African Adventure in Botswana
November 7th - 15th, 2020
New Trip Dates for 2021 TBA
A soul-sating Southern African Safari
Immerse yourself in an all-encompassing, soul sating Southern African safari set in Botswana. Buy or borrow the best camera around and prepare for 24-hours of epic game viewing where the big five abounds with twice-daily game drives on land and on the river. Your stays vary from the eco-luxe Chobe Game Lodge which employs the only all-female guiding team in all of Botswana to the bush boys of Botswana and Letaka’s premier mobile safaris. With Letaka you are sure to get off the grid and dive deep into an authentic African safari experience. Expect bucket showers, being serenaded to sleep by the roar of the wild and five-course meals including fresh bread baked daily. The meals are as much of a feast as the experience itself. Your rustic chic retreat at Gomoti Plains is the pitch-perfect finish to this epic trip.
November 7-15, 2020
Price: $6,780 USD
Group Size: 10-13
Deadline to book: February 15th, 2020
New Dates for the Botswana Trip 2021 TBA - Email us ASAP to Secure Your Spot
About the Trip
This all-women African safari adventure was meticulously planned by Karen Loftus together with the esteemed team at Revealing Africa, a boutique safari company based in Botswana. It’s the same team behind long-running Letaka Safaris who’s TV show, The Safari Brothers, aired on Nat Geo TV.
This bespoke approach will have you staying in seductive camps where the game viewing can be done from the edge of a deck in between twice-daily game drives. Chilled sundowners, epic sunsets and spirited conversations around the fire and under the stars are simply second nature as is the seamless service. Impassioned guides, empowering talks and local women are sure to inspire.
(Space is severely limited in any African bush property. Best to commit as early as possible to ensure space.)
Dates - November 7th - 15th, 2020
New Botswana Trip Dates for 2021 TBA
Days - 9 Days/8 Nights
Size - Minimum of 10, Maximum of 13
Style - Rustic Chic Wildlife & Adventure
Needs - 20% nonrefundable deposit to hold.
Deadline to book - February 15th, 2020 or ASAP (African safari lodges are very small with extremely limited availability and book up quickly. First-come bases.)
Treats - Only all-female guide team in Botswana
Accommodations - Premier Safari Camp & Rustic Chic Safari Lodges
Host- Karen Loftus
Fees - $6,780 USD
Day to Day Itinerary
Day 1 and 2 | November 7th & 8th, 2020
Chobe National Park
Your safari begins with the legendary Chobe National Park, an area renowned for its large elephant population and excellent wildlife sightings. What makes your stay here so unique is that Chobe Game Lodge, your chosen accommodation for the first two nights in Botswana, employs the only all-female guiding team in all of Botswana.
You’ll notice that Chobe Game Lodge also takes its environmental responsibilities very seriously. It is the only lodge in Botswana to use electric game-viewing vehicles and boats (rather than the traditional diesel and petrol-powered craft used elsewhere) and the reduced noise emphasizes the serenity of the wilderness.
You will enjoy the opportunity to head out on both these modes of transport with your guide both by land into Chobe National Park and also onto the Chobe River where you might be lucky enough to see the elephants enjoying a swim.
Day 3 & 4 | November 9th & 10th, 2020
Departing Chobe Game Lodge you will return to Kasane Airport for the fixed-wing charter flight of around 50 minutes over the vast Chobe National Park and into Khwai Concession to meet your Letaka guide. The Khwai concession is a community-run wildlife management area and, due to its location nestled between the Chobe National Park and Moremi Game Reserve – both unfenced protected areas – the abundance of wildlife is phenomenal.
The added draw of this area as a concession, rather than a government-run park or reserve is that night driving and guided walks are permitted. Additional activities include a traditional mokoro (a dugout canoe) where you will glide silently and seamlessly through the reeds, in an almost spiritual form of travel giving you a more intimate and immersive perspective on your wild surroundings.
You have two nights to explore this area with your Letaka Safaris guide who will ensure that any qualms you may have about camping are quickly put at ease. Letaka Safaris is a premier mobile safari company offering comfort-camping without losing the authenticity of being in the wilderness.
These tours are non-participation – meaning a crew of staff erect and dismantle both guest and mess tents when moving camps and serving meals, a three-course affair served under an incredible African night sky. Your tents are 4x3m with solid base beds and an ensuite bush bathroom. Staff will have hot water showers available upon their request. This is truly a rustic chic retreat, an experience of a lifetime.
