A great getaway to Botswana's wild Okavango Delta, Moremi Game Reserve, Makgadikgadi Pans and Chobe National Park, ending at Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe.
Leaving Johannesburg we drive into the Kalahari Desert region to meet the traditional San people and encounter their ancient culture. Then we journey into the pristine Okavango Delta exploring the maze-like waterways of this famous wilderness area. Leaving the luscious delta we travel to Nata and get a glimpse of the vast Makgadikgadi Pans. Next up, one of Botswana's top game parks, the Chobe National Park. Embark on a game drive and sunset boat cruise in Chobe Park, home to an abundance of game, especially elephants, and phenomenal birdlife.
We then cross into Zimbabwe to witness the plummeting Victoria Falls, one of the natural wonders of the world!
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.
This Okavango, Chobe & Victoria Falls Overland Safari sets off from the mega-city of Johannesburg in South Africa, travelling through the North-West Province towards the Botswana border. Border formalities complete, we drive northwest into Botswana on the Trans-Kalahari highway.
We spend our first night in Kang, a small town located on the fringes of the Kalahari Desert.
This safari comes with an optional Activity Package at an additional cost. The itinerary includes these highly-recommended activities. Contact African Budget Safaris for a detailed breakdown of what is included in the Activity Package.
Start day two with breakfast before we drive further into the Central Kalahari region, making our way to Ghanzi. Our camp is located in the Ghanzi area, home to the unique Kalahari San (Bushmen). The San were the first people to inhabit Southern Africa, having lived in harsh desert environments for tens of thousands of years.
After lunch we meet up with local San guides and take a walk in the seemingly barren Kalahari, discovering the rich forms of life found here. The San guides share their deep knowledge of the region's flora and fauna with us, revealing how their ancestors have long survived in this dry environment as hunter-gatherers.
This evening we are treated to traditional dance show, a cultural experience giving us more insight into the ancient ways of the San. These semi-nomadic people are known for their strong story-telling tradition, as well as their unique song and dance rituals.
On day three we leave the arid semi-desert, driving to Maun, a busy tourist town on the fringes of the watery Okavango Delta. The Okavango River has no outlet to the sea and empties into the sands of the Kalahari Desert to form the world's largest inland delta, irrigating some 15,000 km² of Botswana.
In the afternoon you have the chance to take an optional scenic flight over the Okavango Delta, from Maun. Viewing the delta from above reveals the grand scale and beauty of this unique ecosystem, allowing you to spot wildlife from above. We spend the third night in Maun, preparing for our magical delta day trip. The guides will fill you in on what to expect in the wild delta tomorrow.
Today those opting for the Upgraded Delta Trip will drive from Maun into the Okavango Delta to spend two nights at a remote camp in the wilderness.
Today we are up early for our full day of exploring the Okavango Delta by dug-out canoe (mokoro). We set off for the delta early this morning in our safari vehicle, heading to a polers' station about an hour from the lodge. At the polers' station, we meet our local guides and switch to mekoros. Gliding along the reed-lined channels and tranquil lagoons dotted with lilypads is the ideal way to experience the watery Okavango Delta.
Sit back and soak up the wild scenery from your traditional mekoros poled through the waters by local guides. Get a close-up look at the unique flora and fauna of the Okavango Delta as we move along slowly and quietly. Stopping at one of the delta islands, you can take a nature walk with your local guide. The bush walk gives you a chance to learn about the fascinating plants and creatures encountered, looking out for signs of wildlife. The mokoro excursion is not about viewing big game, it is all about experiencing the beauty of the wild delta. However, we may come across some wildlife including elephants, giraffes, zebras and antelopes like kudu and impala.
After the nature walk, your guide poles you back to the polers' station for the return road transfer to the lodge in Maun.
On day 5 the Activity Package includes a wildlife adventure in Moremi Game Reserve. Encompassing central and eastern parts of the Okavango Delta, Moremi Reserve is the only official protected area in the Delta.
This morning we drive to the southern gate of Moremi, setting off before sunrise. Moremi is renowned for its natural beauty and rich diversity of habitats, animals and plants. The game reserve is home to healthy populations of large mammals, including the Big Five of Africa (lion, leopard, buffalo, rhino and elephant) and African wild dogs. Our game drive reveals how diverse Moremi's ecosystem is, ranging from lagoons and savannahs to riverside forests and mopane woodlands. Your safari guide will select the best game drive routes in the bush, based on water levels, road conditions and animal sightings.
