In the great game parks of northern Botswana, you can still experience the Africa of days gone by. The famous Okavango Delta is the largest inland delta in the world, covering an area roughly the size of Switzerland. The thousands of intertwining channels and islands support a large population of mammals and birds ‹ although in this watery wonderland of forested swamps, reeds, and tall grasses, it is said that you only see 10% of what sees you! The Moremi Game Reserve provides wildlife that is much less shy, including a myriad of colorful birds. In Chobe National Park, you'll search for a variety of big game in the surrounding plains and woodlands. And, of course, no trip to southern Africa would be complete without seeing Victoria Falls, one of the world's most spectacular natural wonders. Ancient peoples used sites around the Falls as sacred places of worship, and one can easily understand what David Livingstone meant when he wrote in 1865:
It is no wonder that under the cloudy columns, and near the brilliant rainbows... with the perpetual flow, as if pouring forth from the Almighty, their souls should be filled with reverential awe.
Highlights of your safari will include day and night-time game drives, bushwalks, mokoro excursions and an exciting elephant back trek!
Choice of optional lecture (s) from the topics listed below. Delivered by a regional specialist, these lectures will supplement the information conveyed by your top-notch guide. Some lectures may not be available on certain departures.
The Kalahari Desert and Okavango Delta - Overview of Botswana's History - Wildlife lecture on mammals or ornithology - Botswana's main peoples and cultures - Spiritual and religious beliefs of Botswana's main people's Paleo - Anthropology
Note: We will gladly customize an itinerary to meet your preferences.
Days 1-2: En route to Johannesburg.
Fly to Johannesburg, arriving on day 2. You will be met and privately transferred to your hotel. Rest after your international flights. Peermont D'Oreale Grande
Day 3: Victoria Falls (Zimbabwe).
Important Note: We can arrange tours to either the Zambian or Zimbabwean side of Victoria Falls (or to both sides). The political situation is sometimes more stable in Zambia than in Zimbabwe. However, the Zimbabwean side does offer some advantages: the views of the falls are more spectacular, the pricing is sometimes lower and there are some additional activities to choose from (Boma dinner/cultural show, lion encounter, better artisan market). The Zambian side offers impressive (but less spectacular) views of the falls, an interesting museum and more stable political environment. Both sides offer good hotels. Another option is to stay on the Zambian side and make a half day trip to the Zimbabwean side to see the falls (surcharge). Please consult the latest U.S. State Department Travel Advisory if you are considering traveling to the Zimbabwean side. Lastly, please note that the falls are not nearly as impressive between October and mid-December (low water season).
Morning flight to Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe.. Private transfer to hotel.
This afternoon on your private tour of the falls, you'll marvel at one of the seven natural wonders of the world. Indeed, as Eleanor Roosevelt observed about Iguazu, Victoria Falls also "make Niagara look like a dripping faucet". Surrounded by a thick jungle of spray-generated rainforest, these mile-wide falls drop between 300 and 350 feet into the Zambezi Gorge -- at a rate of 2.4 million gallons per second during the height of rainy season! Air, mist, and light conditions combine to provide breathtaking views of the falls, and the local people - the Leyas - once called the falls "Shungu Namutitima," or "The Smoke that Thunders". Optional Boma dinner cultural show. Victoria Falls Hotel- deluxe central wing room (B). Note: Optional upgrade to the Stanley & Livingstone Hotel.
Day 4: Victoria Falls.
This morning, you'll listen to an educational talk on African elephants and then embark on a thrilling, low-intensity elephant back safari through the bush, escorted by an armed guide on foot. You may well see buffalo, kudu, bushbuck, impala, elephants, waterbuck, as well as a wide variety of birds. This afternoon you’ll take a leisurely and scenic sundowner cruise on the Zambezi River. Victoria Falls Hotel - deluxe central wing room (B)
Note: Other options (surcharge would apply) include enjoying a lion encounter (an interactive experience in which the offspring of rehabilitated lions are reintroduced into the wild); and taking a helicopter or micro-light flight over the falls. Experienced whitewater rafting enthusiasts may consider rafting the Zambezi River, which offers perhaps the world's best one-day rafting trip. However, this trip is rigorous (class 4-5), not low-intensity.
Days 5-6: Chobe National park (Botswana).
Morning transfer to Chobe Chilwero, located on the border of Chobe National park and situated atop a hill overlooking the Chobe River’s floodplains. You will spend two nights at Chobe Chilwero Camp.
