This affordable accommodated safari explores the top wilderness areas and game parks of Botswana and South Africa and takes you to mighty Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe.
Highlights on the 15 Day Budget Okavango Delta, Chobe & Kruger Safari include:
An excellent Southern African Wildlife Safari deal!
This Budget Delta, Chobe & Kruger Accommodated Safari leaves Johannesburg city in South Africa, travelling through the North-West Province towards the Botswana border. Border crossing complete, we drive northwest along the Trans-Kalahari Highway.
We spend our first night staying in en-suite rooms at a lodge in the village of Kang, gateway to the Kalahari Desert region in Botswana.
This safari comes with an optional Activity Package at an additional cost. The itinerary includes these highly-recommended activities. Contact African Budget Safaris for a detailed breakdown of what is included in the Activity Package and see the Full Pricing Information above for the cost of the Activity Package.
On day two we have breakfast and continue our journey into the Kalahari Desert which covers some 360 000 sq mi (930 000 km²) of an inland plateau spanning Botswana, Namibia and South Africa. A vast semi-arid region of sandy plains and low hills, the Kalahari is technically not a desert despite appearances.
Making our way into the Central Kalahari we pass through sparsely-populated dry landscapes en route to our lodge near Ghanzi. Sometimes called the capital of the Kalahari, Ghanzi is a popular stopover in this remote part of western Botswana.
In Ghanzi we encounter the San (also known as Bushmen) - the first inhabitants of Southern Africa. After lunch, we meet with local San guides who take us on a walk in this inhospitable environment and tell us how the San have managed to survive as hunter-gatherers in such harsh conditions for tens of thousands of years. Discover the traditional value of various kinds of flora and fauna used for sustenance and medicinal purposes by the semi-nomadic San.
In the evening we find out more about the unique culture and customs of the San, watching a San dance performance.
Today we drive to Maun, passing through the arid Kalahari and rural northern Botswana. Maun is the gateway to the Okavango Delta, the world’s largest inland delta. The Okavango River has no outlet to the sea, flowing from the Angolan Highlands into the Kalahari Desert during the rainy season. It takes a good six months for the waters to make their way down into the Okavango Delta system which is made up of a series of rivers, floodplains and waterways.
This afternoon you can take an optional scenic flight over the Okavango Delta, time allowing. The scenic flights are highly recommended, offering fantastic views of the delta system with its winding waterways and free-roaming wildlife. Tonight we stay at a riverside lodge in Maun and prepare for our magical delta day trip the following day. The guides will fill you in on what to expect in the delta and the activities lined up.
You also have the option of upgrading to a two-night trip into the Okavango Delta on this safari, at extra cost. Clients opting for the Upgraded Delta Trip will fly from Maun into the Okavango Delta tomorrow morning to spend two nights at a remote camp in the wilderness.
Today we are up early for our full day of exploring the Okavango Delta in dug-out style canoes (mekoros). Those of you embarking on the Upgraded Two-night Delta Trip will fly from Maun to the remote Delta camp this morning and re-join the rest of the group on day six.
Travellers not taking the Upgraded Delta Trip, set off for the delta early this morning in our safari vehicle, heading to a polers' station about an hour from the lodge. At the polers' station, we meet our local guides and switch to mekoros. Gliding along the reed-lined channels and tranquil lagoons dotted with lilypads is the ideal way to experience the watery Okavango Delta.
Sit back and soak up the wild scenery from your traditional mekoros poled through the waters by local guides. Get a close-up look at the unique flora and fauna of the Okavango Delta as we move along slowly and quietly. Stopping at one of the delta islands, you can take a nature walk with your local guide. The bush walk gives you a chance to learn about the fascinating plants and creatures encountered, looking out for signs of wildlife. The mokoro excursion is not a big game viewing activity, it is all about experiencing the beauty of the wild delta. However, we may come across some wildlife including elephants, giraffes, zebras and antelopes like kudu and impala.
After the nature walk, your guide poles you back to the polers' station for the return road transfer to the lodge in Maun.
