Elephants on a riverbank Chobe, N.P., Botswana

Wildlife & Wilderness of Botswana

14 days
from
2 605 €
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Traveller ratings
4.5 / 5 from 51 reviews >
Trip code: 
WZT
Ways to Travel:
Guided Group, Tailormade Adventures
Activity:
Wildlife Holidays
Min age:
16
Group size:
4–12

Delta, Falls, salt-pans and bush are the backdrop to the fantastic wildlife and wilderness of Botswana

Take a journey into the wilds of Botswana. Glide along the Okavango Delta in traditional makoros and admire a billion stars from the otherworldly and eerily silent Makgadikgadi Pans. Search for Africa’s emblematic wildlife on the Savuti Marsh and the Moremi reserve and take to the Chobe River, known for having the highest concentration of elephants anywhere. Finally discover why David Livingstone, upon seeing Victoria Falls, declared ‘scenes so lovely must have been gazed upon by angels in their flight.’

Highlights

  • Gliding along the Okavango Delta waterways in Mokoro canoes and wild camping in the wetlands
  • The other-worldly silent beauty of the Makgadikgadi Pan
  • Good chances of seeing both Africa’s emblematic wildlife as well as some of its lesser species
  • Game viewing by foot, by safari vehicle and by boat
  • The mighty Victoria Falls

Key information

  • 11 nights full-service camping (in two-person tents with camp beds and mattresses provided) 2 nights in hotel, lodge or chalet.
  • Travel by Toyota Land Cruiser
  • Some long and bumpy roads
  • Staying in some remote locations

What's included

  • All breakfasts, 11 lunches, 8 dinners
  • All accommodation (see below)
  • All transport and listed activities
  • Tour leader throughout
  • Flights from London (if booking incl. flights)

What's not included

  • Travel insurance
  • Single accommodation (available on request)
  • Visas or vaccinations
Call for general departures:
+91 531 40 28
Call for tailormade trips:
+44 (0)20 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Responsible Travel

At Exodus we believe in the power of Responsible Travel.

Every time we travel, we are part of a global movement that creates jobs, builds more sustainable societies, encourages cultural understanding and safeguards common natural and cultural heritage. To learn more about what Responsible Travel means to Exodus click here… 

Itinerary

  • Day 1

    Start Maun.

    Those on the group flight arrive in Maun and transfer (30 mins) to our campsite located on the banks of the Thamalakane River. The campsite has hot showers, bar, swimming pool, and the restaurant is known for its good food and ambience. Those not on the group flight can arrive any time.
    Audi Camp or similar

  • Day 2

    To Okavango Delta.

    We pack minimal gear for 2 nights into a smaller bag (bag provided), before a 4x4 transfer into the Okavango Delta. At the 'polers' station' we meet a new team of local staff from a nearby village who will look after us during our stay in the delta. With them we travel in mokoros deep into the Okavango Delta. We have lunch at our campsite on the banks of the river, and in the late afternoon we head out on our first game walk. We return to camp before sunset and enjoy our first meal in the African bush.
    Okavango Delta Wild Camp

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 3

    Morning game walk; sunset dug-out canoe trip on the Okavango Delta.

    We get up early this morning for a game walk with a guide from the poling team. There are never any guarantees whith wildlife, but there is the chance of seeing elephant, buffalo, and other smaller game. We return to camp for a well deserved brunch and some time to relax. In the afternoon we take a short mokoro trip on the river to view the sunset before returning to camp.
    Okavango Delta Wild Camp

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 4

    Return to Maun; free afternoon.

    This morning we board our mokoros for the trip back to the polers' station. We meet our vehicle and transfer back into Maun for the night where we will purchase supplies for the days ahead. The afternoon is free to relax by the pool or take an optional scenic flight over the Delta.
    Audi Camp or similar

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch
  • Day 5

    Visit Makgadikgadi Salt Pan.

    After a relaxed breakfast we head east to the vast Makgadikgadi Salt Pan. Depending on the season or if the pans are wet, we will camp wild on the pan or one of the campsites nearby. The Makgadikgadi Salt Pan covers an area over 16,000 square kilometres and forms the bed of an ancient lake - now dried up. The sunsets on the pan are truly spectacular.
    Makgadikgadi Pan wild camp or similar

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 6

    To Zimbabwe and Victoria Falls.

    A long drive north before crossing into Zimbabwe to the town of Victoria Falls situated minutes from the waterfalls of the same name. At the Kasangula border we complete the border formalities and continue to our accommodation for the next two nights. The falls themselves are over 1,700m wide and 100m tall making them the largest waterfalls in the world and are one of Africa’s most famous highlights. We will have the opportunity to find out more about the various activities on offer available for tomorrow.
    Mopani Lodge or similar

  • Day 7

    Free day for optional activities at Victoria Falls.

