Ultimate Botswana & Falls
Fabulous wildlife viewing, stunning scenery, top quality guides and the very best accommodation all combine to make this the ultimate Botswana safari. Thrilling 4x4 game drives, serene mokoro trips, motorboat cruises, night drives and guided walks give you a comprehensive, in depth safari and you can’t fail to be impressed by the camps – pure luxury. If you want the best, look no further, this is it!
Day 1 You’ll be met on arrival at Livingstone and transferred to your beautiful waterside lodge. Tongabezi is a privately owned and run lodge on the banks of the Zambezi, with accommodation in charming houses and cottages. You’ll have a tasty lunch followed by time to relax after your flight, enjoying a refreshing swim in the rockpool or indulging in a massage, as you wish. Dinner tonight could be in the main dining room, on one of the decks or out in the river on the sampan. Tongabezi
Day 2 With Victoria Falls on your doorstep you’ll have no end of possible activities today. Tongabezi offers free guided tours, sunrise and sunset boat cruises, walks in the gorges below the falls, lunch on one of the islands, and there are many more activities you can arrange on the spot. You can also enjoy guided bush walks, game drives and village visits. It’ll be an action-packed day and you’ll sleep soundly tonight.
Day 3 After breakfast you’ll be transferred to the border for the flight to the Selinda Reserve. Your next camp, Zarafa, is the height of luxury with 4 opulent tented suites. After lunch, a rest and tea, you’ll be taken on safari. Selinda boasts herds of elephant, giraffe and zebra, prides of lion and packs of wild dog. Keep your camera at the ready to capture each special encounter. On return to camp you’ll be treated to a generous 3-course dinner. Zarafa Camp
Days 4-5 This morning you’ll venture back out in the 4×4 safari vehicle to spend more time in this pristine reserve. Your guide will happily answer any questions you have and will be keen to impart his love and understanding of the region. In the afternoon you’ll have the chance to take to the water in Zarafa’s pontoon boat for views of hippos, elephants and a variety of birds. Guided walks with a licensed armed guide enable you to witness small animals and insects and study tracks, developing your bushcraft skills. Later round the campfire, you can share experiences with other guests over sundowners.
Day 6 After your morning game drive (time permitting) you’ll board a flight to the Okavango Delta, arriving at your next camp in time for lunch. Enjoy a short siesta before heading out on your afternoon game activity, by land or water as you prefer. This is your introduction to the delta, its varied habitats and diverse wildlife. Later, back at Vumbura Plains, you can sip a chilled pre-dinner drink from the bar as you gaze out over the floodplains, socialising with fellow guests. Vumbara Plains
Days 7-8 A wide choice of game activities is offered here. As well as game drives and boat trips you can explore by mokoro, a restful experience as the vessel glides silently through the water allowing you glimpses of water birds and colourful frogs. Nature walks are offered subject to the availability of a qualified guide, while a night drive with spotlights picking out shy nocturnal creatures reveals yet another aspect of the delta. After a long day you’ll be ready for dinner under the stars.
Day 9 After breakfast and your final morning game drive (time permitting) you’ll board a light aircraft to Maun, in time to check in for your flights home.
This trip starts in Livingstone and ends in Maun. From the UK, we recommend getting a flight with a combination of British Airways, Air Botswana and/or South African Airways via Johannnesburg. A rough price guide for flights is from about £900 in low season and up to about £1400 in high season, on economy flights.
This is a private tailor made fly-in safari which we can arrange for you at any time you like subject to availability.
Tailor make your safari:
We can change this trip in any way, from duration to places and lodges. This will of course affect the price. This trip can be done in the reverse direction.
11 January – March
April – May
1 – 14 June
15 June – October
November – 19 December
Accommodation on a full board basis, local drinks, road and light aircraft transfers, daily activities, park and concession fees, use of a professional Canon camera and lenses at Zarafa.
Visas, international flights, vaccinations, meals not listed, premium drinks, optional activities, travel insurance, 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.|