An exciting accommodated African getaway to Botswana and Victoria Falls - this tour explores the Kalahari Desert, Okavango Delta and top game parks in Botswana, including Chobe National Park, Moremi Game Reserve and Savuti; before culminating at the magnificent Victoria Falls world heritage site in Zimbabwe.
Walk with the Kalahari Bushmen, and then camp in the truly wild Okavango Delta, where you go on game walks, explore the delta by mokoro and take in the magnificence of this extraordinary place. Enjoy 4x4 game drives in search of Africa's Big Five, staying at comfortable lodges, where you can get away from it all. Spend a night sleeping under the stars out on the barren Makgadikgadi Salt Pans, then take a boat cruise on Chobe River for close-up wildlife and bird sightings.
A wonderful wildlife, wilderness and outdoor adventure in Southern Africa.
During this trip you are likely to come across activities that encourage tourists to participate in lion, elephant or other wildlife interaction. This includes walking with lions, riding elephants and any other tourist operation putting travellers in close contact with animals that would normally live wild and separate from human contact.
We absolutely do not encourage or endorse this type of wildlife interaction operation. For more information on why this is not good for Africa's wild animals, please see our detailed blog post on the subject.
Early in the morning, we leave our selected lodge in Johannesburg, the trade and industry hub of South Africa, and we head north towards the Botswana border. After customs and immigration formalities we make our way through a historically significant area and across the Kalahari Plains. It's a long drive to our well-established lodge near Kang, where we spend our first night in Botswana.
After settling in, we take a short walk into the bush on the outskirts of the Kalahari. In the evening your guide fills you in on the details of the journey ahead while we enjoy a catered meal (own expense) at the lodge.
On day two we watch the sunrise over the arid Kalahari, sipping on our morning coffee and tucking into a delicious breakfast.
Then we head to the frontier town of Ghanzi, known as the capital of the Kalahari. Ghanzi is home to some of the last remaining traditional Bushmen, the original inhabitants of Southern Africa. We embark on an educational bush walk with the San Bushmen, learning about the local flora and fauna. Gaining insight into the customs and survival strategies of these semi-nomadic, hunter-gatherers of the Kalahari is a unique cultural experience.
Tonight we stay at a comfortable lodge surrounded by a large piece of open land, a place owned and managed by the local community.
The Okavango Delta is an enormous wetland area, beginning in the Angolan Highlands in the north and ending in the Kalahari Desert in the south. This unique water system constitutes the largest inland delta in the world, made up of serene lagoons, winding channels and secluded islands. The delta provides a diverse environment for a wide variety of wild animals, other creatures, birds and plant species. We may come across some of the shy animals found in the delta, including the red lechwe antelope that the area is known to host.
Our journey into the Okavango Delta begins near the panhandle, where we initially travel by motorboat and then transfer to mokoros (traditional dugout canoes).
The mokoro trip takes us to our exclusive island camp, where we will spend three nights immersed in unspoilt nature. There is ample time to explore the pristine wilderness area on foot and by mokoro, as well as relax and bask in the tranquillity of this truly wild place. During our time in the delta, you have the chance to find out more about the local flora and fauna as well as the fascinating people living in this remote region.
Our day begins with an early start for our journey out of the delta. First, we travel by mokoro and then we take a motorboat ride to our vehicle for the transfer to Maun. In the afternoon we arrive in Maun, pausing for supplies, before heading to the lodge to freshen up and tuck into a catered meal. The safari lodge is on the banks of the Boteti River, which changes direction depending on the season, and offers comfortable en-suite accommodation, a swimming pool, bar and restaurant.
After lunch, you have the opportunity to take an optional scenic flight over the Okavango Delta - viewing the intricate waterways, untamed bush and game-rich plains from above.
We return to Maun early in the morning to stock up on supplies for the next exciting leg of our safari adventure, which is focused on game viewing. Setting off on our five-day wildlife adventure we pass rural villages along the way. A well-equipped 4x4 safari vehicle is used for our game viewing excursion in Botswana's top game parks.
Our route is not set in stone, as we follow seasonal animal migrations, adapting our itinerary to local conditions and wildlife movements.
For example, we may start with Moremi Game Reserve, staying near the well-known 3rd Bridge. Here we fall asleep to the sounds of the African bush at night - listening out for the calls of hyenas, the low rumble of lions, and the grunting of hippos. From the scenic Moremi, we may then head on north via Xakanaxa to camp near North Gate. Early morning and afternoon game drives along the wetland areas offer superb wildlife sightings.
