Chobe boat cruise

Botswana & Zimbabwe Classical Safari

Tour Length15 days
Priced from pps $4975 R69671 £3763 4220 A$6574 C$6353 NZ$7309 Full pricing info
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Summary of this Lodge Safari

  • Max. Group Size 12 Travellers
  • Starts & ends in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe
  • Accommodation Lodge & Camping Combo
  • Transport Microbus
  • Wildlife Big 5, Elephant, Exceptional Birding, Lions, Rhino & More
  •  See Departure Dates

2018 Itinerary Overview 2017 Info

An authentic African adventure exploring Zimbabwe, Botswana and a little of Namibia in extra style and comfort, at a great price!

Highlights on this comfortable lodge tour, include:

  • Victoria Falls visit & Hwange National Park game drives in open 4x4 vehicles 
  • Matobos game drive, rock art visit & game walk with a local guide
  • Moremi Game Reserve open 4x4 vehicle game drives
  • Okavango Delta mokoro and motorboat excursions
  • Chobe National Park sunset river cruise & optional game drive

This upmarket small group safari is conducted in a custom-built 4x4 vehicle and stays at exceptional 3 to 4 star lodges and tented camps in unique locations. 

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Full 2018 Itinerary 2017 Info

Day 1: Victoria Falls – Zimbabwe

This morning we check in at our lodge, heading to the Victoria Falls National Park in the afternoon. Victoria Falls is one of the most spectacular natural wonders in Southern Africa, an absolute must-see!

The national park hosts not only the mighty Vic Falls but the lush rainforests that grow around the misty waterfall. We walk through the dense forests with a local guide, visiting various viewpoints to marvel at the powerful waterfall and take photos. The largest sheet of falling water in the world, Victoria Falls makes a loud thundering sound and sends up a massive plume of spray as it falls about 108 metres into the gorge below. This is where it gets its local name, Mosi-oa-Tunya, the 'Smoke that Thunders'.

  • Activities included: Entry Fees to Victoria Falls National Park
  • Accommodation: Guest Lodge - twin rooms with en-suite facilities, swimming pool, restaurant, bar, telephone & free WiFi
  • Optional Activities: Scenic flights & many more

Day 2 & 3: Hwange National Park – Zimbabwe

Leaving Vic Falls behind on day two, we drive south to the top safari destination in Zimbabwe - Hwange National Park.

This park is renowned for its huge elephant herds and a large population of endangered African wild dogs. Hwange Park is home to healthy populations of Africa's classical wildlife species - the large cats and big game safaris are famous for, so get ready for some memorable wildlife action. The Big Five (lion, leopard, rhino, buffalo, and elephant) are well represented amongst the 105 mammal species.

Day three is dedicated to game viewing in open 4x4 safari vehicles, offering excellent opportunities to spot the free-roaming wildlife of Hwange. One of the best game parks in Southern Africa, Hwange incorporates diverse habitats in its 5 656mi² (14,651km²) area - from arid Kalahari bushveld to open grasslands and mopane woodlands. We are almost guaranteed to see elephants, buffalos, zebras, and giraffes, and likely sightings include lions and various antelope species. We may spot hyena, cheetah, rhino and perhaps leopard, as well as rare sable and roan antelopes.

We spend two nights at an exclusive lodge set inside a private concession area on the eastern border of Hwange National Park.

  • Meals included: Breakfast & Dinner (x2)
  • Activities included: Entrance fees & two game viewing activities per day
  • Accommodation: Lodge at Hwange National Park - deluxe tented chalets with en-suite facilities, swimming pool and central boma area.
  • Travel distance/time: 200 km (about 3 hours, excluding stops for sightseeing)

Day 4 & 5: Matobos National Park – Zimbabwe

Travelling southeast through rural Zimbabwe we continue to Matobos National Park, one of the most prized natural, historical and cultural treasures of Zimbabwe.

The Matobos Park is an important wildlife sanctuary, hosting one of Zimbabwe's last rhino populations, as well as an exceptionally high concentration of leopards and black eagles. This 424 km² national park covers part of the scenic Matobos Hills. Also called the Matopos Hills, these undulating hills are strewn with numerous granite rock formations, hosting ancient rock paintings and sacred sites of the Ndebele.

During our time in Matobos, we take a game walk with a local guide, tracking white rhinos and other animals. We also explore the dramatic hills on foot, visiting some of the many San (Bushmen) rock art sites found here. Our drive takes us to the grave of imperialist Cecil John Rhodes, located on a hilltop called World's View, from where we enjoy sweeping views of the strange landscapes of Matobos.