The sites used have no permanent structures. So, all aspects of the camp are brought in with us. When we leave camp, not a single trace is left behind. The only imprint is the one that stays with you long after you’ve left.
Day 5 & 6 | November 11th-12th, 2020
Moremi Game Reserve
Your day between Khwai Concession and the Moremi Game Reserve will be a full day’s drive in order to give your crew time to move the camp. You will have the opportunity to see the change in habitat as you drive between the areas enjoying several stops along the way for snacks and lunch.
This Game Reserve (note game Reserve rather than National Park – allowing local residents to remain living within the boundaries) was the first reserve in Africa to be established by the residents rather than the Government. The Batawana tribe, led my Mrs. Moremi, the deceased Chief Moremi III’s wife, initiated the move to protect this area in the 1960’s due to their concern about the rapid depletion of wildlife on their ancestral lands because of uncontrolled hunting and cattle encroachment.
Day 7 & 8 | November 13th & 14th, 2020
After saying farewell to your Letaka Safaris guide, you will hop on a plane for the short flight to Gomoti Plains. Gomoti Plains camp offers extensive land and water activities with incredible diversity of fauna. The wildlife viewing in the area, both from vehicle or boat, is superb with wild dog dens, large prides of lions, recent sightings of leopard and cheetah as well as plenty of other wildlife. The camp itself is located just 18 km from Chitabe Camp and is named after the Gomoti River situated nearby with roaming flood plains based on either side of the camp strewn with towering palm trees.
Day 9 | November 15th, 2020
Gomoti Plains - Maun
You will have time for a final, short morning game drive on the way to the airstrip before flying into the frontier town of Maun. Here, you will have lunch and the chance to meet with some of the inspiring women from a local women’s group doing some groundbreaking work with women in the community in Maun. After a short presentation, you will be able to discuss any topics with them before you say goodbye to Botswana.
Until we travel together again...
Accommodations vary from the iconic eco luxury at the Chobe Game Lodge to the rustic ambiance in the bush with Letaka and the effortlessly chic enclave at Gromoti Plains.
Chobe Game Lodge
Chobe’s five-star, fully ecotourism certified safari lodge is the one and only lodge located within the Chobe National Park. Chobe guests get first dibs on early morning sightings as they get to venture into the park one hour before anyone else arrives. The abundant game viewing is land and water based and can continue in a leisurely manner once back at the lodge while lounging on the viewing deck and boardwalk. The lodge is staffed with the only all female guide team in all of Botswana.
Letaka Safaris Premier Mobile Camp
If you truly want to get off the grid, Letaka Safaris premier mobile camp is sure to give you that necessary reset with a few days of living in the bush. Dinner is served under a blanket of stars and stories are shared around a roaring fire at night..
Your African adventure is complete after a few chic sleeps in one of the ten luxury tents at Gomoti Plains. Game drives, guided safari walks, boating and mokoro safaris are all available as is dining and sundowners in the lovely lounges and dining areas. Your private veranda is the pitch perfect place to count your lucky stars...
*All images of Botswana are courtesy of Karen Loftus, except for accommodations.
Accommodations, Rates, Availability
SHARED ACCOMMODATION: $6,780 USD
A 20% non-refundable deposit is required to hold your spot on this once-in-a-lifetime adventure.
Deadline to book - March 2nd, 2020 or before. Space in lodges is very limited in Africa. It's a first-come basis.
Please note: Payment must be made in full 90 days prior to the date of departure.
Our exclusive program welcomes a maximum of 13 travelers with a minimum capacity at 10.
New Dates, Deadlines and Prices for WAT's Botswana Trip 2021 TBA - Email us ASAP to Secure Your Spot!
Hover over the image below to see the full BIO on Your Host, Karen Loftus
Karen Loftus - Adventuress in Chief
Prior to her journalistic endeavors, the award-winning playwright and Tennessee Williams Fellow cut her travel teeth as an international comedian.
