Botswana

Travel with the Columbia Alumni Association (CAA) from March 16 to 26, 2018, on a wildlife adventure to Botswana, a destination that wraps adventure and luxury into one stunning package.

LionJoin alumni and friends as we wing our way from camp to camp on small planes. No lines, no check-in, just the cheerful hello of the pilot as he tosses your duffle in the back of your “taxi in the sky.”

Visit the Kalahari Desert and the otherworldly Makgadikgadi Salt Pans, where a glowing, white expanse of natural salt deposits creates glittering mirages that seem to reach out into the horizon endlessly. Nearby the Nxai Pans are home to an array of animal and plant life, including the giant “upside down” Baobab trees. Take in the spectacular view over the Okavango; a wetland wilderness of looping channels, islands forested with palms, and wide grassy floodplains.

Space is limited, so please contact  the Alumni Travel Study Program at (866) 325-8664 or email to travelstudy@columbia.edu for more information and to reserve your place today.

Dates & Prices

Trip Dates: March 16 - 26, 2018

Price: from $6,495 per person based upon double occupancy

Single space is  limited. If available, the single supplement is an additional $2,495. Please contact us to check single availability prior to sending your reservation, or to inquire about possible roommate options.

Optional group airfare:  $2,290 international air from New York, economy, including flights between Johannesburg & Maun, and estimated departure taxes (subject to change until time of booking.)

Itinerary:

DAYS 1/2 ~ NEW YORK/JOHANNESBURG
D’OREALE GRANDE (Meals Aloft)
Get set for your adventure as you board your overnight flight to Johannesburg, where you will be met and escorted to your hotel. Welcome to Jo’burg, as the locals say, where the vitality of South Africa’s largest city is reflected in the gleaming facades of abstract modernist skyscrapers and the mercurial flow of its financial center. Gold was discovered in the adjacent Witwatersrand area in 1886. Its nickname, “the Rand” later became the name of South Africa’s official currency. You will be staying at D’Oreale Grande which boasts luxurious accommodation, with palatial buildings set in a display of gardens, fountains and statues.

DAYS 3/4/5 ~ MAUN/MAKGADIKGADI/NXAI PANS/KHUMAGA VILLAGE
LEROO LA TAU (B,L,D Daily)
Fly to Maun and board a light aircraft to Leroo La Tau at the edge of Makgadikgadi Pans National Park, named for ancient Lake Makgadikadi, which disappeared thousands of years ago. What remains is a collection of salt pans that cover approximately 6,200 square miles due south of the Okavango Delta. The camp is situated on the banks of the Boteti River and commands superb views. Next day, drive to Nxai Pan National Park. These pans transform during the rainy season between July and October, when they fill with water and their stark whiteness becomes lush greenery. Year round, small populations of springbok, giraffe, and gemsbok can be found, but during the wet season, their numbers increase significantly, and herds of zebra and wildebeest arrive bringing with them opportunistic predators such as hyena and lion. On your last day, drive to the nearby Khumaga Village for an enlightening cultural experience. An open-air dinner with traditional storytelling will bookend your day. Your lodging at Leroo La Tau is built on the cliffs above the Boteti River which allows guests a raised vantage point resulting in spectacular wildlife sightings.

DAYS 6/7 ~ OKAVANGO DELTA
CAMP OKAVANGO (B,L,D Daily)
Fly to one of the world’s most distinctive regions and largest inland water systems, the Okavango Delta and to the exceptional Camp Okavango on the remote Nxaragha Island. Activities here center around mokoro (dugout canoe) rides, boat excursions, and walking safaris. See the delta from water level and relax as you glide through quiet, reed-lined channels. Pels Fishing Owl and Wattled Crane are observed regularly in the area. In all, more than 600 species reside within the 7000 square miles of islands, marshes, flood plains, and channels of which the Okavango is comprised. Feel the beat of Africa beneath your feet on a walking major predators such as lion, leopard, and hyena. If you are lucky, spot the elusive sitatunga antelope which have been known to sleep in the water, with only their nostrils resting above the water’s surface. Camp Okavango is situated on remote Nxaragha Island in the very heartland of the Okavango Delta and is essentially a water wilderness experience.

DAYS 8/9 ~ OKAVANGO DELTA
CAMP MOREMI (B,L,D Daily)
Fly to the elegant Camp Moremi, shaded from the African sun by a forest of ancient ebony trees. You’ll be thrilled by the excitement of tracking animals in open 4X4 vehicles and boating up channels and across lagoons, all the while viewing the goings on of the delta residents. Moremi Game Reserve supports the most diverse habitat and animal populations in Botswana, with possible sightings of wild dog, cheetah, and leopard being highlights. Resident species include lion, elephant, buffalo, hippo, giraffe, hyena, zebra, kudu, lechwe, tsessebe, and Sable and Roan antelope.

DAYS 10/11 ~ MAUN/JOHANNESBURG/NEW YORK
(B, Meals Aloft)
Enjoy a last wildlife run this morning and a hearty breakfast before flying back to Johannesburg via Maun where you connect with your overnight flight to the U.S.A., bringing home with you the memories of all the wonderful sights of Southern Africa.

B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner
Due to the nature of safari explorations, itineraries are guidelines and may change in order to maximize wildlife and natural encounters and weather conditions.

*Itinerary subject to change

What's included:

  • All flights between the camps.
  • Roundtrip flight between Johannesburg and Cape Town for guests joining the the pre-tour optional extension.
  • Flight between Victoria Falls and Johannesburg uests joining the the post-tour optional extension.
  • Superior accommodations throughout as indicated or similar.
  • All meals while on safari. Other meals as specified in itinerary.
  • All wildlife viewing by private 4X4 open vehicles, driven by professional driver/guides.
  • Professional guide will accompany the group with a minimum of 10 travelers.
  • Laundry and all local beverages during safari in Botswana except for Champagne and imported spirits.
  • Complimentary bottled water in vehicles throughout.
  • All applicable hotel and lodge taxes and gratuities for baggage handling.
  • All park entry fees and sightseeing as specified.
  • Complimentary baggage tags and passport wallet.
  • Complimentary Emergency Evacuation Insurance.

What’s not included:
International airfare; taxes; passport, visas and associated fees if required; personal expenses such as laundry (exfept as noted), internet access, and telephone calls; accident/sickness, trip cancellation, and baggage insurance; excess baggage charges on aircraft; transfers and baggage handling to/from hotel on day of arrival and/or departure if you  if you are arriving earlier or later than and/or departing earlier or later than the scheduled group transfer(s); any overnight on land due to flight schedule(s); meals, alcoholic or other beverages and all other services not specifically mentioned in the “Included Features” section of the program brochure.

Please call us toll-free at (866) 325-8664 or email us at travelstudy@columbia.edu for more details.