Trip code: WZT
Delta, Falls, salt-pans and bush are the backdrop to the fantastic wildlife and wilderness of Botswana
Take a journey into the wilds of Botswana. Glide along the Okavango Delta in traditional makoros and admire a billion stars from the otherworldly and eerily silent Makgadikgadi Pans. Search for Africa’s emblematic wildlife on the Savuti Marsh and the Moremi reserve and take to the Chobe River, known for having the highest concentration of elephants anywhere. Finally discover why David Livingstone, upon seeing Victoria Falls, declared ‘scenes so lovely must have been gazed upon by angels in their flight.
There is no best time to go in terms of game viewing or conditions in the Delta, as the Delta flows all year round, despite its flood periods.
The wettest season is January and February, when travel on dirt roads becomes difficult.
March to September, although dry and bright, can be cold at night (in June and July it really can be chilly on occasions so bring appropriate gear). Water levels in the Delta will be at their highest in July. From December to June water levels in the Zambezi are at their highest, and the spray can be seen several miles away as it soars sometimes as much as 500 feet in the air.
October and November are the hotest months, and midday temperatures can be very uncomfortable. The rains normally start slowly in late November. December can be wet, but it does not rain for long periods and should definitely not put anyone off travelling, as there is always plenty of sunshine.
|DEPOSIT||£150||SINGLE PERSON SUPPLEMENT||£180|
|GROUP SIZE MIN||4 people||GROUP SIZE MAX||12 people|
AVAILABLE TOUR DATES:
|30 /04/2016||06 /08/2016||17/09/2016|
|09 /07/2016||20 /08/2016||15 /10/2016|
Arrive Maun and transfer (30 mins) to our campsite located on the banks of the Thamalakane River. The campsite has hot showers, bar, swimming pool, and the restaurant is known for its good food and ambience.
We pack minimal gear for 2 nights into a smaller bag, before a 4×4 transfer into the Okavango Delta. At the ‘polers’ station’ we meet a new team of local staff from a nearby village who will look after us during our stay in the delta. With them we travel in mokoros deep into the Okavango Delta. We have lunch at our campsite on the banks of the river, and in the late afternoon we head out on our first game walk. We return to camp before sunset and enjoy our first meal in the African bush.
We get up early this morning for a game walk with a guide from the poling team. There are never any guarantees with wildlife, but there is the chance of seeing elephant, buffalo, and other smaller game. We return to camp for a well deserved brunch and some time to relax. In the afternoon we take a short mokoro trip on the river to view the sunset before returning to camp.
This morning we board our mokoros for the trip back to the polers’ station. We meet our vehicle and transfer back into Maun for the night where we will purchase supplies for the days ahead. The afternoon is free to relax by the pool or take an optional scenic flight over the Delta.
After a relaxed breakfast we head east to the vast Makgadikgadi saltpan. Depending on the season or if the pans are wet, we will camp wild on the pan or one of the campsites nearby. The Makgadikgadi saltpan covers an area over 16,000 square kilometres and forms the bed of an ancient lake – now dried up. The sunsets on the pan are truly spectacular.
A long drive north before crossing into Zimbabwe to the town of Victoria Falls situated minutes from the waterfalls of the same name. The falls themselves are over 1,700m wide and 100m tall making them the largest waterfalls in the world and are one of Africa’s most famous highlights. We will have the opportunity to find out more about the various activities on offer available for tomorrow.
Today is a free day to partake in one of the many optional activities on offer ranging from white water rafting, flights over the falls and various others.
This morning there is an opportunity to view Victoria Falls themselves (park entry fee not included) from the Zimbabwean side. From here we drive back to Botswana and take a short drive from the border to the town of Kasane, where we camp on the banks of the Thebe River, a tributary of the mighty Zambezi. The afternoon is free, with an option to view game on the famous Chobe Waterfront by taking an exciting river cruise on the Chobe River. This is widely regarded as one of the best game cruises in Africa with a very good chance of seeing the elephant herds coming down to the river to drink before the sun sets.
We take an early morning game drive back to the Chobe Waterfront area. Chobe is famous for its large population of elephants, but is also home to plenty of other exciting game including lion and wild dog. After exploring the Northern end of this huge park, we head south into remote and rugged terrain, passing in and out of the national park, before finally reaching the Savuti area at the southern edge of Chobe National Park. The Savuti Marsh, often dry, is fed by the Savuti river channel which alternately flows and then dries up for years at a time. Recent flooding in 2010 and 2011 has given this area new life. This area is also home to plenty of game, but is especially well known for its lions, and the large numbers of elephant that walk enormous distances to find fodder.
We take morning and afternoon game drives on the Savuti Marsh. There is a good chance to see lion, cheetah and hyena that follow the seasonal zebra migration through this area. Large secretary birds and kori bustards are often seen strutting around the Savuti marsh and small red-billed francolins provide a noisy morning wake up call.
After breaking camp we drive all the way to Moremi Game Reserve. We pass through a variety of habitats including the Mbabe depression, Mopani forest and past great Acacia trees before arriving at Khwai village and the North Gate entrance of Moremi Game Reserve. Moremi National Park is the jewel in Botswana’s wildllife crown. Protecting much of the northern part of the Okavango Delta, it is made up of waterways, marshes, islands and open grasslands.
We’ll go on morning and afternoon game drives through this beautiful protected area, trying to find the large variety of animals that live here. Despite its wet reputation, there is plenty of dry land in Moremi, which allows our game drives to cover significant distances while spotting game in the sometimes dense vegetation. As well as elephant and lion, Moremi is a good place to spot leopard and cheetah, and the red lechwe, a water dwelling antelope, often seen grazing amongst the lillies.
We enjoy our last morning game drive through the park before travelling back to Maun, and back to our riverside campsite. We can enjoy the swimming pool before enjoying our last dinner at the campsite restaurant.
Botswana is a vast, sparsely populated country, mostly desert but with the most prolific wetlands in Africa. Travel in Botswana is well worth the effort required to reach some of its more remote places.
The reserves of Chobe, Savuti, the prolific Moremi and the unique Okavango Delta are sensational, both in the summer for birds especially, and also the dry autumn, winter and spring months for bigger game. It is the largest elephant corridor in the world and the herds along the Chobe River can number in their thousands. The Okavango is the biggest inland delta anywhere; paddling through its reed-lined channels in a Mokoro (dugout canoe), watching the pristine wilderness slip by, is a most memorable experience...