This safari is a small group, semi-participation adventure that includes the wildlife highlights of northern Botswana: Moremi Game Reserve, Chobe National Park and Savuti, rounded off by a stay at Victoria Falls. All this in just 9, action-packed days, making an ideal holiday if your time is limited. In camp all you’ll need to do is help erect and take down your tent, the guide and assistant will take care of all other chores including the cooking – and you’ll never fail to be impressed by what’s conjured up over the camp fire!
Day 1 Arrive into Maun where you will be met and transferred to Maun Lodge. You’ll have a free afternoon and evening at the lodge, time to relax after your journey (and to buy drinks for the safari) and enjoy dinner served by the fire outdoors in the boma. You’ve arrived in Africa! Overnight in Maun Lodge.
Day 2 Your group safari starts at 7.30 this morning. You’ll meet the rest of your safari group and together you’ll set off on the drive to Moremi Game Reserve. This is a good opportunity to get to know your fellow travellers. You’ll stop for lunch along the way, eaten beneath the shade of trees, and your guide will give you a briefing on your safari. Enjoy an afternoon of game viewing before arriving at your private designated campsite (with bush ablutions) in the west Moremi/Xakanaxa area), where you’ll spend 2 nights. Full board.
Day 3 Moremi is a prime safari location. Its floodplains, lagoons, forest and grasslands are home to a wide spectrum of animal and bird life. You’ll spend these days immersed in this world, taking game drives in the early morning as the sun rises, and in the late afternoon as the heat of day lessens. These are times when animals are at their most active and sightings should be plentiful. Between drives you’ll return to camp for lunch and a siesta, and the day will end with dinner by lamplight. Full board.
Day 4 Staying in Moremi, you’ll move campsite today to the north-eastern/Khwai river area so that you can explore a different area of this incredible reserve. Full board.
Day 5 It’s time for a change of scene and today you’ll drive north towards the southern part of Chobe National Park – Savute. It’s a long journey of about 7-8 hours today, but this incorporates game viewing in Savute so the time will fly by. This is a good place to see elephants, outlined against the backdrop of the plains. You’ll arrive at your campsite, where, having helped set up camp, you can sit back and enjoy a drink by the fire, looking forward to dinner. Full board.
Day 6 Today you have a transfer/game drive day of about 5-6 hours to the northern/ riverfront area of Chobe National Park. You’ll notice a change in terrain as your game drives follow the banks of the river. Look out for antelope, zebra and buffalo and listen for the distinctive cry of the fish eagle. Your guide will help you spot wildlife and you’ll be surprised at how much you’ve already learned. Your next campsite will be home for 2 nights. Full board.
Day 7 You’ll have a full day of game viewing in the Chobe region. Chobe is synonymous with huge herds of elephants (especially in the driest season from about August to October) which are often seen by and in the river. It’s not solely about elephants. The varied habitats encourage a diversity of wildlife including buffalo, hippo, zebra, giraffe and antelope. Your drive promises to be hugely rewarding. Back in camp at the end of day you can sit and recall the highlights as you chat to your fellow travellers. Full board.
Day 8 After a short morning game drive you’ll cross into Zimbabwe and head to the town of Victoria Falls (about 2-3 hours including the border crossing). You’re staying at Nguni Lodge, and this afternoon you’ll have time to visit the thunderous Victoria Falls (not included), an awe-inspiring sight and sound, and to shop for souvenirs of your holiday. Breakfast and lunch. Nguni Lodge
Day 9 After a leisurely breakfast and morning at the lodge you’ll be transferred to the airport for your homeward-bound flights. Breakfast.[/one_half_last] NOTE: Should you wish to extend your time in Victoria Falls, do let us know and we can arrange this for you.
This trip starts in Maun and ends in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe. From the UK, we recommend getting a flight with a combination of British Airways, Air Botswana and/or South African Airways via Johannnesburg. This trip can be done in reverse. A rough price guide per person would be £900 – £1400 in economy depending on the season.
2019 Departure dates:
This is a small group set departure safari. The actual group trip starts on the day after the dates noted below, but we have included a night in Maun prior to the trip, which is required for anyone arriving from abroad.
|January: none||July: 5, 19|
|February: none||August: 2, 16, 30|
|March: none||September: 13, 27|
|April: 5, 19||October: 11|
|May: 3, 17, 31||November: 1, 15, 29|
|June: 21||December: 13|
The safari vehicle: The vehicle takes a maximum of 12 people, and has a trailer for mobile kitchen and luggage. If the weather is good the vehicle will be kept open, though hard perspex sides can be put up if it’s rainy, and there is a canvas roll-top. There is a fridge so cold drinks are on hand, and there is even a charger so that you always have charging facilities at your disposal – night and day.
Sleeping arrangements: The 2-man dome tents are 2 metres square. You will be given a decent mattress, but either need to bring your own sleeping bag or hire one. If you are a single person and willing to share a tent with someone of the same sex, then even if you end up with your own tent, you are not charged a single supplement. You can however guarantee your own tent by paying a single supplement.
Camp facilities: For every 8 people there is one bush shower and one bush toilet. Both are within a tented cubicle for privacy. An awning provides shade for the dining table and chairs. Of course there is also the kitchen trailer and all the equipment need for the cooking – all very important! There is a first aid box on board, and there is communication via radio.
This small lodge is in a quiet suburb of Victoria Falls, ideally placed for enjoying the many activities available in the area.
Maun Lodge, just 4 kilometres from the airport, is used as a stopover hotel before or after an Okavango Delta safari. It’s a fairly standard type of hotel with little in the way of character, but clean and comfy enough.
Low season (Nov to June)
High season (July to October)
2 nights lodge accommodation, 6 nights camping (bow tents with mattresses), all transfers, meals as indicated, teas/coffees on safari, professional safari guide, camp assistant, specially adapted safari vehicle, park and concession fees.
Visas, international flights, drinks, meals not listed, sleeping bag & pillow (can be hired), Falls entry, 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.|