Botswana – Okavango Delta, Chobe and Victoria Falls
A wonderful safari exploration of the pristine wilderness habitats of northern Botswana, to enjoy some of the most spectacular wildlife to be found anywhere in Africa or beyond.
The Okavango Delta, a wetland paradise in north-eastern Botswana, is made up of a vast mosaic of clear-flowing channels, large stands of papyrus and reeds, permanent and seasonally-flooded areas, lagoons and hundreds of palm-studded islands, of varying size. This unique inland delta has areas of both permanent and seasonal water with different habitats prevailing.
Our journey begins in Livingstone, across the border in Zambia, with a visit to the magnificent Victoria Falls and a cruise along the mighty Zambezi river. From here, Chobe beckons, with its amazing density of Elephants and other game. We will visit the famous National Park by both land and water. A sunset river cruise here may be one of the trip’s highlights.
This region boasts some of Southern Africa’s finest birding and wildlife, and we can expect some excellent game viewing, especially in Chobe where large herds of Elephant, Buffalo and a wide variety of antelope gather and where the rapidly declining African Wild Dog can still be found. Birding too is most rewarding: the Delta region is one of the last refuges of the endangered Wattled Crane and the main habitat for the near endemic Slaty Egret, as well as being one of the best places in Africa to see the magnificent Pel’s Fishing Owl.
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Please note that holidays change, although sometimes only slightly, from year to year and previous trip reports may not reflect the planned itinerary, or other holiday details, for the current trip. Please ask us if you would like to know of any significant differences.
8 – 19 March 2019
Mike Russell and local guides
Single Room Supplement – £600
Return flights from UK. Local transport as specified in itinerary, including charted flights and river cruises. Nine nights’ accommodation, full board basis.
Visa for entry into Zambia $50 US. Drinks with evening meals (although most lodges are inclusive). Gratuities. Travel insurance.
Day 1 Our evening flight takes us to Johannesburg early on Day 2, where we transfer to a flight to Livingstone in Zambia.
Days 2 – 3 We spend the next two nights at a peaceful river setting adjacent to the Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park. We have the opportunity for a game drive and a walking safari, which offers the chance to see the park’s population of White Rhino at their only site in Zambia. We will also visit the magnificent Victoria Falls and take a cruise along the mighty Zambezi River.
Days 4 – 5 We make our way to the border where we cross the Zambezi River into Botswana and our accommodation at the nearby Chobe Elephant Camp. Along with many species of big game, Chobe National Park boasts the largest concentration of Elephant in Africa, with over 80,000 in the park! Game drives within the Park offer the opportunity to view big game species up close – Giraffe, Sable and Cape Buffalo are all present, as well as the possibility of an encounter with one of the large predators. One day will include a cruise on the river, surely one of the finest game viewing experiences in Africa.
Days 6 – 8 We fly to Sango Safari Camp, situated in the north eastern area of the Okavango Delta, just outside Moremi Game Reserve. The Khwai floodplain gives us our best chances of finding Leopard, lounging in the shady trees. The nearby ‘Mopane Tongue’ of open drier woodland offers our best chances of encountering the beautiful and increasingly scarce African Wild Dog, as well as Lion. The dominant antelope here is Red Lechwe, sometimes in herds of up to 100 animals, but we may also find zebra, Kudu, Reedbuck and Tsessebe.
Days 9 – 10 From Sango we take another short flight into the heart of the Okavango Delta, where we finally transfer by boat (there are no roads out here!) to Delta Camp, our home for our final two nights. The Okavango Delta is one of the last remaining unspoiled wilderness areas of Africa; fed by the floodwaters of Central Africa and covers an area of 16,000 square kilometers. These waters fan out into the Okavango Delta forming a wetland system of palm-fringed channels, lagoons and islands that support a wealth of fauna and flora alike. With its crystal-clear channels, lagoons, flood plains and islands, the Delta is home to over 450 bird species and the full spectrum of African animals – the Okavango deserves its reputation as one of the world’s premier wilderness areas.
Day 11 After one last morning around the camp, we will take our final charter flight, enjoying the spectacular views of the Delta beneath us, as we transfer out to Maun in time to board our flights home, via Johannesburg, arriving back in London early on Day 12.
Please note that the itinerary may be changed to suit the weather or other practicalities at the discretion of the leaders.
Accommodation is at a mixture of lodges and permanent tented camps. Single occupancy is possible but very limited on this itinerary: please speak to us before booking.
All food is included.
We will be travelling by 4X4 safari vehicle and small charter plane. Luggage is restricted to 20kg per person.
The group flights are with South African Airways from London Heathrow.
8 March depart London Heathrow 18.05, arrive Johannesburg 07.15 (9 March)
9 March depart Johannesburg 10.40, arrive Livingstone 12.20
18 March depart Maun 14.00, arrive Johannesburg 15.40
18 March depart Johannesburg 21.00, arrive London Heathrow 06.25 (19 March)
South Africa, Botswana and Zambia are all 2 hours ahead of UK time in March.
You must have a passport for this trip, valid for at least six months after the end of the holiday with at least two blank pages. UK passport holders do not require a visa to visit Botswana or to transit in South Africa. An entry visa for Zambia can be obtained on entry, at a cost of $50. If you hold a non UK passport it is essential that you check with the appropriate embassy or consulate and obtain the necessary documents prior to travel.
We will be travelling just after the wet season: the days will be warm to hot, in the mid to late 20s and should be mostly dry, although there is a chance of some rain, most likely short heavy showers, especially in the late afternoons. Nights can be surprisingly cold – warm jackets and long trousers may be needed on early morning game drives!
We will be visiting areas where malaria is present. Yellow fever is not a risk in Botswana nor in the part of Zambia we visit. In recent years, a vaccination certificate has been required to transit through South Africa having previously spent time in Zambia: however, the regulations are in a period of flux and you should consult your GP for current advice on travel health as soon as possible, at least eight weeks before the trip.
We will be travelling by 4X4 safari vehicle and small charter plane. We will also be taking several boat trips, including narrow dug-out ‘mokoro’ in the Delta. We will be walking for at least some of each day, as well as taking excursions by safari vehicle. All excursions are optional.