A phenomenal journey into the wild habitats of northern Botswana, this budget lodge safari flies you from vast desert to untamed delta and on to game-rich plains.
The beauty of this affordable safari lies in the carefully selected lodges that offer something special and unique in each of the unforgettable wilderness destinations explored. An exciting range of activities, from cultural to wildlife and adventure excursions, also make this safari stand out from the rest, as well as the scenic flights between each natural gem.
This Botswana safari adventure kicks off in Maun, where you are collected for your scenic flight into the Kalahari Desert region with Delta Air. The 30-minute flight by light aircraft brings you to a private airstrip near the northern border of the Central Kalahari Game Reserve in Botswana.
You are collected from the airstrip and transferred to the Deception Valley Lodge, located in a private reserve bordering on the Central Kalahari Game Reserve. This family-friendly lodge offers authentic interactions and walks with the Kalahari San (bushman), as well as nature drives in the arid Kalahari Desert. The nature drives take place in the private wilderness area, enabling guests to appreciate the surprising diversity of flora and fauna found in the semi-desert environment of the Kalahari.
Slow down and immerse yourself in the stillness of the desert, soaking up spectacular sunsets and starry night skies.
Set on a 15000-hectare private reserve along the northern border of the Central Kalahari Game Reserve. Deception Valley Lodge is accessed via its own airstrip located 15 minutes from the lodge. It only takes about half an hour to fly between the airstrip and Maun. This remote and comfortable lodge looks out over a waterhole surrounded by wilderness. The lodge accommodates up to 16 guests in eight spacious suites, each with a lounge, bedroom and en-suite bathroom featuring a Victorian bath and outdoor shower. The lodge has a swimming pool and various lounge and dining areas. Wireless internet is available via satellite.
Activities include day and night game drives in custom-built safari vehicles. The guides are able to go off-road when tracking wildlife as it is a private reserve. Wildlife sightings include the famous Kalahari lion, cheetahs, leopards, giraffes and kudus. The elusive brown hyena is sometimes spotted, as well as a variety of shy nocturnal species on night drives. The Deception Valley area is also home to rich birdlife, offering rewarding bird watching.
Walk with San (Bushmen) of the Kalahari. One of the lodge owners, ‘Braam’ Badenhorst, grew up with the San in the Kalahari and is friends with several San who now live on the reserve. Guests can go on walks with the San to learn how these ancient hunter-gatherers used to survive in the harsh desert environment. On the walks the San show guests the rich resources of this seemingly barren land, pointing out fruits, berries, tubers, types of bark, herbs and flowers traditionally used in cooking, medicine, rituals and more. The San guides also tell guests about the mammals, birds, reptiles and insects of this mysterious desert ecosystem.
On day three of this Botswana Adventure, a scenic flight takes you into the heart of the Okavango Delta, with Delta Air. Arriving at our delta camp, only accessible by air, your private safari guide meets you at the airstrip. This local guide is shared between two guests at most and is assigned to you for the duration of your stay at the remote delta camp.
Your base for exploring the Okavango Delta is Oddballs' Enclave, an authentic safari camp set on a secluded little island near Chief's Island. This delightful camp lies very close to the south-western tip of Chief’s Island, which borders on the world-renowned Moremi Game Reserve.
From this bush camp deep in the Okavango Delta, we explore the intricate network of watery channels, tranquil lagoons and reed-fringed islands.
Take early morning and late afternoon mokoro trips, gliding along the winding channels in your guide's own traditional delta vessel, hand-crafted from wood. Mekoro are dug-out canoes used to navigate the narrow maze of waterways and estuaries in the delta. Your guide is a born-and-bred local who knows this part of the delta like the back of his hand. On mokoro rides your guide stands in the stern of his old-school canoe, propelling two passengers through the waters with a long pole - the African version of the Venetian gondola ride. This is the ideal way to explore the delta and encounter wildlife and birds, as you move slowly and quietly through the bush.
