Great Wilderness Journey
This trip gives you the luxury of time as well as showing you the diversity of Botswana. 3 nights in 3 contrasting wildlife regions. You stay in camps designed to bring you closer to nature, so you’ll be eating as often as not by the campfire and fall asleep to the sounds of nature through the canvas walls of your tent. Be warned – safaris can be addictive!
Day 1 The excitement starts as soon as you arrive at Livingstone in Zambia. You’re taken on a guided tour of the world-famous Victoria Falls, a breath-taking sight and sound! Later you’ll be transferred to your camp, where you can unwind on your private deck after the busy day, and enjoy views of the Zambezi River.Toka Leya
Day 2 You’ll have a hearty breakfast at the camp before travelling back to Livingstone for the flight to Kasane in Botswana. A leisurely cruise on the Chobe River will offer your first views of wildlife, including large concentrations of elephants and hippos and numerous species of birds. You’ll have lunch on board and will fly to your home for the next 3 nights. Linyanti Tented Camp
Day 3 The Linyanti Reserve’s varied habitats mean that plains game abounds and you’ll have excellent chances of seeing a diverse range of animals including the rare sitatunga, roan and sable antelope, plus lion, leopard, cheetah and the endangered wild dog. Game drives with your guide will be exciting and enlightening – a great introduction to life on safari.
Day 4 Another day to enjoy the bounty of the Linyanti Reserve. You might be out all day investigating a range of locations, enjoying a specially prepared picnic lunch in an attractive location. After a long day, you’ll be glad of a hot shower to wash the dust away, later sitting down to sundowners round the campfire before dinner.
Day 5 It’s time to move on. You’ll fly to the Santawani Concession in the southeast corner of the Okavango Delta where you stay for the next 3 nights. There should be time this afternoon for a foray into the Delta, known the world over for its scenic beauty and rich wildlife. Your appetite will be whetted for the days to come!Gomoti Tented Camp
Day 6 Your days on safari will tend to follow a similar pattern. Rising early you have a light breakfast before heading out for early morning game viewing. You’ll be back in camp for a brunch and a siesta, later setting off into the concession again. Afternoon activity often includes sundowners and culminates in a night drive with fascinating glimpses of nocturnal animals.
Day 7 The woodland and floodplains of this region teem with wildlife. You’ll be surprised how much of your guide’s knowledge has rubbed off on you. No two days are the same and you’ll realise just why safaris can be addictive!
Day 8 Following breakfast, you fly to a different part of the Delta and your new camp, either Jacana or Xigera, Both offer excellent safari experiences, including the chance to take mokoro rides in the waterways. Sitting back in the hollowed out canoe you’ll be eyeball to eyeball with insects and birds as you glide soundlessly through the channels. It’s an absorbing activity and offers wonderful photo opportunities. Xigera Camp
Day 9 When not out exploring you’ll have plenty of time to enjoy the comforts of life in camp. You can sink back into a sofa in the lounge, take in views of the lagoons and floodplains from the deck, and enjoy the chef’s tempting culinary creations.
Day 10 You’ll want to make the most of your final full day on safari. Make sure you have your camera at the ready. Your album should be the envy of family and friends back at home. Drinks by the campfire will give you time to look back on your holiday as you remember some of the highlights.
Day 11 Having breakfasted and packed your bags you say goodbye to the camp staff who’ve looked after you so well and will be driven to the airstrip for the flight to Maun where this adventure concludes.
This trip starts in Livingstone (Zambia) and ends in Maun (Botswana). From the UK, we recommend getting a flight with a combination of British Airways, Air Botswana and/or South African Airways via Johannesburg. A rough price guide for flights is £900-£1400 pp in economy, depending on the season.
Departure dates 2018:
This is a set departure guided safari run by Wilderness Safaris. All are English-speaking. There are min 2 and max 7 people per departure. Children from 12 years are welcome on the tour (a private safari can be arranged for parties with younger children).
2nd – 12th May
2nd -12th June
17th – 27th July
7th – 17th August
24th September – 4th October
18th – 28th October
NOTE: Luggage is restricted to 20kgs total in soft bags of a specific dimension.
May and November
June – October
Per person prices based on two people sharing. Please ask for single supplements. Plus international flights from roughly £1200 pp.
10 nights’ accommodation, road transfers as per the itinerary, charter flights as per the itinerary, services of a professional guide, all meals, a reasonable amount of mineral water, soft drinks, house wine and beer and local spirits, scheduled activities, national park entry fees, laundry.
International flights and taxes, visas, vaccinations, travel insurance, tips, entry and departure government taxes, optional extra activities, items of a personal nature.
