Botswana: A Luxury Gay Safari

A big lion relaxing in Botswana.

 2018  October 24 to November 2 Sold Out. Wait-list only.

 2019  April 6 to 14

A Gay Travel Tour to the World’s Premier Safari Destination

Physical Challenge:

Join HE Travel on our most luxurious gay safari to date! The combination and contrast of 5-star elegance and wild African jungle mystique make for an unbelievable adventure you will never forget!

$9598

  • Realize your safari dreams
  • Explore Wild Africa
  • Cruise tranquil lagoons
  • Visit bustling Jo’burg
  • Relax in our luxurious safari camps
  • Savor local bush specialties by candlelight
  • Experience exotic wildlife found nowhere else on Earth
  • Note: the itinerary shown here is for the April 2019 tour; contact HE Travel for details about the October 2018 tour

We have pulled out all the stops on this amazing gay safari tour! Not only are we going to be visiting some of the more exclusive and remote areas of Africa to view seldom-seen rare and exotic wildlife, but we will do it all at a level of unparalleled luxury usually reserved for visiting royalty! Botswana is without a doubt the world’s premier luxury safari destination. Join us as we explore a corner of this unique continent in a way that few get to experience. We know you will never be the same!

Map:

 

Day 1: Welcome to Jo’Burg!

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Today you land at O.R. Tambo International Airport in the amazing city of Johannesburg, “Jo’burg” is the country’s largest city and financial center with ultra-modern skyscrapers and a bustling way of life. We will escort you to your 5-star hotel which sets the tone for the gold standard of luxury on our trip.

Tonight, meet your tour director and gather with your fellow travelers to get to know one another and dine on regional specialties in one of Johannesburg’s local restaurants.

 

Day 2, 3 and 4: Wild luxury and Nxai Pan National Park

taking a pic of an elephant while on the HE Travel Gay Safari in Botswana

red and gold sunset silhouette of a kudu, an animal with curly horns on the HE Travel Gay Safari in Botswana

After a good night’s rest and breakfast, we are off for adventure! We fly to Maun, Botswana, then to Leroo La Tau at the edge of the Makgadikgadi Pan National Park. World-renowned for its wildlife, there are so many things that are unusual, exciting and interesting in Botswana, and we will explore it all while living in exquisite comfort.

Unbelievable numbers of migratory birds flock to the pans and the grasslands swarm with a living mantle of zebra and wildebeest, participants in the second biggest animal migration on the African continent.

On our second day here we will spend some time mingling with the animals and enjoy a full day excursion to Nxai Pans National Park. This is a classic desert region which entails springbok, oryx, and eland all year round. We will make our way back to the lodge around sunset.

Our lodging is built on the cliffs above the Boteti River which provides us a great vantage point for some spectacular wildlife sightings. The river was once dry for 28 years, but it is actively flowing once again!  Common sightings are kudu, giraffe, elephants, zebra, and wildebeest.  

These days will be mixed with a variety of game drives, night drives and an amazing boat cruise on the Boteti River! Safari, Safari, Safari!

 

Day 5 and 6: Lions, Hyena and Zebra…OH MY!

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delicate lechwe leap splashing from the water on the HE Travel Gay Safari in Botswana

Today’s flight takes you to one of the world’s most distinctive regions, the Okavango Delta – earth’s largest inland water system. Rivers with ever-changing names flow through the heart of Southern Africa ending in Botswana where prehistoric earthquakes and subsequent faults have created the magic that is now the Okavango Delta. This unique system of waterways now supports a vast array of animal and plant life that you can find nowhere else on earth.

There is a great deal of diversity of habitats here, making for a wide variety of wildlife. Our activities here will be centered around mokoro rides(dugout canoes), boat excursions and walking safaris. Birding is excellent as we may observe Pels Fishing Owls and Wattled Cranes. More than 600 species reside within the 7,000 square miles of islands, marshes, floodplains, and channels. We should be able to spot larger species like elephant, red lechwe, zebra, wildebeest, giraffe, baboon, monkey, warthog, and buffalo…..along with predators like lion, leopard, and hyena! By land and sea and with our trusty guides, we will attempt to spot them all!

