Botswana Wildside Accommodated Safari
On the Botswana Wildside Accommodated Safari the casual visitor to Botswana could be excused for seeing the country as kilometer upon kilometer of flat, desolate scrubland with little or no surface water but on closer inspection, coupled with local knowledge, a whole brand new world will manifest itself, and then you will experience what is arguably Africa’s finest wildlife destination. It is a country the size of France, and over a quarter of Botswana’s land is set aside exclusively for nature conservation. That is the world you will be walking into.
Our tour will take us through the vast Kalahari plains where we meet with the local Bushmen, among the oldest peoples of Africa. We then venture further north, into the magnificent Okavango Delta, the world’s largest inland river delta, which spills water from the faraway mountains of Angola into the vast plain of the Makgadikgadi, creating a unique wildlife paradise. We explore the world renowned national parks in fully equipped, open 4×4 vehicles, our route following the age old game migration tracks, depending on the season. We enjoy a game viewing boat cruise on the Chobe River, in Chobe National Park, and finally we visit “The Smoke that Thunders” – Victoria Falls.
Excludes single supplement. However, if you are happy to share – no single supplement will apply. Departures guaranteed with minimum of 2 – 4 people.
• Kalahari – Bushman walk
• Okavango Delta
• Okavango mokoro excursion
• Game walks
• National Parks (Moremi/Savuti – 5 days)
• Extensive open-vehicle game drives in national parks
• Wild remote serviced camping in national parks
• Makgadikgadi Salt Pans
• Chobe River boat cruise
• Chobe National Park
• Victoria Falls National Park and entry fee
• White water rafting
• Bungee jumping
• Scenic flight – Okavango Delta
• Zambezi River sunset cruise
***Prices are subject to changes. Prices are person sharing and excludes single supplement and any activities and meals not set out in the itinerary
Tour Price: 01 July 2020 to 31 Dec 2020 €2,995 (no local payment)
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Day 1: JOHANNESBURG – KALAHARI
Distance: 720 Km
Our adventure begins from the GREENFIRE LODGE JOHANNESBURG at 06h30. Travelling North West through an interesting part of South Africa with scattered mountains all around where a lot of skirmishes in times gone by occurred. We cross the Botswana border near Lobatse. After the usual immigration formalities, you immediately become aware that the vegetation is changing fast as you pass through Kanye, where you leave the last of the hills behind, then Westwards on to Jwaneng, where the richest diamond mine in the world is situated. The vast Kalahari Plains stretch as far as the eye can see in all directions. We will cover quite some distance today before arriving at our camp, near the village of Kang. We enjoy a short leg stretch walk in the bush, return and set up camp where we will enjoy a catered meal while you will enjoy the first spectacular sunset of the desert, garbed in splendid purples and golds, whilst your guide explains what to expect in the days to come.
Scenic drive through North West South Africa , border crossing into Botswana then leaving the last of the hills behind at Kanye, and then.. The Kalahari Desert / Jwaneng - the richest diamond mine in the world / Short walk into the Kalahari
Accommodation: Kalahari Rest Lodge
Lunch and Dinner (own account)
Day 2: KALAHARI BUSHMEN OR SAN
Distance: 250 km
Waking up to a spectacular Kalahari sunrise, we enjoy our first cup of coffee and a sumptuous breakfast before continuing to the old frontier town of Ghanzi. Ghanzi is home to some of the last traditional Bushmen that make a living in this harsh desert environment, and it is here that we will enjoy learning about the wilderness from these fascinating people. Our experience will include an educational bush walk led by true Bushmen to give us insight into their daily lives and teach us how they manage to survive in these harsh conditions, their hunting and trapping skills, their peculiar belief systems, and how they find and store their water. Overnight on a vast tract of land owned and managed by the local people.
