This Budget Botswana Authentic Bush Camp Safari promises a safari in traditional style, invoking the spirit of a bygone era.
Travel to the world renown Okavango Delta and camp on Xobega Island surrounded by the pristine waterways and the animal and birdlife that have adapted to life in this watery wilderness. Drift through the channels in mokoros poled by the local 'gondoliers' spotting wildlife as you journey. From here fly to Camp Savuti located in Chobe National Park, an area fed by the erratic Savuti Channel. Take wildlife viewing drives in search of the huge amount of wildlife here, most prolifically lion that feeds on the large elephant populations. From here fly north to the remote, prestigious, privately owned Selinda Reserve. Camp on the banks of the Selinda Spillway ideally located for views of the marshlands and floodplains teeming with wildlife. Take game viewing drives and nature walks with experienced guides who will teach you the secrets of the African bush.
This 8-day safari will leave you with wonderful memories of a true African bush experience.
Our first flight takes us from Maun to Xakanaxa Airstrip, located in Moremi Game Reserve. We take a wildlife viewing drive through Moremi to the boat station at Xakanaxa or Mboma, where we board a motorboat for a 1.5 hour transfer through the waterways of the Okavango Delta to Xobega Island Camp, spotting birdlife and wildlife as we go. Arriving at our island camp we take some refreshment and listen to a briefing from our camp host, then it's time to acquaint ourselves with our traditional bush tents, with en-suite bathrooms and bucket showers.
Our host loads our boat with drinks of our choice before we set out on a cruise through the delta to enjoy sundowners as we watch the sunset over this watery wonderland. Back at camp, we are welcomed with a hearty dinner and some convivial company before our first night in a bush tent.
Our early wake up call is cushioned with coffee and breakfast before we embark on a morning cruise through the reed-fringed channels of the Delta. Sunblock and cameras are essentials as we glide through the maze of islands, spotting wildlife and spectacular birdlife as we cruise. Due to seasonal changes, when the floodwaters recede, apart from the usual aquatic loving wildlife such as hippo, buffalo, elephant, crocodile and birdlife found in the Delta, in the drier months it is home to predators such as lion, hyena, wild dog, leopard and cheetah and their prey, many species of antelope, all of which have adapted to life here.
Returning to camp there is time to take a refreshing bucket shower before lunch served in the dining tent. The early afternoon is free for a siesta or some birdwatching before enjoying high tea and embarking on a sundowner, sunset boat cruise. A hearty dinner awaits at camp and after freshening up, we sit down to enjoy this with our fellow travellers and share our tales of the day's exciting adventures, before retiring for out last night on Xobega Island.
On Day 3 another early starts see us embark, after breakfast, on a transfer to the boat station at Xakanaxa or Mboma where we change to an open landrover for our transfer to Xakanaxa Airstrip and our flight to Chobe National Park, considered one of the best wildlife destinations in Africa. On arrival, we are met by a guide for our 30 minute transfer to Camp Savuti situated on the banks of the Savuti Channel. Our host warmly greets us and briefs us on what we can expect over the next couple of days. Then it's time to check out the Meru style tented home standing on a platform overlooking the Savuti Channel where wildlife gathers. This is glamping rather than camping, as your en-suite facilities include flush toilets and bush showers and the beds are luxuriously made up with pure cotton linen.
A typical day at Camp Savuti begins with an early morning wake up, around 05:30 eased with hot coffee and cereal, yoghourt and fruit, then it's off on a wildlife viewing safari in open safari vehicles which are ideal for great photo opportunities. Arriving back at around 09:30 (unless we are delayed by exciting sightings) we are welcomed with a hearty breakfast and some time to relax, take a nap or sit on the deck watching the birdlife pass by and the wildlife take some refreshment from the Savuti Channel. Lunch is served around 13:00, then there is more time to relax before taking afternoon tea at 16:00 and embarking on a sunset wildlife game drive in Chobe National Park. Back at camp around 20:00 dinner is served in the boma.
