Botswana Expedition Highlights
- Explore a variety of habitats on this comprehensive itinerary as you travel in open 4×4 vehicles to search for the symbols of this untamed territory—lions, elephants, hippos, and vast herds of plains antelopes.
- Discover a variety of birdlife, with over 380 recorded species, such as the scarce black egret, rufous-bellied heron, pygmy goose, and wattled crane.
- Glide through the ecologically-unique Okavango Delta in a mokoro (dugout canoe) to seek out the elusive sitatunga, a delta antelope.
- Photograph the stunning scenery of diverse habitats, from the stark beauty of the Kalahari Desert to the lushly vegetated oasis of the Okavango Delta.
- Stay in some of Africa’s best camps—Botswana embodies the essence of romantic, vintage Africa.
Board your international flight to South Africa.
Johannesburg, South Africa
Arrive Johannesburg and transfer to the Southern Sun O.R. Tambo International Airport Hotel for dinner and overnight.
Johannesburg / Maun, Botswana / Makgadikgadi Pans National Park
Transfer to the airport early this morning for your flight to Maun. Then transfer to chartered bush planes for the flight to Camp Kalahari, located on the edge of an ancient super lake and adjacent to the Makgadikgadi Pans National Park.
Makgadikgadi Pans National Park
Search for the desert-adapted wildlife that survives in this harsh environment; oryx, meerkats, aardwolves, and springbok among them. This is also your only opportunity to spot the rare brown hyena. The birdlife here is varied as well, and the species we hope to spy include white-backed and lappet-faced vultures; several types of hornbills; tawny and martial eagles; ostriches; lanner and red-footed falcons; and red-crested and northern black korhaans. In addition to your guided game safaris in open 4×4 vehicles, weather permitting you have the chance to accompany bushman trackers on foot as they take you to Chapman’s Baobab—a historic tree used by Livingstone, Selous, and other early explorers—as they explain their folklore and way of life en route.
Makgadikgadi / Okavango Delta (Tubu Tree)
Board our charter flight to Tubu Tree; located on Hunda Island, the camp is built in traditional style, with elevated wooden walkways connecting eight tents on raised platforms–each with picturesque lookouts of the surrounding floodplains. After settling in, embark on a game-watching activity.
Okavango Delta (Tubu Tree)
March 26 — March 27
Spend two full days exploring the region, a combination of open floodplains, wooded islands, and lagoons harboring an outstanding assortment of African wildlife. Game viewing is excellent and, accompanied by local guides, ride in open 4×4 vehicles or go on foot in search of buffalo, zebras, elephants, lions, leopards, reedbucks, lechwe, and hippos. Wild dogs are also a possibility here. In addition to the customary morning and afternoon game drives and walks, you may also have the option of night safaris, using spotlights to seek out rare nocturnal species.
Okavango Delta (Xigera Camp)
March 28 — March 29
Xigera is situated in the central Okavango Delta within the Moremi Wildlife Reserve. Water surrounds Xigera year-round, and many islands are home to large concentrations of wildlife. It is one of the only Okavango camps that offers foot safaris, mokoros (dugout canoes), and boating trips. Aboard mokoros, silently glide through the tranquil Okavango waterways amid numerous delta creatures. A paradise for avid birders, Xigera is home to Pel’s fishing owls, African skimmers, slaty egrets, lesser jacanas, and a host of eagles, vultures, and kingfishers. A unique feature of the camp is a wooden footbridge that connects Xigera to the neighboring island. You are treated to close-up views of lions, hyenas, or leopards padding across the bridge as they move between islands. Xigera also boasts the Okavango’s highest density of the rare sitatunga antelope, as well as hippos and crocodiles.
Linyanti Wildlife Reserve (DumaTau)
March 30 — April 1
The private Linyanti Wildlife Reserve borders the western boundary of Chobe National Park. The camp is built on raised boardwalks under a shady grove of mangosteen trees, overlooking a large hippo-filled lagoon on the Linyanti waterways. The source of the Savuti Channel is close to DumaTau, and game drives along it are one of the highlights here. The Linyanti Reserve consists of 776 square miles of unspoiled wilderness and is totally uninhabited by humans. It supports a wide variety of species, but it is most noted for its very large elephant population. Herds of elephants congregate near the waterways and lagoons and at the water holes located along the Savuti Channel. The area is also home to large numbers of impalas, lechwes, kudus, zebras, giraffes, sitatungas, sables, roans, waterbucks, and buffalo. With such diverse prey, all of the major predators—lions, leopards, cheetahs, wild dogs, and hyenas—can regularly be seen here. Nocturnal species include bush babies, spring hare, aardwolf, and serval. The birding is spectacular with such Okavango specialties as slaty egrets, white-rumped babblers, and wattled cranes, in addition to the bushveld species. Activities are varied as you explore by water, 4×4 vehicles, and occasionally on foot. The hides along the Savuti Channel and the banks of the Linyanti River also provide a chance to enjoy wildlife viewing close up and away from a vehicle.
Okavango Delta (Mombo Camp)
April 2 — April 4
Mombo Camp is located on Chief’s Island, one of the many islands created by the seasonal floodwaters of the Okavango. Explore the area’s wide, expansive plains, which are famous for their concentration of wildlife. All the major predators—lions, leopards, cheetahs, and wild dogs—can be seen close to camp. Elephants are abundant here, and large herds of impala, zebra, wildebeest, and buffalo are common. You’ll see profuse birdlife, including pelicans, storks, and cranes, as well as Dickinson’s kestrels, pink-throated longclaws, and Meyer’s parrots.
Okavango Delta / Maun / Johannesburg, South Africa
On your last day here, time permitting, embark on one final game drive before returning to Maun to catch your flight to Johannesburg and connect to your independent flight.
Arrive in the USA.