Are lodging is quite amazing with our East African style tents with private sundecks and en-suite hot shower. We will spend our days on safari, and our nights relaxing around the open air lodge with a cocktail, exchanging stories with our new best friends around a blazing campfire.

 

Days 7 and 8: Wild Enough?

giraffe walks toward open safari vehicle on the HE Travel Gay Safari in Botswana

We have saved one of the best for last, as we fly to the Moremi Game Reserve, rated as being one of the finest wildlife viewing areas in all of Africa with a vast selection of exotic wildlife. Wild dog, cheetah, and leopard are highlights, with resident species like lion, elephant, buffalo, hippo, giraffe, hyena, zebra, kudu, lechwe, tsessebe, and Sable and Roan antelope being plentiful. This is indeed a wilderness paradise, with great game viewing throughout the year.

Our home for the next two nights is one of the few Okavango lodges which can offer comprehensive year-round boating trips, as well as extensive nature drives into good wildlife country. With our team of experienced, professional guides we will see a wide variety of wildlife during the day and come home to relax in luxury every night. Who knew “Glamping” could be so swanky? Our camp offers wholesome meals, candle-lit dinners and a selection of fine wines that will more than satisfy. The only thing better than the scenery is the service!

 

Day 9: The Circle is complete…

a park ranger holds a creature for a guest to photograph on the HE Travel Gay Safari in Botswana

We will enjoy breakfast and one last activity together this morning before we transfer to the airstrip for a light aircraft transfer to Maun where we will board a scheduled commercial flight to Johannesburg and connect to our flights home.

Cape Town, South Africa April 2 to 6, 2019

For those with a little extra time, we invite you to come early and join us for a 4-night visit to Cape Town Pre-Tour.

Day 1: Arrival in Cape Town

Enjoy a relaxing evening tonight in modern luxury amidst many significant historic buildings.

 

Day 2: Cape Peninsula

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Today we will head out for a breathtaking coastal drive to the Cape of Good Hope. We will be able to see Devil’s Peak, Lion’s Head, Table Mountain, and the Twelve Apostles. Once at Cape Point, we will climb the steps or ride a funicular to the top, where we explore the lighthouse, enjoy the view and even shop. Then we will make our way to the Cape Point Nature Reserve where there are half of the 2,700 species of indigenous plants contained in the Cape Peninsula.

After enjoying lunch, we will continue to Boulders Beach where we will see the African Penguins. These particular birds are only found on the coast of Southern Africa and the only penguins on the entire continent.

This evening is on your own, enjoy exploring Cape Town!

 

Day 3: Cape Malay/Khayelitsha

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Head out to Cape Malay Quarter today, which is sprawling along the slopes of Signal Hill. Here we will enjoy a great mix of history and culture. Today, we will experience a hands-on lesson on how to cook like a real Cape Malay ‘Auntie’. We will fold samoosa’s and mix up some masala for a perfect pot of Cape Malay curry! It’s a great day for experiencing the local daily life in the Bo-Kaap. We will wrap up the day with a visit to Khayelitsha, on the Cape Flats. This township was created during the apartheid era as a dormitory area for the working class. If the founder has time, we will have the chance to meet with her and gather some personal insight into the area.

 

Day 4: Table Mountain/Winelands

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This morning we will get a feel for Cape Town from the top of Table Mountain, which has been a guiding beacon to mariners rounding the Cape of Southern Africa. Enjoy a cable car ride up to the top of one of the most recognizable mountains. Then we will continue on to the wine land region below Boland Mountains; 5o minutes away. Visit Boschendal with preserved Cape Dutch buildings and its collection of priceless period furniture. Each wine estate we visit will offer tastings and cellar tours and lunch will be at one of the lovely locations.