    Today is a free day to partake in one of the many optional activities on offer ranging from white water rafting to flights over the falls and various others.
    Mopani Lodge or similar

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 8

    Free morning to visit Victoria Falls; afternoon to Chobe; optional boat trip.

    This morning there is an opportunity to view Victoria Falls themselves (park entry fee not included) from the Zimbabwean side. From here we drive back to Botswana. A short drive from the border to the town of Kasane where we camp on the banks of the Thebe River, a tributary of the mighty Zambezi. The afternoon is free, with an option to view game on the famous Chobe Waterfront by taking an exciting river cruise on the Chobe River. This is widely regarded as one of the best game cruises in Africa with a very good chance of seeing the elephant herds coming down to the river to drink before the sun sets.
    Thebe River Camp or similar

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 9

    Discover Chobe N.P; visit Savuti.

    We take an early morning game drive back to the Chobe Waterfront area. Chobe is famous for its large population of elephants, but is also home to plenty of other exciting game including lion and wild dog. After exploring the Northern end of this huge park, we head south into remote and rugged terrain, passing in and out of the national park, before finally reaching the Savuti area at the southern edge of Chobe National Park.

    The Savuti Marsh, often dry, is fed by the Savuti river channel which alternately flows and then dries up for years at a time. Recent flooding has given this area new life. This area is also home to plenty of game, but is especially well known for its lions, and the large numbers of elephant that walk enormous distances to find fodder.
    Zwei-Zwei or Savuti Wild Camp

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 10

    Full day game drive on the Savuti Marsh.

    We take morning and afternoon game drives on the Savuti Marsh. There is a good chance to see lion, cheetah and hyena that follow the seasonal zebra migration through this area. Large secretary birds and kori bustards are often seen strutting around the Savuti marsh and small red-billed francolins provide a noisy morning wake up call.
    Zwei-Zwei or Savuti Wild Camp

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 11

    Game drive on the way to Moremi.

    After breaking camp we drive all the way to Moremi Game Reserve. We pass through a variety of habitats including the Mbabe depression, Mopani forest and past great Acacia trees before arriving at Khwai village and the North Gate entrance of Moremi Game Reserve. Moremi National Park is the jewel in Botswana's wildlife crown. Protecting much of the northern part of the Okavango Delta, it is made up of waterways, marshes, islands and open grasslands.
    Moremi Wild Camp

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 12

    Full day safari in Moremi Game Reserve.

    We'll go on morning and afternoon game drives through this beautiful protected area, trying to find the large variety of animals that live here. Despite its wet reputation, there is plenty of dry land in Moremi, which allows our game drives to cover significant distances while spotting game in the sometimes dense vegetation. As well as elephant and lion, Moremi is a good place to spot leopard and cheetah, and the red lechwe, a water dwelling antelope, often seen grazing amongst the lilies.
    Moremi Wild Camp

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 13

    Morning game drive in Moremi; to Maun.

    We go on a final game drive through the park this morning before travelling back to Maun, and back to our riverside campsite. We can enjoy the swimming pool before our last dinner at the campsite restaurant.
    Audi Camp or similar

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch
  • Day 14

    End Maun.

    Those on the group flights will be taken to the airport in time for their flight home. The trip officially ends after breakfast for those not on the group flights.

    Meals included: Breakfast
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Essential Info

Visas

Botswana

Currently British and Commonwealth and European passport holders do not require visas for Botswana.

If you are transiting through South Africa and are a non UK passport holder you may require a transit visa. Please check before travelling.

Please be aware that children under the age of 18 must provide a full birth certificate (a short one won’t be accepted) as well as a valid passport. If the child is travelling with only one parent or with another adult, the missing parent (or parents) will have to provide an affidavit giving their consent for the child to travel. If flying via S. Africa you may have to pass immigration between flights and the same regulation is needed for entry into S. Africa.

 

Zimbabwe

Most nationalities, including British require a visa to visit Zimbabwe.  This can be obtained from the Zimbabwean Embassy in London but it is a lot easier to get it on arrival in Zimbabwe.  The current charge for a single entry visit visa issued on arrival in Zimbabwe is £35.00 or US$55.00, although this could change. If you have not obtained a visa before travelling, you should bring enough cash with you to pay for your visa on arrival. You should ensure you have small notes as immigration officers may not be able to provide change.

If you plan on visiting Zambia as well then there is the UNIVISA (a shared visa for Zimbabwe and Zambia) that will allow you multiple entries into Zimbabwe.

Please note that if flying via South Africa you will probably have to pass immigration there. New regulations, as of the 1 Oct 2014, mean that children under 18 will have to have an unabridged birth certificate showing the names of both parents. If the child is travelling with only one parent they will need to have an affidavit from the other parent, of no more than 3 months, confirming the child can travel with the other parent; a court order granting full legal guardianship of the child; or a death certificate of the deceased parent.