  • Meals included: Breakfast (x2), Lunch (x1) & Dinner (x2)
  • Activities included: Entrance fees & two activities per day
  • Accommodation: Chalets - twin rooms with en-suite facilities (hot showers), swimming pool, restaurant, bar & telephone.
  • Travel distance/time: 360 km (about 6 hours, excluding stops for sightseeing, shopping & lunch)

Day 6: Nata & Makgadikgadi Pans – Botswana

Today we head west to the town of Plumtree, where we cross into Botswana. From there we drive up to Nata, located on the fringes of the Makgadikgadi Pans.

Later this afternoon we embark on an excursion to the nearby Nata Sanctuary area of Makgadikgadi Salt Pans to experience the open expanse of the flat white pans. These dry plains form part of one of the largest salt pan complexes in the world, measuring about 12 000km² and once covered by a vast inland lake. The bleached pans and wide blue skies offer outstanding photographic opportunities.

After watching the seemingly endless pans glowing in the sunset, we return to the lodge for a peaceful night under starry skies.

  • Meals included: Breakfast
  • Activities included: Entry fees to Nata Sanctuary
  • Accommodation: Lodge – twin-share chalets with en-suite facilities, swimming pool, bar, restaurant & telephone.
  • Travel distance/time: 325 km (about 4½ hours, excluding stops for border, sightseeing & lunch)

Day 7: Maun – Botswana

On the seventh day of our Botswana & Zimbabwe Classical Safari, we drive west to Maun. Maun is the closest town to the Okavango Delta, serving as a base for trips into this wild wetland area.

We stay at a lodge along the Thamalakane River, soaking up the river views and watching the birdlife. This afternoon you can take a dip in the pool and rest at the lodge, or take an optional flight over the beautiful Okavango Delta. The optional flight (extra cost) offers an exciting way to view the massive natural wonder of the delta in all its glory and scan for wildlife.

Tonight we get ready for our travels to Moremi Game Reserve, covering a large part of the Okavango Delta.

  • Meals included: Breakfast
  • Accommodation: Riverside Lodge - twin-share bedrooms with en-suite facilities, swimming pool, bar, restaurant & telephone.
  • Travel distance/time: 310 km (about 4½ hours, excluding stops for sightseeing)
  • Optional Activities: Scenic Okavango Delta Flight

Day 8 - 10: Moremi Game Reserve – Botswana

Moremi is the only official protected area in the delta, formed by the local BaTawana people in 1962. The wildlife reserve is named after the BaTawana leader, Chief Moremi, and encompasses about a third of the Okavango Delta. The Moremi Game Reserve is world-renowned for its high wildlife densities, diverse habitats and incredible natural beauty.

During our time in the eastern region of the Okavango Delta, we explore both Moremi and the neighbouring Khwai Concession Area on game drives. We stay at a tented lodge located in the Khwai Community Area, which borders on Moremi. The lodge is nestled amid mopane trees and overlooks a big pan, attracting a host of animals and birds year-round. Meals and leisure time are enjoyed in the dining, lounge and boma areas, at the pool, and on the deck, watching animals at the pan.

Our game drives reveal the varied landscapes of Moremi and surrounds - a mosaic of floodplains, islands, forests, woodlands, savannahs and lagoons. We may encounter predators such as lion, cheetah, leopard, hyena, African wild dog and more from our open 4x4 vehicles. Moremi is home to healthy herbivore populations too, including elephant, buffalo, zebra, giraffe, red lechwe and much more. In addition to being one of the finest wildlife areas in Africa, Moremi is also an outstanding birding destination, hosting almost 500 bird species.

On day 10 we take a morning game drive in the private concession area, before returning to Maun.

  • Meals included: Breakfast (x3), Lunch (x3) & Dinner (x2)
  • Activities included: Entry fees to Moremi Game Reserve & morning and afternoon game drives in open 4x4 vehicle
  • Accommodation (day 8 & 9): Safari Lodge - exclusive private tented bush lodge, bordering Moremi Game Reserve; twin share permanent tented lodge with en-suite facilities.
  • Accommodation (day 10): Riverside Lodge - twin share bedrooms with en-suite facilities, swimming pool, bar, restaurant & telephone.
  • Travel distance/time: 225 km (about 4 hours, excluding game drives & stops for wildlife viewing)

Day 11 & 12: Okavango Delta, Shakwe – Botswana

Next, we set off north, skirting the edge of the Okavango Delta.

Our next northern Botswana destination is the Okavango Panhandle area of the scenic delta. The Okavango Delta is one of Africa's last truly wild ecosystems and Botswana's most treasured natural wonder, providing sanctuary to an abundance of wildlife and birds.

