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

Wildlife & Wilderness of Botswana

16 days
from
£3,099
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Traveller ratings
4.5 / 5 from 39 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
  • 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 us on
(354) 567 8978
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

    Depart London.

    Depart London

  • Day 2

    Arrive 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 3

    To Okavango Delta.

    We pack minimal gear for 2 nights into a smaller bag, 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 4

    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 5

    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 6

    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 7

    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 leave our 4 x 4 vehicle and complete the border formalities, the local staff will transfer all the luggage to a waiting bus, which takes us to our chalets 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.
    Victoria Falls Rest Camp Chalets or similar

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch
  • Day 8

    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.
    Victoria Falls Rest Camp Chalets or similar

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 9

    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. We rejoin our 4WD vehicles at the border and take 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 10

    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 11

    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 12

    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 13

    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 14

    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 15

    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
  • Day 16

    Arrive London.

    Arrive London

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.
As of the 1 June 2017, however, a tourist levy of US$30 will be collected from everyone other than citizens of SADC states. This is payable either by card or with good condition US$ notes (exact change only). This levy is valid for multiple entries for up to 30 days. More information is available on http://www.botswanatourism.co.bw/tourismlevy

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.

The KAZA UNIVISA visa is valid for travel between Zambia and Zimbabwe and day trips into Botswana. It costs US $50 and it is valid for 30 days. Please note, however, that at times the KAZA visa is not available either because of disputes or simply because of a lack of visa stickers.

Vaccinations

Botswana

Vaccination against Yellow Fever is necessary if you are coming from a country with Yellow Fever (which includes Zambia), 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 us on
(354) 567 8978
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 in a standard hotel in 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.

Call us on
(354) 567 8978
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 us on
(354) 567 8978
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

African sunset

From the volcanic slopes of Kilimanjaro to the highland plateaux of the Simien Mountains, Exodus has cultivated an ar

  • Reviewed October 2016
    Robert Howson

    Botswana Wildlife and Wilderness

    My partner and I had the most fantastic time on this tour. Of course there were a couple of long drives but then Africa is blinking huge so we expected that. Yes, it was dusty - it was the dry season. The range of environments was great, the pacing excellent and the encounters with nature and people were well managed and yet up close and personal at the same time. So much was done for us that we sometimes felt pampered but it is a tiring tour and we were grateful that the team, led by Sam, did so much for us with such good grace. A great bunch of people.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The most inspirational? Big ask! Alice our poler in the Delta was brilliant, open and it turned out an amazingly talented singer. The vastly knowledgeable Jeremy who led our bush walks in the Delta and never tired of trying to find out what bug was what and was a talented comic turn and singer to boot. Moses our guide who became my nephew or was it my uncle (don't ask) was a genial, funny, kind, caring guy who never failed to spot a track or a bird or an animal at amazing distances at speed on bumpy 'roads'. Sam our tour leader was just great, there for us all in every way, good natured, quietly authoratative, knowledgeable and caring. He judges your wellbeing by the size and honesty of your smile. Meeting all these people and more besides were among the most inspirational moments.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    As I said but I'll add here, Sam's a man who can cook up a feast with seemingly little effort. He martialled his team quietly and was a calm, fun and efficient leader.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take a thin scarf or a Buff for your nose and mouth on the dry and dusty drives. Trust your team - they know why you're there and they'll do a better job if you don't try to advise them about things, like where they should park up to get the best photos.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    With 12 of us in the 4 rows of 3 seats there were issues about the daily seating plans! I think that only 9 should be in those vehicles. The front 3 seats have such little leg room and because the sides join the floor at an angle the two outside seats in front don't even have a flat floor to put both your feet down. I'm only 5' 7" and I was uncomfortable quite quickly. We've travelled in similar vehicles that have been configured for 12 but much more comfortably, perhaps they were longer wheel-bases?
  • Reviewed September 2016
    Andrew Oldham

    Best wildlife experience, ever!

