5-Week Namibia, Botswana & Vic Falls Explorer
“An extended and affordable self-drive, camping and mobile safari adventure covering southern & northern Namibia, Botswana & Vic Falls”
“An extended and affordable self-drive, camping and mobile safari adventure covering southern & northern Namibia, Botswana & Vic Falls”
This safari is the perfect trip for adventurous travellers that have the time for an extended tour of the very best that southern Africa has to offer!
It is well suited for travellers that are keen to self-drive and camp in Namibia but prefer to have a guided and fully serviced mobile safari in the wilderness of Botswana. The trip also includes a 3-night stay at a rustic lodge in the Okavango delta, a sleep-out on the Makgadikgadi Pan, as well as a two-night stay at majestic Vic Falls. It really covers it all!
The 5-week route takes you to most of the iconic locations of Namibia, and in Botswana to Chobe, Savuti, Moremi, the Delta and Makgadikgadi, as well as Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe. It is ideal for couples, families and small groups of friends. A sense of adventure, love of a road trip and camping are all that is required for an experience of a lifetime!
The self-drive trip starts with an overnight stop in Windhoek to pick-up a fully equipped 4×4 vehicle, checking to make sure all is good to go and then stocking up on the essential supplies for the trip ahead.
Heading south the next morning the first stop will be the red sand dunes of the Kalahari. From here the trip takes you south-west to the small town of Aus from where the coastal town of Lüderitz, the ghost town Kolmanskop and the Namibia’s wild horses can be experienced.
Then head north through the Namib Desert destination Sossusvlei, the highest free-standing sand dunes in the world! Following the scenic drive from Sossusvlei to Swakopmund will be a certain highlight of the trip. Take a break from camping and stay 2-nights at the magical Desert Breeze on the outskirts of Swakopmund with beautiful views over the desert landscape.
After two relaxing days on the coast it will be time to head north-east towards the Brandberg and Spitzkoppe. Camp a night at the famous Spitzkoppe Campsites and explore all that this region offers, before heading to the World Heritage Site of Twyfelfontein, camping at fabulous Mowani for two nights. Heading further north into Damaraland the next stop is Etendeka Mountain Camp for some R & R and a raw nature experience second to none.
The next section of the trip takes you to Etosha starting in the west, with stops at Olifantsrus and Okaukuejo, both with famous waterholes in front of camp. This will certainly be a wildlife highlight of the trip and spectacular elephant and rhino sightings are guaranteed! Then head east through Etosha covering the eastern section of the Park, exiting late afternoon and staying at close by Onguma Private Reserve for a fabulous night.
The next morning head a little south before turning north-east at Grootfontein towards Rundu on the Kavango River bordering Angola. Follow the road east towards the Caprivi strip and spend a fun night at Ngepi Camp on the river and swim in the famous ‘croc pool’…. Then continue east through the Caprivi strip and do an overnight stop at Chobe River Camp on the Chobe River before crossing the border into Botswana at Ngoma. Handover the vehicle at Kasane Airport and do a road transfer to close by Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe. Spend two adrenaline filled days at Bayete Lodge in Vic Falls.
Transfer back to Kasane Airport in Botswana and get picked up by your guide in an open game viewing vehicle for the next 8 nights on a glorious fully serviced mobile safari traversing the Botswana wilderness. If your group is more than 4 people consider requesting The Beast for those added benefits! The safari will cover the Chobe River front, Savuti and Khwai in the Okavango Delta. This will be a wildlife experience second to none, arguably the best in Africa!
On the last morning of the mobile safari fly over the Delta from Khwai airstrip to Maun, pick up a rental car and head south-east to Planet Baobab on the Makgadikgadi Pan. Stay two nights here, with the last night a quad bike and sleepout adventure on the Pan, a guaranteed highlight of the trip!
The next morning drive back to Maun, drop the vehicle and board a light aircraft for a short flight to Oddballs Camp in the Delta. Spend the last three nights of the tour in this rustic camp from where you can do mokoro trips as well as bush walks, a fitting finale to the tour.