This afternoon we will explore the university town of Stellenbosch, the oldest town in South Africa after Cape Town of course. Enjoy the oak-lined streets complimented with the elegant Cape Dutch, Victorian and Georgian architecture.

 

Day 5: Johannesburg

After breakfast, we will enjoy some time at Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens, founded in 1913. The gardens are in such an exquisite location on the eastern slopes of Table Mountain. This afternoon we will board a plane for our flight to Johannesburg to meet up with the main tour that begins today.

 

Stay Longer and Visit Victoria Falls April 14 to 18, 2019

Day 9 and 10: Kasane

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Today we will bid farewell to the main group and connect with our flight to Kasane. Upon arrival, we will be transferred to Chobe National Park where we will spend the next 2 days on wildlife viewing and boat activities. Chobe is the second largest park in Botswana and our destination today will be the Chobe Riverfront.

There is a great deal of diversity of habitats in Chobe making for a wide variety of wildlife, ranging from water animals such as hippo, crocodile, otter, and fish, to dry land species such as elephant, buffalo, giraffe, zebra, and eland. In all areas predators abound – lion, leopard, cheetah, and hyena are plentiful. The Chobe River is also well known for its magnificent bird viewing, with over 400 different species, ranging from eagles to kingfishers and from Marabou Storks to bee-eaters.

A major feature of Chobe National Park is its abundance of elephants often seen at the riverfront, bathing in the water. It is possible to see as many as 1,000 of these magnificent animals in one two-hour wildlife drive. The largest surviving continuous elephant population is here and includes the Chobe elephant, covering most of northern Botswana and northwestern Zimbabwe. In the early 1900s, there were only a few thousand elephants here in Botswana, and the population has grown to an estimated 120,000. Luckily the Chobe elephant has escaped the massive illegal hunting that decimated other populations in the 1970s and 1980s, in part because of their brittle ivory, and you will not see too many big tuskers. These elephants have the distinction of having the largest body size of any living elephant, and we will get up close and personal with these gentle giants! 

 

Day 11 and 12: Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe

magnificent view overlooking Victoria Falls with rainbow and orange sky on the HE Travel Gay Safari

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Victoria Falls is more than twice the size of Niagara Falls, which helps make it among the Seven Wonders of the World. Today we will see in for ourselves with a tour of the falls on the Zimbabwe side. Then we will enjoy an afternoon sundowner cruise, gliding along the Zambezi River, watching hippo, elephants, and monkeys in their natural habitats.

Tonight we will stay overnight at the Elephant Camp. A luxurious, intimate lodge under canvas, built by a private concession 6 miles from Victoria Falls. We will have an amazing view of the gorges which separate the Zimbabwe and Zambia Rivers. Four orphaned elephants call this lodge home and we will have the chance to meet and interact with them.

 

Day 13: Johannesburg

Enjoy breakfast this morning before heading off for the airport for your flight to Johannesburg and then your connecting flight home.

Botswana Main Tour

Price includes: Airport transfers; Superior accommodations for 8 nights (1 in Johanessburg, 7 at luxury safari lodges in Botswana) including all applicable hotel and lodge taxes and gratuities for baggage handling; Round-trip flights between from Johannesburg to all Botswana camps and lodges; Park entry fees and sightseeing as specified; All meals in Botswana starting on Day 2; Wildlife viewing by 4X4 open vehicles, driven by professional driver/guides; Laundry and all local beverages during safari in Botswana except for Champagne and imported spirits; Complimentary bottled water in vehicles throughout; Services of an HE Travel Tour Director (pending minimum participation). HE Travel provides complimentary Medical & Evacuation Insurance for every US Resident on our group tours who does not have other coverage.

Not included: Airfare to and from Johanessburg; Meals in Johannesburg; International departure taxes; Gratuities for guides and HE Travel tour director; Excess baggage charges levied by airlines; Personal items including: alcoholic beverages, snacks, and telephone calls.

