This Botswana Parks & Okavango Delta Budget Lodge Safari visits the top safari destinations of Botswana and Zimbabwe, as well as Namibia's Caprivi Strip.
Start off at the natural wonder of Victoria Falls where thrilling activities await and then travel into the Zambezi Region of Namibia to experience the Greater Bwabwata National Park. Explore the wild Okavango Delta region of Botswana, including the world-renowned Moremi Game Reserve. Then visit Botswana's Magkadikgadi Pans, before enjoying unforgettable game viewing in Chobe National Park and Zimbabwe's Hwange National Park, two of Africa's finest wildlife havens, hosting huge elephant herds.
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.
Arriving at Victoria Falls Airport, you will be collected and taken to your overnight lodge in the town of Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe.
The remainder of the afternoon is free for you to embark on one of the numerous adventure activities available in and around Victoria Falls. There are plenty of exciting activities on offer at Victoria Falls, the unofficial Adventure Capital of Southern Africa. In the evening you meet up with your tour guide and the fellow travellers at the lodge for a pre-safari briefing.
Day two of our Botswana Parks and Okavango Delta Safari is spent at Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe. The day is free for you to participate in optional activities and explore the historic town and nearby attractions. Popular activities include bungee jumping from Victoria Falls Bridge and helicopter, plane or micro-light flights over the spectacular waterfall.
On the afternoon of day two, we set off on a sunset boat cruise along the Zambezi River. This leisurely sunset cruise is the ideal way to end your adventure-filled day at one of the natural wonders of the world. Keep an eye out for animals and birds as you sip on sundowners and watch a glowing sunset from the river.
Today starts with breakfast at the lodge beside the Zambezi River. Leaving Vic Falls after breakfast, we travel west to the Kazungula border post where we cross over into Namibia.
Entering the lush Caprivi Strip in Namibia's Zambezi Region we proceed to our overnight camp along the Kwando River. Arriving at our camp late this afternoon we sit back and enjoy the river views, catching a peaceful sunset while watching for crocodiles and hippos.
On day four we get up early for a game drive in the Greater Bwabwata National Park, which incorporates the former Caprivi Game Park and Mahangu Game Reserve.
Greater Bwabwata covers some 6270km² of wilderness, stretching about 180km east-to-west from the Kavango River to the Kwando River. Chances of sighting elephants, buffalos and various antelopes are high, including roan and kudu. Bird species number in the region of 339, providing excellent bird watching. The Mahangu region features enormous baobab trees, riverine forests and floodplains where large herds of elephant, buffalo and red lechwe roam.
Our next destination is Etsha 13, a scenic wild region along the western edge of the Okavango Delta. The Okavango Delta is Botswana's most famous wilderness area, counted as one of the natural wonders of the world and one of the wildest places in Africa. The next two nights are spent in a camp on the delta surrounded by untamed wilderness and the sounds of nature. The Okavango is the largest inland delta in the world and is unique in that it flows into the Kalahari Desert without ever reaching the sea.
Day five is spent exploring the Okavango Delta in mekoros, the traditional means of getting around in this densely vegetated, watery region. Your guides stand in the back of the mekoros poling you along the winding, reed-lined channels - the ideal way to experience this unspoilt wildlife haven. Our mokoro trip takes us to a small island tucked away in the delta. Here we stop and explore the unique ecosystem on foot, watching closely for various birds and animals.
We stay in permanent tents with en-suite bathrooms in the Etsha 13 area, spending our evenings relaxing at the camp bar and soaking up the wild scenery.
After breakfast on day six, we continue southwards to the Moremi area of the delta. Passing through the town of Maun we make our way into the private concession area in Greater Moremi, on the fringes of the pristine Okavango Delta. The Moremi region is considered one of the best wildlife destinations in Botswana, providing superb mammal sightings.
Depending on the season, we are likely to sight different species in various parts of the concession. Greater Moremi offers rewarding game viewing throughout the year with a wide array of animals often being spotted on a single game viewing drive. Wildlife includes elephants, leopards, lions, buffalos, as well as endangered wild dogs and cheetahs. Birdlife is also prolific offering outstanding sightings of raptors and wildfowl species in summer.