‘Lofty’, as she is globally known, toured The US, Middle East, Europe and Asia entertaining the troops and international audiences at military bases (US military in Korea with MWR), comedy clubs around the world (Comedy Cafe in Amsterdam & The Comedy Store in London) at theaters (La Goya in Barcelona, Ars Nova in NY), festivals (Edinburgh Fringe Festival & Singapore Comedy Festival), hotels (Raffles Hotel in Singapore, The Crown Plaza in Abu Dhabi) ), colleges (Sewanee, University of the South in Tennessee, Arkansas State University), conferences (WITI - Women in Technology in San Francisco) and at several private clubs (American Club in Hong Kong & in American Club in Singapore) and at corporate (Sony, Microsoft, Tyco Toys & Ford) events throughout the world.
After ten years of juggling her groundbreaking global tours together with her non-profit program, The Body Comedy Project, (sponsored by Comedy Central) where she used humor to heal, both survivors of violence and domestic violence offenders, in several shelters in LA and in LA jails, Lofty took a break and worked as an entertainment reporter interviewing film, TV and reality stars. One year on Hollywood’s raging red carpet later, had her running for the global door.
As a travel, luxury lifestyle & adventure writer, Karen has since written thousands of articles for 90+ media outlets including Vogue, Architectural Digest, American Way, Hemispheres Magazine, Forbes, Robb Report, NY Daily News, The Globe & Mail (Canada), South China Morning Post (Hong Kong), The Gulf News (Dubai) Grazia Magazine (US & UK), NUVO Magazine (Canada), Lucire (New Zealand), New Woman (Australia), Men’s Fitness, Men’s Journal, AskMen, InsideHook, Travel Weekly, Huffington Post, Food & Beverage Magazine, Societe Perrier, Zink Magazine and Sherman's Travels among others.
This savvy traveler has been to all seven continents and 70 countries and counting. Today she speaks at conferences around the world about women and travel, the transformative power of travel, empowerment travel and trends in travel, be it luxury, adventure, solo or women’s travel.
She created and co-hosts #WATC - Women’s Adventure Travel Chat on Twitter, a Twitter chat garnering as many as 10 million impressions in the hour and she runs travel (From the Path to the Page) and creative writing (One Voice & What’s So Funny?) workshops.
She also co-created & co-hosts ReVerbs a live storytelling platform for the global travel, adventure and apparel industry, a vibrant conference alternative where executives, and industry leaders break from tradition and tell a personal tale versus a corporate story.
Karen is very excited to be launching her company, Women’s Adventure Travels, and to be leading her female-driven trips. It’s a full circle moment, one long in the making, a marriage of her many interests and experiences with itineraries based on many of her favorite places, people, and passions. The unique elements of the trips reflect Karen's varied background.
Her all-female trips have a feminine thread throughout as she and guests will be visiting top women tastemakers, the women of distinction and influence in each market, be it a hotelier, chef, artisan, athlete and or a village woman defying the local or global odds.
There’s also a storytelling component with women speakers and or storytellers. It is seamlessly woven into the trips with women and a few good men speaking over dinner, drinks or by the fire sharing their triumphs and tales. Karen and guests may tell a tale or two as well.
Last, there is a community immersion element with authentic interaction with local women and children, where they visit the villages, schools, co-ops and workplaces to share an activity, an experience, a meal and a moment with the local women to get a genuine look into their lives. It’s about digging the hands into the sand.
Set in stunning landscapes, the trips will also provide a mad mix of outdoor and adventure activity at various levels throughout. Their stays will be in top spots that showcase exceptional local artisans, food, and beverages as well as an element of wellness. No two itineraries will ever be alike and you will be hard-pressed to find anything quite like it online.
For more information on Karen, go to her LinkedIn profile, email her directly with any questions or simply click on one of her social media pages below to follow her on The Global Road.
Karen in Bostwana
Photo Credit for Gallery: Karen Loftus
Your Tour Operator
Revealing Africa was founded by Geraldine Gifford together with brothers, Brent and Grant Reed with whom Geraldine Gifford has worked for the past 12 years at Letaka Safaris.
Brent was born in the foothills of the Magaliesberg mountains in South Africa where he was raised with a love of nature and all things African. After a fairly brief career in the IT field, his love of nature led him to the an infinitely more rewarding career as a professional guide. He is a founding director of Letaka Safaris and has been guiding full-time for sixteen years. Although he is permanently based in the Okavango Delta in Botswana he has led trips to Namibia, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Malawi, Mozambique and Madagascar as well as his native South Africa. Brent is also a director of Okavango Guiding School, the first privately operated guide training school in Botswana. Brent lives outside Maun on the banks of the Thamalakane River with his wife Ashleigh and his two sons, Jarryd and Troy.
