Experience Africa’s aquatic wonderland, worthy of World-Heritage.

Experience south-east Africa's iconic waterfalls, rivers and inland canals on this overland journey that boasts the aquatic magic of mother-nature. Traverse the intricate waterways of the Okavango Delta, witness hippos wallow along the shores of the Chobe river, be mesmerised by the vast Makgadikgadi Salt Pans and marvel at the crashing white water of Victoria Falls. Pack a camera and an eye for adventure because these lush pockets of wilderness will reward you with incredible animal encounters, awesome photography opportunities and sweet memories to last a lifetime.

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Terms & Conditions

Start
Johannesburg, South Africa
Finish
Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe
Destinations
Botswana, South Africa, Zimbabwe
Style
Basix
Theme
Overland, Wildlife
Code
UBOO
Physical rating
Ages
Min 15
Group size
Min 1, Max 22

Why you'll love this trip

  • Go wildlife-spotting along the river at Chobe National Park, home of the world's highest concentration of African elephants.

  • Support local conservation by visiting the Khama Rhino Sanctuary, the only place left in Botswana where both black and white rhinos reside.

  • Camping on a remote island in the heart of the Okavango wilderness is an experience you’ll never forget. As night falls, the sounds of the African bush are like nothing else.

  • Explore the magnificent Makgadikgadi Salt Pans, some of the largest salt flats in the world. These mind-bending plains make for some magical photography.

  • With two nights at Victoria Falls, you'll get a proper view of this thundering spectacle, with additional time for optional adventures.

Is this trip right for you?

  • This is an overland trip. That means you’ll be travelling with a group in a purpose-built vehicle, visiting remote communities, setting up your own tent (unless you’re on an Original or Comfort style trip), occasionally roughing it in the bush with no facilities, and getting the best possible views of the ‘big five’. While the trucks don’t have air conditioning, they do have sliding windows which let in the breeze and make it even easier to take spectacular snaps of the local wildlife. The drive days can be long, but it’s as much about the journey as the destination, and half the fun is the camaraderie. For more info on this style of travel, see our Africa overland page: intrepidtravel.com/africa/overland

  • Camping out in the Okavango wilderness means digging a bush toilet and going without a shower. For most travellers this is a small price to pay for such a beautiful and remote island location.

  • The African wild comes alive at sunrise, so there will be some early starts. The thrill of spotting your first lion or rhino is well worth any loss of sleep.

