11 DAY WILDLIFE SAFARI
Maun – Victoria Falls
5 Nights Canvas
5 Nights Camping
- Okavango Delta
- Okavango mokoro excursion
- Delta walks
- National Parks (Moremi/Savuti – 5 days)
- Extensive open-vehicle game drives in National Parks
- Wild remote serviced camping in National Parks
- Makgadikgadi Salt Pans
- Chobe River boat cruise
- Chobe National Park
- White water rafting
- Bungee jumping
- Scenic flight – Okavango Delta
- Zambezi River sunset cruise
The casual visitor to Botswana could be excused for seeing the country as kilometre upon kilometre of flat, desolate scrubland with little or no surface water. But on closer inspection, coupled with local knowledge, a whole new world will manifest itself, and what is arguably Africa’s finest wildlife destination will be revealed. Botswana is a country the size of France, with over a quarter of its land set aside exclusively for nature conservation.
Our tour will take us through the vast Kalahari plains where we meet with the local Bushmen, among the oldest peoples of Africa. We then venture further north, into the magnificent Okavango Delta, the world’s largest inland river delta, which spills water from the faraway mountains of Angola into the vast plain of the Makgadikgadi, creating a unique wildlife paradise. We explore the world renowned National Parks in fully equipped, open 4×4 vehicles, our route following the age old game migration tracks, depending on the season. We enjoy a game viewing boat cruise on the Chobe River, in Chobe National Park, and finally we visit “The Smoke that Thunders” – Victoria Falls.
This tour offers the adventure traveller, the photographer, the birdwatcher and the naturalist the ultimate natural paradise.
Guests must arrive in Maun the day before the first day of tour. Guests can book a pre night at the DRIFTERS MAUN LODGE. Drifters will book and arrange for an own expense transfer from the Drifters Maun Lodge to meet up with the scheduled tour en route to the Delta.
DAY 1 – 3: OKAVANGO DELTA
A transfer will take you from the DRIFTERS MAUN LODGE to meet the tour en route to the Delta.
The Okavango River, emanating from central Angola, far to the northwest, flows south- and eastwards, before slowing and spreading into one of the world’s only true inland deltas, creating as it does so a unique ecosystem that supports a huge variety of animal and plant life. The sight of a Jacana striding delicately amongst the flowering lilies, the Bee Eater diving to prey on an unsuspecting insect, and of course the familiar cry of the African Fish Eagle – all combine to create the canvas of one of nature’s unique masterpieces. The river, eventually spilling its contents into the vast plains of the Makgadikgadi sands, disappears.
Our comfortable and well appointed camp on the edge of one of the largest lagoons serves as a base from which we explore. We will glide through narrow reed-lined channels by mokoro, walk on uninhabited islands, and picnic in the wilderness, while learning about the animals and plants of the Delta from local guides who have grown up in the area. Through informal interaction with the guides, we will have the opportunity to learn about the local people and their way of life in this isolated wilderness. We will also have time to simply relax and enjoy the views over a glistening lagoon from a beautiful wooden deck, cold drink in hand, go for a walk with our guide, or take a refreshing dip in the pool. One afternoon we enjoy a relaxing sunset cruise on a boat. A helicopter flip, to see the vastness of the Delta from the air, is recommended (own expense).
Meals: B L D; B L D; B L D
Distance: 354km on Day 3
Accommodation: Twin Bedded Tented Units
(On occasion tours might camp wild in dome tents on islands in the delta)
– Okavango Delta
– Guided walks in the Delta led by local Motswana guides
– Mokoro trip
– Sunset boat trip
– Scenic helicopter flight over the Delta
DAY 4: OKAVANGO – MAUN
Starting early, we begin our journey toward relative civilisation. This afternoon we arrive in the frontier town – Maun. We will spend some time stocking up on basic supplies, before travelling the short distance out of town to the DRIFTERS MAUN TENTED LODGE, our stop for the night.
The lodge is situated on the banks of the Boteti River. This river is known to change its flow direction, depending upon the season and rainfall patterns. The lodge offers comfortable tented en-suite accommodation, swimming pool, bar, restaurant and birdlife.
Meals: B L D
Distance: 354 km
Accommodation: Drifters Maun Lodge – Twin-bedded tented units
– Boteti River Sunset
– None, all included
DAY 5 – 8: FLEXIBLE GAME RESERVE SCHEDULE (5 Days in National Parks)
We enjoy a scrumptious breakfast at the Lodge before departing on the game viewing part of the trip, undoubtedly one of the highlights of the tour. We travel in well-equipped, open 4×4 Land Cruisers, with our local Motswana guides. The 4x4s aren’t just for show, as the national parks are truly wild places, the roads just tracks in the sand. We carry only our cameras and day packs, a picnic lunch, and drinks for the road, while a support vehicle goes ahead with our luggage and all the camp equipment. This leaves us free to game drive extensively during the day, to stop at hides and water holes at leisure, and to make the most of our time here. Towards sunset we arrive at our camp in the bush, to find that the support staff have erected our tents, set up bush showers and toilets, and have a friendly campfire going to welcome us. We use exclusive private campsites in the national parks, which are no more than a GPS point in the bush, completely secluded and undeveloped – it is as if we are the first people here, and are alone in the world. We bring everything we will need with us, and leave nothing behind when we depart.
