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The Great Wilderness Journey Southbound

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Key Information:
Tour Duration: 12 day(s)
Group Size: 2 - 20 people
Destination(s): Botswana  
Specialty Categories: Wildlife Viewing   Ecotourism  
Season: January - December
Airfare Included: No
Tour Customizable: No
Minimum Per Person Price: 500 US Dollar (USD)
Maximum Per Person Price: 2000 US Dollar (USD)

Tour Itinerary:

Day 1: Sussi Lodge, Livingstone, Zambia. On arrival in Livingstone we are met by a Wilderness representative and transfer to Sussi Lodge. Enjoy an afternoon guided tour of the Victoria Falls, one of the seven Natural Wonders of the World. At 1708 meters wide, it is the largest curtain of water in the world and drops more than 100 meters into the sheer Zambezi Gorge. Your guide will meet you in the reception area at 18:00 for a safari briefing and welcome drink. Overnight at the exclusive Sussi Lodge.

Guest accommodation at Sussi Lodge consists of 10 luxury tree-houses built into the living canopy of giant ebony trees lining the riverbank. Each unit has a mini bar, en-suite bathroom, mosquito nets, overhead fan and a private view of the Zambezi from its own deck among the branches. The main lodge building features a raised bar/lounge deck, open-air dining area, swimming pool and lawns down to the water's edge.

Days 2-4: Chobe River boat cruise & Linyanti Discoverer Camp, Linyanti Concession. We leave Zambia and enter the Chobe National Park in Botswana by way of the Kazangula border, a point where the four countries of Botswana, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Namibia meet. Chobe National Park is famous for its vast herds of elephants in the dry season and unique species such as the elusive puku and Chobe bushbuck that move to the river in the hottest hours of the day. Enjoy a lunch served on the boat cruise in a catamaran-style shaded boat. We fly by light aircraft to the private Linyanti Concession then game drive to our private Discoverer campsite.

This campsite is elegantly set up under large shade trees overlooking panoramic vistas of the Linyanti Swamps. The landscape varies from the floodplains of the Linyanti to savannah habitat with sweeping views, creating a paradise for a high diversity of wildlife and bird species. Activities include game drives in the private northern sector of the Concession, exploring a range of habitats, from riverbanks to scrub and forest, which reveal a myriad of wildlife en route to slake their thirst from the river. The seldom-seen sitatunga can also be spotted in the waterways, as well as rare plains game such as roan and sable antelope, and of course their predators, the lion and leopard - with the endangered wild dog as an incredible bonus. There's also a game drive to a private area for lunch, then a siesta in hammocks and the possibility of an afternoon canoe trip, before returning to camp at dusk. (This activity is not always possible, as it is dependent on whether there are hippo pods moving in and out of the areas in which we canoe.)

To complete the experience, in the rainy season on the third day we can possibly enjoy a full-day activity to the Savuti Channel, with lunch at a scenic setting under a shade tree. The spectacular but seasonal (rain-dependent) zebra migration moves between Linyanti and the Savute Marsh between end November and March, the area also boasting an impressive diversity of mammals, including large elephant herds.

When undertaken and during the correct season, this day is specifically tailored to enjoy the seasonal and migratory movements of wildlife, although sighting the zebra migration is not guaranteed.

Days 5-7: Ketumetse Trails Camp, North-eastern Okavango Delta. We depart by road to Ketumetse Trails Camp, set in a private concession in the game-productive north-eastern region of the Okavango's seasonally flooded areas. This extended transfer and combination game drive enjoys a lunch en route in a shady scenic area and allows the guest to personally view and understand the vastly changing landscapes of northern Botswana throughout. Our Discoverer campsite has been erected prior to our arrival in the wildlife-rich seasonal plains region under camel thorn shade trees, affording some views of the floodplain in cool comfort.

Activities concentrate on the open herbivore-inhabited plains flanked by palm trees and forest surrounding the camp, where seasonal congregations of wildlife (especially in the late afternoons) make the perfect setting for game drives, night drives and bush walks on the concession.

Days 8-9: Jacana Camp, Okavango Delta. We depart by air for the lush world of Jacana Camp, situated in a permanently flooded region of the private Jao concession of the Okavango Delta. The transfer itself becomes an interesting activity, combining seasonally between boat/mokoro and vehicle to the Jacana Camp from the airstrip.

A true water camp, Jacana represents the essence of the Delta, with year-round mokoro safaris as well as island bush walks and, water level permitting, motorboat cruises. In fact, when the flood levels are at their peak we are able to motorboat from the airstrip to the lodge, a truly surreal camp arrival! Jacana Camp is set in one of the wetland areas most densely populated with sitatunga and red lechwe. Wildlife concentrations depend on the water flow and volume, thus changing from season to season, but all the large animals can be found in the area including elephant, lion, leopard and buffalo.

Pel's Fishing Owl is a favorite amongst birders as well as Greater and Lesser Jacanas. Jacana Camp has 5 meru-style tents. Each tent is on a wooden deck overlooking the floodplains and has an en-suite bathroom with flush toilet and shower. The bathroom is enclosed but roofless, allowing for showers by starlight. The camp has a plunge pool for cooling off in the heat of the day. The main dining area is on an elevated wooden deck between two magnificent sycamore fig trees and surrounded by dense wild date palms. Downstairs, there is a cozy pub and lounge with an area perfect for an open fire under the stars.

Days 10-11: San Camp, Makgadikgadi Pans. The Makgadigadi Pans and Kalahari Desert represents survival at the other extreme. The contrast becomes amazingly clear as we move from delta to desert, from water world to dry sand, on an air transfer from Jacana to San Camp. San Camp is situated in a private concession on the edge of the great Makgadikgadi Pans in the Kalahari Desert.

The saltpans are among the largest in the world, part of a fossilized super-lake that thrived aeons ago. Surprisingly for such a harsh, lunar-like environment, life abounds, and brown hyaena, oryx and springbok are just a few of the desert-adapted species that can be seen. Activities include up-close encounters with suricates (meerkats), one of the most fascinating and endearing animals in the world. Experience phenomenal geology, quad biking, and authentic San (bushman) cultural walks, or simply enjoy the wide-open spaces of this ancient lakebed.

Day 12: Transfer to Maun Airport. Bid farewell to the adventure as we transfer by light aircraft to Maun Airport.

Note: This itinerary is available on flexible dates and itineraries, for tailor-made safaris for small groups up to eight guests.

Airfare is not included in the tour price.

- All bookings are subject to availability by the suppliers as at the time of booking.
- All prices quoted for packages and services are subject to change due to currency fluctuations, fuel price increases and other government levies and taxes.
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