Drifting through this magical inland delta of Botswana, your guide stops at small islands where you can experience the wild bush on foot. On your nature walks in the delta you get up close to the marvels, big and small, of one of Africa's last truly wild places. Your experienced guide leads you into the unspoilt bush unarmed, helping you to spot wildlife and tune into the finer details of the delta. Sharing his in-depth knowledge your guide points out the fascinating insects, plants, animal tracks and other signs of animal activity in the bush. This once-in-a-lifetime adventure immerses you in the wilderness surrounding you by the pure beauty of the Okavango Delta.
If you would like to spend a full day out in the delta, you can request a picnic lunch to take out with you from the camp.
Back at camp, meals are served out on the spacious deck areas where you can keep an eye out for visiting wildlife and birds. At the end of the day you can put your feet up and admire a beautiful sunset over the wilderness, listening to the sounds of nature as the countless stars come out.
A classical delta camp that accommodates at most ten guests and is only accessible by plane.
At this intimate Botswana camp, you stay in one of five Meru-style tents set under canvas roofs. Each well-equipped tent is fitted with single twin or double beds and features a semi-detached en-suite bathroom. Bathroom facilities include an open-air, yet private bucket shower with cold and hot running water. The comfortable tents are set on raised wooden platforms with viewing decks where you can sit back and soak up the pristine delta environment.
This remote tented camp features elevated decks with lounge areas opening out onto the bush and campfire so that guests can take in the views in comfort and style. Sitting on one of the decks of the Enclave you look out over the delta grasslands and untamed woodlands beyond, catching sight of birds and even wildlife nearby. The delta is home to diverse species, ranging from elephants and big cats to baboons, hippos and antelopes.
One of the most outstanding features of this authentic camp is its beautiful location on a small island in the heart of the Okavango Delta. This family-friendly safari camp uses solar power to generate electricity and wherever possible to heat water too. Oddballs' Enclave offers a personal safari experience with private guides from the local area. The emphasis is on slowing down and taking in this magnificent wilderness setting and its wild inhabitants.
We fly northeast from Oddballs’ Enclave to Camp Savuti in a small plane, landing in the Savuti region of world-famous Chobe National Park. A 20 to 40-minute drive takes us through the bush to Camp Savuti, game viewing along the way.
Spend your early mornings and late afternoons on thrilling game drives in the Savuti Marsh area, going in search of the abundance of wildlife found here. We explore the outskirts of the marsh and drive along the edges of the once-dry channel in open-sided safari vehicles. This part of Chobe National Park is famous for its superb predator sightings, being considered one of the best places in the world to sight these hunters. The Savuti Channel began to flow again in 2010, after almost three decades of standing dry and today feeds the marsh which is now covered in sweet grasses, especially in the rainy season. The grassy floodplains attract a wide range of grazers and other herbivores, which in turn draw predators to the area, making it a prime predator watching hotspot.
Your safari guide points out the small and large wild animals and birds that you come across in the African bush, stopping to let you observe them in their natural habitat. Driving through the beautiful landscapes of Savuti, the open savannah surrounds you in its untamed glory. With some luck you will encounter Africa's predators in action, seeing wildlife scenes akin to those of award-winning documentaries about Savuti, in person.
In between your 4x4 game drives you have time to chill-out at Camp Savuti, looking out over the Savuti Channel with its wealth of wildlife and birds.
This small safari camp consists of only five comfortable Meru-style tents, which means that the camp accommodates 10 guests at most.
These spacious tents, set on raised platforms, feature en-suite bathrooms and private viewing decks that overlook the scenic Savuti Channel. The tents are set apart from each other to create private havens in the wilderness. The main camp facilities include a lounge and dining area with a bar, all opening out onto the campfire area and the surrounding bush.
Camp Savuti lies in the western part of Chobe National Park, known as Savuti, hosting one of the highest concentrations of wildlife in Africa. This region of Botswana is famous for its predator sightings, including endangered wild dogs and plenty of lions. The highlight here is viewing free-roaming wildlife and birds from the camp itself and on open vehicle game drives that are ideal for game watching and photography. Located a 20-40 minute drive from the Savuti airstrip the stylish camp lies in the thick of the wilderness, offering a real African safari adventure.
On day eight you have a chance to take one more early morning game drive into the wildlife-rich Savuti Marsh region of Chobe National Park, before tucking into a delicious breakfast back at Savuti Camp.
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