Guided bush walk led by true bushman/san
Accommodation: Dqae Qare San Lodge
Brekfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 3 - 5: OKAVANGO DELTA
Distance: 390 km on Day 3
The Okavango, a massive river emanating from far North, flowing Southwards, creating one of the world’s only true inland delta’s and a unique ecosystem that supports a huge variety of animal and plant life. The sight of a nervous Lechwe (a type of water buck) pounding across a flooded plain, the Jacana striding delicately amongst the flowering lilies, the Bee Eater diving to prey on an unsuspecting insect, and of course the familiar cry of the African Fish Eagle – all combine to create a canvas of one of nature’s unique masterpieces, and then the river, eventually spilling its contents into the vast plains of the Makgadikgadi sands, and it’s all gone – just as if you had walked out the other side of an Alice in wonderland book. We begin our journey into the Delta near the panhandle, gliding through papyrus lined channels by motorboat. It is in this area, where at a time now long past, in Mamba alley, the well-known Bobby Wilmot was bitten by a green mamba. He called his assistant and, knowing that he had no chance of survival, told him verbally how he wanted his estate split up. The Court accepted the man’s word as a will. On to our exclusive wild island. We spend three nights here in the true wilderness, deep in the wilds, exploring the area on foot and by mokoro (dugout canoe). There will also be time to simply relax and to absorb the remoteness and serenity of the area. Clients will not only learn more about the animals and plants from the local guides, but will also interact and have the opportunity to learn more about the people and their way of life in this isolated wilderness area.
Okavango Delta, Guided game walks in the Delta led by local Motswana guides, Mokoro excursion in the Delta
Accommodation: Twin-bedded tented units
DAY 3 - 5: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Optional Activities: Scenic helicopter flight over the Delta
Distance: 354 km
Starting early, we begin our journey back to relative civilisation, using motorboats we wind our way through the channels to where we are reunited with our vehicles. This afternoon we arrive in the ‘tourism capital of Botswana’ – Maun. We will spend some time stocking up on basic supplies before we travel the short distance out to the DRIFTERS MAUN LODGE to freshen up, or splash in the pool, and enjoy a catered meal. The lodge is situated on the banks of the Boteti River. This river changes its flow directions, depending upon the season and rain patterns. The Lodge offers comfortable accommodation, swimming pool, bar and restaurant.
Boteti River Sunset Cruise
Accommodation: Drifters Maun Lodge - Twin-bedded tented units
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 7 - 10: FLEXIBLE GAME RESERVE SCHEDULE (5 Days in National Parks)
Distance: +- 125 km Day 7
We enjoy a scrumptious breakfast at the Lodge while preparing for the game viewing part of the trip which is undoubtedly one of the highlights of the tour. Traveling in our well-equipped 4×4 vehicle we head into true wilderness, passing remote villages along the way. We spend five days in the national parks following seasonal game migrations on extensive morning and afternoon game drives, also with relaxing down time to appreciate this rare jewel of a place and its deep tranquillity. An example of our route could be: starting with Moremi, we spend first night near the well-known Third Bridge. Drift off to sleep to the howl of the distant hyena or the earthy roar of a lion, and even the deep grunt of a half-submerged hippo. We then head on north via Xakanaxa to camp near North Gate. This area is excellent for game viewing and we will conduct afternoon and morning drives along the wetland areas. Then on up to Savuti, the area offers a multitude of game drive options and a very active game area (keep the fruit well hidden from the roving elephant, the meat from the prowling hyenas, and everything from the monkeys). The vegetation is constantly changing, from open plains, palm trees and marshland, to dense Mopane woodlands and Acacia scrub, and hence all the fauna and flora changes accordingly. Depending on the conditions in the national parks we might also venture into the Central Kalahari Game Reserve or the Makgadikgadi Pans National Park. During this part of the journey we camp in pristine, remote, private sites where there is no sign of man’s existence – we leave each site in the same condition, nothing but footprints in the sand are left for the quiet winds to deal with.
4x4 open vehicle game drives, Private non-fenced campsites, Extensive first-hand game viewing experience, Explore the heart of National Geographic’s photography region
Accommodation: Fully-serviced camping (camp bed, linen, pillow and sleeping bag provided)
DAY 7 - 10: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Distance: +- 225 km
Our last morning in the parks, we slowly game drive our way back to Maun. We will have some time to explore town and enjoy an “own expense” lunch before heading out to the comfort of the DRIFTERS MAUN LODGE. This afternoon we will relax at the Lodge before enjoying a catered meal and a comfortable night.