    A fantastic way of seeing a brilliant country. You get close to nature and there are plenty of opportunities to take some great photos. Excellent support from the staff.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The last 48 hours of wildlife viewing was the best I have ever experienced. It was almost like a wildlife documentary (sadly David Attenborough was unavailable) as we met a cheetah and her cub at dusk, again in the early morning and then witnessed the cheetah make a kill. Later that afternoon (via wild dogs) we met the cheetah again but tragically there was no sign of the cub. Her calls would make even the strongest man blub, but then 2 lionesses stalked and chased the cheetah and we believe she escaped. Surely that was the big finale to the trip? Errr no.... 2 male lions vs a herd of buffalo the following morning.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Sam was excellent. He knew his country, the wildlife and how to run a brilliant trip allowing the customers to enjoy themselves. He coped with unexpected luggage issues and our constant demand for bigger and better sightings. Vasco the Botswana guide was brilliant getting us closer to the wildlife than we would have hoped for, without worrying the wildlife. He knew where to position the van to get excellent shots. Timon and Dodga (the assistants) were both hard-working, friendly and helpful.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    As with all Exodus trips study and follow the trip notes carefully. It was cold on some nights (I took a down sleeping bag) and very cold for quite a few hours on the truck, so you do need lots of warm clothing until it heats up. The dinner cruise at Victoria Falls was a highlight for many of us as the service, food, drinks and views were all excellent - a touch of luxury. Take advantage of some of the extra activities. The advice on tipping in the trip notes was contradicted by Sam and this needs clarification, but allow more than is suggested for local staff as well as the crew.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I wish I had remembered that the instant coffee in that part of the world is pretty rubbish and had known that you cant buy gin at Johannesburg airport to take into Botswana, but that's just me. This may help someone though!
  • Reviewed August 2016
    David Jackson

    Wildlife & Wilderness of Botswana (WZT)

    This trip delivered everything it promised,helped by unbroken clear skys. As with all Exodus trips the notes were accurate and should not be left unread, a wildcamping safari is just what it says! So lucky to join a group of mature travelers to whom laughing was second nature, it really does help!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Too many to list, unique animal behavior, glorious bread made fresh in an iron pot over embers, the night sky, the optional activities.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Sam and Vasco were absolutely on top of their job nothing was too much trouble or left to chance. Vasco's skill produced some outstanding wildlife encounters.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Do take note of the trip notes, if it says cool nights thats what it means. A real treasure of a trip if you love African wilderness. Do save some extra cash for the optional extras which were so worth doing.
  • Reviewed June 2016
    Louise Dunn

    Beautiful Botswana!

    This is an excellent trip that I'd highly recommend. The pristine wilderness of Botswana, the plentiful wildlife and the variety of activities on this trip made it a holiday to remember forever.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Pretty much everything we did was amazing on this trip. We were very lucky to see two male leopards in the Khwai reserve next to Moremi, endangered African wild dogs (one pair with 10 pups and a the next day a group of 5 dogs hunting), male lions (three times in Moremi) and a pride of lions in Savuti including about 6 cubs and 3 lionesses feasting on a wildebeest. Of course, there were many elephants too who will visit your camps in Savuti and Moremi and also zebra, impala, kudo, buffalo, wildebeest and beautiful birdlife too. The Okavango delta is really beautiful and I really enjoyed the Mokoro rides and the game walks. Also, it is really worth doing some of the optional extras at Victoria Falls - I did the white water rafting, 15 minute helicopter flight and the sunset dinner cruise. I would recommend all of these without hesitation.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Sam was great and very friendly. Kenny was a man on a mission when it came to tracking down the animals and as I mentioned we were lucky to find leopards and wild dogs and this was definitely down to his efforts. The guys who cooked for us at camp were also amazing and I don't know how they consistently served up such great food on the camp fire (including freshly baked bread!).