Vaccinations

Botswana

Vaccination against Yellow Fever is necessary if you are coming from a country with Yellow Fever, and you must bring a valid certificate of vaccination. Recommended vaccinations are: Polio, Tetanus, Diphtheria, Typhoid, Hepatitis A. Malaria prophylaxis is essential and we suggest that you seek advice from your GP or travel health clinic about which malaria tablets to take.

Zimbabwe

There are no mandatory vaccination requirements. Recommended vaccinations are: Polio, Tetanus, Typhoid, Hepatitis A. Malaria prophylaxis is essential and we suggest that you seek advice from your GP or travel health clinic about which malaria tablets to take.

Eating and Drinking

All breakfasts, 11 lunches and 8 dinners included.

Breakfast - cereals, coffee and toast and the occasional fried breakfast / brunch.
Lunch - cheese, cold meats, salads, bread or rolls.
Dinner - potjies (stew), braais (barbecue), stir-fries, etc.
Please be aware that we need at least two weeks notice to deal with special dietary requirements (e.g. vegetarian or allergies.) For this reason if you did not indicate these on your booking form please advise the Exodus office as soon as possible.
The trip leaders do all the shopping and meal planning for each group. He/she will always try to obtain fresh produce wherever possible. Each tour has 1 cool box for the meats and the fresh produce only and 1 cool box for cold drinks.
We will supply the following drinks: squash, tea or coffee served with meals. All other beverages will be at your own expense.
We supply drinking water which is perfectly safe to drink. This is not bottled water, however, and whilst we encourage you to drink this water rather than buy plastic bottles, some people do not like the taste of the local water. If you decide that you would rather buy bottles of water rather than drink the water provided, we encourage you to buy large 5L bottles and refill your drinking bottle.
Please note that on some days where early morning game drives are included lunch may be substituted for a large brunch on return from the game drive - this is customary. We will always ensure that the number of meals detailed in the trip notes are provided.

The water provided on this trip is safe and clean drinking water, normally coming from bore-holes. It is not bottled water, however. If you would rather have bottled water then this will be at your expense, though we would encourage you to make use of the safe drinking water provided as this helps diminish plastic consumption.

Weather

There is no best time to go in terms of game viewing or conditions in the Delta, as the Delta flows all year round, despite its flood periods. The wettest season is January and February, when travel on dirt roads becomes difficult. March to September, although dry and bright, can be cold at night (in June and July it really can be chilly on occasions so bring appropriate gear). Water levels in the Delta will be at their highest in July. From December to June water levels in the Zambezi are at their highest, and the spray can be seen several miles away as it soars sometimes as much as 500 feet in the air. October and November are the hottest months, and midday temperatures can be very uncomfortable. The rains normally start slowly in late November. December can be wet, but it does not rain for long periods and should definitely not put anyone off travelling, as there is always plenty of sunshine.

Maun

Maun

Victoria Falls

Victoria Falls

Is this trip for you?

Expect some long and hot drives as we travel between game parks in this large country. On some days we travel on tarmac roads, but a lot of distance is covered on dirt and sand roads. Depending on water levels, driving in the delta can also be challenging. As a full-service camping safari, we have a separate supply vehicle with a camp crew who set up camp for us. The camp crew will also cook the food, wash the dishes and attend to all camp chores so that you can sit back and enjoy the wilderness experience. We normally use Botswana Tourism (HATAB) sites, which are only available for private groups. There are no facilities so we use bush toilets and a bush shower. These sites are not fenced and have no running water. We carry a water supply on our vehicles and fill up daily from public sites. There is plenty of water to wash with but we must be sparing; this all adds to the remote wilderness experience! Other nights will be spent in developed camp grounds with facilities usually including toilet blocks, a bar and, sometimes, a swimming pool. October and November are the hottest months, but are also good for game viewing, please see the weather section for more information. Legal Note: all group members joining this tour will be asked to sign an indemnity form at the start of the holiday. This indemnity form is a requirement of the South African Tourism Service Association which our local supplier is a member of. As a client of Exodus Travels Ltd, your rights under the Package Travel Regulations (1992) are unaffected, and Exodus remains liable for the actions of our sub-contractors.

Call for general departures:
+91 531 40 28
Call for tailormade trips:
+44 (0)20 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Accommodation

Camping

You will spend 11 nights full-service camping and 2 nights normally in chalets or lodges at the Victoria Falls.

This is a full service camping safari. This means that your tents will be erected for you. Most of the nights will be spent wild camping and a few nights will be spent in public campsites. We supply all the camping equipment with the exception of your sleeping bag and pillow. The tents are spacious and comfortable (2.4 x 2.4 x 1.8 meter). We supply camp beds with mattresses, which are about 5cm thick, warm and comfortable. The camp chairs have a backrest and we use standard plates, cups and cutlery. Most of the public campsites have swimming pools. Please note that the HATAB campsites in Chobe Game Reserve are located throughout the Savuti area and may include the Zwei Zwei pan. As this trip mostly involves wild camping, wifi is rarely available.