  • 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
Sawubona! Welcome to South Africa. Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6 pm. If you arrive early, get out and explore Johannesburg, a city of remarkable contrasts. Perhaps visit the culturally rich areas of Newtown, Braamfontein or Maboneng. The eye-opening Apartheid Museum is well worth your time. After the welcome meeting this evening, perhaps head out for an optional group dinner and get to know your fellow travellers.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Special Information
It’s very important that you attend the welcome meeting as we will be collecting insurance details and next of kin information at this time. If you are going to be late please let your travel agent or hotel reception know. Ask reception or look for a note in the lobby for more information on where the meeting will take place.
Leaving South Africa behind, cross the border into Botswana and travel toward the Khama Rhino Sanctuary (approximately 8-10 hours). Situated on the edge of the Kalahari Desert, the Khama Rhino Sanctuary is a conversion of a former hunting area into a conservation project. Built to protect Botswana's only remaining populations of both black and white rhinos, the sanctuary is also home to other wildlife including zebras, giraffes, leopards, ostriches and wildebeest, all of which can be seen around the many natural waterholes. Visiting this project benefits local communities and contributes to the protection of the highly endangered white rhinoceros. Later, head out on a dusk game drive to see the rhinos when they are at their most active.
Accommodation
  • Camping (with facilities) (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Khama Rhino Sanctuary - Open Safari Vehicle Game Drive
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Special Information
At your camp there will be the option to upgrade to a room for an additional cost (subject to availability).
Jump aboard the truck and head to Maun (approximately 8–9 hours). Here there will be an opportunity to stock up on any supplies you might need for the journey ahead. Maun is the gateway to one of the world's most renowned and complex ecosystems, the Okavango Delta. This place is unlike anything in the world – a 16,000 square kilometre maze of wetlands made up of meandering waterways, green islands, lush plains and prolific wildlife. You might see hippos, crocodiles, elephants and big cats. But it's not the animals that are the main attraction – it's the incredibly diverse ecosystem and atmospheric waterscapes.
Accommodation
  • Camping (with facilities) (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Special Information
Tonight you'll stay on the outskirts of Maun at a simple campsite with shared facilities, WiFi and optional upgrades.
Traverse the waterways by mokoro, a traditional dugout canoe navigated by friendly local 'polers'. With some luck, you might spot some of the delta's unusual wildlife and exotic birdlife. Spend time exploring the maze of lagoons, lakes and streams on foot, led by experienced and knowledgeable guides. Tonight you’ll camp on a remote island in the heart of the wilderness. In this far-out spot, facilities are non-existent, so you will dig a bush toilet and go without a shower. It's all part of the Okavango experience. At night, fall asleep to the humming and buzzing of the African wilderness.
Accommodation
  • Bush camp (no facilities) (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Okavango Delta - Mokoro safari
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Wake up early and venture out for a sunrise walk. Along the way, keep watch for some elephants. You might also come across some Cape buffalo, if the timing is right. These rather noble-looking creatures are more dangerous than they look, and their horns make for a kind of bone shield that's fittingly known as a 'boss'. Returning to camp for breakfast, take the rest of the day to relax. A refreshing swim, or perhaps a nap, is a good idea in the warmer part of the day. Alternatively, take another mokoro trip to soak up more of that delightful river atmosphere.
Accommodation
  • Bush camp (no facilities) (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Okavango Delta - Sunrise Walk
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
After taking down your camp, return to the ‘poler’ station by mokoro, before continuing your travels to Maun by vehicle (approximately 2-3 hours). Today you'll visit a rural village and interact with some of the locals. This will give you an insight into daily life on the Okavango Delta and perhaps some background history on these awesome sprawling waterways that are the lifeblood of many.
Accommodation
  • Camping (with facilities) (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Okavango Delta - Mokoro safari
Optional Activities
  • Okavango Delta - Plane Scenic Flight - From USD75 - USD390
  • Okavango Delta - Helicopter Scenic Flight - From USD150 - USD450
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Get up early and hit the road for Nata (approximately 6-7 hours). This small town is situated near the stunning Makgadikgadi Salt Pans, which are some of the largest salt flats on earth, covering some 12,000 square kilometres. This afternoon you will have the opportunity to explore the pans in an open vehicle. The pans are naturally dry and salty for a large part of the year. During this time the arid landscape has an eerie feel to it as heat mirages disorientate the senses. At other times they take on a layer of grass, and as soon as the rains hit, they become a refuge for migratory birds and animals.
Accommodation
  • Camping (with facilities) (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Nata - Makgadikgadi Salt Pans
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Special Information
Your campsite tonight is situated on the edge of the pans. It has a restaurant, swimming pool, gift shop, ATM and bar/lounge area. Upgrades are also offered.
Hit the road for Chobe National Park (approximately 6-7 hours). Botswana's first national park is perhaps best known for its high concentration of elephants, which can often be seen swimming in the Chobe River. The river also attracts wallowing hippos, a variety of birdlife, crocodiles sunning themselves by the water's edge, and cheetahs and lions which come down to drink. Enjoy a sunset cruise on the Chobe River, a very relaxing way to spend the afternoon.
Accommodation
  • Camping (with shared facilities) (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Chobe National Park - River Cruise
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
Special Information
Your camp tonight has WiFi access and optional upgrades. It's also close to a supermarket, so you can stock up on supplies while you're here
Why not wake up early and see the Chobe National park from a different perspective, on an optional morning game drive. Afterwards, travel on to Victoria Falls (approximately 2–3 hours), crossing the border into Zimbabwe just in time to have lunch on the banks of the Zambezi. Then it's free time to experience the sight and sound of the mighty falls. This thundering curtain of water is about a mile wide, falling 108 metres into a narrow gorge below. In the wet season, the spray created can rise an incredible 400 metres and the falls become an impressive raging torrent. In the dry season, the view of the falls is unobstructed by spray and you can see little islets in the river below.
Accommodation
  • Camping (with shared facilities) (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Victoria Falls - Victoria Falls Entrance Fee - USD35
  • Chobe National Park - Open Safari Vehicle Morning Game Drive - BWP410
  • Victoria Falls - Sunset Cruise - USD57
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
Your campsite tonight has WiFi, an ATM and optional upgrades.

Your leader will take you to a local activity centre where a range of activities will be on offer. 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.

Victoria Falls entrance fee is not included in the price of the trip as it is mandatory for tour groups with pre-purchased tickets to have a local guide escort. We feel that seeing these waterfalls for the first time should be an uninterrupted sensory experience.

You may 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
Your Okavango Experience ends after breakfast and there are no further activities planned. If you’re staying longer in Victoria Falls and are feeling adventurous, you might like to try white water rafting, canoeing and flying fox rides. For an incredible scenic helicopter flight, choose Zambezi Helicopter Company (CAA Zimbabwe), the only Intrepid-endorsed operator. Your leader can help you arrange this.
Optional Activities
  • Victoria Falls - Whitewater rafting (full day) - USD140
  • Victoria Falls - Helicopter flight (25 mins) - USD334
  • Victoria Falls - Village & township tour - USD50
  • Victoria Falls - Helicopter flight (12 mins) - USD175
  • Victoria Falls - Whitewater rafting (half day) - USD140
  • Victoria Falls - Gorge swing - USD110
  • Victoria Falls - Flying fox - USD50
Meals Included
  • Breakfast

Meals

9 breakfasts, 6 lunches, 7 dinners

Transport

Overland vehicle

Accommodation

Camping (with facilities) (6 nights), Bush camp (no facilities) (2 nights), Hotel (1 night)

Included activities

  • Khama Rhino Sanctuary - Open Safari Vehicle Game Drive
  • Okavango Delta - Mokoro safari
  • Okavango Delta - Sunrise Walk
  • Nata - Makgadikgadi Salt Pans
  • Chobe National Park - River Cruise

Dates & availability

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Important notes

1. A single supplement is available on all nights of this trip, subject to availability.

Essential trip information

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