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    I went in June which is a really great time to visit. It's their winter but this means it's clear blue sunny skies and about 28 degrees every day which was perfect. The sun goes down at 6pm and then it turns cold which makes it more comfortable for sleeping but ensure you have some warmer clothes for the evenings. For the long drives the truck is open sided so take a lightweight scarf to protect your face from sand and wind and a warm jacket like a fleece and maybe some gloves and warm hat. There are some mosquitoes in Victoria Falls so take a mosi net for your tent as these are not provided. I used Incognito products instead of Deet and got no bites all trip. The optional Chobe sunset cruise is a must and as I said before it's definitely worth paying for the optional activities in Victoria Falls. Be aware that there are 4 staff that you will need to tip at the end rather than the normal one leader you have on most trips so factor this into your budget. The tips came to about $160 in the end although it's up to you what you give. Be aware that if there are more than 8 of you booked on a tour then the vehicle will be cramped. We had 7 which was just right as no one had to sit wedged in a middle seat with a worse view.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I've never been on Safari to the more well known destinations such as Tanzania or Kenya but I would definitely recommend Botswana instead particularly as you'll be supporting a country that has banned hunting and is successfully limiting poaching to a minimum. This is a once in a lifetime special trip to a friendly and beautiful country so go now!
  • Reviewed May 2016
    Vanessa Moss