We spend our time exploring this peaceful wilderness area by motorboat and in traditional-style mokoros (dug-out canoes) poled along the waterways by local guides. Navigating the reed-lined channels and lagoons of the Okavango Delta by boat and mokoro is the ideal way to view the unusual and rare flora and fauna of this pristine environment.

Nxamseri Island Lodge is nestled in an indigenous forest on a secluded small island in the Okavango Panhandle, our lodge overlooks the serene waterways and untamed surroundings.

  • Meals included: Breakfast (x2), Lunch (x2) & Dinner (x2)
  • Activities included: Okavango mokoro and motorboat excursions
  • Accommodation: Nxamseri Island Lodge - twin share bedrooms with en-suite facilities, bar, restaurant & telephone.
  • Travel distance/time: 350 km (about 6 hours, excluding stops for sightseeing and lunch)

Day 13: Caprivi Strip – Namibia

From the watery delta of Botswana, we travel into the fertile Caprivi Strip of Namibia.

Our drive takes us into Mahango Game Reserve, a compact yet diverse wildlife park. This unusually lush area of Namibia is home to ample game, including plenty of elephants and antelopes, such as roan, sable, bushbuck, reedbuck, tsessebe, sitatunga, kudu and red lechwe.

Leaving Mahango, we proceed to the Kavango River where our overnight lodge is situated. Here we take an afternoon boat cruise, enjoying unspoilt nature in this remote spot.

  • Meals included: Breakfast & Dinner
  • Activities included: Mahangu National Park entry fee & game drive in tour vehicle
  • Accommodation: Camp Kwando - twin share permanent tents with en-suite facilities, swimming pool, bar, restaurant & telephone.
  • Travel distance/time: 320 km (about 5 hours, excluding border formalities)

Day 14: Chobe National Park – Botswana

Today we travel eastwards through the Caprivi Strip. This narrow finger of Namibian land stretches east from northern Namibia to Zimbabwe, bordered by Botswana on the south and Angola and Zambia on the north. We drive to Ngoma Bridge where we cross the border back into Botswana.

Back in Botswana, we head south to the small town of Kasane on the banks of Chobe River. After settling in and freshening up at our lodge in Kasane we embark on a boat cruise along the famous Chobe River. Our laid-back cruise takes us into Chobe National Park, one of Africa's best game reserves.

The river draws a profusion of animals and birds from the surrounding plains, offering superb game viewing. On our boat cruise, we are sure to see a variety of animals, ranging from lizards and crocodiles to elephants, hippos, baboons and buffalos. The cruise is excellent for photographing wildlife, birds and landscapes as we move slowly along the river, getting up close to sightings. After a sublime sunset from the water, we head back to the lodge for our last night on safari.

  • Meals included: Breakfast
  • Activities included: Chobe N.P. entry fees & sunset cruise on Chobe River
  • Accommodation: Chobe Safari Lodge – twin chalets with en-suite facilities, swimming pool, bar, restaurant, telephone & WiFi available.
  • Travel distance/time: 85 km (about 1 hour, excluding border formalities)

Day 15: Kasane or Victoria Falls – Zimbabwe

On our final morning, you have the chance to embark on one more optional game drive (extra cost) in Chobe Park.

Returning from your morning game drive, we gather for breakfast at the lodge. Then it is time to say goodbye to your travel companions and guides, transferring to either Kasane airport in Botswana or Victoria Falls airport in Zimbabwe.

Both shuttle options are included in the cost and will arrive in time for mid-day flight departures.

  • Meals included: Breakfast
  • Included: Transfer to either Kasane Airport (Botswana), or Victoria Falls Airport (Zimbabwe), or the town of Victoria Falls (Zimbabwe)
  • Travel distance/time: 85 km (about 1.5 hours to Vic Falls, excluding border formalities) / 10 minutes to Kasane airport

Optional Extras and Excursions

For up-to-date and confirmed pricing info for optional items, please drop us an enquiry.

  • Chobe National Park morning game drive
  • Scenic Okavango Delta Flight
  • Victoria Falls adventure activities
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+Where does the tour go to?
+Optional Activities & Day Trips
For confirmed pricing on these optional items, please drop us an enquiry
  • Chobe National Park morning game drive
  • Scenic Okavango Delta Flight
  • Victoria Falls adventure activities
+Included in the Tour Price
  • 14 breakfasts, 6 lunches & 9 dinners
  • en-suite accommodation
  • transport in Mercedes Sprinter (or 12-seater safari truck)
  • national park entry fees
+Departure Dates

Scheduled Tour Departures
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If you do not see departures listed for your dates, or would like information on potential changes, please do contact us for further info.

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