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The yearlong water supply of the Okavango Delta and Chobe River makes Botswana a hotbed of wildlife. Add in natural wonders like the Makgadikgadi Pans and Victoria Falls, and you have one of sub-Saharan Africa's most impressive lands. Round out the adventure with a festive evening with the San people and time spent in cosmopolitan Windhoek.
Day 1: Victoria Falls
Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6 pm on Day 1. Please look for a note in the hotel lobby or ask the hotel reception where it will take place. Excellent optional activities include a boat cruise along the Zambezi, morning and afternoon game drives, or walks in the Zambezi National Park. You might also choose an awe-inspiring helicopter flight over the Falls and the Zambezi Gorges. Tonight you will dine at the incredible Boma Restaurant, whose menu has been known to include warthog, buffalo, crocodile, impala and more. Throughout the meal you'll be entertained with local song and dance. Everyone is given an African drum and encouraged to join the party. If you don’t wish to join in with the drumming you may wish to choose an earlier session for dinner.
Day 2: Victoria Falls
This morning you will visit the magnificent Victoria Falls, named by Dr David Livingstone in honour of his English queen. One of the world's true natural wonders, Victoria Falls form the largest sheet of falling water in the world, when in full flow. Once inside the park, your guide will take you through the falls area, stopping at different vantage points along the way to explain the history of the falls and their surrounds. After your tour, you will return to your lodge, where the rest of the day will be at leisure.
Day 3: Chobe National Park
This morning you'll visit Victoria Falls Wildlife Trust, one of The Intrepid Foundation projects. Here you can learn about the rescue and rehabilitation of wildlife, human-wildlife conflict and the trusts role in anti-poaching. There may also be a chance to meet any rescued or orphaned wildlife currently in their care.Afterwards follow the Zambezi River to Botswana and make your way to Chobe National Park (100km approximately 2–3 hours, not including border formalities). You will arrive at your lodge at around midday. There you can relax by the pool or take an optional afternoon game drive in Chobe National Park. This can be arranged locally with your leader. You will spend the next two nights in a lodge located just outside Chobe National Park.
Day 4: Chobe National Park
This morning you will enjoy a game drive in Chobe National Park. You might see elephants drinking at the water's edge, large herds of cape buffaloes and many impala within the park. Then head back to the lodge for breakfast. In the afternoon, embark on a cruise along the picturesque Chobe River, an ideal location for spotting bird life such as saddle-billed storks, malachite kingfishers, fish eagles and beautiful bee-eaters as well as hippos, crocodiles and large families of elephants. You will be joined by other travellers on the boat cruise which has a toilet and small bar to purchase drinks. Enjoy a G&T as the sun goes down on the river.
Day 5: Makgadikgadi Pans
Heading south, you will continue your journey (410km approximately 6 hours) to the Makgadikgadi Pans for an afternoon excursion. Witness the immensity of this sprawling salt flat, one of the largest in the world. Later you will head to Gweta Lodge, located near the edge of the pans. In the afternoon, leave the lodge in an open game vehicle to and travel out to the Nxaisini pan. Here you’ll sit out in the wild enjoy sundowners and snacks while observing the amazing scenery. With the aid of trackers you’ll spend some time in the company of the local meerkat colony, and look out for elephants that meander their way down to the watering hole to quench their thirst. Soak in this incredible place while the sun sets behind the old beautiful baobab. Back at the lodge, relax in the lounge area while you take in your surroundings and reflect on the day's adventure.
Day 6: Maun
After breakfast this morning, it's time to head to Maun, the gateway of the Okavango Delta (approximately 4 hours). For those interested, there is the opportunity to fly over the delta in a small plane for a bird's-eye view. This is a great way to appreciate the vast scale of this waterscape. Your leader can give you more information on this activity and how to reserve a place. Otherwise, the afternoon yours to spend as you please.
Day 7: Okavango Delta
Venture to the Okavango Delta (350kms, approximately 6 hours) and board your speedboat. This will take you to your home for the next two nights, a houseboat in the Okavango Delta Panhandle. You will need to pack a small bag or backpack for this trip, as there won't be room for everyone's full luggage. The houseboat has twin-share cabins with bedding, towels and mosquito nets provided (however, no single supplement is available on these nights). There is also a dining area on the deck, tea- and coffee-making facilities and a small collection of books and board games. As evening falls, head to the deck, where your captain will serve dinner. Grab a sundowner, pull up a chair and witness the often breath-taking sunset. This is a unique and memorable way to experience the Delta – not really for what you do, but more for the absence of anything to do. The sounds of hippos breaching and grunting, cicadas trilling and a million mosquitoes seduce you blissfully into the night.
Day 8: Okavango Delta
This morning after breakfast you will take a speedboat and 4WD to a nearby poling station. From here you will experience the myriad waterways in a traditional dugout canoe (mokoro) with a local guide. Your guide will also take you on a short nature walk around one of the many Islands in the Delta. After a picnic lunch, return to the houseboat for some relaxation time. You might like to read a book or do some fishing. In the evening, enjoy a drink, pull up a chair and witness the often breathtaking sunset before your captain serves up dinner once again on the deck.
Day 9: Ghanzi – Central Kalahari
Travel on to Ghanzi, the 'Capital of the Kalahari' ( 400km approximately 7 hours). Your accommodation tonight is at a community project in Ghanzi and is a much more basic than what you will encounter throughout your journey. However, the concept and experience of the lodge is well worth it. The lodges we use here support the local San and San D'Kar community through employment. The San people are renowned as the most skillful trackers on Earth and have an extraordinary knowledge of the Kalahari for both plants and animal tracking. If time permits you may choose to do the optional walk. Here you will be shown the wide variety of both edible and medicinal plants, while also tracking a variety of animals and learning about their habits. Of course, you will also spend quality time with your guides to understand their very different world view. Later a traditional San/Southern African meal will be served in the communal lounge and dining area. You will then experience the ancient dance rituals of the San around the campfire. This is a real cultural experience and a great way to get to know the locals. On special occasions this could be a healing or trance dance, which can continue all night, and is an intense spiritual experience for both participants and visitors alike.
Day 10: Windhoek
Cross the border into Namibia today and head to Windhoek (560km approximately 9 hours, including border formalities). While you're here, perhaps take a look at the excellent German architecture of Tintenpalast (Ink Palace), the Christuskirche (church), the gymnasium and the Genossenschaftshaus (co-operative).
- Victoria Falls - The Boma Dinner & Experience
- Complimentary Airport Arrival Transfer (shared)
- Victoria Falls - Entrance & Visit
- Victoria Falls - Victoria Falls Wildlife Trust Visit
- Chobe National Park - 4x4 Game Drive
- Chobe National Park - River Safari Cruise
- Makgadikgadi Pans - Meerkat Pan Experience
- Makgadikgadi Pans - Sunset & Sundowner
- Okavango Delta - Houseboat River Cruise
- Okavango Delta - Speedboat Cruise
- Okavango Delta - Mokoro tours & game walks
- Okavango Delta - Speedboat Cruise
- Central Kalahari - San Cultural Experience
- Okavango Delta - Speedboat Cruise
9 Breakfast(s) Included
6 Lunch(es) Included
8 Dinner(s) Included