This region, characterized by open grassland, riverine forest, and mopane savannas, is noted for its very large elephant populations, which can reach enormous densities in the winter months. Lion, giraffe, hippos, crocodiles, zebra, impala, leopard, cheetah, wild dog, buffalo, and hyena are resident and regularly sighted. Other residents include jackal, warthog, baboon, and cape clawless otter, which can be seen playing on the banks of the Chobe River.
Activities include game drives in open-sided 4x4 vehicles, boating excursions on the Chobe River, sundowner cruises, swimming and spa treatments. The deluxe camp accommodates a maximum of 30 guests in 15 luxury (air conditioned) bungalows, each with a private “sala”, en suite bathroom and a private out door shower. A business centre is housed in the main public area and other features include a library, temperature controlled wine cellar, swimming pool and curio shop. Traditional campfires, fine cuisine and a fireside bar all add to the ambience. Chobe Chilwero (B, L, D).
Days 7-8: Okavango Delta.
On the morning of day 7, you will take a short flight to Sandibe Safari Lodge, where you will spend two nights. Sandibe Safari Lodge is situated in the remote wilderness area in the southeastern Okavango Delta, 20 kilometers east of Chief’s Island, on the southern border of the Moremi Game Reserve and adjacent to the Santantadibe River system. The site was specifically chosen for its extraordinary beauty, its prime location on the permanent Delta and its proximity to the game-rich grassy plains.
Sandibe's accommodations consist of eight intimate African-inspired cottages. The cottages are airy, with en-suite bathrooms, toilet, twin basin vanity, hairdryers and open shower and dressing area. All window openings are covered with insect gauze to maximize views into the bush and riverfront. Each cottage has its own private verandah/elevated viewing deck, which is perfect for intimate candlelit dinners. In the heart of the camp, tucked under the forest canopy, is the lounge and dining area with quiet, hammocked decks, affording views across the waterways and savannahs. A shaded swimming pool and well-stocked curio shop are close by. Pan-African dinners are prepared and served in the open boma that also boasts a unique charcoal cooled wine cellar.
Activities at Sandibe include twice daily game drives in open 4x4 game-viewing vehicles, bush walks, river cruises in a unique electrically powered boat, fishing, mekoro (dugout canoe) excursions in the Delta, bush breakfasts, elegant bush dinners and bird watching. Night game drives are a highlight as they afford guests an opportunity to see the lesser known but interesting nocturnal animals of the Delta.
Game viewing is excellent and includes Buffalo, Elephant, Lion, Leopard, Reedbuck, Red Lechwe, Impala, Zebra and Hippo. The highly endangered African Wild Dogs are among the major attractions of this area. Night drives can be very rewarding with good sightings of the more rare nocturnal animals such as Pangolin, Civet, Serval, Genet, Porcupine and Aardwolf. You will also likely see Zebra, Reedbuck, Red Lechwe, Impala and all the plains game. Sandibe Okavango Safari Lodge (or Vumbura Plains) (B, L, D).
Days 9-10: Moremi Game Reserve.
Depart on a short flight to Chief's Camp, situated on Chief's Island in the exclusive Mombo Concession of the Moremi Game Reserve. You'll spend three nights at Chief's Camp.
This pristine world is home to the Big Five and is known as the "predator capital of Botswana". This concession is said to have Botswana's highest concentration of lion, according to a recent wildlife census by the Department of Wildlife. White rhino have recently been introduced to this concession, making it the only place in Botswana where these magnificent animals can be seen in their natural habitat. Leopard, cheetah, wild dog, tsessebe, lechwe and wildebeest dot the flood plains while the lagoons are home to hippo and crocodile. The areas of permanent water also attract large numbers of waterfowl. You'll enjoy game drives and mokoro excursions (subject to water levels).
Chief's Camp has been skillfully integrated into the landscape and because of the extreme environmental sensitivity of the area, the whole structure has been designed so as to be totally removable from the site. Twelve luxury tents have been designed for ultimate privacy and comfort. Chief's Camp (B, L, D). Note: You may also stay at Mombo Camp or Jao Camp (surcharge may apply).
Day 11: Homeward bound.
Fly to Johannesburg via Maun, connecting with your international flight home. (B). Note: We will gladly customize an itinerary to meet your preferences. Optional extensions to South Africa, Kalahari Desert and Namibia. End of Tour (Code: B-Breakfast; L-Lunch; D-Dinner).
Price quoted depends on the season. The minimum cost is for low season, whereas the max cost is high season. Price is for itinerary above, any customization of itinerary will alter the cost.
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Africa Zimbabwe Botswana Nature & Wildlife Wildlife Viewing Ecotourism
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