Departing from Johannesburg this accommodated safari travels to the Kalahari Desert region of Botswana for cultural encounters with the ancient San people, before heading to Maun. Then we explore the pristine Okavango Delta on a mokoro day trip and nature walk, experiencing this truly wild and unspoiled African wilderness up close. Staying in the Delta, we spend a full day game viewing in the acclaimed Moremi Game Reserve.
Next, we drive to Nata, getting a glimpse of the Makgadikgadi Pans and enjoying sundowners in Nata Sanctuary. From there we make our way to Kasane, near Chobe National Park. Here, we take a 4x4 game drive and game viewing boat cruise in the famous Chobe Park, home to huge herds of elephants, numerous other animals and birds. Crossing into Zimbabwe, 'the Smoke that Thunders' as Victoria Falls is known, awaits!
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.
This Okavango Delta & Chobe Safari leaves Johannesburg city in South Africa on the morning of day one, travelling through the North-West Province towards the Botswana border. Border formalities complete, we drive northwest into Botswana on the Trans-Kalahari highway.
We spend our first night in the small town of Kang, located on the fringes of the Kalahari Desert region.
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.
Start day two with breakfast before we drive further into the Central Kalahari region, making our way to Ghanzi. Our camp is located in the Ghanzi area, home to the unique Kalahari San (Bushmen). The San were the first people to inhabit Southern Africa, having lived in harsh desert environments for tens of thousands of years.
After lunch we meet up with local San guides and take a walk in the seemingly barren Kalahari, discovering the rich forms of life found here. The San guides share their in-depth knowledge of the region's flora and fauna with us, revealing how their ancestors have long survived in this dry environment as hunter-gatherers.
This evening we are treated to traditional dance show, a cultural experience giving us more insight into the ancient ways of the San. These semi-nomadic people are known for their strong story-telling tradition, as well as their unique song and dance rituals.
Today we drive north-east to Maun, passing through rural Botswana. Maun is known as the gateway to the Okavango Delta, the world’s largest inland delta. The Okavango River has no outlet to the sea, emptying into the sands of the Kalahari Desert and irrigating some 15 000 km² of Botswana.
In the afternoon you have the chance to take an optional scenic flight over the Okavango Delta, from Maun. Viewing the delta from above reveals the grand scale and beauty of this unique ecosystem, allowing you to spot wildlife from above. We spend the third night in Maun, preparing for our magical delta day trip. The guides will fill you in on what to expect in the wild delta tomorrow.
Today those opting for the Upgraded Delta Trip will fly from Maun into the Okavango Delta 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 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 about viewing big game, 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.
On the Upgraded Delta Trip, guests stay at a bush camp in a 100 000 hectare private 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 game drives, bush walks, mokoro trips, sunset boat cruises and sundowners on one of the islands.
On day 5 the Activity Package includes a wildlife adventure in Moremi Game Reserve. Encompassing central and eastern parts of the Okavango Delta, Moremi Reserve is the only official protected area in the Delta.
This morning we drive to the southern gate of Moremi, 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 leafy camp, 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 big baobab trees along the way.
This afternoon the Activity Package includes a sundowner excursion to the salt pans of Nata Sanctuary to experience the vastness of this 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.
This morning we make our way to Kasane, in northeastern Botswana. Kasane is ideally located near the meeting place of the Chobe and Zambezi Rivers not far from neighbouring Zambia, Namibia and Zimbabwe.
Reaching Kasane we head to our safari camp, located along the Chobe River a few kilometres from Chobe National Park. Lunch is served from the safari truck before we embark on an afternoon of game viewing in Chobe National Park, home to one of the highest concentrations of game in Africa. First, we enjoy a 4x4 game drive in the scenic national park, best known for its huge population of elephants. Chobe is the second largest national park in Botswana, encompassing diverse habitats from lush plains and wooded grasslands to dense forests and swamps.
Then we set off on a sunset boat cruise in Chobe National Park which is known for its superb boat-based game viewing. The boat cruise provides excellent opportunities for spotting wild animals and birds up close, including hippos, crocodiles, buffaloes, antelope species and elephants.
We stay in en-suite rooms at the lodge, overlooking the Chobe River and surrounding bush, and featuring a restaurant, bar and swimming pool.
On day eight, we head for Victoria Falls, crossing into Zimbabwe. Today you have the chance to visit the mighty Vic Falls waterfall to experience the "Smoke that Thunders" or Mosi-oa-Tunya as the local Kololo 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. Be sure to go listen to the thundering of Victoria Falls and see the impressive smoke-like spray rising up to 400 metres above the Falls making it visible from as far as 50 km away!
In addition to viewing Victoria Falls waterfall, you can spend time relaxing at the hotel, exploring the town of Victoria Falls or embarking an optional adventure activity. Tonight you have the option of eating out in Victoria Falls and your guide tells you more about the optional activities available, assisting you with bookings for the following day.
This accommodated overland safari officially ends after breakfast today, bringing your unforgettable African wildlife and wilderness experience to an end.
Most people spend an extra day or two at Victoria Falls in order to participate in a few of the exciting adventure activities. This part of the Zambezi River is famous for offering some of the best whitewater rafting in the world, an unforgettable experience! Other optional adventures include helicopter and microlight flights over Vic Falls, zip-line rides, bungee jumping, skydiving and more.
This budget Okavango Delta & Chobe Accommodated Safari (North) is also available as a shorter Botswana Highlights Safari, travelling from Maun to Victoria Falls. See Full Pricing for rates.
The similar versions of this Botswana Safari are also available in the opposite direction as the Chobe & Okavango Delta Accommodated Safari (South) and the shorter Botswana Highlights Safari from Victoria Falls to Maun.
For more details about the various tour options and versions, contact us.
For up-to-date and confirmed pricing info for optional items, please drop us an enquiry.