Camping at Saltpans

Joburg to Delta & Vic Falls Exclusive Overland Safari

Tour Length16 days
Priced from pps $2366 R33331 £1833 2095 A$3316 C$3136 NZ$3450 Full pricing info
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Summary of this Exclusive Overland Safari

  • Max. Group Size 17 Travellers
  • Starts & ends in Johannesburg, South Africa
  • Accommodation Bungalow or Chalet / Standard Camping
  • Transport Large Overland Vehicle / Game Viewing - Open 4x4
  • Wildlife Big 5, Elephant, Leopards, Lions, Rhino & More
  •  See Departure Dates

Quick Itinerary Overview

This Botswana and Vic Falls Safari starts and ends in Johannesburg, South Africa.

A perfect African getaway to Botswana and Victoria Falls - this tour explores the Kalahari Desert, Okavango Delta and top game parks in Botswana, including Chobe National Park, Moremi Game Reserve and Savuti; before culminating at the magnificent Victoria Falls world heritage site in Zimbabwe.

Walk with the Kalahari San, and then camp in the truly wild Okavango Delta where you go on game walks, explore the delta by mokoro and take in the beauty of this extraordinary place. Enjoy 4x4 game drives in search of Africa's Big Five, staying in ‘off the beaten track’ camps, where you can get away from it all. Spend a night sleeping under the stars out on the barren Makgadikgadi Salt Pans, then take a boat cruise on Chobe River for close-up wildlife and bird sightings.

A wonderful wildlife, wilderness and outdoor adventure African Safari.

Responsible Travel Note

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.

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Itinerary for this Tour

  • Kalahari - Bushmen walk
  • Okavango Delta private camp
  • Okavango boat trip and mokoro excursions
  • Game Walks
  • National Parks (Moremi/Savuti - 5 Days)
  • Extensive open-vehicle game drives in national parks
  • Wild, remote serviced camping – including national parks
  • Makgadikgadi Salt Pans – night under the stars
  • Chobe River boat cruise and Chobe National Park
  • Victoria Falls National Park and entry fee

DAY 1: Johannesburg to Kalahari - Botswana

Early in the morning, we leave our selected lodge in Johannesburg, the trade and industry hub of South Africa, and head north towards the Botswana border. After completing border formalities we make our way through a historic area and across the Kalahari Plains. We drive to our well-established camp near Kang, where we spend our first overnight in Botswana.

Before setting up our tents, we take a short walk into the bush around camp. In the evening your guide tells you more about the journey ahead whilst we have a catered meal (own expense) at camp.

  • Meals own expense
  • Accommodation: Kalahari camping, 2-man dome tents
  • Travel: 720 km
  • Included / Highlights: Scenic drive - North West South Africa, cross into Botswana, Kanye and the Kalahari Desert, Short walk in Kalahari

DAY 2: Ghanzi & Kalahari San (Bushmen) - Botswana

Day two starts with an early morning cup of coffee and sunrise over the open Kalahari landscapes. After a tasty breakfast at camp, we drive to the frontier town of Ghanzi, deep in the Kalahari Desert. We spend our second night at a camp set on a large piece of land that the local community owns and manages.

Ghanzi is home to some of the last remaining traditional Bushmen, the original inhabitants of this region. We embark on an informative bush walk with the San Bushmen, learning about the local flora and fauna. Gaining insight into the customs and survival strategies of these semi-nomadic, hunter-gatherers of Southern Africa is a unique cultural experience.

  • Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner
  • Accommodation: Desert camping, 2-man dome tents
  • Travel: 250 km
  • Included / Highlights: Educational guided bush walk with San Bushmen

DAY 3 - 5: Okavango Delta - Botswana

The Okavango Delta is an enormous wetland area, beginning in the Angolan Highlands and ending in the Kalahari Desert. This unique water system constitutes the largest inland delta in the world, made up of serene lagoons, winding channels and secluded islands. The delta provides a diverse environment for a wide variety of wild animals, other creatures, birds and plant species. We may come across some of the shy animals found in the delta, including the red lechwe antelope that the area is known to host.

Our journey into the Okavango Delta begins near the panhandle, where we initially travel by motorboat and then transfer to mekoros (traditional dugout canoes). Local guides pole us along the winding waterways, standing in the back of the mekoros whilst you sit back and watch for animals and birds in the unspoilt bush.

The mokoro trip takes us to our exclusive island camp, where we will spend three nights immersed in unspoilt nature. There is ample time to explore the pristine wilderness area on foot and by mokoro, and simply relax - basking in the tranquillity of this truly wild place. In the delta you also have the chance to spend time with the local guides, learning more about their culture and way of life.

  • Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner (x3)
  • Accommodation: Private island, tented units
  • Travel: 390 km (day 3)
  • Included / Highlights: Motorboat transfer into the Okavango Delta, private island, Motswana-guided game walk, Mokoro trips, sunset hippo cruise
  • Optional Activities (own expense): Scenic helicopter flight over the delta

DAY 6: Okavango Delta to Maun - Botswana

Waking up early on day six we set off on our journey out of the magical delta. First, we travel by mokoro and then we take a motorboat ride to our vehicle for the transfer to Maun. In the afternoon we arrive in Maun and top up on supplies before heading to our next lodge. Then there is time to freshen up and tuck into a catered meal. The safari lodge is on the banks of the Boteti River and offers comfortable en-suite accommodation, a swimming pool, bar and restaurant.

After lunch, you have the opportunity to take an optional scenic flight over the Okavango Delta - viewing the intricate waterways, untamed bush and game-rich plains from above.

  • Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner
  • Accommodation: Lodge, twin-bedded tented units
  • Travel: 354 km
  • Included / Highlights: Motorboat transfers from delta, Boteti River sunset
  • Optional Activities (own expense): Scenic helicopter flight over the delta

DAY 7 - 10: Moremi, Savuti & Chobe Park - Botswana

After breakfast and preparations, we begin the next exciting leg of our safari adventure, which is focused on game viewing. Setting off on our five-day wildlife adventure we pass rural villages along the way as we head into the true wilderness. A well-equipped 4x4 safari vehicle is used for our game viewing excursion in Botswana's top game parks.

Our route is not set in stone, as we follow seasonal animal migrations, adapting our itinerary to local conditions and wildlife movements.

For example, we may start with Moremi Game Reserve, camping near the well-known 3rd Bridge. Here we fall asleep to the sounds of the African bush at night - listening out for the calls of hyenas, the low roaring of lions, and the grunting of hippos. From the scenic Moremi, we may then head on north via Xakanaxa to camp near North Gate. Early morning and afternoon game drives along the wetland areas offer superb wildlife sightings.

From North Gate, we then drive to Savuti, an area that has undergone dramatic changes over the past 30 years. Beginning in the 1980s the Savuti Channel began to dry-up, but today it is a lush waterway, once again, frequented by a variety of wildlife. The game drive options are numerous and the campsite is extremely active (keep fruit well hidden from roving elephants and meat from prowling hyenas). The vegetation is constantly changing, from open plains, palm trees and marshland, to dense mopane woodlands and acacia scrublands.

We may also explore the Central Kalahari Game Reserve or Makgadikgadi Pans National Park, depending on conditions in the national parks at the time.

At night we stay at private camps in pristine and remote wilderness areas, far from the clamber of human development. The support vehicle travels ahead so that the crew can set up camp for us. Get back to nature while camping in the untamed bush where we leave the camps as we found them - leaving nothing but footprints.

  • Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner (x 4)
  • Accommodation: Wild camping, 2-man dome tents
  • Travel: about 125 km
  • Included / Highlights: 4x4 open vehicle game drives, wild campsites, extensive game viewing, the heart of National Geographic photography region

DAY 11: Maun - Botswana

On day 11 we leave the game-rich wilderness behind and return to the safari town of Maun, looking out for game and birds along the way. After lunch (own expense) and a walkabout in the busy town, we make our way to the lodge for tonight. On arrival at our lodge, there is time to relax and take a dip in the pool before enjoying a catered meal and a restful night in comfort.

  • Breakfast / Dinner
  • Accommodation: Lodge, twin-bedded tented units
  • Travel: about 225 km
  • Included / Highlights: Game drive out of park, Maun visit

DAY 12: Makgadikgadi Pans - Botswana

This morning we relax at the lodge, enjoying the natural setting and swimming in the pool. After an early lunch we journey east to the mysterious Makgadikgadi Salt Pans. One of the largest saltpan complexes in the world, Makgadikgadi Salt Pans is a solitary and quiet place of stark scenery and open space. Besides the desolate scenery, the pans are known for their prolific birdlife and the other desert-adapted animals. In the 19th century, Dr David Livingstone traversed the pans, using a massive baobab tree - the only landmark around for hundreds of miles - as his guide.

Without disturbing the surface of the pans, we make our way to a remote site (subject to rains) where we set up camp and take in the isolation and serenity of this expansive area. We set up tents, but sleeping out under the stars on the wide-open pans is an unforgettable experience. The guides can tell you more about the bright constellations of stars tonight.

  • Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner
  • Accommodation: Wild camping, 2-man dome tents
  • Travel: 250 km
  • Included / Highlights: Wild camping on the edge of the Pans, night under the stars (weather permitting)

DAY 13: Chobe River to Victoria Falls - Zimbabwe

Today we leave the vast and barren Makgadikgadi Pans, travelling north to Chobe River.