Single supplement available. Please note that on the nights in the Victoria Falls you might share a chalet/cabin with another member of the group. However, you will still have a single room to yourself.

 

Call for general departures:
+91 531 40 28
Call for tailormade trips:
+44 (0)20 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Experts

Contact a member of staff who has done this trip

Call for general departures:
+91 531 40 28
Call for tailormade trips:
+44 (0)20 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Expert Blog Entries

Here at Exodus we are incredibly passionate about wildlife and the conservation efforts to save it.

Embracing a healthy lifestyle can be a challenge, but if you’re going to keep it up there’s got to be more to it than

  • Reviewed October 2018
    Adrian Fingleton

    Wonderful trip but not for the faint-hearted

    My wife and I did the trip in the latter part of September 2018, and Anthony was our guide. We had a great group of 12 - we all gelled well and sort of 'looked out' for one another. Which is important when you are spending all day every day with each other. Our crew (Anthony + 3 companions) were very engaging, kind, helpful (re 'what was that bird' and more) and generally kept the show on the road. We saw amazing wildlife pretty much everywhere we went. The food was really excellent - and surprisingly varied. Having said that - the 'warning' - you spend 13 days on the road. Many of them are true wild camping. No running water, hole-in-the-ground toilets. It's hot and dusty. Sometimes at night animals wander thru the camp. You think twice before going to the loo (but you do, eventually and inevitably, go)... And it's enormous fun - great experiences, great company, great photo opportunities, and nature in the raw. But you will come back tired. It's part of the deal...

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Several highlights - the mokoro trip into the Okavango delta, swimming in the river, the game walks on foot there, the flight (optional) we took over the delta. And then, beyond that, the opportunities to see Leopard, Wild Dogs (several times) and the Chobe wetlands by (optional) boat tour.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    He (Anthony) was great. Patient, effective, great at spotting animals, looked after everyone, kept the crew moving and generally nothing he could not fix. Excellent group leader.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Just bring the stuff you are told to - like a head torch (essential), power banks, spare camera batteries, old clothes, shampoo, etc - you will be roughing it, so anything that makes your life a bit easier is worth having. Flip flops are good too. There are just a few days with very long drives, so you just grit your teeth and bear it. Other days are not too challenging. Bring some added salts like Dioralyte - you will sweat a lot so you need to keep replenishing fluid levels.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    One thing that we found a bit difficult was getting in and out of the 12 man open sided truck that was our home for 13 days. There are footholds for getting in and out, but it can be tricky. And if you have long legs, the front row is a bit problematic because you cant slide your legs under the seat in front. But it is a great platform for viewing game and everyone manages to get a photo in the end :-)
  • Reviewed September 2018
    Andrew Allman

    Beautiful Botswana

    I have just come back from trip and must say it was one of most enjoyable experiences of my life. On the way back home, I reflected that there were 9 absolutely awe inspiring moments on the trip: - watching two cheetahs hunt and kill an impala - our guide Kenny finding leopards on 3 different occasions and watching these beautiful creatures wandering about - elephants everywhere - watching a pride of lions on several occasions which included cubs - the fantastic night sky especially on the salt plains - rafting the Victoria falls - being punted along on the oakavango delta - the boat trip in the chobe National Park - the guides and people who supported us in the delta Our guide Kenny was absolutely first rate and guided us both to animals but also around the towns and villages of Botswana. He showed great patience with a group of novice safari holiday makers and displayed incredible knowledge on the flora and fauna of the area. Melo our cook was equally as good. How he managed to cook lasagne, fish and chips and bread on an open fire is beyond me. We had a great group and the camaraderie around the open fire and in the truck will remain with me for a long time. Derek and Deniro supported our group brilliantly and made sure our campsite was set up before our arrival every day. If you are thinking of going on this trip, I would advise: - read itinerary in detail as it will help outline your expectations re food, distance to travel and accommodation - prepare for some tough travel and properly wild camping. When wild camping, we had animals around and through the camp every night after we had gone to bed. We had 4 nights in a row with no running water, wi fi or electricity. Toilets when wild camping are long drop bush toilets. You will need to take power packs and battery back ups. - the roads in the national parks and remote areas are not surfaced and progress is slow and can be uncomfortable - only two nights are spent in lodges and this was a lower quality lodge in Zimbabwe. This is a camping trip. Having said that if you love animals and the outdoor life, this is a holiday I would recommend highly.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Spending 2 hours watching 2 cheetahs stalk and successfully hunt an impala. Watching them both take off at full speed was breath taking.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Kenny is an excellent tour leader. He looked after our daily holiday needs (food, accommodation etc) with maximum efficiency and minimum fuss. His guiding was first rate and he found the animals we wanted to see and others we had not heard of.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    If you like going to remote beautiful places to see wildlife and can put up or enjoy wild camping, this is a holiday for you. Please remember that you will not be near a shop for most of trip and conditions in bush are harsh. Therefore make sure you have right kit for trip ( robust head torch, spare batteries, first aid kit, decent walking shoes etc)