Enjoy a full day of game viewing in the Greater Moremi area on day seven, searching for wildlife and birds on 4x4 game drives in the morning, afternoon and night. This action-packed day of game viewing, promises sightings of a variety of wildlife species, including some of Africa’s Big Five. The thrilling night drive after dinner offers excellent chances of sighting unusual and elusive nocturnal animals.
Today we set off into the scenic and wildlife-rich Moremi Game Reserve proper. Moremi covers a large part of the eastern Okavango Delta and is home to an exceptionally high concentration of wildlife. The park consists of woodland, forest, floodplains and lagoons making it a varied wilderness area full of contrasts.
The whole of day eight is spent game viewing in the world-renowned Moremi Game Reserve sighting its wildlife, including elephant, buffalo, giraffe, lion, leopard, cheetah, African wild dog, hyena, jackal, impala, and red lechwe, among others.
Time to leave the wild Okavango Delta region behind this morning, proceeding to the arid Makgadikgadi Pans further east. We transition from the lush floodplains and dense vegetation of the estuarine system to the flat, dry salt pan environment of northern Botswana, passing big old baobab trees along the way.
The Makgadikgadi Pans complex is one of the largest salt pan systems in the world, spanning some 37000 km² of open, uninhabited terrain. After sporadic seasonal rains, grasses and low bushes sprout from the flat pans, attracting a variety of grazers to these expansive grasslands.
Late this afternoon our journey brings us to the lodge in Nata, on the fringes of the striking Makgadikgadi Pans.
On the morning of day ten, we visit the Nata Bird Sanctuary. The sanctuary lies on the edge of Makgadikgadi Pans, incorporating the salt depression of Sowa Pan. After the rains when the pan features some vegetation and shallow pools of water, we may see a few zebras, antelopes and flamingoes amongst others.
From Sowa, we return to the lodge in Nata for breakfast before setting off for our next destination. Our next stop is the town of Kasane, located near the borders between Botswana, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Namibia. Kasane is a popular safari hub for accessing the famous Chobe National Park. Arriving at our lodge near Chobe the remainder of the afternoon is free for lounging at the pool or doing optional activities.
Day 11 starts with a rewarding game drive in Chobe National Park, looking out for antelopes, elephants, lions and more. Chobe is a classical African game park with grassy plains and typical bushveld vegetation, inhabited by healthy numbers of the most sought-after plains game and large mammal species. Botswana's leading national park, Chobe is world famous for the massive elephant herds found in the region. After our game drive in one of Africa's top wildlife parks, we head to back to the lodge for brunch and some free time to rest and unwind.
In the afternoon (at about 3:00) we set off on a relaxing Chobe Sunset Cruise which takes us along the river to spot an abundance of birds, as well as reptiles and mammals. The boat cruise enables us to get up close to various creatures, especially wallowing hippos, lurking crocodiles and thirsty elephants - fantastic encounters for close range photography.
On day 12 our journey continues, taking us into neighbouring Zimbabwe, where we head to Hwange National Park. Hwange is the top game viewing destination in Zimbabwe, rated as one of Africa's best wildlife parks.
This afternoon you can join an optional game drive in Hwange Park (time allowing). Over the next two days, we have ample time to explore the wilderness area of Hwange on full day game drives.
Hwange National Park is home to vast herds of elephant, buffalo, zebra and hosts a very high concentration of giraffes. Additionally, it is home to many predators and endangered species as well as abundant and varied birdlife. At Hwange we take a trip to the nearby Painted Dog Conservation Centre, to learn more about these endangered carnivores and see them at close range.
For the next three nights, we stay at an intimate safari lodge overlooking a watering hole inside a private concession area, near Hwange Park.
Today we return to Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe, where our Botswana Parks & Okavango Delta Lodge Safari started.
Our memorable journey to Zimbabwe, Botswana and Namibia comes to an end after breakfast at the lodge in Hwange. Then you are transferred to Victoria Falls Airport for your onward flight.
We stay in mid-range African standard lodge accommodation. The lodge accommodation is either in national parks, on riverbanks, or in other scenic and unique locations. Accommodation will be in en-suite rooms, chalets or permanent tents at traditional lodges and tented camps. The accommodation establishments feature en-suite bathrooms. Some of the lodges and camps have a swimming pool and/or bar area.
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