The Chobe River is the main source of water in Chobe National Park, famous for its huge herds of elephants. The scenic park is also home to hippo, crocodile, lion, antelopes and extraordinary bird life. In the afternoon we embark on a relaxing boat cruise on Chobe River inside the national park and along the Namibian banks of the Chobe River front. Gliding close to the river banks offers excellent chances of encountering reptiles, mammals and birds up close.

Then we cross into Zimbabwe and drive to our lodge in Victoria Falls town, where we spend two nights. Our lodge is conveniently located within walking distance of booking agents, local attractions and the Vic Falls waterfall.

  • Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner
  • Accommodation: Lodge, Victoria Falls
  • Travel: 400 km
  • Included / Highlights: Chobe National Park, elephants, extensive boat cruise on the Chobe River, exquisite scenery

DAY 14: Victoria Falls - Zimbabwe

Today we visit the mighty Victoria Falls, to witness Mosi-oa-Tunya, which means the "The Smoke that Thunders". Vic Falls is considered the largest sheet of falling water in the world, sending up a spray of water 400m and higher that can be seen from as far as 50km away. Admiring this UNESCO World Heritage Site, one of the natural wonders of the world, is an awe-inspiring experience!

After visiting Vic Falls there is time to participate in optional adventure activities (at extra expense) and explore the Vic Falls area on foot or by bicycle. Optional activities in Vic Falls include; scenic helicopter flights over the Falls, Zambezi River Boat Cruises, White Water Rafting and Bungee Jumping from the bridge between Zambia and Zimbabwe. Or you could visit a local village to encounter traditional tribes, the African curio market or the crocodile farm among other attractions.

Tonight we eat out at a restaurant (own expense) sampling the local cuisine. Soak up the sounds of the African night and the distant roar of the famous Victoria Falls, toasting to your exhilarating adventures.

  • Breakfast
  • Accommodation: Lodge, Victoria Falls
  • Travel: Free day
  • Included / Highlights: Victoria Falls National Park, entry fee for viewing the falls
  • Optional Activities (own expense): Scenic helicopter flight, whitewater rafting, bungee jumping, gorge swing and many more

DAY 15: Victoria Falls to Francistown - Botswana

Today the Botswana and Victoria Falls Safari ends for travellers on the 15-day Fly-in Safari Package, whilst the overland passengers will head back into Botswana, driving south to Francistown.

Tonight we camp for the last time, swapping tales with fellow travellers and celebrating our African safari adventure over a catered meal.

  • Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner
  • Accommodation: Camping, 2-man dome tents
  • Travel: 568 km
  • Included / Highlights: Game viewing on route to Francistown, scenic Zimbabwe to Botswana drive

DAY 16: Francistown to Johannesburg - South Africa

On the final day of this remarkable Botswana & Victoria Falls Safari, we journey back to Johannesburg in South Africa. We arrive in the dynamic city of Johannesburg in the early evening bringing this memorable wildlife and adventure safari to an end.

Airport transfers and post-tour accommodation can be arranged through African Budget Safaris.

  • Breakfast
  • Travel: 700 km
  • Included / Highlights: Scenic Botswana to South Africa drive

Important Information

This trip requires a valid passport and for certain nationalities, a visa for Zimbabwe and Botswana. Seasonal malaria precautions are necessary and are locally obtainable. A barrel bag or internal frame backpack is best suited for this trip (suitcases do not fit into the space provided).

A sleeping bag, towel and pillow are required for this tour. An extra tog bag or camera bag is advised. Spending money required will be for the restaurant meals, drinks, visas, tips curios, Zimbabwe airport tax US30, if applicable (price subject to change), and airport transfer for flying clients only, and any other optional excursions.

All trips are accompanied by two professional guides for optimum efficiency, catering for a maximum of 14 people per vehicle. A flexible attitude and active participation on this tour will help us to help you get the best out of your trip.

Please Note:

This safari is also available in a shorter Fly-in Tour version running from Johannesburg to Victoria Falls. Follow the link for information on pricing.

Optional Extras and Excursions

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

  • Scenic Okavango Flight
  • Zambezi River Sunset Cruise
  • White Water Rafting
  • Bungi Jumping
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  • Scenic Okavango Flight
  • Zambezi River Sunset Cruise
  • White Water Rafting
  • Bungi Jumping
+Included in the Tour Price
  • meals as per itinerary 
  • coffee, tea, fruit juice at breakfast
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  • professional guides
  • mokoro hire
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  • permits & park entry fees
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  • visas
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