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    This is an excellent trip however please book on lodge trip if you require luxury or pampering. Only hostel we stayed in was very very basic. It would have been nice to stay in a 3/4 star lodge one or two nights in trip. Also, you will be in close quarters with group for 15 days, so dynamic of group could impact enjoyment of trip
  • Reviewed September 2018
    Pauline Gallagher

    Wonderful wild camping

    Fantastic holiday

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Okavango Delta

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Anthony was an excellent group leader. John, Chief & Mello were also first class supporters.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Bring Bananagram !
  • Reviewed September 2018
    Edward Bird

    Wildlife galore.

    This was our 4th trip to Southern Africa (all camping) and our second wild camping trip. The wild camping was great fun, you get to stay in some remote spots with no barriers between you and the wildlife. The guide (Moses) and his team were excellent. Botswana is a thinly populated country and very calm, people are very friendly - a real joy to visit.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The wildlife, as we got to see Lions, a Leopard (out in the open too, not hiding in a tree or undergrowth), Cheetahs, an African Wild Dog pack and even a glimpse of the elusive Serval. Elephants, hippos crocs, etc etc.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our leader Moses was first class, knowledgeable, humourous and friendly.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Yes, the transport (and I must admit this seems to be the norm for Botswana) was an open Toyota Landcruiser with 12 seats for viewing game. It's fine for viewing game etc. but quite hard travelling at speed on tar roads when you get blasted by the wind. The flexible sides of the truck can be lowered to ease the blast but then it is too hot! Please be aware of this.
  • Reviewed July 2018
    Les West

    Best Ever Wildlife Safari!

    Ivan Pinto has given an excellent account of our trip so I have little to add.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Our elephant encounters were thrilling but I was so pleased that Moses allowed us to spend quite a lot of time just sitting and watching a family of lions interacting with one another - magical.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Excellent - as acknowledged and described by Ivan.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Ladies, in particular, if you're worried about needing to go for a wee during the night (when trips to the bushy-bushy are not recommended for obvious reasons!) take an old ice cream container with you. Mine had a lid so doubled up as a useful bedside table!
  • Reviewed July 2018
    Ivan Pinto

    Nature Unspoilt!

    Botswana is the size of France but with just 2million people and an enlightened approach to conservation resulting in an unspoilt environment which benefits both local people and wildlife. Driver/guide Moses ably supported by chef Johnny and staff Ronny and Derek looked after all the needs of our group of seven with patience and good humour. Johnny provided fantastic food including freshly baked bread, cottage pie and fish & chips! The Okavango delta camp provided our first brush with elephants at close quarters as two bull elephants approached to within a few feet when we were on a walking safari with Moses and the local guides. Moses was the epitome of calmness as he gently shoed them away. We were still buzzing when a couple of hours later sitting back at the camp by a small pond another two elephants decided to have a ruckus and one chased the other straight through the pond to within a feet of us again. It was only the start of the trip and it was going to be hard for Moses to maintain that kind of experience for the rest of the holiday. But he excelled himself delivering honey badgers on two separate occasions, leopard, lions galore including one at an elephant kill not to mention the usual suspects- giraffes, zebra, buffalo, wildebeest together with various deer and antelopes. Botswana is a birders paradise even in its winter (we were there in June/July) and we saw a wide variety of eagles and smaller birds. Wild camping was a great experience with people comparing what animals they heard the previous night both in the surrounding area and in camp. We had leopard and hyena visit overnight! The only negatives related to our second night at the Audi camp, Maun when both electricity (needed to recharge camera batteries) and water were out when we arrived early evening. While the electric was eventually restored the water was not until we were leaving the following morning and the toilets were in a truly disgusting state. Also we arrived at Victoria Fall Rest Chalets to find our cabins had been given to others and we had to camp, again the toilet block was poor. One bright spot was the Nata camp site which was excellent.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Our first full day at the Okavango Delta camp with the two close encounters with elephants (described above) was hard to beat. However, spotting a leopard as we rounded a corner on the road and hearing a male lion roar next to its elephant kill ran it close as did another elephant experience on the Chobe river cruise when an elephant in the water approached us while pulling up weeds, washing and chewing on them all within touching distance. Then there were the honey badgers including one in broad daylight and then ……... you get the idea!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Moses was a superb guide, a safe driver and never seemed to stop working, whether it was helping put up/take down tents or digging the bushy-bushy. He was very patient with the various demands made of him- a little forward or a little back (sometimes at the same time!) as people vied to get the best angles for photographs!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    It's been said before, in winter (June/July) it gets very cold especially in the open vehicle when travelling in the mornings or evenings. Take wind-proof jackets, warm clothes and even gloves. Opportunities to recharge camera batteries are limited especially in the second week so make sure you take spares to last at least four days and top-up the charge whenever possible. We were a group of seven so space on the vehicle was not an issue, however with a full or near full compliment of 12 space would be very limited especially if some people carry a large amount of camera equipment.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Just do it! It's a real adventure, you just don't know what nature will throw at you next. The wild camping was comfortable and the food excellent and plentiful. We did the flights over the Okavango and Victoria Falls as well as the Chobe River cruise and I would recommend them. We didn't go on the Zambezi River cruise but the group members that did had negative comments regarding it mainly because it was more of a booze cruise with some raucous clientele which spoilt the game viewing.
  • Reviewed May 2018
    Mo Framptom

