We strongly believe that the single most important factor on any safari holiday is the quality, patience and experience of the professional guide.
All our guides are passionate about Botswana and the environment in which we operate. An attitude which is reflected in all our safaris is the responsibility the guide has been given in showing guests the diversity of our subcontinent.
We realize that for many people, a safari is a holiday of a lifetime and this is therefore a responsibility which our guides do not take lightly.
Okavango Spirit is an extraordinary houseboat experience offering eight comfy en-suite cabins, with sliding glass doors and private decks for total peace and tranquility. Here you’ll be thrown into a world of beauty, comfort and total serenity.
Okavango Spirit operates in the “Panhandle” area of the Okavango Delta, Northern Botswana. To get on to the houseboat you will either fly directly from Maun or take a 5 hour drive around the Okavango, weaving your way through small villages before getting to Shakawe, where Okavango Spirit is moored on the pristine waters of the Okavango River.
Robust 4WD vehicles are essential for travel in Botswana due to the variable conditions of the tracks within protected areas. Wilderness Dawning operates specially-modified Toyota Landcruisers that accommodate either 8-9 guests on our scheduled departures (up to 12 guests for families & tailormade departures)
All vehicles have an open roof and sides (with roll-down weatherproof canvas, or in some cases, windows that fold down) and thus offer the best game-viewing opportunities.
They also come equipped with first aid kits, a fire extinguisher, individual bucket seats with seat belts and a cooler box for beverages.
So your guests will not be camping anywhere near noisy groups and lots of other people. In some cases, the nearest “other people” might be as much as 20-25km away. These campsites are unfenced and are in the middle of wilderness areas-so our game drives literally start at the sites. Although guests are a little apprehensive the first couple of nights, we have found that once guests get back home, they realise how special and different it is to have been so close to nature-the camping turns out to be a unique and memorable aspect of our safaris.
We have been fortunate enough to be involved in the safari lifestyle, in some manner, since 1986. In all these years, we have had a strong belief that the wilderness & wildlife is the single biggest factor that influences why someone will endure a 12-15 hour flight (and pay a fair bit of money!). Too often, many operators have spent too much time with interior decorators and architects, and have perhaps forgotten this single reason. This is why a bathroom or a wine cellar or even thread-count have seemingly being put on parr with trees, wildlife, plants and bushvelt. Too much luxury and opulence actually insulates guests from the very things they have come to see. Our style of camping is comfortable, with en-suite showers and toilets. Comfortable mattresses and linen, vehicle specifically designed for game viewing…. and good food. If guests expect to be pampered and amused for 8,10,11 or 14 days, then perhaps they are not the guests for us-but if they want something different and perhaps life changing, then we are the company for these guests !
Over the years we have built a strong reputation for working with and developing outstanding guides. For us, the guide will always be the most important factor in delivering an outstanding safari experience. We do not have the arrogance to imply our guides are the “best”.. But we do know that there is a vast difference between guiding in a lodge and guiding a mobile. The former needs to know 20 to 30 species of bird, 5 species of tree and some 100km of game drives route. Someone else takes care of the meals, the cooler box, the vehicle…and a lodge guide is only with the same guests for 2 or 3 days. When a guide decides to make mobiles his or her specialty, they are knowingly choosing to do a much more difficult job…one that entails having to know some 200 birds, 50-60 tree species and 600 km of drives. Our guides are responsible for all the buying and planning of safaris, they are responsible for 3-4 staff, and 2-3 vehicles and most importantly, our guides need to have knowledge, patience, tolerance and humor for 8,10,11 or 14 days -with the same guests. They might not be the best, but they are certainly amongst the best…and an outstanding guide will deliver an outstanding safari
No amount of money can cover the cost of what we are selling…simply because no price tag can be placed on people. At Wilderness Dawning not just any people-the RIGHT people, the RIGHT back-up, the RIGHT management and most importantly…the RIGHT guides. The kind of guides that will spend all day finding that special “something”, the type of management that will spend the extra effort making sure an itinerary is as unique as it is different…the type of people who strive to find solutions to our guests needs. We are the type of people who value partnerships, and value the opportunity this dynamic industry has afforded us…and believe in running safaris that instill a deep and abiding love for our continent. If you value people like us, and the company we strive to be…then we are the people and company for you!