Your guide will meet you at 8am at your Darwin hotel to commence your 6-day safari to Kakadu, Arnhem Land and the Mary River floodplains. Visit Fogg Dam Reserve with its wealth of water birds like Pied herons, Royal spoonbill and Comb-crested jacanas, as well as photogenic Leaning Tree Lagoon. Enter Kakadu via the Old Darwin Road and stop to explore Magak Gorge and swim in a crystal-clear pool surrounded by soaring rock walls. Tonight will be spent at a private bush camp in the heart of Kakadu National Park offering a magical outback experience. Accommodation is in fully screened permanent tents with raised floors, twin beds, bedding, lights and solar powered fans. There is a dining tent for meals which are prepared by your guide and cooked over an open fire whilst you relax with a sundowner drink and talk over the day’s adventures. LD
Davidson’s Arnhem Land
Depart northern Kakadu and cross the infamous Cahill’s Crossing on the East Alligator River and enter Arnhem Land, the home of Aboriginal people for tens of thousands of years. Access to this area is restricted to a select group of tour operators who are allowed to visit only by invitation from the traditional owners, who may also deny access at any time.
Enjoy some of the best views in the Top End as you drive to the Gunbalanya Indigenous Community. The area includes the floodplains of the East Alligator River that are covered by water from December to April and a rocky sandstone plateau that rises 200 metres above the plains.
At Gunbalanya we visit the Injalak Arts and Crafts Centre and experience the traditional culture of the Kunwinjku people. Accompanied by an Aboriginal guide we will also visit Injalak Hill which has some of the best rock art examples in Western Arnhem Land – if not all of Australia. We continue to Davidson’s Arnhemland Safari Lodge at Mt Borradaile in the northwest corner of Arnhem Land.
Davidson’s safari lodge is accessed only by 4WD vehicle or by air. Very comfortable and tastefully furnished the camp accommodates up to 40 people in ensuite cabins surrounded by bush. The heart of the lodge is a central dining and lounge area, an outdoor deck for al fesco dining, and a licensed bar with a wide selection of wines, spirits and beer. There is also a library, internet area and an outdoor swimming pool. BLD
Davidson’s Arnhem Land
Today is spent exploring this unique and beautiful wilderness of rugged mountains, idyllic billabongs, floodplains, paper bark swamps and monsoonal rain forests. Mt Borradaile is a registered sacred site which covers an area of 700 sq kms and is exclusively leased from its traditional custodians, the Amurdak people. They have lived here for 50,000 years and evidence of their ancestry can be seen in the tools, ceremonial grounds and rock art paintings that are still being uncovered today. Valleys, overhangs and caves offer magnificent galleries of rock art as well as occupation and burial sites.
While at Davidson’s we enjoy a range of activities such as fishing, excursions to view Aboriginal art, and a billabong cruise. BLD
We depart Arnhemland and head to Bamurru Plains on the magnificent Mary River floodplains. This exclusive safari lodge is surrounded by savannah woodland teeming with an amazing assortment of wildlife, reptiles and birds. Guests are accommodated in ten spacious freestanding bungalows which are screened to let in the sounds of the floodplain. Each has a rustic ensuite bathroom and a verandah for relaxing and taking in the view. A large, central dining area has commanding views across the vast wetlands, a 10-metre infinity pool and a library.
Bamarru is a fabulous wildlife experience. Wake to the calls of tens of thousands of Magpie geese after which the camp is named. Hear the sound of a full-grown buffalo splashing through wetlands just a short distance from your bed. The Mary River catchments are home to some 236 species of birds, and form one of the most significant ecosystems in Australia with an extraordinary diversity of flora and fauna. It is home to thousands of Magpie geese, Plumed whistling ducks, egrets, ibis and a host of other birds, not to mention wild water buffalo and wallabies. We end the day with a dramatic sunset over the floodplains while enjoying a glass of wine. BLD
We continue to enjoy the sights and experiences of Bamurru Plains this morning, and then after lunch make our return journey to Darwin. BL