Game Drive on the way out of the park, Visit to Maun
Accommodation: Drifters Maun Tented Lodge - Twin-bedded tented units
Breakfast, Dinner (Lunch own account)
Optional Activities: Game flight, fixed wing or helicopter
Day 12: MAKGADIKGADI PANS
Distance: 300 km
After the early mornings of the last few days, we enjoy a relaxed start at the lodge today, spending time along the river bank enjoying the tranquillity of the area, or lounging at the swimming pool. For those interested, we recommend going on a local village walk. Chenoga Village, not far from our lodge, is not on a regular tourist route, so you have the opportunity to explore an authentic village with one of our staff from the lodge, who lives in the village.
We have an early lunch, before continuing our journey eastward into the spectacular Makgadikgadi Salt Pans area. Oceans of golden grass give way to the stark white pans, under a very big sky. We stop to take in the isolation and serenity of this expanse, before continuing to our accommodation for the night, Elephant Sands Lodge. Close-up sightings of elephants at the water hole are almost guaranteed.
Village walk , Visit to Makgadikgadi Salt Pans
Accommodation: Elephant Sands lodge
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 13: CHOBE RIVER – VICTORIA FALLS
Distance: 320 km
Venturing north today, we leave the desolation of the pans behind and make our way up to the mighty Chobe River. The Chobe area is known for the huge herds of elephants and other animals that are attracted to drink from the river. This afternoon we enjoy an extensive boat cruise within Chobe National Park. Gliding close to the banks we hope to approach the animals from the river for close up viewing. Our cruise will explore the Chobe River front and a section of the Namibian side of the Chobe River. Back on land, we cross the border into Zimbabwe and make our way to the GREENFIRE LODGE VICTORIA FALLS. The lodge is centrally situated and within walking distance of the falls and all other attractions.
Chobe National Park, Extensive boat cruise on the Chobe River
Accommodation: Greenfire Lodge Victoria Falls
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Awaking in the adventure capital of Africa, it is with new excitement that we explore the amazing Victoria Falls. “Mosi o Tunya “, meaning “The smoke that Thunders”. This is the place where, according to ancient traditions, the “Big Snake” or “Nyami Nyami” is in hiding. It will only be seen again once all the white people have left Africa. On this day we include your entry and leave you to admire this wonder of the world. Various other attractions can be visited and activities enjoyed including, the tribal village, the big tree, the curio market and the crocodile farm. An aircraft flip over the falls or a boat trip on the Zambezi River, white water rafting or bungee jumping are all worthwhile, but allowance must be made for the extra expense. We spend two nights here, thus allowing clients some time to explore the town and all it has to offer by themselves. Tonight we will eat out in a local restaurant (own expense). Relax to the sound of the African night and the distant roar of the falls and drink the farewell toasts to your adventure.
Victoria Falls National Park/ - Entry Fee for viewing the Falls
Accommodation: Greenfire Lodge Victoria Falls
Breakfast (Lunch, Dinner own account)
Optional Activities: Scenic helicopter flight, White water rafting, Bungee jump, Gorge swing & Many more available
Day 15: VICTORIA FALLS – FRANCISTOWN
Distance: 568 km
The guests flying out on the 15-day tour will do so today, the rest will set off to cross back into Botswana and continue south toward Francistown, home of the national football team. Tonight we spend our last night in our tents, enjoying the African night and celebrating our adventure with our last tour meal.
Last opportunity to view game on route to Francistown, Scenic drive from Zimbabwe to Botswana
Accommodation: Woodlands Lodge
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 16: FRANCISTOWN – JOHANNESBURG
Crossing the Limpopo River, we return to South Africa and make our way to the GREENFIRE LODGE JOHANNESBURG, where we arrive in the early evening. Post-tour accommodation and airport transfers can be booked through DRIFTERS
Border Crossing back into South Africa
Breakfast (Lunch own account)