Itinerary Outline, 9 nights:
3 Nights Tented Camp - Chobe National Park
Activity guide: Game drives (Central Chobe)
3 Nights Tented Camp - Khwai Community Area
Activity guide: Game drives, night drives, guided walks and mokoro excursion
3 Nights Tented Camp - Moremi Game Reserve.
Activity guide: Game drives
At the end of a day spent exploring the wild beauty of Botswana, relax in Sahara-style tents. The 4m x 3m tents feature high roofs and include a 2m x 3m covered veranda in front. Oil or paraffin lamps are provided outside each tent. Inside, you’ll find solid basecamp beds, complete with mattresses, sheets, duvets and pillows. Tents are also equipped with a second oil or paraffin lamp, a rechargeable LED camp light and side tables.
At the rear of each tent, you’ll find a 2m x 3m en-suite bathroom with long drop toilet facilities and a bucket shower that can be ordered hot, cold or warm. Guests are free to shower at any time on most routes, although on Kalahari safaris, guides may limit showers due to the availability of water. Bathrooms are also equipped with an oil or paraffin lamp and a rechargeable LED camp light. Hand and bath towels are provided for guests, though it is encouraged that people to bring their own personal items and toiletries, as needed.
Families traveling with younger children on private trips can take advantage of family safari tent, which is designed to keep children safe and provide parents with peace of mind. The two-bedroom tent includes an adjoining bathroom and can be locked to ensure the safety of children.
To get the most out of your stay in Africa, it is recommended that each guest pack quality headlamps to supplement the lights provided around camp. Headlamps allow people more flexibility to complete tasks, like reading or safari journaling, while listening to the sounds of nocturnal creatures out in the nearby bush.
Popular safari extension requests include:
The price includes:
The price does not include:
Activities: Game drive and boating
Safaris begin at Kalahari Tours in Kasane at 9 a.m. Guests who are transferring from Livingstone or Victoria Falls Town will need to arrive at the Kalahari Tours office by 8:45 a.m.
Kick off your safari with a morning boat cruise along the mighty Chobe River before crossing the scenic Chobe National Park to reach your campsite in Central Chobe.
Habitat: See the twisting curves of the Chobe River — a key oasis for area wildlife — before passing through the lush Zambezi teak forests of the Chobe Forest Reserve, over the sand-ridge and into the stunted mopane scrub of the Goha clay basin.
Wildlife: Though the day’s drive will take you through some areas settled by local tribes, most of it will be spent traversing the unsettled wilds of Botswana, where wildlife is free to roam unimpeded by fences or by people. With little competition and few predators, populations of roan and sable antelope thrive in the teak woodlands. Leopards also slink through the area, although they are far fewer in number and are only occasionally spotted. Herds of buffalos, Burchell’s zebras, greater kudus and elephants flock to the Goha region and its natural waterholes well into the dry season.
Activities: Game drive and Bushman painting walks.
Explore the varied landscapes of Central Chobe and the stunning, wide-open grasslands of the Savuti Marsh — the setting for some of the most dramatic wildlife documentaries filmed in Africa.
Habitat: Unlike most of Botswana, the lands comprising Central Chobe are not flat, but are instead littered with impressive outcrops of volcanic rock which reign over the tree-dappled savannah. These features provide shelter for a unique variety of small wildlife, birds and plants. The open plains of the Savuti Marsh support large herds of wildlife, including buffalo and zebra, alongside well-established prides of lion and hyaena clans. Their proximity creates excellent opportunities to view dramatic encounters between predators and prey in the wild. The long-dry Savuti Channel carves a path that connects the dry sandveld to the waterholes, hills and grasslands of the Savuti Marsh.
Wildlife: Diverse wildlife can be found in the area, though interactions between the huge lion prides that litter the area and the sizable elephant herds are arguably the most interesting. Lion prides can boast as many as 30 members. They use those numbers to attack under the cover of darkness, targeting adolescent and young adult elephants. The marshlands are prime habitat for cheetahs. In Central Chobe, it’s not unusual to stop wild dog hunting during the wet season.
Full day of extended game drive and journey time with picnic lunch between camps.
Activities: Game drive.
See the remnants of Lake Makgadikgadi, a massive paleolake that once covered a huge swath what is now the Kalahari Desert, while travelling south to the Khwai Community Area.
Habitat: Cross the deep sands of the Magwikwe Sand Ridge, an area that once formed the shoreline of Lake Makgadikgadi, and see the former lake bed — now known as the Mababe Depression. The depression features dense clay floors that provide high-protein feed for local wildlife, attracting large numbers of game after it rains. Please note that during the rainy season, it’s necessary to take routes which bypass the Mababe Depression, as the area becomes impassable.
Wildlife: During the day you’ll cross landscapes that encompass a wide variety of the habitats on offer across northern Botswana, giving you a front-row seat to any number of wildlife encounters. The area includes excellent lion country and some of the best places to view cheetah on the whole safari. Elephants can also be seen in this area, although they’re more commonly seen toward the start and end of the drive.
Activities: Game drive, walking safaris (conditions permitting), night drive and mokoro excursion.
The fifth and sixth nights of the safari are spent camping at an exclusive spot near the Khwai River, a curving waterway that forms the northern boundary of the Moremi Game Reserve.
