If you’re craving a wild, adventure safari on a limited budget, this is the holiday for you! You’ll head out into the wilderness, staying in tents and helping with camp chores while being looked after by a professional guide and experienced cook. You’ll see some of Botswana’s most acclaimed scenery including the Okavango Delta and Makgadikgadi Pans, and experience top quality game viewing throughout and will come away with a rich store of memories to treasure.
Day 1 Your safari will start at 12.30 in Kasane where you’ll meet your driver-guide and the rest of your group, who’ll you’ll get to know well over the next week. This first afternoon includes a game drive in Chobe National Park. As well as elephant with which the park is synonymous, there are good chances of observing buffalo, hippo, sable antelope and lion, plus, if you’re lucky, wild dog. You’ll soon appreciate the skill of your guide as he helps you spot wildlife and explains the significance of sightings. Exhilarated, you’ll reach camp, where everyone helps pitch tents and make fires, a real bonding experience. Dinner will be cooked for you over the open fire.
Day 2 Today you’ll drive to Savute, about a 5 hour drive, through Chobe Forest Reserve, arriving in time for lunch and a siesta. Fully rested you’ll set out on a game drive. Birds and animals thrive in the Savute Marsh, while in the hills you may spot leopard. Also in this area there are ancient bushman paintings dating back some 3000 years and there should be time to visit some of these on your drive. Back in camp you can freshen up with a bucket shower and enjoy a cold drink by the fire as cooking aromas fill the air whetting your appetite.
Day 3 Having breakfasted and washed the dishes you’ll set off for the 4 hour or so drive to Moremi, arriving around midday for lunch. Moremi is in the heart of the Okavango Delta and is one of the most beautiful reserves on the continent. Your game drive will reveal varied habitats such as floodplains, lagoons, woodland and rivers, all teeming with wildlife. You’ll be reaching for your camera time after time for a record of your day in this special place.
Day 4 Today you’ll strike camp for an entrancing early morning game drive in Moremi and another chance to get some first class photos. The journey continues towards Maun, with a stop for a tasty picnic lunch on the way, arriving in mid to late afternoon. Depending on the time, you may be able to take part in optional activities such as a scenic flight over the delta or a thrilling horse ride, to be paid for locally.
Day 5 The delta beckons and today you’re in for a treat as you sit back in a mokoro and let your poler guide the canoe skilfully through waterways, leaving you free to enjoy the sights and sounds of nature all around you. It’s a wonderfully relaxing experience, drifting noiselessly though the water, watching out for birds and enchanting reed frogs. This is the essence of the delta, a place like nowhere else on earth.
Day 6 It’s an early start today for the 4-6 hour drive from Maun to the Makgadikgadi Pans. The scenery couldn’t be more different to the delta, with huge gleaming salt flats, the residue of an enormous ancient lake, and vast grasslands as far as the eye can see. You’ll stop for lunch at Chapman’s Baobab, with a girth of 25 metres reckoned to be one of the largest trees in the world. Tonight you’ll sleep out on the pans beneath the stars (seasonally dependent).
Day 7 On your final day you’ll head away from the pans towards Kasane, a journey of some 4-6 hours, travelling through villages and cultivated areas. There’ll be opportunities to spot elephant and antelope as you near Kasane, and you’ll stop for lunch on the way. You should arrive by mid-afternoon, bidding farewell to your guide and new-found safari friends, as you prepare for your journey home.
This trip starts and ends in Kasane. From the UK, we recommend getting a flight with a combination of British Airways, Air Botswana and/or South African Airways via Johannesburg. This trip can be done in reverse. A rough price guide for flights is £1200 per person.
Departure dates 2018:
This is a small group, semi-participation safari departing from Kasane every Thursday.
Unless you are in the country already, you will need a night in Kasane before the trip starts. We are happy to quote and arrange this for you.
The safari vehicle: Transport is in a customised 4×4 safari vehicle which takes a maximum of 12 passengers. Not all will have a window seat. You will be spending a large part of the time in the vehicle and some of the tracks will be bumpy and sandy. The vehicle has a small refrigerator and 12v adaptors for charging camera batteries.
Sleeping arrangements: The tents are walk-in 2.5 metre square bow tents with built-in floors and mosquito gauze at the windows and entrance. Mattresses (40-50mm thick) are provided but you will need to bring your own pillow, sleeping bag, towel and toiletries. No single supplement will be charged if you’re willing to share a tent with a member of the same sex. If you require your own tent you will need to pay a single supplement.
Camp facilities: There are shared ablution facilities comprising a bucket shower and long drop toilet. Water may not be available every day. This is a participation camping trip so you’ll be helping with some chores such as erecting and packing up tents, collecting wood and making fires and washing dishes. Meals are prepared by the cook and cooked over the fire. Campsites are unfenced. The guide carries a first aid kit at all times and has been trained in its use. The vehicle has a satellite phone for communication with the base in Maun.
1 March – 19 December
Per person prices based on two people sharing. Please ask for single supplements. Plus international flights from roughly £1200 pp.
Bow tents with mattresses, meals from lunch on day 1 to day 7, shared bucket shower and eco toilet, professional guide and cook, game drives in a custom made safari vehicle, mokoro excursions, camping, entrance fees and medical evacuation insurance.
Visas, international flights, vaccinations, pillow & sleeping bag, drinks (can be purchased prior to safari), meals not listed, optional activities, travel insurance, gratuities/tips and personal expenses.
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.|