    What to do soon

    This was a trip of a life time in so many ways. It was a retirement present and a chance to prove we could still do it. It was a chance to see so many animals and different environments and to see a wonderful country determined to benefit from It's wildlife while protecting this precious resource. We were guided on the adventure by N'gand who was so knowledgeable and happy to share his love of the wild and his country. Melo, the cook, fed us amazing meals, whether in a layby on route or on an open fire in the bush, we were stuffed with fresh bread and tasty food. Timon and Derek just quietly work on our creature comforts putting up and striking tents, digging the "bushy bushy" and making sure that we were safe and left nothing behind except warm memories. We did games walks and drives and mokoro rides. We saw all the animals on our lists and more besides. Even the " its just a bird" traveller began to appreciate the diversity out there. There were changes of plan, 2 punctures, one dead rear axle and so much late rain that the salt pans were lakes but all was dealt with so we hardly noticed with Nata being a good substitute, even if meeting other not so well behaved groups reminded us that bird watching needs quiet. It is a trip in the wild with dangers that we are not used to and we had total trust in our team that they would make it the best they could but keep us safe. The Falls are impressive and Zimbabwe provides time to recharge batteries (ours and cameras) as well as washing clothes.The group pulled together well, loading this arthritic pensioner in and out of the bus. We will keep in touch to share amazing photos and memories of this wonderful trip.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Too difficult to say. Drifting on the mokoro trip through the reeds, The polers singing round the campfire. The welcome of the people. Going to sleep in a tent with lion roaring in the distance.. Walking thro the bush. All of it.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    N'Gandi was a brilliant leader who was always polite and firm while encouraging us in the right way. He has an encyclopaedic knowledge of all the animals and birds, an interest in people and respect for the countryside. He explained local customs and sensitivities as well as making sure all park rules were obeyed and that we took away only good memories. He was quietly always checking for our safety.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Pack less, bags get heavy and getting sleeping bags back into full cases each night is impossible. One wind proof top was all I needed, fleece was unused. Also only used trainers, boots were surplus luggage. Charging packs for cameras essential if like me you take thousands of photos. Our scarves were borrowed by those on windy hot seats!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Do It!
  • Reviewed May 2018
    Mike Frampton

    A great safari, definitely to be recommended.

