Discover the wildlife and World Heritage waterways of Botswana.

Containing in its borders the world's largest salt pans, inland delta and number of elephants, Botswana has plenty to boast about. Taking in also Zimbabwe's Victoria Falls and Namibia's Zambezi region, this trip celebrates both the natural and cultural highlights of Botswana. Stay in a lodge overlooking a watering hole frequented by elephants, jump in jeeps and set out on game drives in Chobe National Park, paddle through the Okavango Delta in a traditional dug-out canoe, and be welcomed into the villages of the Hambukushu and Xwe people. If it's a diversity of landscapes, wildlife and cultures you're after, then this is ultimate trip.


Start
Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe
Finish
Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe
Destinations
Botswana, Namibia, Zimbabwe
Style
Original
Theme
Wildlife
Code
UBSZ
Physical rating
Ages
Min 15
Group size
Min 1, Max 12

Why you'll love this trip

  • Enjoy a unique stay at Elephant sands Lodge, where you can witness a heard of these magnificent creature’s bathe and drink in the natural waterhole only metres from your porch.

  • Glide through the wildlife-filled waterways of the Okavango by mokoro, this traditional dug-out canoe is the best way to experience the delta up-close.

  • Seek out pods of hippos wallowing in the waters and surround yourself with an abundance of birdlife on a 4WD game drive through Chobe National Park.

  • Be welcomed into the villages of the Hambukushu and Xwe people in Namibia, and get the opportunity to observe their unique customs and way of life.

  • Experience the rugged beauty Botswana in comfort as you stay in comfortable meru-style permanent tents, lodges and hotels on this Original style trip.

Is this trip right for you?

  • Botswana temperatures rise in the hot dry period of September and October, before the rains hit, and temperatures can get as high as 34-38°C. Not all accommodation will have air-conditioning, which is quite common across Africa, particularly in remote locations where lodges or camps operate on solar power or generators.

  • Botswana is a very seasonal destination. What you see and experience can differ quite dramatically depending on the time of year you visit. Please consider this before you choose your departure date. See the 'Climate and Seasonal' section in ‘Essential Information’ for more details.

  • As the early bird catches the worm, the early camper sights the animals. There will be many early starts either to make use of the better safari time or to beat the morning traffic on long travel days.

Itinerary

This itinerary is valid for departures from 01 Jan 2019 to 31 Dec 2019.
View the 2020 itinerary
Mhoro! Welcome to Zimbabwe. Your adventure begins today with a welcome meeting at 6 pm, if you arrive early, check out some of the optional activities around Victoria Falls. The Zimbabwe side of the falls offers the broadest view of this colossal natural wonder. Scenic helicopter flights are incredible – if you opt for one, choose Zambezi Helicopter Company (CAA Zimbabwe), the only operator Intrepid endorses. After the welcome meeting, why not get to know your fellow travellers over a group dinner.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Victoria Falls - Sunset Cruise - USD50
  • Victoria Falls - Helicopter flight (12 mins) - USD165
  • Victoria Falls - Canoe trail (full day) - USD185
  • Victoria Falls - Helicopter flight (25 mins) - USD299
  • Victoria Falls - Village & township tour - USD61
  • Victoria Falls - Victoria Falls entrance - USD35
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Special Information
We recommend Wild Horizons activity centre to book any optional activities. However, we have not risk assessed all activities and only those listed in our trip notes are recommended. It is against company policy for leaders to facilitate the booking of any activities that have not been risk assessed or do not adhere to our company’s Responsible Travel policy and ethos. This includes organising transport to and from these activities in our vehicles.

You may also notice businesses offering an optional 'Walk with the Lions' experience. We ask all Intrepid travellers to avoid this activity as it is contrary to our Responsible Travel policy. While wildlife viewing is a big part of many of our itineraries, we strive to only view animals in their natural habitats and to do so with the greatest level of respect. The lion walking industry directly contributes to the captive breeding and canned hunting of lions. Read more about animal welfare and our ‘Born to Live Wild’ pledge here: intrepidtravel.com/animal-welfa
Travel across the Kazungula border into Botswana and make your way to your accommodation for the evening, Elephant Sands (325 kilometres, approximately 6 hours including the border crossing). Located in a private concession bordering on the Chobe Forest Reserve, the watering hole at Elephant Sands lodge attracts herds of elephant and other wildlife in season. On arrival, settle into your chalet for the evening and perhaps soak up the sounds of the wilderness with a glass of wine as your overlook the waterhole, keeping an eye out for the roaming animals.
Accommodation
  • Basic lodge (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
The chalets have open plan bedroom, mosquito nets, ensuite bathrooms and views of the waterhole. There is a swimming pool, restaurant, and bar onsite.

The Lodge is unfenced, and animals roam freely. It's a good idea to pack a small torch or headlamp to use when navigating your way to and from your room at night. The lodge is powered by generators which are switched off at night. There are no electrical sockets in the chalets. If you'd like to charge your phone, camera or laptop you can do so in the restaurant.