Please note that night drives and guided walks are not allowed within Botswana’s national parks and reserves. We conduct these activities outside the Moremi Game Reserve, in the Khwai community area.
Habitat: Survey the floodplains during the day or with spotlights at night. Travel by foot through the surrounding wilderness for close-up encounters with Botswana’s flora and fauna, or hop on a mokoro for a tour of the area by water. See dry lands occupied by flourishing leadwood trees and camel-thorn woodlands alongside the marshy backwaters of the Khwai. Time permitting, we might visit the lagoons and waterways of Xakanaxa, an area that boasts the largest heronry in southern Africa.
Wildlife: Opportunities to explore the floodplains on daytime and nighttime game drives give you the chance to spot nocturnal animals rarely seen during the day. The region also hosts large elephant populations with lions, leopards, serval and African wildcats among the commonly seen predators. Wild dogs and cheetahs can also be spotted, although they are less common. During the summer rains, buffalo can be found nearby. The western swampy areas are also home to red lechwe. Other animals to be seen in the region include tsesebe, blue wildebeest, giraffe, kudu, sable antelope, roan antelope and impala.
Full day of extended game drive and journey time with picnic lunch between camps.
Explore the Manuchira Channel, known as the Khwai River on its easternmost side, and see why it’s earned a reputation as one of the most scenic areas of the Okavango Delta.
Habitat: From the riverside, journey through the vast floodplains to the unspoiled expanse of the mopane veld and other woodlands. The seventh day of the safari includes a morning-time stop at the busy Dombo Hippo Pools.
Wildlife: Herds of elephants, including impressive old bulls, call the western mopane veld home. The bulls found in the eastern stretch of the Khwai River are far more approachable than others found in the area, particularly while enjoying the cool river waters. The river also attracts huge crocodiles and a high number of hippos. You can find herds of the social water-lovers gathering at the Dombo Hippo Pools. Leopard, cheetah, serval and lion are the most common predators seen on this part of the safari. The Zakanaxa and Khwai areas are also part of the home ranges of two wild dog packs. Other animals found in the area include southern giraffe, Burchell’s zebra, tsessebe, red lechwe and roan and sable antelope.
Activities: Game drives.
In the eastern part of the Okavango Delta, explore the Moremi area, where the large variety of habitats provide the opportunity to view a wide range of wildlife.
Habitat: The Moremi Game Reserve encompasses expansive floodplains, freshwater marshes, deep lagoons, papyrus-edged channels, vast beds of reeds and silver grass, woodlands and savannahs. In the area, every type of mopane habitat is represented, from impressive cathedral woodlands, to classic, untouched mopane woodlands, to mopane scrub spread across extensive stretches of drier land. In the Santawani region, you will find temporary water pans, large floodplains and woods filled with camel thorn.
Wildlife: Half of the day’s drive will be spent in the Moremi Game Reserve, with the other half being spent in areas designated for wildlife management, where animals are able to freely roam to and from the Game Reserve. Hundreds of species of birds can be found in the area, along with elephants, African buffalos, near-threatened white rhinos and critically endangered black rhinos. Leopards, wild dogs, cheetahs and lions are among the predators to be spotted along the trip.
Relish a breakfast in the wilderness before an early morning game drive on your final day on safari. Afterward, we will take you to the airstrip where you will catch your Mack Air charter flight back to Maun, which arrives at about 12 p.m.
If you are planning to spend more time in the region after your safari, please make sure the company organizing your accommodations meets you at Maun Airport for any transfers. Alternatively, if you are flying to a safari lodge, you can fly directly from Xakanaxa to the lodge of your choice. Please be aware that you must request a departure from Xakanaxa no later than 12 p.m.
We make every effort to adhere to schedules and itineraries but please know that these are subject to change due to weather — including flood conditions that can have significant impacts on driving times, depending on the time of year — road conditions, animal movements and availability. You will be notified of any changes.
Please also note that the guided walking activity is seasonal based on rains and grass height, your guide will determine the safety of walking in Khwai.
This Northern Highlights, Southbound safari can also be done as a Northbound safari starting from Maun and end in Kasane. See the itinerary here.
We also run this tour as a specialised photographic safari, The Shutter Safari, for those who wish to be with like-minded guests. See the itinerary here.
The Okavango Delta: The world’s largest inland delta and UNESCO World Heritage Site, The Okavango Delta offers you wildlife sightings and experiences you won’t see anywhere else.
Immerse Yourself in a Mobile Safari: Connect more deeply with the pulse of the African bush during a classic mobile safari.
Watch Elephants at Chobe National Park: Massive herds gather on the Chobe riverfront, which has the highest concentration of elephants in all of Africa.
Explore on a Mokoro: See the sights and investigate the waterways of the gorgeous Okavango Delta on a traditional canoe.
Experience the Okavango Delta from above: On your last day, you'll get the see the Okavango Delta from above when flying from Xakanaxa to Maun.
Enjoy the Khwai Community Area: As a community area, Khwai allow people to experience night game drives, guided walks and mokoro excursions.
Visit Africa’s Oldest Democracy: Botswana is a democratic, peaceful country with warm, welcoming people.