Optional Tour Choices:

$2800 Single Supplement (for solo travelers who wish to enjoy a private bedroom and bathroom)

Cape Town Pre-Tour Extension

Price includes: Airport transfers; Superior accommodations for 4 nights in Cape Town including all applicable hotel and lodge taxes and gratuities for baggage handling; Flight from Johannesburg to Cape Town; Entry fees and sightseeing as specified; All breakfasts and lunches; Services of an HE Travel Tour Director (pending minimum participation). HE Travel provides complimentary Medical & Evacuation Insurance for every US Resident on our group tours who does not have other coverage.

Not included: 2 dinners; Excess baggage charges levied by airlines; Gratuities for guides and HE Travel tour director;

Cape Town Pre-Tour Choices:

$4180 per person in a shared room

$1200 per person Single (for solo travelers who wish to enjoy a private bedroom and bathroom)

Victoria Falls Post-Tour Extension

Price includes: Airport transfers; Superior accommodations for 4 nights at luxury lodges, including all applicable hotel and lodge taxes and gratuities for baggage handling; Flight from Johannesburg to Victoria Falls, All ground transportation; Entry fees and sightseeing as specified; All meals during tour; Services of an HE Travel Tour Director (pending minimum participation). HE Travel provides complimentary Medical & Evacuation Insurance for every US Resident on our group tours who does not have other coverage.

Not included: Visa for visit to Victoria Falls (purchased upon arrival at Victoria Falls Airport – approximately US$30, payable in cash); Meals in Johanessburg; Excess baggage charges levied by airlines; Gratuities for guides and HE Travel tour director;

Victoria Falls PostTour Choices:

$4300 per person in a shared room

$1200 per person Single (for solo travelers who wish to enjoy a private bedroom and bathroom)

“After offering private tours to Botswana for many years, we are delighted to offer our first official group tour! The people of Botswana long ago realized that they had both an abundance of wildlife found almost nowhere else on earth, and also an incredibly fragile eco-system. Because of this, most land is protected, and in most areas, only small boutique lodges are allowed – some of the original “eco-lodges” in the world. Avoiding the crowds and infrastructure of mass tourism has enabled Botswana to retain its pristine natural beauty. In turn, this safe environment has allowed once-endangered species such as the Chobe elephant to make remarkable comebacks, in their natural habitat. We look forward to welcoming our travelers on this wonderful journey!” – Philip Sheldon, President, HE Travel

Most of our trips draw more single travelers than couples. When couples do join us, it’s usually because they’re looking forward to interacting with a gay group; if they wanted a holiday by themselves, they wouldn’t have signed up to travel with us. Furthermore, the activities included with our trips serve as natural ice-breakers. Within a day, you’ll be traveling with friends. You don’t need to pay the single supplement if you’re traveling alone. We’ll be happy to match you with a roommate. Pay the single supplement only if you want a bedroom to yourself.

For selected trips, including cruises, we will charge half the single supplement if you request a roommate but we can’t match you with someone.

This tour starts and ends in Johannesburg, South Africa. All ground transportation, commercial flights within Southern Africa, and light aircraft flights to small lodges within Botswana are included in the price for the tour.

To fully enjoy this tour you should feel comfortable walking on hills, steps and uneven surfaces.

 

If you want to experience Africa in a way that very few people are privileged enough to enjoy, this is the trip for you. There is no safari experience more exclusive than our adventure in Botswana, Africa’s premier luxury safari destination.

On this tour, we stay in one of Johannesburg’s most deluxe hotels that is convenient to the airport, since overnight stays in Johannesburg are needed due to flight schedules. During our safari days, we stay in some of the most exquisite game lodges in Botswana. They offer views of pristine natural environments outside while offering spacious and comfortable lodging inside.

For answers to your additional questions, please email info@hetravel.com or call 305-294-8174


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