Our route is flexible and depends on the season. An example could be: starting in Moremi Game Reserve, we spend the first night near the well-known Third Bridge. Drift off to sleep to the howl of the distant hyena or the earthy roar of a lion, and even the deep grunt of a half-submerged hippo. We might then head north via Xakanaxa, to camp near North Gate. This area is excellent for game viewing and we will conduct afternoon and morning drives along the wetland areas.
Then we might go on up as far as Savuti, an area that offers a multitude of game drive options and is a very active game area (keep the fruit well hidden from the roving elephant, the meat from the prowling hyenas, and everything from the monkeys). The vegetation is constantly changing, from open plains with palm trees, to marshland, to dense Mopane woodlands or Acacia scrub. This variety of habitats makes for excellent game viewing.
Our backup crew remain with us throughout, moving the camp for us, so we can concentrate on the wilderness.
Depending on the ever changing conditions in the National Parks we might also venture into the vast Central Kalahari Game Reserve or the unique Makgadikgadi Pans National Park.
Meals: B L D; B L D; B L D; B L D;
Distance: +- 125 km Day 5
Accommodation: Camping (2 person dome tents)
– 4×4 open vehicle game drives
– Private non-fenced campsites
– Extensive first-hand game viewing experience
– Explore the heart of National Geographic’s photography region
– None, all included
DAY 9 – MAUN
Our last morning in the parks, we slowly game drive our way back to Maun. We enjoy an own-expense lunch, and have some time to explore the town, or to take an optional game flight (own expense), before heading out to the comfort of the DRIFTERS MAUN TENTED LODGE. This afternoon we relax at the lodge before enjoying a catered meal and a comfortable night.
Meals: B; D; (Lunch on this day is own expense in Maun)
Distance: +- 225 km
Accommodation: Drifters Maun Tented Lodge – Twin-bedded tented units
– Game drive on the way out of the park
– Visit to Maun
– Game flight, fixed wing or helicopter
DAY 10: MAKGADIKGADI PANS
After the early mornings of the last few days, we enjoy a relaxed start at the lodge today, spending time along the river bank enjoying the tranquillity of the area, or lounging at the swimming pool. For those interested, we recommend going on a local village walk. Chenoga Village, not far from our lodge, is not on a regular tourist route, so you have the opportunity to explore an authentic village with one of our staff from the lodge, who lives in the village.
We have an early lunch, before continuing our journey eastward into the spectacular Makgadikgadi Salt Pans area. Oceans of golden grass give way to the stark white pans, under a very big sky. We camp the night in splendid isolation. The adventurous can sleep out under the stars and be rewarded with the awesome spectacle of the southern night sky.
In some seasons the pans are not easily accessible, in which case we will camp at an interesting elephant watering hole.
Meals: B L D
Distance: 200 – 300 km
Accommodation: – Camping (2 person dome tents)
– Village walk
– Visit to Makgadikgadi Salt Pans
– Camping on the pans under the stars (weather permitting)
– Star gazing
– None, all included
DAY 11: CHOBE RIVER – VICTORIA FALLS
Venturing north today, we make our way to the slow, placid Chobe River, an ideal habitat for hippos and crocodiles, and an attraction to some of the biggest herds of elephant and buffalo on earth. This afternoon we enjoy an extensive boat cruise on the river, within Chobe National Park. Gliding close to the banks, we hope to silently approach the animals that come down to the river to drink. Back on land, we cross the border into Zimbabwe and make our way to Victoria Falls
The tour will officially end on arrival at our accommodation on Victoria Falls. Guests can extend their trip by booking post night accommodation through Drifters.
Meals: B L
Distance: 320 – 400 km
At time of going to print the above itinerary was correct, but Drifters continually strive to offer our clients the best available tour options, and as such we reserve the right to change aspects of the itinerary at our discretion. During the validity period of the published itinerary, conditions may change, roads may be improved or deteriorate, contracted camps and accommodation facilities may change standards, optional activities might become available or be discontinued, new border posts open or existing ones become congested, etc. Drifters are continuously monitoring all of the factors that contribute to a successful tour, and will make amendments to the published itinerary if circumstances so demand, or if we believe that the change will enhance the tour.
A sleeping bag, towel and pillow are required for this tour. Seasonal malaria precautions are necessary and are locally obtainable. A barrel bag or backpack is best suited for this trip (suitcases may not fit into the space provided). An extra day bag or camera bag is advised. Spending money will be required for the restaurant meals, drinks, visas, tips, curios, airport transfers, and any other optional excursions. (Zimbabwe airport tax US$30-00 for those flying out – subject to change.)
A valid passport is required by everyone. The tour will visit Botswana and Zimbabwe. It is the client’s responsibility to ensure they have the appropriate visas required for this trip, for all the countries we visit. Some nationalities may need to obtain visas before departure as they may not be obtainable at the border or on arrival.
Remember, help us to help you by participating and by keeping an open mind. Our price includes all food as specified, coffee, tea, juice at breakfast, transport, two Drifters crew, mokoro hire, accommodation, group equipment, permits and park entrance fees.
Our price does not include restaurant meals where stipulated, visas, tips, curios, optional excursions, entrance into Victoria Falls National park, alcohol, bottled water and soft drinks, airport tax, airport transfers and airfares.
Before departure clients will be required to enter into an agreement pertaining to our booking conditions and general information as defined on our website and in our brochure. Clients are required to have their own comprehensive personal travel and medical insurance.