    Wildlife and Wilderness of Botswana

    Day 1 Landed at one of the smallest airports I have ever seen in Maun on a a two propped plane. Temperature 31 degrees, holiday has begun. I meet the group there are 5 of us. Our guide Sam (Samason Chihohwa) explains we need to change 100 dollars to local currency for tips and meals this side of the border. So with 4 different currencies in my wallet...... To Audi camp via the Choppie Store to purchase water and snacks. Warm showers great us and the first sight of our tented homes. Day 2 - Okavango Delta Today we headed into the delta as we drove we saw zebra, an elephant and even a giraffe. What a start to the day. At the poling station we were met by 5 members of a local tribe who took us by canoe to set up camp in the wilderness. Toilet built and camp shower all set up in minutes. We had a rest whilst the hottest part of the day passed. Baboons in the tree tops. At 4.30pm we took our first walking safari, very strange experience no safety of a jeep and no rifles to be seen. Just us, our guides and their experience. Concerned that the safety briefing (orientation) may be remembered wrongly. Run from a buffalo not a lion. Yep that's right. We were met by a loan Impala, a wart hog family and hippos, what a noise they make letting us know we were in their space. They blow water from their snouts so far it's like a fountain. Baboons again greeted us as we arrived back at our camp just before dark. Camp fire dinner of rice and spiced stew. The stars are amazing and the forest noises sometimes worrying. Tomorrow we get up at 6am and walk again I wonder what we will see. Day 3 Coffee and rusks at 6am and off for our second walking safari. Today the first thing moving other than the various birds flying was birds of a very different kind ostriches running away from us. There were 5 in all the female is a slightly different colour to aid incubation apparently. The male is black as takes his turn on the nest at night and the female lighter brown. Lots of animal prints. Ostrich, aardvark, elephant, hippo. Interestingly hippo and rhino prints are similar except that hippo has 4 toes and rhino effectively the middle two are joined making one larger pad. As we walked we saw buffalo and used a termite mound to approach closer without disturbing them. Yes because it's run from a buffalo. Impala were seen near a water hole, we sat a while watching them before zebra joined us to. Before walking back towards camp. On route and as if to add icing to the cake a loan elephant walked past. I wonder if that elephant thinks we are the mad ones walking in the sun. In the heat of the day brunch and bush shower before our canoe cruise at 5pm. Just before our sunset canoe ride sitting in the shade I hear an excuse me from one of the tribe. Elephant he says. Not just one several make the crossing right in front of our camp. Biggest leading, smallest at the rear. Then minutes later another herd. 5pm sunset ride a giraffe is spotted in the distance we quickly reverse and land the canoe. We are facing the sun so we try to creep around on land to get the sun behind us. Back in the canoe we continue to a spot to watch the sunset. Whilst waiting the hippos grunt and let us know they are there, there is also a fish eagle in the distance perched on a tree. Tonight's dinner chicken stew with mashed potatoes. Tomorrow we leave this part of the delta. Day 4 This morning our last game walk. We came across house sparrow weaver birds protecting their nests from a little owl of all things in broad daylight. The owl attacked at least one nest while we were there and looked like it would be hanging around a while yet. We stopped at the hippo pool they were shier today. A bird was having its own safari on the back of one, the hippo didn't manage to dislodge it even though he went under water. On the way back we saw the giraffe we had seen against the sun the night before a large male. Before we reloaded the canoes and headed back towards Maun for supplies and a shower before our afternoon flight. 4pm Delta flight (Optional) You get some kind of scale from above. The delta is a huge area. Lots of elephant herds below and hippos from above look even more comical. We had we are told a rare sighting of 5 rhinos. Not something the pilots see every day. Ours was keen to make sure he looked out for them on his next fight. Our main guide Sam explains that some areas that are badly poached for rhino are sending rhinos to Botswana for their protection as poaching is not a problem here. For the 2 million population of the whole country there is plenty of work. Day 5 - Makgadikgadi Long drive to the salt pan. All our shoes have to be brought out at the veterinary station to treat to prevent foot and mouth. We stop for a picnic on route and to purchase firewood for cooking tonight. A walk on the pan before watching sunset by the fire. We are told it will be cold tonight and in the morning may be 5 or 7 degrees so got the coat out handy. We saw 2 southern ground hornbills, some zebra and a stein bok on route. Day 6 5.30am wake up to be packed and driving by 7.30am. Very cold, but the quietest night we have had no wild noises out here. The drive is long passing through national reserves. Elephant, giraffe and other smaller animals occasionally line the route. Border controls and visa obtained and onwards to Victoria Falls. Tonight's dinner at a traditional African restaurant. Chicken Piri Piri I had with popcorn and small peanuts as a snack with drinks. Very nice. Day 7 - Zimbabwe Victoria Falls National Park. Prepared to get wet with camera in a dry bag we headed into the park. 16 view points the first 3 not too wet however we were then in for a soaking. Lots of rainbows absolutely drenched and dressed as if walking in the Cotswolds. Actually it's quite nice being wet in the heat of the day. Having dried off a little we headed to The Victoria Falls hotel as recommended by a family member before travelling. However the path we had taken earlier now has 5 elephants on it having a late breakfast so we thought better of it and took the road. At the hotel we headed straight out onto the veranda and ordered coffee and cheese cake. The nicest cheese cake I have had for sometime. There were wart hogs patrolling the immaculate lawns. It's a great view. One of the guards asked if we had been bungee jumping. I think I'll pass. Dinner Cruise tonight (Optional) On the dinner cruise we saw more hippos these ones were in much deeper water than we had seen before. We