Beagle Expeditions is a small, intimate, family-run business owned by Simon and Marleen Byron. Together we have more than 30 years of experience in the safari industry in Botswana. Through trial and error (and a few epic arguments) we have learnt our strengths and weaknesses within the industry; fortunately, we have very opposite skill sets, putting Beagle Expeditions in a position to provide our guests with a phenomenal experience.
One of the great joys that comes with what we do is the camaraderie and friendships that form during the extended time we spend working together out in the bush. We have been very fortunate to gather a team of incredible people that are at the top of their game and these people are at the core of what we do. We believe this is key to our success.
Beagle Expeditions contributes three hundred Botswana Pula per guest, per night to the Wild Entrust. The Wild Entrust was founded and is managed by Tico and Lesley McNutt, together they have been at the forefront of predator conservation in Botswana and have been intimately involved in the Okavango conservation story. The Wild Entrust has been an incubator and facilitator of the Habu Conservancy created by the Habu Elephant Development Trust (HEDT). Wild Entrust and HEDT have several brilliant community conservation initiatives in and around the Habu Village which is the closest village to our operations.
Please check out www.wildentrust.org or feel free to contact us for more information.
The Kweene Trails explores a wild and spectacular corner of the Okavango Delta! This exclusive area lies on a stretch of the Kweene River system adjacent to the Sandveld tongue in the Western Okavango Delta. What makes it most special for us is its remoteness, accessible only to our guests and only by helicopter.
There is no better way to experience a true African Safari than in the comfort and privacy of your own exclusive mobile safari camp and in an entirely exclusive landscape. A journey through the wilderness with the intimacy and flexibility of your own camp, guide, safari vehicle and staff complement.
This unique Okavango Expedition is designed to explore one of Botswana’s last remaining remote wilderness areas, venturing into a region unexplored by most and providing our guests with a once in a lifetime experience of a completely different pace and tempo, one where our modern time constraints have no place.
Our journey starts along the Southern section of the Kweene River in the occasional swamp habitat at our Kweene River camp, an area that has an arid feel to the landscape. As these floodplains are inundated with water less frequently than that of the seasonal swamp, the grass species that dominate the floodplains are much more palatable and thus productive, supporting large herds of grazers and the predators that follow.
Next, our journey moves further North up the Kweene River system to our Magwegwe camp, which is situated in the seasonal swamp habitat. Here, the river receives water on a yearly basis with the inundation cycle of the annual Okavango flood dynamic. This section of the river is an exposé of exceptional Okavango Delta scenery and its wildlife; endless floodplains with well-wooded islands dotting the plains and all-year-round surface water drawing in an abundance of wildlife.
On our moving day between the two camps, we cover the distance by vehicle, on foot or by mokoro; or by a combination of the these. This is a full day of exploration out in the wilderness with a delicious packed lunch enjoyed during a restful siesta; while our back up team moves our camp and sets up for our afternoon arrival in the next location.
We have kept our camp simple, yet luxurious!
We call it simplistic luxury: though you are on an expedition, there are certain “luxuries” that we don’t need to trade-off. Our tents are airy and spacious meru tents, with clear mesh that opens the tent up completely to the surrounding bush, immersing you in nature. Our bedrolls laid out on firm camp beds are made up with fine Egyptian cotton linen and are super comfy and warm providing for the best sleeping experience. The main tent includes a hanging wardrobe to unpack your belongings into and has its own en-suite bathroom with a bucket shower (for hot or cold showers), a compost loo and all the necessary amenities to ensure comfort and privacy.
Our main area is simple and yet comfortably charming. Comprising a dining table and camp chairs; a carpeted chill-corner scattered with cushions; a coffee and tea station; a bar with plenty of ice; and of course a fire at night and in the early morning! This is all set up by the backup team under the African sky and open to the surrounding wilderness and the wildlife that inhabits it.
The key focus in the kitchen is on fresh, healthy food all cooked on an open fire. Our menu changes with the seasons and depends entirely on what is fresh and available in Maun. Our chef, Mwinga, is a master of his trade and thus there is emphasis on the “culinary safari”! Great, healthy, classy and plentiful food; fit for any dietary preference!
Our beverage selection consists of a collection of premier brand spirits as well as a collection of spirits from small boutique distilleries from around the world.
Our wine selection has been very carefully crafted, we have partnered up with some of the finest vineyards in South Africa’s fair Cape. Together with the wine makers help, we have selected our wines based on the handpicked quality of the wines that match our ethos of an incredibly light footprint operation. Our wines are then transported all the way up to Maun in a refrigerator truck and stored in a cold room at our base in Maun.
This is why you are coming to visit us after all!
The Okavango Delta is an extraordinary ecosystem and the Kweene River system is in a wonderfully secluded corner of this paradise, with wildlife that is abundant and uncompromised.
There are very few places in the world that offer exclusivity on this level. As the Kweene Trails are booked for private groups only on a sole use basis, when we are out on game drive or walking or silently gliding along the waterways on mokoro, we will see no other humans!
This total seclusion has created a safari experience like very few others; the area feels wild and untouched. We have sensitively developed a fantastic game drive network in order to preserve the wild and untouched beauty of this remarkable landscape, without compromising our ability to explore the dry land habitat adjacent to the Kweene River floodplains by vehicle, and experience the excitement of observing wildlife from a game drive vehicle.
Because walking through pristine wilderness that has no sign of a human footprint remains one of Kweene’s key ingredients, we have left a vast portion of the area inaccessible to any motorized transport. Here we bring back the safari experience of old: walking through wildest Africa with only our senses to guide us. Walking is a primal experience, and yet it is also extremely informative; it is a time to fully experience, feel, touch, smell and hear the Okavango. Walks can cover a few hundred meters over a few hours or go on for miles, it all depends entirely on your desire and of course what is happening out in the bush that day! We carry a light snack and plenty of water to keep us going and hydrated.
At certain times of the year (normally May – August) we are able to explore the Kweene River system using the traditional Mokoro (dugout canoe). This age old river craft is the perfect vessel for the Okavango, flat hulled we can safely glide through the shallow waters and explore. Our specialist guides bring generations of experience, poling the mokoro from the back while our guests sit in comfort and soak up the atmosphere of this watery wonderland. We often stop and explore islands along the way, or for the more adventurous and those willing to brave the chilly winter Okavango water, we can take a fresh dip. In a safe place, of course !
The greater Okavango region has an amazing diversity of experiences to offer, we can make many of these experiences accessible by bringing in a helicopter for a day or even for a few days and thus explore the region from a completely different perspective. With the pilot becoming part of our safari team and staying in camp with us, we have the luxury of flexibility to fly whenever we want to, where ever we want to go.