    Botswana is a country the size of France or Texas, but with a population of just over 2 million and some of the most stunning scenery and wildlife. We arrived at the beginning of May, just after the rainy season, so much of the country was still green. It was also the rutting season for some animals. Our safari was in the northern half of the country, starting in Maun and then taking a mokoro (canoe) journey through the waterways of the Okavango Delta to the wild campsite (ie a clearing in the trees with no other people or facilities around). Our arrival was livened by the hippos in the pool by the campsite. Hippos came be my favourite animal, for my wife it was the many colourful birds. Hippos spend the day in water if they can, coming out after dusk. Whilst in the water, they come up for air, grunt, yawn, play and make the occasional belly flops when not sleeping: they just like to enjoy themselves. After our time in the Delta, we took an optional 40 minute plane ride over the Okavango Delta and realised the vastness of it, particularly as we only saw part of it in that time. There were great stretches of waterways, grasslands and scrub with herds of animals scattered across it. No wonder it takes time to find the animals, they are all there but just scattered over this vast area. During our journey in Botswana, first east to the salt flats near Nata, then up to Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe, before returning via the Chobe, Savuti and Moremi national parks in Botswana, we saw herds of zebra, giraffe, wildebeest, buffalo, baboons and assorted types of deer, as well as ostrich, tortoise, puff adder, elephants, lions and a leopard up a tree with a lioness underneath waiting for her dinner to come down. We saw two Impala challenging each other and two giraffe fighting, using the horns on their heads to hit their opponent's side, as well as the amorous attentions of male impala and kudu for their females, and a lion kissing a lioness behind her head. We had elephants walk past our campsites and saw a den of hyena with the pups playing outside. On another occasion we saw an elephant thoroughly enjoying her bath, rolling in the water and throwing water over herself. At Victoria Falls, we organised our own walk to the bridge, which straddles the gorge between Zimbabwe and Zambia. At the Zimbabwe customs we got a bridge pass which allowed us to visit this 100 year old bridge and see the gorge, as well as bargain with the many pedlars of wood carvings and copper bracelets. Then it was on to visit the falls, with its 17 viewing points. Start at the first viewing point, which looks over the Zambesi river, before it plunges over the falls. From there on the viewing points get progressively wetter and the views more spectacular - so go expecting to get very wet. After that we dried out at a cafe, with magnificent views of the bridge and Zambia across the gorge. Our return was diverted by elephants on the footpath and rewarded by seeing a warthog on route as well as monkeys and a family of mongoose. That evening we joined the dinner cruise on the Zambesi, for some more hippos, a four course meal with plenty of wine and another great sunset. Our team of four led by Ngande and Melo (our cook), set up our tents and kept us well fed and looked after, even providing "pottys" for some of the wild camps where a night time walk might not be advisable. We all got used to the bush toilets, even the occasional collapse when the sand gave way! Bush showers were also provided, with a water bag slung over a branch and suitable enclosure. Mello's ability to provide three great meals a day in the bush was outstanding. He even provided "home" cooked bread with "Welcome to ... " moulded into the bread, something most of us would struggle to do with a fully equipped kitchen, let alone on a camp fire. This is a great safari, with superb staff, scenery and wild life. And one that all ages can enjoy, our oldest member was 80.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Each day provided new inspirations, from punting in and flying over the Delta, to each game walk and game drive, the road side wildlife, the sand and dirt roads through the game reserves, the trees ripped up by the elephant, the many colourful birds, and not least the Victoria Falls and bride. Not forgetting the team that looked after us.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Ngande was a superb group leader, very knowledgeable of the wildlife, the people and areas through which we travelled. He made sure that each campsite was left spotless when we left, with fire embers buried and all rubbish remove. Even apple cores were collected up to ensure that the local flora was not challenged by a foreign plant.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Check the likely weather for the season you are travelling. We were there in May, the days were hot, but the nights were sometimes cold. You needed a sleeping bag and warm top. The vehicle is open sided, with four rows of three seats. On the long journeys, you need a warm top at the start and end of the day, as well as long sleeves and and a scarf or hat to protect you from the wind and sun. Think about tips. You have two people looking after you for the full two weeks and another two for the last 10 days. You also have a group of locals looking after you in the Okavango Delta. Also recommended are the optional flight over the Okavango Delta, the dinner cruise on the Zambezi (for the occasion) and the afternoon cruise on the Chobe river (for the animals).

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    We spent five days in Cape Town on our way back to London and can thoroughly recommend this if you have opportunity. At the moment you have organise the Cape Town end yourselves, but we were able to extend our group flights to do this. Hopefully, Exodus will provide this as an option in the future.
  • Reviewed May 2018
    Susan Wiser

    Best ever❣️

    So many wonderful moments. First the people of Botswana are the nicest I’ve ever met. And I’ve traveled a lot. The guide, Ngande, was so knowledge about plants, animals, birds, reptiles and his country. He was professional, friendly and handle even breakdowns (there was one) with efficiency. The cook, Mello, ensure 3 delicious meals a day cooked on an open fire. And the assistants put up tents and made sure details were taken care of. Now for the wildlife - lions, leopards, warthogs, hyenas, zebras, elephants, hippos, incredible bird life and so much more. My friend and I agree it was truly the best ever trip and worth our 39 hours of flying❣️❣️❣️

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Not just one moment. We had an amazing group of 12 and we all continually had a fantastic time. From baby hyenas to elephants 20 feet away. Incredible.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Ngande was the best. Shared so much, kept us safe and answered a zillion questions. He kept his staff moving and took care of them too. Perfect leader.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take less then you thought you needed (it gets heavy), winter is chilly, dryer wipes keep the mosquitoes and bugs away, buy a small, powerful camera, Amazon sells a very lightweight sleeping bag, a cotton scarf 🧣 for the dusty car rides, plenty of suntan lotion, and enjoy every moment.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Just do it. So worth it.
  • Reviewed May 2018
    Martin & Pippa Hodgkinson