For those taking the Upgraded Delta Trip, your time in the Okavango Delta will be spent at a bush camp in a 100 000 hectare concession area, offering a unique delta experience. The secluded camp looks out over peaceful delta waterways and has a low impact on the environment, blending in with the wild African bush around it.
Stay in spacious, permanent Meru-style tents with en-suite bathrooms. These walk-in canvas tents feature comfortable twin beds, simple furnishings, mosquito netting and small outdoor areas with camping chairs. The tented lounge-dining area and outdoor boma are ideal for sitting back and taking in the sounds and sights of this untamed environment in comfort. Activities offered at the Delta camp include bush walks, mokoro trips, sunset boat cruises and sundowners on one of the islands.
On day 5, we embark on a memorable wildlife safari in Moremi Game Reserve as part of the Activity Package of this overland safari. Encompassing central and eastern parts of the Okavango Delta, Moremi is the only official protected area in the Delta.
This morning we drive to the southern gate of Moremi Reserve, setting off before sunrise. Moremi is renowned for its natural beauty and rich diversity of habitats, animals and plants. The game reserve is home to healthy populations of large mammals, including the Big Five of Africa (lion, leopard, buffalo, rhino and elephant) and African wild dogs. Our game drive reveals how diverse Moremi's ecosystem is, ranging from lagoons and savannahs to riverside forests and mopane woodlands. Your safari guide will select the best game drive routes in the bush, based on water levels, road conditions and animal sightings.
Those who chose not to join the Moremi Day Trip as part of the Activity Package, stay behind in Maun today. Those staying in Maun have free time to relax at the riverside lodge, laze by the pool and take an optional flight over the Okavango Delta. The scenic flight offers sweeping views over the open plains and winding waterways, where wildlife can be spotted.
On the morning of day six, those who opted for the Upgraded Delta Trip get to wake up in the wild Okavango Delta, have breakfast at camp and fly back to Maun. Once the group is reunited we board our overland truck and drive east along the northern reaches of the massive Makgadikgadi Pans passing giant baobab trees along the way.
This afternoon we visit the Nata Sanctuary area of the desolate expanse known as the Makgadigadi Salt Pans as part of the Activity Package. We drive out onto the open salt pans and stop for sundowners, admiring the flat, barren landscapes stretching out around us. The Makgadikgadi Pans complex is one of the largest salt pan systems in the world, covering 30 000 km² of Botswana.
This morning we make our way to the town of Kasane, near Chobe National Park. Reaching Kasane we head to our safari camp, located along the Chobe River a few kilometres from Chobe National Park. We stay in en-suite rooms at the lodge, overlooking the Chobe River and surrounding bush, featuring a restaurant, bar and swimming pool.
Next up, the famous Chobe National Park, home to one of the highest concentrations of game in Africa. Chobe is best known for its huge population of elephants and is the second largest National Park in Botswana.
First, we take a 4x4 game drive in Chobe - hosting one of the highest concentrations of wildlife in Africa. Driving through Chobe allows us to encounter a variety of animals and birds across the park's diverse habitats - from lush plains and wooded grasslands to dense forests and swamps. Later in the afternoon, we embark on a sunset boat cruise in Chobe Park which is known for its excellent boat-based game viewing. The boat cruise on Chobe River provides ideal opportunities for spotting wild animals up close, including hippos, crocodiles, buffaloes, antelope species and elephants.
On day eight we cross from Botswana into Zimbabwe, heading to Victoria Falls.
Today you can visit the mighty Vic Falls to experience the "Smoke that Thunders" or Mosi-oa-Tunya as the locals call it. Witnessing the mighty falls is an awe-inspiring experience as the Zambezi plummets over 100 feet into the gorge below forming the largest curtain of falling water in the world at 1,7km wide. Listen to the thundering of Victoria Falls and see the amazing smoke-like spray rising up to 400 meters above the Falls making it visible up to 50 km's away!