also witnessed the engagement of a German Couple. Most people were dressed for dinner and then there was our table. The safari campers. We watched sunset before dinner of butternut squash soup, bream and more cheese cake I can definitely recommend this cruise. Choice of food and drink. Day 8 - Chobe We leave Victoria Falls and head to Thebe River Camp. This afternoon we take a cruise on the Chobe. This was a fantastic trip and if you are a photographer keen amateur or otherwise you may use a whole card just on this, you get very close to a nest colony of bee eaters. We were very lucky and saw a pride of lions hunting a water buffalo although the buffalo was giving as good as it got. Bee Eaters were brilliantly colourful and elephants in the water. It was a brilliant cruise lots of photos taken to remember it by. Day 9 - Savuti Early start getting up at 5.30am before packing up camp and taking a morning game drive along by the river we cruised in last night. Lots of buffalo and giraffe. The beautifully coloured lilac breasted rollers and lots of hornbills and fish eagles line the route. On leaving the park we hit the main road momentarily before back on the massaging sandy and bumpy surface on the way to the marsh where there are lots of elephants. A lot of them are missing parts of their tails because in this part of Botswana the lions have learnt to hunt elephants. In the middle of nowhere is our camp site and you won't believe what we have for dinner. Fish and chips, honestly who'd have thought that possible! It was really nice. We are really wild camping. I am desperately hoping I don't have to get up in the night. Day 10 6am our breakfast is coffee and rusks so we can head out straight away for our first game drive of the day. We are looking for lions and we are not disappointed our wildlife guide (Kenny) tells us to get out video ready because we are going to see some loving. A large male and a female lie in the grass and we now realise Kenny isn't joking. Twice we see the male mount the female and strut his stuff. Kenny explains this goes on all day for a week and neither eat anything in that time 'whatever happened to wine and dine'. We had an incredible view, but all decided a female lions life isn't one we fancy. In 3 months she should have some cubs. There is a lot of wildlife out this morning and the tinniest elephant crosses our path before another trumpets at us. Brunch and a bush shower meet us when we return to camp. 4.30pm afternoon game drive to the water holes to see the elephant herds come together for bath time at sunset. Day 11 - Moremi We get up early to break camp and head out of this reserve onto the next and last wild camping experience of this trip. Although we were told by having bush showers yesterday we would wash away our luck. Within 5 minutes of driving we have 5 wild dogs running in front of us. This is a special and rare sighting and we are told to take as many pictures as possible. Leaning out of the vehicle and on a bumpy road not quite as easy as it sounds. The lions are still within 100 metres of where we saw them yesterday and yes they are still mating! A black backed jackal and bat eared foxes are also about today. Giraffe seem to be everywhere they have no where to hide. Arrived at our second wild camp site. This one initially felt less in the wilderness than the first it was nearer the park gate. However I was wrong..... Lions had walked past us very close by when we set up camp. The paw prints in the sand gave them away. Kenny follows them on our afternoon game drive and we came across two females and a male. The females were looking to hunt as the light faded. The male it seems again had other things on its mind. What is it with these lions! We watched them setting up for a hunt until the light began to go and we headed back to camp. T Bone steak for dinner. Day 12 Our last full day of game drives and wild camping before returning to Maun tomorrow. We have been lucky with what we have seen so far. Again 6am wake up and Coffee and rusks before we first headed in search of a leopard. Our guides had heard one in the night. We headed past the hippos the river appearing to steam in the cold of the morning. Most were already under water keeping warm. Our guides were convinced we were on the trail of a leopard and after some severe off road driving we spotted it tiny and camouflaged in the grass. She was hunting. We followed her for a while before leaving her in peace to look for lunch. So of the big 5 we have all of them under our belts and wild dogs as a bonus. If the holiday finished now it wouldn't be disappointing. As we have been very lucky and it was a fantastic morning. One last bush shower this afternoon and an evening game drive before our last night in the wild. On our afternoon game drive we watch the hippos at sunset and on the way back to camp I spotted a short eared eagle owl. Day 13 One last 5.30am start we pack up camp and head for one last game drive. Everything is quiet a hippo moving slowly to bathe for the day. Then we hit the bumpy road over 100km, our last Botswana massage on route to Maun for our last night here.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    All the wildlife and the fact that this is one of the friendliest countries I have ever visited, the guides the locals, even all the other tourists it must be the atmosphere. Being in the wild compared to being permanently on front of technology is clearly good for the sole.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Sam is really good as a leader pretty laid back, clearly enjoys life and nothing was too much. All of the staff be it the camp assistant and chef were amazing and the food they came up with on an open fire was incredible fresh bread, fish and chips etc.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    It's colder than you might think so take lots of warmer clothes for the evenings but especially the mornings, the vehicle used is open sided and you don't want to miss the wildlife by having the canvas flaps down. They are early starts, but remember most evenings its bedtime at 9pm.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    You can't guarantee the wildlife on these trips, but it is a great place to travel, a few bumpy long rides on and off road, but well worth it. If you are going in our spring / summer remember its Autumn / Winter there and you will definitely need a dry bag at Victoria Falls you and your camera will get wet.
  • Reviewed November 2015
    Stephen Cowling