    Camping in the game parks and see a variety of wildlife

    This was an excellent opportunity to see African wildlife and experience camping in the National Parks. We had six nights 'wild' camping in the parks and game drives early morning and evening. The other nights were on camp sites with showers, restaurant and a bar (open to 2am so noisy), and 2 nights at Victoria Falls in a comfortable but basic lodge. The wildlife is varied and plentiful and met most of my expectations.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Travelling in Mokoros in the Delta was magical although the wildlife was sparse. The activities there were nature walks rather than game drives. The evening cruise down the Chobe River gave us our first real encounter with hippos and other game. Seeing the leopard and lions in Chobe/Moremi close up.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Kenny was great at spotting and tracking animals and birds. His knowledge of natural history was extensive. He was a safe driver which is essential given the terrain and the state of some of the tarred roads. He sometimes had difficulty in herding 11 of us to what he wanted and I had to buy a map (Shell tourist map of Botswana is excellent) before he described where we were going. Botswanas are friendly people and the crew were keen to please.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be prepared for some long, uncomfortable journeys in an open vehicle not designed for long distance travel. Seating 12 it will not provide good seats for all if there is a full uptake of places. Wild camping is without any permanent facilities and animals close by so head torch (with back-up), wet wipes and insect repellant are essential! Take a South African plug adaptor for the camp sites and Victoria Falls as they cater for SA visitors. Quite a few extras for the 'optional' activities eg anything at Victoria Falls, Chobe River cruise and flights over the game reserves as well as camp site meals and the usual tips.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Take a good camera and long lens and trust the guide to get you into the best positions.

Dates & Prices

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An overview of flight options

Exodus is committed to making joining our tours as easy as possible, wherever you live. We generally only block book seats from London, but this certainly does not mean that you need to fly from there. Depending on the route and airlines available, there will usually be various options available for those who want to fly from their local airport.

This page aims to provide a useful overview of the options available to our clients. However, the best flight arrangements should be tailored to your personal requirements, so please contact our Sales team for expert advice.

 

What kind of options do I have ?

1. We can book for you: Flights from anywhere in the world - not via London  

Depending on the route, this may be direct or via an overseas hub like Amsterdam, the Middle East or elsewhere. On short haul routes there may be direct flights with low cost airlines, charter flights or scheduled airlines. Exodus can book most, but not all, of these for you. The most appropriate airline may be different to that which we use for the group flight from London, but many people now travel on different airlines and meet up with their fellow passengers at the destination.

Pros Cons
  • May be the most direct route
  • Often the extra fare compared to the London flight is minimal.
  • As you will be in the hands a single airline for your entire journey, the airline will be responsible for your bags and your connections.
  • You may not be able to join the group transfers. However, we can usually arrange private transfers, or book your flights to try and coincide with the group transfers. See notes on transfer arrangements below.

 

2. We can book for you: Connecting flights from your local airport to London

Exodus can book connecting flights to London so you can join the group flight there. Connecting times will be followed according to airline advice, or as requested by clients. There are two types of fares we can use for this option: a 'through-fare' or a 'published fare'.
 
a) A 'through-fare' is where you will be in the main airline's care throughout. You change planes, but your bags are checked all the way through to your final destination. 

b) A 'published fare' ticket is completely seperate from your onward ticket from London. It is usually cheaper than a through-fare but will need to be paid for and issued as soon as it is booked. This can be a problem if your tour has not yet reached minimum numbers. On 'published fares' neither airline is aware that you have connecting flights, so Exodus is responsible for timing your connection, not the airlines involved. The tickets are also usually non changeable and non refundable.

Pros Cons
  • Depending on the fare type, Exodus or the airline is responsible for flight connections.
  • Through fare tickets can be expensive.
  • On a published fare, tickets must be issued immediately; tickets on published fares can be very difficult to change if onward flight times change; bags are not checked though to your final destination.
  • Published fares are non-refundable.

 

3. Booking some or all of the flights yourself

You can also book connecting air travel yourself, either to London, or all the way to the start point. There may be certain airlines or routes we don't have access to, so this is always an option. However, if you make your own travel arrangements you become liable for any delays, cancellations or missed connections, and Exodus is not required to offer refunds if you have trouble reaching the start of your trip.

Pros Cons
  • You might find cheaper fares, or routes not available to Exodus.
  • You are responsible for any delays or missed connections, and the cost of the tour is not protected should you miss your flight be cancelled.

 

 Notes on transfer arrangements

Sometimes it is possible to travel on a different airline to the group flight from London. Where this is the case, we need to think about ensuring you meet up with the group with minimum extra cost and hassle.

  • On certain trips, it is easy to arrive on a different flight and still meet the group at the hotel with time in hand. We can usually arrange private transfers (at extra cost) or offer advice on taking a taxi to the start hotel.
  • On other trips (especially in Europe), the transfer meets the group flight and then travels some distance to the first night's accommodation. Where this is the case, our Sales team will try to arrange flights that arrive before (and depart after) the group. However, we do have to make it clear in your final documentation that if your flights are delayed, the transfer cannot wait for you. While Exodus or our local operators will do what we can to help you reach the start point of the tour, any additional costs must be paid by the client. 

 

Next steps? 

Call our Sales team on: 0203 733 0698

Email your query: [email protected]

Private Adventures 

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