Those who chose not to join the Moremi Day Trip as part of the Activity Package, stay behind in Maun today. Those staying in Maun have free time to relax at the leafy camp, laze by the pool and take an optional flight over the Okavango Delta. The scenic flight offers sweeping views over the open plains and winding waterways, where wildlife can be spotted.
On the morning of day six, those who opted for the Upgraded Delta Trip get to wake up in the wild Okavango Delta, have breakfast at camp and transfer back to Maun. Once the group is reunited we board our overland truck and drive east along the northern reaches of the massive Makgadikgadi Pans passing big baobab trees along the way.
This afternoon the Activity Package includes a sundowner excursion to the salt pans of Nata Sanctuary to experience the vastness of this harsh salt pan environment. The Makgadikgadi Pans complex is one of the largest salt pan systems in the world, covering 30 000 km² of Botswana.
Today we continue north to our camp near Kasane, the closest town to Chobe National Park - Botswana's top national park.
After lunch at camp (served from the safari truck), we hop into 4x4 safari vehicles and set off into the famous Chobe National Park. Home to one of the highest concentrations of game in Africa, Chobe Park is best known for its huge population of migratory elephants. Chobe includes diverse habitats, from grassy plains and woodlands to swamps that support a wide diversity of animals and birds which we search out.
Later we embark on a laid-back boat cruise in Chobe National Park enjoying excellent boat-based game viewing and bird watching along Chobe River. These game viewing activities provide excellent opportunities for spotting wildlife up close, including hippos, crocodiles, buffaloes, antelope species and elephants.
Our overnight camp is at a lodge beside the Chobe River and features a restaurant, bar and swimming pool.
On day eight we travel to our final destination - Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe.
Today we recommend visiting what the local Kololo call Mosi-oa-Tunya, which means 'the smoke that thunders' - referring to Victoria Falls (of course). What an awe-inspiring scene! Watch as the Zambezi River cascades over 100 feet into the gorge below forming the largest waterfall in the world at 1,7km wide. The sound is thunderous and the smoke like spray rises up to as much as 400 metres above the Falls, visible up to 50 km's away.
You have the afternoon to do an optional activity or visit a local market and walk around the historic town of Victoria Falls. Tonight your guide goes over the optional adventure activities available and helps you plan for the next day.
Our overland camping safari ends after breakfast on day nine, but this unforgettable African wildlife and wilderness adventure will live on in your memories.
Most of our guests extend their stay in Victoria Falls as there are so many exciting adventure activities here to enjoy. Here you may experience some of the best whitewater rafting in the world, go bungee jumping, take helicopter or microlight flights over Vic Falls, try zip-line rides, take a trip to Livingstone Island and more.
Guests on the Upgraded Delta Trip stay at an intimate delta camp located inside a 100 000 hectare private concession area, offering a unique delta experience. The secluded camp looks out over peaceful delta waterways, blending in with the wild African bush around it.
What makes this exclusive camp particularly special is that it only caters for one group of travellers at a time, so you will only share your delta adventure with your fellow safari-goers. Exploring this private delta concession with our experienced guides, you won't come across other groups, allowing you to escape the crowds. This laid-back camp is located in the remote northern section of the delta, in a game-rich wilderness area attracting buffalo herds and other wild animals, as well as a wide array of birds.
Stay in pre-erected dome tents fitted with camping beds and mattresses, at this bush camp with a low environmental impact on the wilderness. The camp features ablution facilities with hot showers, a bar and lounge area, a plunge pool and a spacious, open-sided boma with kitchen facilities. The camp is ideal for immersing yourself in nature, listening to the lion's roar amid other sounds at night. Activities offered at the Delta camp include game drives, bush walks, mokoro trips, sunset boat cruises and sundowners on one of the islands and boma dinners.
This Okavango Delta, Chobe and Victoria Falls Safari is also available in the reverse order as the Victoria Falls, Chobe and Okavango Delta Safari starting in Zimbabwe's Victoria Falls and ending in Johannesburg, South Africa.
The Okavango Delta, Chobe and Victoria Falls Safari is also available as a shorter version from Maun to Victoria Falls, as is the safari in the reverse direction (Vic to Maun).
For more details about the various tour options and versions, contact us.
For up-to-date and confirmed pricing info for optional items, please drop us an enquiry.
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