This 15-day Explore Botswana & Zimbabwe Safari offers excellent value-for-money as an affordable lodge safari with superb game viewing opportunities and unique wilderness experiences in Southern Africa.
Highlights in Botswana include Chobe National Park, Makgadikgadi Pans, Khwai River and Moremi Game Reserve in the Okavango Delta. In Zimbabwe, visit the famous Victoria Falls, Hwange National Park, Lake Kariba and Matobo Hills.
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.
Touchdown at Victoria Falls Airport, from where you are transferred to your first overnight lodge in Zimbabwe.
The remainder of the day is free for you to do as you like - get active and do one of the many adventure activities at Victoria Falls, or rest and dip into the pool at the lodge. A pre-safari meeting is held at 18h00 to fill you in on the details and introduce you to your guide and fellow travellers.
Wake up at the lodge beside the Zambezi River and have breakfast before we set off for the spectacular waterfall - Victoria Falls.
Your guide takes you to viewpoints along the river, below the falls, so that you can admire the full scale of this natural wonder. The local Kololo name for the waterfall is Mosi-oa-Tunya, meaning “the Smoke that Thunders”.
Leaving Victoria Falls we cross into neighbouring Botswana and head to Kasane. This is the closest town to Chobe National Park, situated near the borders of Botswana and Zambia, Zimbabwe and Namibia. This afternoon you can set off on optional activities (own account) in and around Kasane and Chobe, or laze by the pool at the riverside lodge.
Day three begins with a game drive in Chobe National Park - one of Africa's best and Botswana's leading game park. Chobe hosts an exceptional number of elephants, along with big predators such as crocodiles, lions, leopards and hyenas. After spotting wildlife and birds in scenic Chobe Park, we return to the lodge for brunch.
Later we embark on a boat cruise along Chobe River, watching a beautiful sunset from the water and spotting a variety of animals, birds and reptiles up close.
From one elephant stronghold to another - we drive from Chobe Park down to Hwange on day four. Our next lodge lies inside a wildlife concession adjacent to Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe's top game viewing destination.
First, we go to the Painted Dog Conservation Centre to see endangered African wild dogs and find out about the conservation work being done here. Then you have the option of joining a game drive (own account) in the wildlife concession area, time allowing.
On day five we explore Hwange National Park on game drives, spending the entire day out in the bush. Frequent sightings include the elephant herds Hwange Park is famous for, and numerous buffalos, zebras and giraffes, as well as predators, other herbivores and birds.
On day six we drive to Lake Kariba, one of the largest man-made dams in the world. We head to the small town of Binga on the south-eastern shores of Lake Kariba, where our luxury houseboat is moored.
Boarding the houseboat we cruise to Sengwe River and spend the afternoon sighting wildlife and birds in this remote area. Then we enjoy drinks and dinner on the boat, before retiring to our cabins.
Wake early on the morning of day seven and go fishing or take a guided walk and search for wildlife and birds. Climb back onboard for brunch as we cruise to a sandy beach on one of the islands in Elephant Bay. Witness a beautiful sunset over Lake Kariba, from the beach as we barbecue. Then spend another night on the houseboat, under star-studded skies.
Making our way back to Binga we enjoy some game viewing and bird watching from the houseboat.
Then we leave Lake Kariba, driving south through Zimbabwe to Matobo Hills National Park. On day nine we visit this intriguing national park, beginning the day with a guided rhino trekking drive and walk in Matopos Hills.
Later in the afternoon, we drive through the boulder-scattered hills searching out animals and birds. Matobo Hills National Park is an important wildlife sanctuary, home to an exceptionally dense leopard population and the highest concentration of black eagles on the planet. Other inhabitants include black and white rhinos, along with antelopes of various kinds. Our game drive takes us to the contentious burial site of imperialist Cecil John Rhodes before we leave the stunning park, which also holds great cultural and historical value.
Today we travel across the grassy plains of southern Matabeleland, making our way back into Botswana.
This afternoon we go to Nata Bird Sanctuary. If time and conditions allow, we visit the wide-open terrain of Sowa Pan, which forms part of the Greater Makgadikgadi Pans. If water levels and road conditions are favourable we experience the vast and barren saltpan before continuing to our next lodge.
Rise extra early this morning for our exploration of Ntwetwe Pan, near Gweta. We explore Ntwetwe Pan to take in the otherworldly scenery and see the unusual creatures found out here.
Ntwetwe Pan is one of the two main pans in the Makgadikgadi Pans network in northern Botswana. This is one of the largest saltpans on earth. Ntwetwe is known for its lunar scenes - rocky outcrops, pale dunes, rugged islets, and deep channels. Keep your eyes open for desert-adapted animals, like bat-eared foxes, springbuck, kori bustards and meerkats. With some luck, we get up close to the semi-habituated meerkats inhabiting the pans.
After lunch, you can visit a nearby village to get a feel for local culture and learn about the Batswana people. Stop and meet the children at a school with outdoor classes and visit a traditional court. Find out about Batswana traditions and history from your local guide who shares age-old knowledge inherited from his forefathers.
Later this afternoon we visit a grove of big, old baobab trees on foot. The guide can tell you more about the baobabs growing here and baobabs (the world's largest succulents) in general.
Continue westwards to Maun, the tourism hub closest to the Okavango Delta.
This afternoon is free for you to rest and relax at the lodge, cooling off in the pool and taking it easy.
Alternatively, you can take an optional (own account) scenic flight over the Okavango Delta - Botswana's most prized natural treasure! Flying over this UNESCO World Heritage Site gives you breathtaking views over the winding channels and lush plains dotted with elephants, giraffes and other animals.
After breakfast, we drive to a nearby mokoro station where mekoros (dug-out canoes) are launched.
Continuing in mekoros we glide into the pristine Okavango Delta soaking up the tranquil and wild scenery as our guides pole us along. Keep a look out for wildlife and birds, along with the other weird and wonderful creatures of the diverse delta ecosystem.
Our mokoro trip is followed by lunch and then we head to our camp in the Khwai River area of the delta. Unwind and have dinner at the camp before embarking on a thrilling night game drive in the Khwai Concession area. The night drive is a great chance to spot the nocturnal animals of Africa, including leopards.
Day 14 - explore the prestigious Moremi Game Reserve, on the eastern side of the Okavango Delta. One of Africa's best wildlife reserves, Moremi is famous for its natural beauty, habitat diversity and high concentrations of wildlife.
We spend the whole day experiencing the African bush in the untamed Moremi Game Reserve, looking out for the rich array of wildlife and birds living here.
Our Explore Botswana & Zimbabwe Lodge Safari finishes after breakfast today.
You can take the included transfer to Maun Airport and continue your adventures from there.
For up-to-date and confirmed pricing info for optional items, please drop us an enquiry.
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