The 10-day Affordable Botswana Lodge Safari takes you on an action-packed journey into top wilderness and wildlife areas of Botswana and Zimbabwe.
This budget safari focuses on Botswana's top safari destinations, also visiting Hwange and Vic Falls in Zimbabwe, offering comfortable accommodation on an unforgettable nature and wildlife experience.
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 Affordable Botswana Lodge Safari kicks off in Maun, the wild west of safari towns. Landing in Maun, the journey begins. Your guide meets you at the airport from where you set off into northeastern Botswana and the Makgadikgadi Pans.
Our overnight lodge is located in Gweta near the Makgadikgadi Pans of the Kalahari Basin. Arriving at the lodge there is time to take a walk with your guide, visiting some of the big old baobab trees in this arid region. The guide tells you more about the baobab, the largest succulent in the world, and fills you in on the unique flora, fauna and geology of the salt pans area.
Day two starts with breakfast before we head into the network of Makgadikgadi Pans, one of the world's largest salt pans. We explore either Nxai Pan or Ntwetwe Pan, depending on seasonal conditions and wildlife movements. The saltpans are stark areas, standing dry for most of the year - flat expanses once covered in shallow lakes, now devoid of much life. During and after the rains the pans come alive, sprouting grasses that attract herds of herbivores.
The Nxai Pan covers about 40 km² of grassy flats dotted with clumps of acacias, attracting unusually large herds of giraffes and antelopes, such as gemsbok and springbuck, when vegetated. The ancient Baines’ Baobabs, named after the famous artist who found them in 1862, are found in the southern part of Nxai Pan.
One of the two main pans of Makgadikgadi, Ntwetwe Pan is a more arid and otherworldly area with rock formations and barren dunes. The Boteti River once flowed into Ntwetwe, which is one of the largest pans on earth. This area is known for its meerkat population and we might encounter desert-adapted animals like bat-eared foxes and springbuck.
After visiting the still and harsh pans we return to the lodge to unwind in the bar and take a dip in the pool.
After breakfast, we make our way to our next safari camp, situated in a private concession of the Khwai River area. We travel through Maun, and arriving at our camp we settle in and have dinner. Then we head into the private concession in Greater Khwai on a night game drive, going in search of Africa's nocturnal wildlife.
Khwai is renowned for its high concentration of mammals and a wide variety of wildlife is often spotted on a single game drive. The kinds of animals we see depends on the season, with the best time for game viewing being from August to November (late dry season to spring). The exceptional location of Khwai makes it a regular host to elephant, buffalo, lion, leopard, cheetah and wild dogs. Summer is the prime season for birdwatching, with Khwai being known for its raptors and wildfowl.
On day four we travel into the Moremi Game Reserve, considered one of the most diverse game reserves in Africa. As well as being a wilderness area of exceptional beauty, Moremi is famous for the remarkably high concentrations of game found across its varied habitats.
The whole day is spent in the pristine wilderness, exploring Moremi Game Reserve, on the eastern side of the Okavango Delta.
This morning you are transferred to the airstrip in Khwai for your flight to Kasane (own account). Arriving at Kasane in the far northeastern corner of Botswana, you are collected from the airstrip and driven to our safari lodge.
In the late afternoon we take a game viewing cruise on Chobe River, the main water source in Chobe National Park. Chobe National Park boasts some of the largest herds of elephants in Africa, as well as being home to numerous other species of big game and predators. The sunset boat trip enables us to get close to the abundant wildlife and birds of this scenic wilderness area, offering excellent photographic opportunities. We are likely to see elephants, antelopes, hippos, crocodiles, baboons and a rich array of birds, including plovers and fish eagles, as we take in the scenery and watch the sunset from the river.
On day six we leave Chobe Park, driving across into Zimbabwe. Our next safari lodge is located in a private concession area close to Hwange National Park. In the afternoon you can embark on an optional game drive, time allowing.
Day seven is spent exploring Hwange National Park on game drives, going in search of its abundant wildlife and birds. Hwange is Zimbabwe's leading game park and one of the most important wildlife refuges in Southern Africa. The national park is a stronghold for Africa wild dogs, and hosts huge elephant, buffalo, and zebra herds, as well and as outstanding concentrations of giraffes.
We visit the wild dog conservation project at the Painted Dog Conservation Centre to learn more about these endangered canines and the work being done to conserve them.
Today we leave Hwange National Park behind, driving to Victoria Falls, the last destination on our southern African trip.
Here we set off on a late afternoon boat cruise along the Zambezi River, near Victoria Falls waterfall. On this relaxing cruise, birds and animals are often spotted and we usually catch a spectacular sunset with the mists of Vic Falls rising up in the distance.
After witnessing this spectacular natural wonder of Vic Falls, you are free to spend the rest of the day relaxing at the lodge, exploring Victoria Falls or participating in some of the many optional adventure activities on offer (own expense). Don't miss the chance to visit Vic Falls on a guided tour to admire the largest sheet of falling water in the world up close.
Our Affordable Botswana Lodge Safari ends at Victoria Falls after breakfast today.
You will be transferred to Victoria Falls Airport in time for your onward flight. We hope to welcome you to the African wilderness again soon!
On this Botswana Safari, we stay at mid-range lodge accommodation by typical African standards. Most of the lodges have swimming pools, bars and restaurant areas.
Accommodation is situated either in national parks, on riverbanks, or in other places of interest. Accommodation will be in a mix of lodges, chalets and tented camps with en-suite bathrooms.
For up-to-date and confirmed pricing info for optional items, please drop us an enquiry.
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