We guarantee that this will ‘frankly’ be one of the best experiences of your life!
1 Night Windhoek Gardens Guesthouse
1 Night Bagatelle Kalahari Game Ranch
1 Night Canyon Roadhouse
2 Nights Klein-Aus Vista Eagle’s Nest
2 Nights NamibRand Family Hideout
2 Nights Sesriem Campsite
2 Nights Desert Breeze Lodge
1 Night Spitzkoppe Campsites
2 Nights Mowani Mountain Camp
2 Nights Etendeka Mountain Camp
1 Night Olifantsrus Camp
1 Night Okaukuejo Camp
1 Night Onguma Etosha Aoba
1 Night Ngepi Camp
1 Night Chobe River Camp
2 Nights Bayete Guest Lodge
2 Nights Chobe River Front Mobile Camp
3 Nights Savuti Mobile Camp
3 Nights Khwai Magotho Mobile Camp
2 Nights Planet Baobab
3 Nights Oddballs Camp
Arrive in Windhoek where you will be met at the airport by the car rental company and transferred to their office for the handover and demonstration of the vehicle and equipment.
Check into your guesthouse for some rest & relaxation and then head out late afternoon for shopping and stocking up on supplies for the trip ahead.
Windhoek Gardens Boutique Hotel is located 5 minutes away from the centre of Windhoek, making it a perfect mix of convenience and practicality. The guesthouse boasts 28 uniquely Namibian themed rooms, every room is equipped with Wi-Fi, a well thought out desk area with plenty of space and power points, air con, a coffee station, a balcony and a mini fridge. All rooms are twin bedded and have en-suite bathrooms. Laundry services are available upon request.
Enjoy homely food with a variety of drinks from the in-house cooks and pub, or head out to Joes’ Beerhouse for a unique Namibian dinner experience……
The next morning head south on the main road, destination the Kalahari and the Bagatelle Game Ranch.
Look forward to the stunning red sand dunes of the Kalahari Desert with its unique flora and fauna and be pampered by the magic of extraordinary ambiance and hospitality. True ‘nature sculptured’ Namibia at its very best!
The stay is at one of the least populated places in the world and you can visit the San Bushmen who live in the Kalahari. Listen to the call of the big cats and be enchanted by the sight of the barren nature and the typical camel thorn trees of the Kalahari. You will be surprised by the abundance of animals in this seemingly life-threatening landscape.
There are five extensively equipped campsites with private toilets and showers for your first night of camping in Namibia. You can cook your own meal or enjoy the great food on offer in the restaurant. The owners truly strive to make your stay with them an unforgettable journey into life in the Kalahari!
After the glorious night in the Kalahari pack up camp and head south west to the second deepest canyon in the world, the Fish River Canyon! A sight to behold.
Arrive at the famous Canyon Roadhouse, which has more than just a fascinating interior to offer. Large attractive rooms, positioned around courtyards, make the Roadhouse a comfortable – and convenient – base when visiting the Fish River Canyon, just 14 kilometres away. The canyon resort has a swimming pool, a campsite, a terrace to enjoy Roadhouse specialities like Amarula cheesecake (and the best cappuccino for miles around!) and a walking trail through the hills.
In the afternoon head out to the canyon, or take a guided excursion to the canyon viewpoints, or drive the 4×4 Wildebeest Route towards Canyon Lodge and Village to view zebra and wildebeest on the grassy plains.
Before sunset set up camp in the well-equipped campsite. Sunset is best appreciated from the hill above the lodge looking out onto the flat-topped Holoog Mountain and the Gondwana Canyon Park.
The following morning pack up camp and head south west towards the coast and the small town of Aus, which is the ideal base to explore the coastal town of Lüderitz, the ghost town of Kolmanskop and to see the wild horses of Namibia.
