Exploring Africa's Wildlife And Wild Places

Africa by Private Jet & the Big Seven

by David Tett
July 13, 2017

game drive at Savute Elephant Camp, Okavango Delta, Botswana

Most people dream of spotting the Big Five (lion, leopard, elephant, rhinoceros, and buffalo) on safari, and consider themselves lucky if they do. But did you know that our Incredible Africa by Private Jet expedition adds mountain gorillas and great white shark sightings to the Big Five (making it the Big Seven)?

And it adds up to much more than seven! In addition to watching the great migration in the Masai Mara, and game viewing in the Okavango Delta, we'll be going to Uganda for your choice of tracking chimpanzees or mountain gorillas, and we'll spend time on the water outside Cape Town meeting the "marine Big Five," or great white sharks, southern right whales, Cape fur seals, dolphins, and African penguins.

Lions are present in both the Masai Mara, Kenya and the Okavango Ecosystem, Botswana, both of which we'll visit. In the Mara, watch these predators in action as they follow the massive wildebeest migration. The Okavango Delta ecosystem has healthy lion populations, and one of the camps you may choose to stay in is Selinda Camp, whose resident lion prides were featured in National Geographic's film Eternal Enemies, documenting the rivalry between lions and hyenas.

lion at Savute Elephant Camp, Okavango Delta, Botswana
 1 | LIONS

Leopards are also at home in the
Masai Mara, Kenya and the Okavango Ecosystem, Botswana.  While leopards are typically more elusive than lions, the Okavango Delta is one of the best places to see them, and you can rely on our expert naturalist guides to find them. 

leopard at Saile Tented Camp, Botswana

The Okavango Ecosystem's glistening network of waterways is a haven for large elephant herds. Land and water activities enable up-close sightings from a variety of perspectives.

elephant at Savute Elephant Camp, Okavango Delta, Botswana

While black rhinos exist in very small numbers in the Masai Mara, Botswana has made major strides in rhino relocation and reintroduction, and both black and white rhinos are rare, but present in the Okavango Delta ecosystem.  Chief's Camp, one of three camps you may choose in the Delta, has partnered with a rhino translocation project, and you may have an opportunity to meet with people involved in the project during your stay.

rhino at Masai Mara, Kenya

Expect to see large herds of buffalo in the Okavango Ecosystem, and get up close for a good look at their intimidating and unblinking "banker's stare."

buffalo in the Okavango Delta, Botswana
buffalo at Savute Elephant Camp, Botswana

Mountain gorillas
OR chimpanzees. In Uganda our group will split, with some looking for mountain gorillas in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, and others in search of chimpanzees in Kibale Forest. Either activity requires a hike of between two to six hours with an expert tracker, and then a remarkable hour watching the primates interact.

gorillas, photographed by Craig Sholley
chimp in Rwanda

Great white sharks
and more. In South Africa's Cape Peninsula we'll enjoy a marine safari hosted by Chris Fallows, a great white shark expert who has facilitated over 50 documentaries, and will take us to False Bay and Seal Island in search of cetaceans, Cape fur seals, penguins and other marine birds, and, of course, sharks.

shark, photographed by Chris Fallows

Even by our high standards, this is an impressive list of wildlife sightings in a single trip. Read about the complete adventure, learn about the cultural components of this trip, or contact us to request an Incredible Africa by Private Jet reservation package.

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AUTHOR BIO  |David Tett

Bushtracks' Founder & Owner is a sixth-generation Southern African, born and raised in Harare, Zimbabwe, later earning a Bachelor of Science degree in DNA technology from the University of Cape Town, South Africa. He founded Bushtracks Expeditions in 1989 and has been traveling extensively throughout Africa for more than 45 years. Combining his interest in ecosystems and the varied ecology of Africa with photographic safaris, he develops educational programs that include traditional cultures and wildlife. He is keenly interested in how nature tourism affects rural African communities and has worked with several projects that successfully integrate communities, the environment, and wildlife viewing.