY SEPTEMBER 24 – VICTORIA FALLS

Tour of the falls on foot.

You will walk around the falls, Zimbabwe side, at the most spectacular place. Indeed, two thirds of the falls are located there, and in particular the thunderous main cataract which pours out throughout the year. We discover the whole from a path at the top of the gorge, punctuated by belvederes with breathtaking views. Lunch will take place at the Lookout Café, a beautiful location overlooking the Batoka Gorge, where you will enjoy a wide panorama. In the afternoon, you will have free time for a little rest or other activities. In the early evening, you will experience a boma, an outdoor dinner around a large campfire, accompanied by traditional dances and songs. Boma dinner with show.

Marek Poplawski / Marek – stock.adobe.com

DAY 7 – WEDNESDAY SEPTEMBER 25: VICTORIA FALLS – HWANGE NATIONAL PARK

You will leave Victoria Falls to reach Hwange National Park in Zimbabwe. Hwange National Park covers 14,620 km2. It boasts of being home to 100 species of mammals, including 19 large herbivores such as buffaloes, and over 400 species of birds. The region is particularly famous for its elephant population, estimated at 44,000 units. After the creation of 60 artificial water points, Hwange has effectively become one of the areas of great concentration of animals in southern Africa. The park hit the headlines in 2015 when it became known that an American had hunted down the notorious thirteen-year-old black-maned lion Cecil. You will join the 4 * Hide Lodge for 2 nights. You can have lunch here, rest a little, and set off again for your afternoon game drive in a 4×4 vehicle.

DAY 8 – THURSDAY SEPTEMBER 26: HWANGE NATIONAL PARK

After your morning tea, you will leave for the first safari of the day. While traversing the park, you will certainly have the chance to see the buffaloes basking in the mud, the impalas scamper with grace, and the zebras graze peacefully, the ears always on the lookout. You will return to the lodge for lunch followed by a moment of relaxation to enjoy the swimming pool during the hottest hours of the day. Fine connoisseurs of the reserve, your rangers will take you for the afternoon safari to approach lions, leopards, hippos or elephants in their natural environment. At sunset, you will sacrifice to the very British tradition of sundowners: we stop in the bush at a well-chosen place. Usually, several 4x4s from the same group come together, and the rangers take out the trunks of glasses, cold drinks and small canapes, for an unforgettable aperitif, while the horizon blazes and the scents and sounds of the night of the bush …

DAY 9 – FRIDAY SEPTEMBER 27: HWANGE – VICTORIA FALLS – JOHANNESBURG

After leaving your last camp, you will reach Victoria Falls Airport by road.

• 13:55: Take off from Victoria Falls on a British Airways flight.

• 3.35 pm: Arrival in Johannesburg.

• 6:50 p.m .: Take off for Roissy-Charles-de-Gaulle on Air France flight.

DAY 10 – SATURDAY SEPTEMBER 28: JOHANNESBURG – PARIS

• 5:40 am: Arrival in Paris Roissy-Charles-de-Gaulle.

142834490/Anna – stock.adobe.com

More information by phone: 01 57 08 70 02

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