Greater Los Angeles Zoo Association Offers Wildlife-Focused Vacation to Botswana, Accompanied by L.A. Zoo Director John Lewis

CONTACT: April Spurlock

January 3, 2014

Greater Los Angeles Zoo Association Offers Wildlife-Focused Vacation to Botswana, Accompanied by L.A. Zoo Director John Lewis

Specialist Guide Dave Hamman Leads the Way as Trip Spotlights Exceptional Wildlife, Plant Life and Ecosystems

Optional Pre- and Post-Trip Extensions to Cape Town, Livingstone, Victoria Falls and Zambia

MAY 29 TO JUNE 8, 2014Botswana2014

The Greater Los Angeles Zoo Association (GLAZA) presents a unique vacation to Botswana from May 29 to June 8, 2014, accompanied by LA Zoo director John Lewis.  The trip is led by specialist guide Dave Hamman as well as Lewis and focuses on exploration of exceptional wildlife, plant life and ecosystems.

The journey begins in Johannesburg, the country’s largest city, with time to relax, shop, sightsee and enjoy luxurious accommodations at D’Oreale Grande.  After a flight to Maun, Botswana, guests board light aircraft for another flight to the Okavango Delta (the largest inland water system on earth) and three days at the Banoka Bush Camp.  With daily morning and afternoon game drives, wildlife viewing opportunities abound as the area is home to hippos, crocodiles, buffalo, red lechwe, roan antelope, elephants, lions, wild dogs, spotted hyena and birdlife.  On June 3 guests take a flight to Seba Camp, which blends beautifully into the ancient riverine forest of majestic hardwood trees against which it is built and provides accommodations in spacious elevated tents, each with a private deck on which to relax and observe the passing wildlife.  Morning and afternoon wildlife drives are offered in this area where a number of elephants that were released back into the wild have formed their own herd, and the interaction between them and the wild herds in the area provides rich fodder for research teams from Bristol University in the UK.  Guests can observe the researchers at work, often in close proximity to the elephant herds, while guides are always happy to drive visitors to see a released elephant and its wild companions when they are in the vicinity of the camp.  Apart from the large elephant population, there is a seasonal abundance of wildlife in the area including giraffe, zebra, impala, wildebeest, tsessebe and lechwe, and the occasional lion and buffalo herd.  For bird enthusiasts, some 380 different species are found in the region.  This stop also features a visit to the Linyanti Reserve, which consists of 308,880 acres of prime wildlife countryside.  Next is a flight to Duma Tau with accommodations at DumaTau Camp, built under a shady grove of mangosteen trees overlooking a large hippo-filled lagoon.  Luxurious rooms are set under thatch with canvas walls, allowing guests to enjoy the night sounds of Africa from the comfort of their beds.  Activities focus on the wildlife of the area, with day and night drives and nature walks offering opportunities to view at close range Africa’s whole spectrum of diurnal and nocturnal creatures.  The trip concludes when guests return by air to Johannesburg on June 8.

Also available are an optional pre-extension to Cape Town, South Africa (May 25-30), and a post-extension to Livingstone, Victoria Falls and Zambia (June 7/8-10).

  • Early reservations for the Botswana vacation are essential, as space is limited.  For more information, please click here or call the Greater Los Angeles Zoo Association at (323) 644-4792.

The vacation is operated by Classic Escapes, a travel company specializing in nature and cultural journeys around the world that combine travel with the joy of learning about the planet.  In keeping with its mission to provide experiences that nurture and directly support wildlife and cultures, the firm’s Classic Escapes Conservation Fund provides a percentage of all profits to support conservation and wildlife researchers performing critical work in the field.  By traveling with Classic Escapes, guests support travel as a tool for building the mutual respect, awareness, and understanding that are vital to preserving the planet for future generations.

The 11-day trip is $7,995 per person, double occupancy, for the land package and flights between Johannesburg and Maun as well as between camps in Botswana, not including airfare to Johannesburg.  A single supplement is an additional $1,995 per person.  The optional pre-extension to Cape Town is $2,995 per person including roundtrip flight between Johannesburg and Cape Town (single supplement is an additional $695 per person).  The post-extension to Livingstone, Victoria Falls and Zambia is $1,995 per person including the flight from Livingstone to Johannesburg (single supplement is an additional $495 per person).

Itinerary and sequence subject to change.

Travel programs are among many offerings presented by the private, non-profit Greater Los Angeles Zoo Association, founded in 1963.  For five decades, GLAZA has funded plant and animal exhibits, species conservation, capital projects, and education and community outreach programs at the Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens.  GLAZA also builds and invests endowment funds and operates seven essential departments on behalf of the L.A. Zoo: development, special events, marketing, publications, membership, volunteers, and oversight of the food and retail concessions.  There are 65,000 member households in GLAZA representing more than 240,000 adults and children, the largest membership base of a cultural organization in Los Angeles.  GLAZA additionally boasts a volunteer corps of more than 800 individuals.

The landmark Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens, attracting 1.6 million visitors each year, is home to a diverse collection of 1,100 animals representing 250 different species, many of which are rare or endangered.  Its lush grounds on 133 acres feature a botanical collection comprising over 800 different plant species with approximately 7,000 individual plants.  Accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), whose members meet rigorous professional standards for animal welfare, the Zoo has achieved renown as an international leader in the preservation of endangered species and a conservation center for the care and study of wildlife.  Among its most popular habitats are the LAIR (Living Amphibians, Invertebrates, and Reptiles), Elephants of Asia, and Campo Gorilla Reserve, with the eagerly awaited Rainforest of the Americas habitat scheduled to open soon.  The Zoo’s location in Griffith Park at the junction of the Ventura (134) and Golden State (5) freeways ideally positions it as a convenient destination enjoyed by locals and vacationers of all ages who can visit every day of the year except Christmas Day.

  • Early reservations for the Botswana vacation are essential, as space is limited.  For more information, please click here or call the Greater Los Angeles Zoo Association at (323) 644-4792.

The Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens is located in Griffith Park at the junction of the Ventura (134) and Golden State (5) freeways. For general information, call (323) 644-4200.