On occasion we are unable to secure accommodation at this lodge. In this instance we will stay at an alternative lodge and include a meerkat experience to enjoy some time in the company of the local meerkat colony.
After breakfast, drive to Maun, a bustling town on the edge of the Okavango Delta (355 kilometres, approximately 6.5 hours). Arriving here in the afternoon, you'll have the opportunity to take in this World Heritage site from above on a scenic flight in a light aircraft (an optional activity that your trip leader can help you arrange). Tonight's accommodation is in the Sedia Hotel, a comfortable hotel situated on the town's outskirts.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Okavango Delta - Plane Scenic Flight - From USD75 - USD390
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Leaving Maun after breakfast, make your way further to the north-western part of the Okavango Delta, admiring the scenery along the way. The drive is approximately 300 kilometres and it will take about 6 hours to reach a secure parking area where you will meet your 4WD transfer for the last 12 kilometres. On arrival, settle into the lodge where you will be spending the next two nights, located on the edge of the Guma Lagoon.
Accommodation
  • Lodge (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Today you’ll hop into mokoros (traditional dugout canoes) for a water-level exploration of the delta. Paddling through papyrus and reed beds to lily-covered lagoons and islands, be sure to keep on the lookout for elephants, antelope, warthogs and other creatures of the plains. Tuck into a picnic lunch on one of the islands and embark on a short bushwalk, returning to the lodge in the late afternoon in time to watch the sunset over the lagoon.
Accommodation
  • Lodge (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Okavango Delta - Mokoro Safari & Nature Walk
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
After breakfast, take the 4WD transfer back to the vehicle and make your way to the Namibian border. The drive is approximately 150 kilometres and will take approximately 5hours (including the time it takes to complete the immigration formalities). The drive to tonight's camp, which is on the Caprivi banks of the Kavango River, involves passing through the Mahango Game Reserve – keep your eyes peeled for the surrounding wildlife on the drive. In the afternoon, venture out on a guided excursion to the villages of the Hambukushu and Xwe people, which presents an excellent opportunity to observe village life up close.
Accommodation
  • Basic lodge (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Ngepi - Village visit
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Continue the journey along the Caprivi Strip, located in the newly formed Kavango-Zambezi Trans frontier park. After crossing the border back into Botswana you’ll arrive at Kasane, a town surrounded by the Chobe National Park (455 kilometres, approximately 7 hours). Taking its name from the river which marks the border between Namibia and Botswana, Chobe boasts the largest population of elephants in Africa, plus an abundance of birdlife, pods of wallowing hippos and more. Check out Kasane town, or perhaps take a dip in the lodge pool, sit by the open outdoor fire, or simply watch the setting sun change the colours of the sky above the Chobe River.
Accommodation
  • Lodge (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Chobe National Park - River cruise - BWP410
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Take the opportunity to wake up early and enjoy an optional dawn game drive in Chobe National Park, where you may see elephants drinking at the waters' edge, large herds of cape buffaloes and many impala within the park. Return to the lodge for a late breakfast and enjoy the rest of the day at your leisure. Later in the afternoon enjoy a sunset cruise on the Chobe River. At the right time of year, the river is frequented by large families of elephants crossing the banks, drinking and playing in the water. It's also ideal for spotting bird life such as saddle-billed storks, malachite kingfishers, fish eagles and beautiful bee-eaters as well as hippos, and crocodiles. Why not grab a sundowner from the small bar onboard, then sit back and watch the sunset over the river – a perfect way to end the day.
Accommodation
  • Lodge (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Chobe National Park - Open Safari Vehicle Morning Game Drive
Optional Activities
  • Chobe National Park - River cruise - BWP410
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
It can get very cool on the early morning game drive so be sure to rug up, and dress in layers.
This morning you have the option to get up before dawn and head out on an optional morning game drive. This time of day is when predators such as leopards and lions are spotted returning from their night's hunting. Return to the lodge for breakfast, then drive across the Zimbabwean border. After completing the border formalities, drive the remaining distance to Victoria Falls (a distance of approximately 100 km). Your adventure ends upon arrival in Vic Falls (approximately 2 pm) and no accommodation is included tonight. Ask your travel specialist about post tour accommodation options if you're considering staying on in Victoria Falls a few extra days. Those staying longer can visit the falls and choose from various activities and excursions, including white water rafting, canoeing and flying fox rides.
Optional Activities
  • Chobe National Park - 4x4 Game Drive - BWP410
Meals Included
  • Breakfast

Meals

8 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 2 dinners

Transport

Private vehicle, Open safari vehicle, Mokoro

Accommodation

Hotel (2 nights), Lodge (3 nights), Basic Lodge (3 nights)

Included activities

  • Okavango Delta - Mokoro Safari & Nature Walk
  • Ngepi - Village visit
  • Chobe National Park - Open Safari Vehicle Morning Game Drive

Dates & availability

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Important notes

1. A single supplement is available on this trip. Please speak to your booking agent for further information.
2. This trip finishes on arrival at Victoria Falls on day 9. Please do not book any departing flights until after 8pm this evening.

Essential trip information

Want an in-depth insight into this trip? Essential Trip Information provides a detailed itinerary, visa info, how to get to your hotel, what's included - pretty much everything you need to know about this adventure and more.

View Essential Trip Information

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