Africa is the birthplace of humankind, where we all began. It’s a continent which gets under your skin and speaks to your soul, filled with mind-boggling diversity and a wealth of delightful contradictions, where no two days are ever the same.
And it’s in the unending inspiration for Personal Collection by Thompsons Africa – Our unique tribute to the land we call “home”, which brings you a range of customised travel options designer to help you explore some of the most magical destinations Africa has to offer.
Each Personal Collection itinerary is a safari like no other, tailor-made to connect you to the spirit of Africa, showing you the beauty of her people and places, taking you on a special, personal journey of discovery.
So, let us show you an Africa you could never have imagined, on a safari created especially for you, which will change the way you see the world around you and leave you with a lifetime of incredible memories…
MENO A KWENA – HIDDEN GEM
Conservation and upliftment of the local community are things we take extremely seriously. At Meno a Kwena, we give money, supplies and logistical support to the local school. The camp operates on solar and is one of Botswana’s lowest impact tourism ventures. April is the culmination of the Africa’s second largest mammal migration and the wildebeest and zebra join at the river crossings in their masses. The bird life, lighting and colours along the lunar-like salt flats is somewhat a jaw dropping magical sight.
Not only is Khwai Private Reserve one of Botswana’s best kept secrets, it’s also home to the lovely Sable Alley. Opened in 2017, Sable is a piece of light, bright and beautiful luxury amid the game-rich floodplains of Khwai, and the best news is that it’s as sustainable as it is sophisticated. We’ve partnered with the local communities in Khwai, and proceeds from staying at Sable Alley go straight back into the Khwai Village community projects.
And what about the wildlife? Located right on the banks of a lily-covered lagoon, home to harrumphing hippo and a favourite drinking spot for elephant and buffalo, the big game quite literally comes to you at Sable.
But as tempting as it is to stay in camp, venture out you should, for Khwai offers one of Africa’s greatest and most exclusive safari experiences. Have your binos at the ready for all the birds, the lion, leopard, wild dog, buffalo, elephant and hundreds of dainty antelope as you drive through the diverse landscapes.
Formerly known as NG18, Khwai Private Reserve is 200,000 hectares of pristine wilderness. That’s three times the size of South Africa’s Sabi Sands – and 300 times more private! The reserve itself is within Botswana’s most talked about region, the Okavango Delta. It actually sits just to the north east of the Delta, adjacent to Moremi Game Reserve and Chobe National Park, and the landscape is one of the most diverse we’ve come across. Think mopane clusters jostling for space with riverine forest, acacia woodland, seasonal waterholes and winding channels leading from the mighty Khwai River. We think you might quite like it.
We’ve chosen a rather lovely spot for Sable Alley, right on the banks of a wildlife-spotted lagoon. The water is home to up to 35 harrumphing hippo, and is a favourite drinking spot for elephant and buffalo. How’s that for game viewing without even leaving your room?
EVERYTHING AT MAPULA LODGE
There’s an area on the northern fringes of the famed Okavango Delta, an enormous, 220,000 acre concession that’s a matrix of floodplains, woodlands and channels. Waterways snake across the landscape, spilling into glassy lagoons and encircling islands of stately palms and trumpeting elephant. It’s an iconic Delta landscape, and a magical environment in which to enjoy the abundance of wildlife.
The birdlife here is especially noteworthy, with the endangered wattled crane, carmine bee-eaters, and the African paradise flycatcher all regularly spotted to the delight of many a keen birder. In the middle of it all, on a large tree island surrounded by seasonal floodplains, is the laid back Mapula Lodge. Designed by the creators of the Kalahari legend, Jack’s Camp, this is a stylish safari outpost with serious panache.
Even better, it’s one of only a handful of camps in the concession making for exhilarating game viewing in a blissfully uncrowded area.
Major Blue UASC Flights – Xaraxai to Maun