Starting in Zimbabwe, go see the spectacular Victoria Falls, before heading into Botswana where we encounter the Big Five and other wildlife in the world-famous Chobe. From there, we drive to the fringes of the Makgadikgadi Pans and visit Nata Sanctuary. Then it is on to the beautiful waterways of the Okavango Delta to explore by mokoro and marvel at the unique fauna and flora. Next, we visit the Kalahari Desert and have the privilege of meeting local San people in Ghanzi, before heading across the vast Namibian plains to Windhoek.
Get a glimpse of true, wild, Africa on this incredible overland safari. Awe-inspiring scenery, fantastic wildlife and lifelong friendships are a given.
Our Okavango & Chobe Accommodated Overland Tour starts at the spectacular Victoria Falls, one of Africa's most famous natural wonders. Here the great Zambezi River tumbles over 350 feet along a width of over 5000 feet, creating the awe-inspiring Victoria Falls.
Viewing Vic Falls is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, not to be missed. Today you can visit Victoria Falls, the largest sheet of falling water in the world, walking to viewpoints to admire the mighty waterfall and take photos. Known by locals as Mosi-oa-Tunya, or 'The Smoke that Thunders', the river sends spray kilometres into the air and creates a natural rainforest. You can also explore the town of Victoria Falls and do optional adventure activities. The area offers a huge range of activities - from bungee jumping to white river rafting and gorge swinging. Book a couple of days at the Falls before we start on safari if you'd like to do more of these.
Enjoy an optional dinner out in Victoria Falls town tonight. We stay in en-suite rooms at a comfortable hotel next to the Zambezi National Park in Zimbabwe.
This Safari comes with an optional Activity Package. This is an additional payment that covers what we consider to be ‘essential activities’ on our tours. This itinerary includes these items. Ideally, we would include all of these, but not everyone can afford this, so you can pick and choose. African Budget Safaris will give you a detailed breakdown of what is included in the Activity Package, once we hear from you. See Full Pricing Information on the Pricing Tab for the cost of the Activity Package.
We cross the border into Botswana and spend the night in Kasane, near Chobe National Park. We spend the night in comfortable en-suite rooms and make use of the swimming pool to cool down in the African heat.
After lunch served from the safari truck at camp, we embark on a 4x4 game drive in Chobe National Park as part of the Activity Package. This is one of Africa's top game parks, famous for its massive elephant population and large buffalo herds. Wildlife sightings include large predators - lions, leopards, cheetahs, jackals and spotted hyenas, and game such as zebras, giraffes, waterbuck and kudus.
In the late afternoon, we take a sunset boat cruise in Chobe National Park (included in Activity Package), looking out for the numerous birds and animals drawn to the river. From the water, we get up close to plenty of wild animals such as hippos, antelopes, buffalos, crocodiles and elephants. The park covers 11 700 km² and is known for its wide range of fauna and abundance of wildlife. Keep your cameras ready - this is Big Five country.
Open since 1968, Chobe is one of the world's most well-known game parks, and for good reason! With its vast assortment of fauna - from grassland to woodland and marshes - it provides the habitat for a huge range of wildlife and birds. Beside all its antelope species, giraffe, zebra and big cats, the park boasts an elephant population of over 120 000. This is the stuff of safari dreams!
This morning we drive south to Nata, on the outer fringes of the Makgadikgadi Salt Pans.
This afternoon we take a sundowner excursion to Nata Sanctuary (included in the Activity Package) to experience the vastness of the harsh salt pan environment. The Makgadikgadi Pans complex is one of the largest salt pan systems in the world, covering 30 000 km² of Botswana. In winter the pans are dry and stark, whilst in summer short grasses and shallow pools attract an array of animals and birds. Nata is a breeding ground for waterbirds including pelicans and flamingoes so we may see flocks of these in season.
Day four sees us driving west to Maun. Our route crosses the northern limits of the Makgadikgadi Pans, passing big baobab trees along the way. Early this afternoon we arrive in Maun, the closest town to the Okavango Delta, leaving free time for you to relax at the hotel or take an optional scenic flight over the Okavango Delta (time and weather allowing). Scenic flights are the best way to take in the sheer size of the delta system, offering beautiful views and a chance to spot wildlife from above. This evening your guide will fill you in on the details of our day trip into the Okavango Delta tomorrow.
On this tour, you can upgrade to a two-night Okavango Delta Trip as an optional extra. If you opt for the Upgraded Okavango Delta Trip you are transferred directly to the airport upon arrival in Maun for your flight into the Okavango Delta. The upgraded excursion entails flying into and out of the delta where you spend two nights at a remote tented camp (contact us for more details).
Today we are up early for our full day of exploring the Okavango Delta by dug-out canoe (mokoro). We 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.
This incredible area of waterways and islands covers up to 15 000 km2 during the wet season. None of this water reaches the sea, but instead, evaporates or transpires from the delta itself. It being a largely watery paradise, the Okavango is home to hippos, crocs and many fish. Many other of Africa's favourite animals call the Delta home, too. Zebra, rhino, buffalo, wildebeest and a number of buck species also live there, some seasonally, others permanently. And then, the birds... Incredible!
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.
This morning those who opted for the Upgraded Okavango Delta Trip fly out of the Okavango Delta, meeting up with the rest of the group in Maun. Back in Maun, we board our safari truck and drive southwest to Ghanzi, in the heart of the Kalahari Desert.
In the Kalahari, we meet some of the local San community (known colloquially as Bushmen) and learn about their culture and traditions. The traditional San people are indigenous to Southern Africa, having inhabited the area for over 30 000 years, surviving in harsh conditions as nomadic hunter-gatherers. In the afternoon we take a nature walk with the San in the Kalahari to find out more about their survival techniques using local flora and fauna. Their story is fascinating.
This evening we watch San traditional dancing and you can stay in a traditional hut (small extra cost) for a pukka San experience.
Rising early, we travel from Ghanzi over the border into Namibia and on to Windhoek. This is a long trip which gives us a glimpse of the vastness of Africa as we drive through breathtaking, enormous, plains.
On arrival in Windhoek - Namibia's capital city - your guide takes you on a short walking tour of the city, after which our safari ends.
It is nice, however, to join the group for a final meal at Joe's Beerhouse, one of the city's many eateries, which offers a glimpse into this cosmopolitan city's nightlife.
Windhoek is a wonderful mix of African and European (much German) influences. Known for its safety and good upkeep, there's something for everyone. From the beautiful botanical gardens to the state museum at Alte Feste to the plethora of shops and restaurants, it'll be hard to decide which activities to pick!
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