Natural Selection launches Angola flying safaris in 2020

2020 will see the launch of Natural Selection’s new flying safaris to Angola. These expeditions, the first of their kind, will follow the paths of the rivers that feed the Okavango and Kwando river and wetland systems from their sources in the Angolan Highlands into the Okavango Delta and Linyanti in Botswana, and finally, to the sands of the Makgadikgadi.

Each safari will be customised to suit guests’ interests, but for the ultimate experience Natural Selection recommends their “Source to Sands” 12-night itinerary. The trip begins with three nights in a simple mobile camp in the Angolan Highlands in the company of National Geographic explorers and scientists, followed by two nights in the Cubango Reserve that straddles both the Cuatir and Cubango Rivers with a day at the Cuito Cuanavale battlefields. From there, it is into Namibia to spend two nights on Nkasa Island in Nkasa Rupara National Park, then across the border into the Okavango Delta for three nights. This epic journey ends in the Makgadikgadi where the waters dissipate into the sands at Meno a Kwena Camp on the fringes of the Makgadikgadi Pans National Park.

Natural Selection has partnered with a team of award-winning National Geographic explorers and scientists in their quest to find and protect the sources of the Okavango, Zambezi and Kwando river systems. These passionate adventurers, led by brothers Steve and Chris Boyes, have spent the past five years on mokoros (dug-out canoes), self-paddling over 4500 kilometres on a number of extraordinary expeditions, from the remote sources of the Okavango in the highlands of central Angola to where the waters disappear into the sands of the Kalahari in Botswana.

A safari to Angola is not about seeing the Big Five; it is a conservation journey of discovery and learning through one of the most remote and little-known wilderness areas on the planet. The future of some of Africa’s most iconic wildlife areas, the Okavango Delta, the Kwando, the Linyanti and Savuti in particular, depend on the continued integrity of the Angolan Highlands as the country rapidly industrialises post-civil war. Since the end of the war in 2002, there has been an increased pressure on natural resources and a thirst for development. Much of the country’s wildlife was poached, either to sell ivory to fund the military or to feed troops and local communities. Today, the country faces the delicate balancing act of developing whilst protecting the eco-systems that are the life blood to so much of southern Africa’s wildlife and wilderness.

At the core of Natural Selection’s brand is the belief that sustainable tourism, when done properly, is a key conservation driver. It is this belief that is motivating Natural Selection’s pioneering move into Angola. In 2006, the Kavango–Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area was created with the aim of sustainably managing the Kavango Zambezi ecosystem so wildlife and communities alike could flourish. Tourism will be a key component in ensuring that the transfrontier parks become sustainable and productive. Colin Bell, co-founder of Natural Selection explains; “Our presence here must enhance wildlife populations whilst also helping to fund and support local Angolans to benefit from their natural resources sustainably, and in turn, start the process to help ensure that the Okavango Delta is preserved.”

For more information please contact Colin Bell: colinbell@iafrica.com or visit: https://naturalselection.travel/locations/angola