Born in the Magaliesberg mountains in 1974, Grant was raised with a love for birds, snakes and all things African. A consummate naturalist, Grant’s interests include such diverse subjects as dragonflies, birds, butterflies and wildflowers. He is widely considered to be one of Botswana’s top guides and holds two post-graduate degrees in Nature Conservation as well as the FGASA (Field Guides Association of Southern Africa) Level III certificate and a number of specialist qualifications. He is also a founding director of Letaka Safaris, Revealing Africa and of Okavango Guiding School. Grant lives outside Maun on the banks of the Thamalakane River with his wife Trudi and his sons, Merrick and Ross.
Although born in the UK, Geraldine has had one foot in Africa since childhood with regular trips to Botswana to visit her family from the age of three, which instilled not just a love of Botswana and Africa, but of travelling in general. She has spent time in a host of destinations from Ethiopia to Borneo and a fair few in between. She finally made Botswana her home 11 years ago when she joined forces with Brent and Grant Reed, initially tasked with running the office whilst they were guiding but also more importantly ensuring that they got home in one piece. She is co-owner and director of Revealing Africa and lives in Maun with her husband and two boys, Freddie and Jack.
This trip is a very special trip one so much so that I wish was a bit sooner on the schedule because I can’t wait to do this trip again. There are several reasons why I love this adventure. For starters, if you are a camping gal, this trip is going to blow your mind. If you are not a camping gal, like me, this is a big leap, one that may seem daunting at first, but so exciting throughout.
In my background, there is not a lot of camping. Okay, there’s none. However, as a travel writer, I have been privy to some pretty exotic spots in the middle of nowhere, from Antarctica to Jordan’s Wadi Rum to the Welsh countryside among other spots where I did camp, glamp and or something in between. But I do not have any history of personally pitching any tents in my past.
Years ago when I was planning a month long trip on my own alone to Southern Africa I was working with a safari company in the planning of the trip. Letaka Safaris tented camps were highly recommended to me as I was told that I had done too many posh trips to Africa and I was in need of a more immersive experience to round out my African experiences.
I trusted my planner and signed up for this in the middle of a bigger Botswana trip with lodge stays on both ends in the Okavango Delta on the front end and at a lodge on the back end near Maun before continuing on to Namibia for another trip. That’s exactly how I designed this Botswana safari experience. We will start in a lodge for a few days on safari in Botswana and will finish off in a stunning safari camp on the back end as well.
As far as that delicious middle, it’s an incredible experience. One that is truly off the grid. We stay in rustic, yet incredibly comfortable tents that are personally pitched by the Letaka crew. Every single thing imaginable is handled by the crew.
You will be spoiled and properly looked after in this rustic-luxe experience. They will set up all of the tents and the camp and the chef makes our meals three times daily including baking the bread underground every day.
We have a crew of two. They will wake us up with a whisper outside of our tents and with a splash of cool water in the bowls outside on your “veranda” each morning. They set up our bucket showers and bush bathrooms upon arrival and get the crackling campfire going each night for us. Aside from the crew of two, we also have our own chef and our own personal guide who is with us day into night and on our twice daily safaris. It’s an intimate crew.
Chances are we won’t see many people, if at all. We may pass a jeep or two on our safari runs, but in my nine days prior with Letaka there was only one sighting that we shared with another jeep. That’s incredible and unheard of to have sightings to ourselves in Botswana where the game and the guests are plentiful This is an intimate trip and at a great price point as Botswana is one of the most expensive safari spots in all of Africa.
I really wanted to offer a safari that was approachable, price wise for those really wanting to go. The Letaka experience does bring the price point down a wee bit. That’s one, but far from the only reason, I chose Letaka.
The two brothers behind the Letaka brand are known as the bush boys of Botswana (see their BIO on the Botswana Adventure page). You may have seen them on their TV show with NAT GEO. They are the best of the best in Botswana and their crew is no different.
Their staff is exceptional, local and lovely. It is a truly immersive, raw and real experience, by far one of my all-time favorite safari experiences ever.
This is Hemingway back in the day with the entire camp being moved in the middle of our Letaka run. We will set up camp in the middle of nowhere, around no one, in the bush, surrounded only by nature. It is the trip and the experience of a lifetime with unbelievable wildlife and equally adventurous women throughout.
It’s the best reset you can possibly get…