Day 1: Moremi Game Reserve
Your first experience of the Okavango Delta is from the air on a scenic flight to Moremi over the Delta and Chief's Island. Your first two nights on safari will be spent camping in the Xakanaxa /3rd Bridge region of Moremi Game Reserve where you will explore the surrounding wilderness on game drives during the day. This area is particularly well known for wild dog sightings and lion prides often use Third Bridge as a means to cross from one area of the park to another without getting their paws wet!
Okavango Delta & Moremi Game Reserve - The Okavango is a unique ecosystem, a river delta located in the middle of the world’s largest stretch of continuous sand – the Kalahari basin. An oasis in an otherwise arid and inhospitable landscape, the Okavango Delta supports an incredible diversity of mammal and birdlife. Where land and water meet, a mosaic of pans, grasslands, forests and lagoons provides an extremely varied range of habitats which is home to one of Africa’s greatest concentrations of wildlife. The Okavango is one of the natural wonders of the world, a stillpristine yet fragile ecosystem that richly rewards exploration.
The safari starts in Maun and it is possible to fly in from Johannesburg and immediately board your charter flight to camp. However, if time allows arriving the day before and overnighting in one of the hotels in town is a more gentle start to your safari.
We are very happy to book this for you.
Day 2: Moremi Game Reserve
The day starts with the rising of the sun. Your wake-up call will be between 5am and 6am – a gentle “koko” (knock knock in Setswana) at the entrance of your tent. One of the team will be on hand to fill your wash-hand basin with steaming hot water and freshly made tea and coffee will be served around the campfire. A light breakfast will be served before the early morning game drive which consists of tea, plunger coffee, juice, rusks, fruit, cereal, toast and jams. The best time of day to enjoy game viewing is in the early morning and late afternoon as most animals retreat to the shade to rest during the heat of the day. Having spent the morning exploring the surrounding wilderness in search of Botswana’s hidden treasures.
The Moremi Game Reserve lies in the eastern corner of the Okavango Delta. One of the most beautiful and diverse of all the great game reserves of Africa, it protects both huge concentrations of wildlife and incredible scenery. The reserve consists of both seasonally-inundated areas such as Xakanaxa, and drier areas such as Khwai. On this safari, we will set out to reveal some of the secrets of this dynamic ecosystem.
Day 3: Khwai Community Area
We carry on north today to the beautiful area of Khwai which is sandwiched between Savuti in the north and Moremi in the south. The Khwai River forms a boundary between the reserve and the community area. We will spend the next three nights at a campsite in the community area, exploring the Khwai floodplains on game drives both during the day and at night.
What happens on a moving day? - We will leave camp after breakfast and the crew will pack up the camp and meet us at the next private campsite where you will find your tent re erected and your bags all in place.
En route we will stop for a picnic lunch out in the bush before we continue our journey to our new campsite in the next National Park.
Day 4: Khwai Community Area
The Khwai area is excellent for both wild dog and leopard although, to be honest, it is excellent for all wildlife species.
The Khwai River is a deep channel that is home to many hippo pods and elephants come here in large numbers to drink and bathe.
In the Khwai reserve you have the opportunity to explore after dark with spotlights which offers you an opportunity to experience some of the nocturnal animals that are rarely encountered during the day and it is dusk when the carnivores are most active. Sightings include porcupines, leopard, lions, owls, grazing hippos and many more species.
The African Bush at night is dark - very dark. Although your tents and the central mess tent will be well lit a head torch can be a useful addition.
Day 5: Khwai Community Area
With its perennial river, Khwai is an excellent area to see hippos and large Nile crocodiles and is known also for its birds. There is an area of once flooded trees that the elephants have ravaged leaving a tangle of branches and uprooted trunks over a large area. Here is one of the best areas to see leopard as they hunt between the tangle of wood.
Later on today you have the opportunity to enjoy a mokoro ( dug out canoe ) trip along the main river. Your poler is an expert on the area and will help you identify the many birds that feed around the reed beds and it is here that you will see Botswana's famous reed frogs. A tiny but very loud amphibian.
Mokoros - your dug out canoe trip is one of the highlights of the Khwai area. The canoe is very low in the water so you have a real sense of gliding along just a few centimetres from the surface. Just your poler's low voice and the occasional "plop" of the pole in the water breaks the silence.
Day 6: Savuti - Chobe National Park
You leave camp early this morning to drive to the Savuti area of Chobe stopping for a picnic lunch en route. The Savuti Marsh is huge and has several lion prides that call it home. Leopard sightings are generally very good here and large herds of buffalo thrive on the short grass plains. Your new remote camp will be set up by the time you return for sundowners, a hot shower and a delicious meal.
Savuti area - this is the southernmost area of Chobe National Park. It is a geographically varied area of huge open plains which flood at certain times of year creating the marsh and rocky outcrops which are the favourite hunting grounds of leopards.
Day 7: Savuti - Chobe National Park
You have two full days to enjoy this unique area which is known for its big cats. It is here in a time of great drought that the Savuti lions learned to hunt elephant when their usual prey species disappeared.
Large herds of buffalo can be seen grazing on the plains and the open landscape produces spectacular sunsets just right for a sundowner on the way back to camp.
Camping in Savuti - the private, unfenced campsites are some of the loveliest in Botswana. They are stretched out along the Savuti Channel, the waterway that feeds the marsh during the rains. The channel is often dry but is still a haven for wildlife and the elephants in particular come to dig for water in the sand.
Day 8: Savuti - Chobe National Park
Most of your game drives will concentrate on the open plains of the marsh. Two main tracks run each side of plains forming a V and there is a road that links the two at the top. The lion prides that roam this area tend to hunt from the margins and the shrubs along the tracks are worth investigating during the heat of the day when the cats rest up.
Huge baobab trees are favourite "stretch points" in Savuti, with their enormous trunks and branches giving good shade during your coffee break.
Cheetah - the marsh is not only home to lion and leopard but cheetah are sometimes seen hunting the prey species during the day when they have less pressure from lions looking to steal their catch. Look out for a sudden scattering of antelope which often means there is a cheetah on their tail.
Day 9: Chobe River Front
For your last 2 nights you will move on to northern Chobe. Known for its vast herds of elephants and the beautiful Chobe River which is the border between Botswana and Namibia.
Birding in Chobe - along the river the birds in Chobe are spectacular. Beautiful carmine bee-eaters are prolific in this area as well as herons, storks, ibis, and other waterbirds. Fish eagles hunt from the tall trees on the banks and their plaintive cries can be heard throughout the day.
Day 10: Chobe River Front
Following your morning safari you return to camp for lunch before setting off for nearby Kasane. Here you will enjoy a guided boat trip through the Chobe floodplains which is full of grazing buffalo, lechwe, waterbuck and other herbivores. There are many hippo pods in this area and on an overcast day you can find them grazing the rich grasses of the islands. Huge crocodiles are found along these waterways and watching elephant come to drink along the water's edge while you drift quietly by is a unique experience.
Photography from the boat - photographing wildlife from a moving platform is never easy but the opportunity to take low level images across the water is a real bonus. Many kingfishers live and hunt along the banks so keep a look out for them sitting on a prominent perch above the water.
Day 11: End of Itinerary
After a final game drive along the Chobe River you return to Kasane airport where you can either fly home or be met by your new guides for the start of the next part of your safari adventure.