When to go
Rollover the months for more details >
|JanuaryPeak of the wet season, though it still doesn’t rain every day. Warm days (average 30°c but can be as hot as 40°c) and nights (20°c). Lush green foliage and flowers and birds in song. Peak breeding time for many migrant birds. Great month for photography, with gorgeous colours and dramatic skies. Predators have an easy time preying on the young plains game. The Kalahari and Salt Pans are now flush with fresh grass attracting lots of wildlife. In the Pans, thousands of zebras and wildebeest have come to graze here from the west. Lions and other predators benefit from this surfeit of game.|
|FebruaryPeak of the wet season, though it still doesn’t rain every day. Still very hot. It can reach up to 40° during the day but the average is still about 30°c. Waterlilies are at their best, as are many of the smaller creatures such as birds, frogs and butterflies. The Kalahari and the Pans are still at their best for wildlife. It’s still a great month for photography.|
|MarchStill hot days and warm nights, but cooling a little, and the rain is dwindling. The Kalahari and the Pans are still generally good for wildlife. Birding is still very good. Nearby Victoria Falls is in full flood. Marula trees are in fruit and elephants go a long way to find these tasty treats.|
|AprilThe rain has stopped. Nights begin to cool off, though days can still be very hot. The impala rutting season is well under way, with males in peak health displaying to females and trying to ward off rivals. In the Salt Pans the herds can begin to move from between about now and May over to the permanent water source of the Boteti River. The aptly named sausage trees are now bearing their pendulous fruit. In Nxai Pan the waterhole is the focus as general groundwater has mostly dried up now. Large numbers of mammals, and especially elephants hog the waterhole for as long as they can.|
|MayTemperatures begin to drop more noticeably, with nights averaging about 15°c and daytime temperatures still around 30° but rarely getting above 35°c. Floodwaters begin to reach the top of the Okavango Delta. Migratory birds begin to depart for winter. The land begins to dry out and animals start moving towards permanent water sources.|
|JuneIt’s getting colder. You’ll need warm clothes for the cold nights, evenings (down to around 5°c, less in the desert) and mornings, but these give way to sunny warm days in the mid-20s. Wild dogs begin to den. For the next 3-4 months the dogs are generally easier to find as they are never too far from the den. All but the largest seasonal waterholes have dried up by now, so the main rivers and lagoons are the focus for wildlife. It’s getting dusty, grasses are dying back and trees are shedding leaves. It’s all turning brown.|
|July This is winter and it can be very cold in mornings and evenings. By now, most areas of the Delta have felt the arrival of the floods. It’s a godsend for an increasingly parched landscape and its inhabitants. Mokoro and boat trips trips are available in many Delta camps near the water now. Game viewing is excellent.|
|August This is winter and it can be very cold in mornings and evenings. Thousands of breeding birds such as storks and herons begin to congregate to nest in heronries such as the one at Godikwe near Kwara in the Delta. It’s dry and dusty away from the water sources, and wildlife is finding itself in smaller areas close to water which can sometimes cause tensions and drama. It’s a good time for bush walks now that the high grasses have died down.|
|September It starts to get hot now and the heat builds up quickly over this month and the next. Temperatures of mid-30s are common and night temperatures are back to around 15°c. The floodwaters start to slowly drop from now on. Carmine bee-eaters and other migratory birds begin to arrive back in good numbers. The Godikwe heronry is jam-packed now. September and October are the peak months for elephants and buffalos by the Delta and rivers such as the Chobe, Linyanti and Kwando. This is a time of plenty for predators as the dry season inevitably takes its toll on some of the plains game. In the Kalahari, solitary black-maned lions begin to call the females to them once more – it’s a great sight (and sounds), but be warned that it is seriously hot.|
|October This is the hottest month in Botswana with daytime temperatures often well over 40°c. If you can stand the heat, this is one of the very best months for game viewing, but you (and the wildlife) definitely need to avoid the midday heat. September and October are the peak months for elephants and buffalos by the Delta and rivers such as the Chobe, Linyanti and Kwando. This is a time of plenty for predators as the dry season inevitably takes its toll on some of the plains game. The heronries are now absolutely full of birds – an awesome sight. The Kalahari is off-limits for most visitors due to the heat often reaching the high 40s.|
|November It’s stiflingly hot until the rains arrive. The first rains come about mid-late November and everyone and everything breathes a sigh of relief. With the rains come the newborns – first the tsessabe, then the impala, red lechwe and more. It is feast time for the predators once more. Herds once again begin to move away from permanent rivers to seasonal grasslands. Life seems to begin again and colour and freshness returns to the landscape. Migrant birds start to arrive later in the month.|
|December Antelope youngsters grow quickly, and the wildebeest begin calving. The first rains hit the desert regions and very quickly the temperature drops and the arid plains become bright green grasslands which attract herds of antelopes and more. The pans such as Nxai and Makgadikgadi once again fill with zebra and wildebeest and other wildlife, to the joy of attendant predators. Thunderstorms come every few days and this is again a dramatic time for photographers. Most of the migrant birds have returned by now.|