Dereck Joubert, CEO of Great Plains, was just seven years old when he joined his father on an expedition in Mozambique. Little did he know at the time what a huge impact that particular experience would have on him and how instrumental it would be in shaping and driving his passions for Africa, wildlife and conservation in the years to come.
This year, Dereck and his wife Beverly are extending and sharing their love of the old traditional safari style, reminiscent of the Out of Africa days, with the launch of ‘Great Plains Expeditions – Botswana’.
These new expeditions will be adventures based on real discovery. Forget about ticking off a checklist or simply passing the time. Instead, there is a seriousness about this experience, a contribution to science, a cataloguing of experiences, and a deep involvement missed in many safaris today. Guests will have sextants as a reminder of how during the golden era of expeditions, explorers of old navigated and camped in the early nineteenth century but with the luxury of a private chef, expert staff and modern communications for safety purposes today.
In the spirit of a genuine expedition, guests will not only have the chance to truly connect with nature and lose themselves in the essence of what Africa truly offers explorers but they will also be involved in meaningful conservation work and data collection. In this scientific element of the expedition, guests will support the team to count elephants, hippos, log GPS coordinates of dens, pangolin sightings, nests of large raptors and note elephant carcasses. In addition, by using DNA collection kits, pattern analysis tools and software to identify leopard and painted dogs, guests will be collecting important data that will contribute to the understanding of future conservation efforts.
On the launch of the new Great Plains Expeditions – Botswana safari experience, Dereck Joubert comments:
“There really is nothing like feeling like the first explorer in an area and doing it for a reason. To collect data, to soak up the adventure and to be authentic. Sitting under billions of stars around a fire, while lions roar in the distance and sharing that excitement and promise of tomorrow. That is what we want to share with you through these expeditions.”
Launching with Botswana, a country of diverse beauty and outstanding wildlife, ‘Great Plains Expeditions – Botswana‘ will bring guests back to true remoteness and pristine wilderness for an exclusive journey of discovery.
Guests will explore the western and central regions of the private Selinda Reserve as they travel along the Selinda Spillway, which provides two vastly different wildlife and natural experiences. Guests are in for a treat, with Selinda Spillway home to the highest density of elephants globally. As guests travel along the winding channels, they will be able to explore some of Africa’s most incredible buffalo and elephant concentrations peppered with sightings of painted dogs, lions and cheetah, sable and roan antelope.
This particular area is one of the most remote places in northern Botswana where the smell of the earth and vegetation, the calls and signs of almost forgotten days of authentic wildness still exist.
The Great Plains Expedition – Botswana is a mobile 4-night cross country safari (with stays at three overnight camps) and will be available from 1st August – 31st October 2021 and from mid-May until the end of October 2022 (8 guests max on each expedition). Each expedition will incorporate driving, photography, guided tracking walks, sleeping and dining out under the stars and canoeing along the Selinda Spillway (water levels dependant).