    Wildlife and Wilderness of Botswana

    A wonderful journey through Botswana and a chance to experience a safari in an area where tourism is much less developed than in many parts of Africa.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    There were many: Mokoro rides and wild camping in the Okavango Delta; the awesome Victoria Falls; seeing a herd of well over 100 elephants wandering across the plain; at least 12 lions at close quarters sheltering under a tree; numerous other wildlife encounters; the eerie silence and remoteness of the Makgadikgadi Salt Pans.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our group leader Sam, the driver and wildlife expert Kenny and assistant Johnny were all exceptional and could not do enough for us. The same is true of the "polers" in the Okavango Delta. The overall organisation, the camping and catering were superb. We found the vehicle comfortable and adequately spacious.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    There are some long drives on bumpy roads. The wild camping means that wildlife can wander through the camp at any time, especially at night. We had a close encounter with an elephant one night, which some of the party found unnerving, but in fact it left us alone. At the Victoria Falls, unless you are planning activities such as white water rafting, we recommend visiting the falls on the free day rather than waiting until the final morning as the itinerary suggests, to allow time to do it justice. We particularly recommend the Sunset Cruise and Chobe River Cruise.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    There were so many positives I am reluctant to mention any disappointments, but I will do so anyway to give a complete picture. The areas we were travelling through are generally quite flat, which meant that the breathtaking scenery to be had in other areas was lacking (except for the Victoria Falls). Also, the population outside the main towns is quite sparse, and the towns themselves relatively Westernised, so there were limited opportunities to experience local African culture. Overall this was a wonderful, varied and well organised trip, with some truly magical moments.
  • Reviewed November 2015
    John MacLean

    wildlife and wilderness Botswana

    We were very lucky and wildlife sightings and close encounters exceeded expectations. Seven of thirteen nights are spent camping wild, a wonderful experience.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Game drives in Chobe and Moremi.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    On the whole very good.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I went for the wildlife and wondered in advance if the detour to Victoria Falls was would be worth it : it was. However, I'd rather have camped there than slept in a stuffy chalet.
  • Reviewed August 2015
    Tony Birch

    Wildlife & Wilderness of Botswana

    This is an excellent holiday for people who want to get really close to the wildlife of Botswana. Seven of the 13 nights are spent wild camping right in the heart of national parks and wilderness areas. You will not only see, but hear and smell the life around you. It is a very immersive experience.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    It's the sights and sounds of this trip that will stay in the memory. Africa has amazing sunsets and, on this trip, a night sky totally unpolluted by man made light. The Makgadikgadi Salt Pans have to be experienced for their total absence of sound. The animal life was amazing and you saw them within their environment. The sounds of hippos, hyenas, elephants and lions just the other side of a piece of canvas are rather exciting! The people you meet are wonderful.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our group leader was very, very good. His job was to give us a great holiday, pure and simple. His assistants, and the other guides, were first class. The majority of them were born, and has spent their entire lives, in the very areas we were visiting. They had an absorbed knowledge of the region that could not learned from books.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Read the trip notes carefully. When it says there are "some long and bumpy roads" and "staying in some remote locations" that is exactly what you will get. The mornings can be cold, followed by slamming heat a few hours later, so take clothing that can come off in layers. The roads, particularly in the dry season, are very dusty. Glasses or goggles, and a snood to cover your mouth and nose, are essential.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Although described as leisurely, this is not a holiday for those who enjoy their creature comforts. The bush toilet is a hole in the ground and the shower is under a tree so there is something to hang the bucket from. You will get many hours of "African Massage" in the landcruiser but the rewards are unbelievable. You will totally immersed in the environment. Be flexible, be willing to muck-in and participate, and you will have a wonderful time. I would recommend this holiday without hesitation.
  • Reviewed August 2015
    Kenneth Auld