Chobe National Park has a diverse environment, with dry scrubland in the north, where it extends to the Kalahari Desert, together with floodplains, swamps and woodlands - an environment fed by the mighty Chobe River. In the northern areas, the animals have adapted to the extremely dry conditions and include, the Kalahari lion, leopards, cheetahs, caracals, gemsbok, meerkats and the largest of the African antelope the eland. Chobe is particularly well known for the huge herds of elephant here, as well as lion and buffalo, which are found in abundance. The riverfront in Chobe is a particularly bustling spot for congregations of wildlife. Rhino is an elusive creature as it was only re-introduced to this area in 2001, but the numbers are multiplying so you may just be fortunate to spot a white rhino. Mention must be made of the over 450 species of birdlife, highlights of which include kingfishers, a high density of fish eagles and African skimmers. Stay on the lookout for bee-eaters, hamerkops and wire-tailed swallows and at the floodplains spot storks, geese, herons and many plovers.
After sundowners in the bush, we wend our way back to camp on the lookout for nocturnal creatures, beginning their nightly search for sustenance. We are sustained by dinner at camp and tales around the campfire before drifting off to bed in our bush tents.
Our two days here follow the pattern set out above and then we move on to our final, exclusive destination.
Today we say farewell to game-rich Chobe National Park and fly to our final destination - the cherished, privately owned Selinda Reserve. This remote area in northern Botswana is a secluded wilderness of 300 000 acres which accepts a maximum of 32 guests at any one time spread over three camps - our camp taking no more than ten guests. The owners of this reserve are committed to conservation, hence the limited numbers and leave the management of the reserve in the hands of a team of experienced conservationists.
After our flight from Chobe, we are met by our guide at the airstrip in the reserve and taken on a 30 minute drive to our camp, looking out for wildlife as we go. Motswiri Camp is located on the Selinda Spillway and the camp has been designed to provide maximum views of the surrounding floodplains, swamps and grasslands punctuated with wildlife. On arrival we take some refreshments and are then shown to our home in the bush for the next three nights. Once everyone is settled we set out on a sundowner wildlife viewing drive and familiarise ourselves with the different landscapes here. Back at camp we have dinner and chat around the campfire before taking ourselves off to bed ready to be up bright and early tomorrow.
We are privileged to spend two full days here at this superb camp and reserve. The exclusivity of the reserve ensures our wildlife viewing drives have the advantage of being far away from the tourist routes. Wild Dogs den here and have even been spotted close to Motswiri Camp. Other predators found here include cheetah, prides of lion, hyena, jackal and leopard. Elephants are common, particularly in the dry season, buffalo are found in large herds as well as giraffe, zebra, wildebeest, hippo, hyena, waterbuck, kudu, steenbuck, lechwe and impala. At night there is a chance to see the more nocturnal species like civet, serval, wild cats, honey badger, springhares, aardvark and aardwolf.
Our armed guides take us out on a bush walk where they share their knowledge of the flora and fauna found here. They point out the signs of animal movement, something that most of us would easily miss. Imagine the excitement of coming face to face with animals in the wild, daunting but not threatening if we listen to the instructions from our wise, experienced guides. It's refreshing to take a dip in the spillway during these walks. Back at camp lunch is served and then it's time for a nap or some relaxation before our sundowner wildlife viewing drive.
Evenings are spent relaxing around the campfire after dinner, regaling each other with the highlights of our day. Then it's time for bed lulled to sleep by the peace and solitude only broken by the sounds of the African bush.
Sadly this Budget Botswana Authentic Bush Camp Safari ends today as we are driven to the airstrip after breakfast for our flight to Maun or Kasane. This memorable 8-day safari will stay with us for many years to come particularly the intimate Camp Motswiri in Selinda Reserve, a wonderful place to end this safari.