From North Gate, we then drive to Savuti, an area that has undergone dramatic changes over the past 30 years. Beginning in the 1980s the Savuti Channel began to dry-up, but today it is a lush waterway, once again, frequented by a variety of wildlife. The game drive options are numerous and the campsite is extremely active (keep fruit well hidden from roving elephants and meat from prowling hyenas). The vegetation is constantly changing, from open plains, palm trees and marshland, to dense mopane woodlands and acacia scrublands. Depending on conditions in the national parks we might explore the Central Kalahari Game Reserve or Makgadikgadi Pans National Park.
During this wildlife adventure, a support vehicle drives ahead with a crew that sets up camp before the group arrives. We stay at fully serviced, private camps in pristine and remote wilderness areas, far from the clamber of human development. Get back to nature while camping in the untamed bush where we leave nothing but footprints.
On day 11 we leave the game-rich national parks behind and return to the safari town of Maun, looking out for game and birds along the way. After some free time to explore the busy town and have lunch (own expense), we make our way to the lodge for tonight. On arrival at our lodge, there is time to relax and take a dip in the pool before enjoying a catered meal and a restful night in comfort.
Enjoy a relaxed morning when there is time for a swim before we journey east to the mysterious Makgadikgadi Salt Pans. One of the largest saltpan complexes in the world, Makgadikgadi Salt Pans is a solitary and quiet place of stark scenery and open space. Besides the desolate scenery, the pans are known for their prolific birdlife and the other desert-adapted animals. In the 19th century, Dr David Livingstone traversed the pans, using a massive baobab tree - the only landmark around for hundreds of miles - as his guide.
After exploring the spectacular pans we continue to our lodge and enjoy a relaxing evening.
Today we leave the vast and barren Makgadikgadi Pans, travelling north to Chobe River.
The Chobe River is the main source of water in Chobe National Park, famous for its huge herds of elephants. The scenic park is also home to hippo, crocodile, lion, antelopes and extraordinary bird life. In the afternoon we embark on a relaxing boat cruise on Chobe River, gliding close to the river bank in the hopes of encountering reptiles, mammals and birds up close. During our river exploration of Chobe National Park, we explore both the Chobe Riverfront as well as the Namibian side of the river.
Back on land, we cross into Zimbabwe and drive to Victoria Falls town. Our lodge is conveniently located within walking distance of booking agents, local attractions and the Vic Falls waterfall.
Today we visit the mighty Victoria Falls, to witness Mosi-oa-Tunya, which means the "The Smoke that Thunders". Vic Falls is considered the largest sheet of falling water in the world, sending up a spray of water 400m and higher that can be seen from as far as 50km away. Admiring this UNESCO World Heritage Site, one of the natural wonders of the world, is an awe-inspiring experience!
We spend the next two nights at our Victoria Falls lodge allowing plenty of time to participate in optional adventure activities (at extra expense) and explore the Vic Falls area by foot or bicycle. Optional activities in Vic Falls include; scenic helicopter flights over the Falls, Zambezi River Boat Cruises, White Water Rafting and Bungee Jumping from the bridge between Zambia and Zimbabwe. Or you could visit a local village to encounter traditional tribes, the African curio market or the crocodile farm among other attractions.
Tonight we will eat out at a local restaurant (at own expense). Soak up the sounds of the African night and the distant roar of the famous Victoria Falls, toasting to your exhilarating adventures.
Today the Botswana and Victoria Falls Safari ends for travellers on the 15-day Fly-in Safari Package, whilst the overland passengers will head back into Botswana, driving south to Francistown, the home of The Zebras, Botswana's national football team.
Tonight we stay at a comfortable lodge, swapping tales with fellow travellers and celebrating our African safari adventure over a catered meal.
On the final day of this remarkable Botswana & Victoria Falls Safari, we cross the Limpopo River, back into South Africa as we head for Johannesburg. We arrive in the dynamic city of Johannesburg in the early evening bringing this memorable wildlife and adventure safari to an end.
Airport transfers and post-tour accommodation can be arranged through African Budget Safaris.
Seasonal malaria precautions are necessary and are locally obtainable. A barrel bag or internal frame backpack is best suited for this trip (suitcases do not fit into the space provided). An extra tog bag or camera bag is advised. Spending money required will be for the restaurant meals, drinks, visas, tips curios, Zimbabwe airport tax US30, if applicable (price subject to change), and airport transfer for flying clients only, and any other optional excursions.
All trips are accompanied by two professional guides for optimum efficiency, catering for a maximum of 12 people per tour. A flexible attitude and active participation on this tour will help us to help you get the best out of your trip.
On the five camping nights, we stay in dome tents at fully serviced camps, with all linen provided (sleeping bag/blanket, pillow, extra mattress & towel).
This safari is also available in a shorter Fly-in Tour version running from Johannesburg to Victoria Falls. Follow the link for information on pricing.
For up-to-date and confirmed pricing info for optional items, please drop us an enquiry.