This afternoon you are free to enjoy Vic Falls as you choose - visit a local craft market, explore the historic town or enjoy an old-fashioned high tea at one of the hotels. Alternatively, you can tick an adventure activity off your bucket list. Tonight we go out for an optional dinner in Victoria Falls and your guide runs you through the adventure activities on offer, helping with arrangements for the next day.
The whole day is free for you to participate in optional activities at Victoria Falls.
There is plenty to do at Vic Falls, ranging from cultural tours to extreme sports and game viewing trips. Vic Falls is best known for its adventure activities, with favourite options including bungee jumping and gorge swinging. The Vic Falls area of the Zambezi River is famous for its excellent white water rafting, offering a mix of easy and challenging rapids. Some of the most popular activities entail taking to the skies to view the magnificent waterfall from above - by plane, helicopter or microlight.
You can also spend time exploring the town of Victoria Falls, doing some sightseeing in the historical town.
Leaving the magnificent Victoria Falls early in the morning, we drive back into Botswana and head south. In the late afternoon, we reach our lodge on the fringes of Francistown - one of the oldest cities in Botswana.
In the morning we set off early along the Great North Road to our next stop, the dynamic city of Johannesburg.
We travel south through rural Botswana and the changing landscapes of northern South Africa passing from open bushveld dotted with giant baobabs to fields of citrus and maize and then into the densely populated and industrialized Highveld of the Gauteng Province.
Our Delta, Chobe & Kruger Accommodated Safari arrives in the bustling Johannesburg, the City of Gold in the late afternoon. Tonight you have the option of enjoying a braai (barbecue) in true South African style, at the lodge. The optional dinner can be booked the day before through your guide.
Our lodge is in a private wildlife concession area within Kruger National Park, South Africa’s flagship game park. Arriving at our base camp for the next 3 nights, we set off on a sundowner game drive (included in the Activity Package) in Kruger. As the heat subsides many of the animals become more active, offering excellent chances of sighting various diurnal and nocturnal species. After our exciting sunset game drive, we return to the camp for dinner and a relaxing evening around the campfire.
Today we venture into the Kruger National Park for a full day of game viewing. This famous game park protects an unrivalled diversity of plant and animal species, including around 336 tree species, 49 fish species, 34 amphibian species, 114 species of reptiles, 507 bird and 147 mammal species. We go in search of Africa’s iconic Big Five (elephant, lion, leopard, rhino and buffalo), as well as numerous other game and bird species found in Kruger. Considered one of the best safari destinations in Africa, Kruger Park covers almost 2 million hectares of South African Lowveld.
The Activity Package includes a whole day of 4x4 game drives in open safari vehicles - a great way to take in the sights, sounds and smells of nature. The open 4x4 vehicles are designed to offer excellent visibility and better photographic opportunities than enclosed tour vehicles. Returning to camp in the mid-afternoon we set off on a sunset game drive with sundowners (included in Activity Package).
For those that opted not to take the Activity Package a full day game drive in the safari truck is included in the tour price. Our elevated safari truck offers clear views out over the game park, improving your chances of sighting game and big cats that would otherwise be hidden in the bush.
On day 14 of this fantastic Delta, Chobe & Kruger Tour we rise early to enjoy a guided bush walk in the concession area. Being in the bush on foot offers a unique opportunity to appreciate the smaller details of this incredible wilderness area.
Our thrilling bush walk is followed by a trip to the Panorama Route, one of the most beautiful parts of the country. The Panorama Route travels through one of the biggest canyons in the world, and one of few green canyons of this scale. Our scenic drive takes us to viewpoints at God's Window, Bourke's Luck Potholes and the Three Rondavels. In the evening, you are treated to a traditional dance performance and tasty local cuisine around the campfire.
The final morning begins with an early morning game drive - our last chance to spot Kruger's wildlife and birds. After our final exploration, we leave Kruger Park and travel back to the vibrant city of Johannesburg.
This affordable Delta, Chobe & Kruger Safari comes to an end when we arrive back in Johannesburg, but most tour groups choose to enjoy dinner together this evening. Our post-safari lodge offers a traditional South African braai (barbecue) which can be booked through your guide.
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