About Xobega Island Camp
Tucked away in the lush vegetation and shady trees on Xobega Island this rustic camp lies deep in the Okavango Delta, just off the mainland of Moremi Game Reserve. The tented camp is basic, but provides more comfort than standard camping, offering an affordable and charming alternative. Guests sleep on stretcher beds in permanent twin-share tents with en-suite, open-air bathrooms featuring bucket showers and eco-friendly toilets.
The tented rooms are set in the dense bush surrounding the main camp area, which consists of a dining tent and two open-sided lounge areas under canvas. The bush camp is adequately equipped and simply furnished, with its spaces featuring calming neutral tones and tasteful touches. Xobega Island Camp also has an intimate boma area for sitting around the fire pit at night, and a tea and coffee station in the dining tent.
Set on a small, private island only accessible by boat from Moremi Game Reserve, this unfenced bush camp is ideal for getting close to unspoilt nature. Days are spent exploring the Okavango Delta on boat cruises (morning, afternoon and sunset), looking out for wildlife and birds in this birding paradise. Common wildlife sightings on the boat cruises include elephants, antelopes, hippos and crocodiles, along with a plethora of birds.
About Camp Savuti
Overlooking the famous Savuti Marsh of Chobe National Park, this eco-friendly bush camp is located in a prime game viewing area, where lions are known to hunt elephants. In addition to its large lion prides, the Savuti Channel hosts numerous African wild dogs, buffalos, other wildlife and abundant birdlife. The main activities at the authentic camp are early morning and late afternoon game drives in the diverse and wildlife-rich Chobe Park, as well as bird watching and star gazing.
Accommodation is in spacious canvas tents with en-suite bathrooms fitted with flush toilets and bush showers. These five tented rooms are positioned to provide privacy and feature raised decks looking out over the dense bush. The main lounge, bar and dining areas of the camp also overlook the Savuti Channel. Facilities at Camp Savuti include a plunge pool and outdoor boma with a fire pit.
About Motswiri Camp
Selinda Reserve, a prestigious destination in northern Botswana, is an ideal location for the exclusive Motswiri Camp. Situated on the banks of the Selinda Spillway, this environmentally conscious camp has views of the vast floodplains and spectacular views of the birdlife and wildlife attracted to the shimmering lagoon. The camp's remote location, accessible only by air, ensures a secluded destination for the maximum 10 guests the camp can accommodate. All of the 5 classic tented chalets, standing on wooden decking, have views over the lagoon and include a family unit with two bedrooms and two bathrooms, as well as a honeymoon suite. The camp’s lounge and dining area are situated on a large covered deck which overlooks the open boma area, a great place to relax around the fire pit in the evenings. The deck looks out on to the Spillway too, so there is every opportunity of sightings whilst you laze in the lounge area. The camp has been designed to emphasise the views of this 120 000 acres of private, largely unexplored reserve. The swimming pool is a lovely spot to relax and cool off in the quiet of the afternoons. Here you are able to experience the peace and tranquillity of the African bush, whilst exploring on foot, in safari vehicles and along the waterways in a variety of waterborne transport.
The combination of swamplands, floodplains and dry landscapes attracts a diverse amount of wildlife, which includes elephant, hippo, giraffe, zebra, and tsessebe. Buffalo are particularly drawn to this area, as well as the very special Sable and Roan antelope. Be on the lookout for wild dog and cheetah, as sightings of these rare carnivores have increased and they have even been spotted around the camp area. Leopard, lion and spotted hyena are also found here, attracted by the open landscapes.
All the camps are special, but Motswiri has the edge and is a great way to end this Botswana Bush Camp Safari.
This Botswana Safari can be extended by adding extra days at either of the camps visited above and/or Chobe Elephant Camp can be added to the itinerary. One of our Victoria Falls Safari packages can also be added on to this safari as an extension.
This safari can finish in either Maun or Kasane. Please see the Full Pricing details above for costs.
Children 12 years and older are accepted on this tour.
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