    Wildlife and Wilderness of Botswana

    We went on the same trip as Jenny (see her review) and endorse all that she said. This trip delivered everything that we had hoped for. The animal sightings exceeded expectations; the camping was really wild; and the itinerary was well designed. Every day had a WOW in it.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    On the Chobe river cruise, the entire boat watched as a baby elephant was cajoled by its herd to cross a stream that its parents could stride across, but was too wide for the baby's short legs; the sheer isolation of the wild camping in the salt pans; the big cat sightings that Jenny mentioned; the three families of elephants at the watering hole just yards from our camp in Zwei Zwei Pan; and I especially enjoyed visiting the Bushman paintings from 1500 BC that Stan took us to, to make up for the lost time when the truck broke down.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Sam attitude was excellent. Everything revolved around ensuring that we enjoyed our time on the trip and got as much out of it as possible. His cooking on a campfire was unbelievable - fish and chips, fresh bread, cabbage quiche - his recommendations on the extra trips were spot on, and his permanent good humour made for a relaxed and enjoyable journey. Even when the truck broke down - the immobilizer incapacitated the truck for a few hours - he kept his cool, updated us on progress, and managed to organize the alternative arrangements without getting flustered. Our guide, Stan's knowledge and enthusiasm were terrific. His book of pictures was excellent for explaining why the landscape is like it is, his tracking meant that there were more animal sightings than we could have hoped for.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    For a couple of over fifties who had not camped in decades, the prospect was daunting. However, the camp-beds are comfortable, the food was delicious and plentiful, and while the tents are small, the guarantee that there will be no rain (in July) and so no wet clothing or leakages if you touch the tent, meant that this was all surprisingly civilized. However, even if it won't rain, do take waterproofs to combat just how windy an open sided truck can be. Good washing facilities in Victoria Falls means that we could have reduced our clothing amounts even further - only the Sunset Cruise in Victoria Falls needed anything even remotely smart. As others have mentioned, head torches and lip balm are good to have. Also, take wet wipes for the four consecutive night wild camping away from "proper" showers, although the bush shower was very effective and surprisingly good.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    An excellent trip through a fantastic country.
  • Reviewed August 2015
    Jenny Smith

    Wildlife and Wilderness of Botswana

    This trip absolutely delivers - incredible wildlife and an opportunity to appreciate the wilderness of Botswana. The opportunity to get away completely from modern life and appreciate the beauty and scale of Southern Africa is brilliant. The unpredictable nature of the trip adds to the uniqueness and the surprises. We saw many many unexpected sights - a leopard fast asleep on a tree, its kill hanging beside it with the leopard's cub snuggled up asleep on a lower branch; a lion feasting on a rhino kill; elephants walking into camp… Every day was special. In addition to the wildlife, the landscape was incredible with beautiful sunsets and starry evenings.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    For me, the experience of being able to do so much wild camping enhanced the experience. Lying in the tent on the first night in the Okavango Delta, listening to the hippos bellow and the lions roar gave me an appreciation of the natural world you could not get anywhere else. The contrast of the beauty of the Okavango Delta with the barren bleakness of the Salt Pans was also awesome - both so different but so memorable. The scale of Victoria Falls was breathtaking, and the sheer amount of wildlife we saw, especially in the second week, was amazing. Stan kept stating 'High hopes but no guarantees', but in fact every day was unique and special.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Sam was great. Calm, patient and clear, with a great sense of humour. Tents went up and dinner was cooked every night as if by magic. It was very impressive what he could produce on an open fire night after night. Stan's knowledge and passion for the wildlife and geography of Botswana was unsurpassed. Despite the fact that both of them must have done this trip many times, they were both excited and enthusiastic every day and that was infectious. The support team of Timon and John also worked incredibly hard to help the smooth running of the trip.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    I think this is an incredible trip, and if you are not phased by camping you will love it. The wild camping gives you an opportunity to experience Botswana which you would not get any other way. The camping was, by my standards, pretty deluxe - camp beds, toilet cubicles (often with impressive views) and great food. It also got you very close to the animals! I was lucky and got a tent to myself, it is snug with two… You also have to be very organised with your packing as you have early starts and you are on the move most days. Be aware, it gets very cold at this time of year. I wasn't prepared for this - it was 2 degrees on the first night in Maun! For several nights I was wearing 4 layers and a fleece hat - even in my sleeping bag. It was also very cold in the truck in the morning. If you go at this time of year, I would advise some warm layers for the nights. It is warm during the day. Also you will need a SA charger for Botswana (Zimbabwe uses UK plugs) - you can get them at J-burg airport. I would also recommend a spare camera battery as you will be away from electricity for quite a while.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Do it!

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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