Stay two-nights at the glorious Klein-Aus Vista Eagles Nest self-catering chalets. A mere seven-kilometre drive from the Klein Aus Desert Horse Inn, the Eagle’s Nest chalets are private self-catering retreats, each built individually, combining natural elements and boulders into their interiors in a rustic and luxurious blend. You may just want to stay here forever…
Choose whether to cook in the kitchen, on the fire, or to eat in the Desert Horse Inn restaurant, where take-away breakfast or barbecue packs are also available on request. Eagle’s Nest is an attractive base for those who appreciate boundless space, choices, a sense of the land, privacy, innovation, the out-of-the-ordinary and the spectacular!
Lüderitz is just 120 km away and the ghost town of Kolmanskop only 115 km (tar road). Klein-Aus Vista is the ideal starting point for a trip to both places. Twenty km from Aus, on the way to or back from Lüderitz, visit the Garub waterhole where the wild horses and several other animals of the desert plains can be found. The Wild Horses of the Namib have roamed this harsh habitat since 1915 and are an experience one should not miss.
After a scrumptious Namib breakfast leave Aus behind and head north through the truly spectacular Namib Desert. There are numerous places along the way to stop and take in the vast space that is the Namib, and desert animals such as springbok and oryx can be spotted along the way. Head towards the NamibRand reserve and the Family Hideout for a fabulous two-night camping stay.
This deserted and converted home of Karakul sheep farmers on the farm Stellarine is today known as the NamibRand Family Hideout. It is remotely situated in south-western Namibia, on the NamibRand Nature Reserve one of Southern Africa’s largest private nature reserves.
In 2010 and again in 2015 the owners added an exclusive campsite to their accommodation offerings. Campsite Orion and Campsite Venus are each nestled into the dunes, out of sight and earshot of each other, with a waterhole for animals and birds. Here guests are truly alone with nature but have modern camping facilities such as flush toilets and solar-heated hot showers. The views are stunning. Ample shade is provided for protection from the Namibian sun, and canvas roller blinds for wind protection.
Campsite Jupiter, opened in March 2019, located in its own private dune valley, has the same facilities as the other two campsites, but in addition has an enlarged wooden deck with a roof and wind protection, charging station for all your devices, and has a drinking waterhole for animals.
Enjoy the spectacular views over the vast plains and ancient blue mountain ranges, or one of the activities on offer (e.g. 4×4 dune drives or educational walks with the qualified guide) into the glowing red dunes for a close encounter with the fascinating variety of Namib Desert fauna and flora. The kids will love the dune-boarding and endless open spaces or chasing after beetles and lizards scuttling over the sand dunes.
A small waterhole just 50m from the veranda of the farmhouse attracts a myriad of birdlife as well as oryx, springbok, zebra, bat-eared fox, porcupines and other wildlife. Giraffe may also be seen, if you’re lucky!
The exceptional surroundings and clarity of the air provide endless opportunities for photography by day and stargazing by night.
You probably wouldn’t want to leave the NamibRand but it will be time for one of the highlights of the trip, the dunes of Sossusvlei!
Sesriem Campsite is in the heart of the Namib Naukluft Reserve and it is the gateway to the highest free-standing sand dunes in the world! The campsite is the only camping available inside the park gates giving it unique access to Sossusvlei and the Namib desert as the exterior gate opens one hour after the camping site gate. This privilege ensures that campers at the Sesriem campsites are deep into the desert to watch the sunrise long before the crowds arrive.
Sesriem has been upgraded and offers a tranquil setting on the edge of the Namib. You can view the dunes and beautiful landscapes from your campsite. The campsites are far apart and offer shared ablutions. The campsites are around Camelthorn trees to provide some shelter during your stay in the camp. There is a restaurant and bar and a shop to stock up on supplies. A swimming pool at the centre of the camp allows you to cool off and relax in the midday heat and the bar serves cold drinks.
Sesriem camp is very popular and has 44 campsites each with a designated camping area under the Camelthorn trees. Sossusvlei and Deadvlei are 60 km from the campsite. We recommend rising early and drive towards Sossusvlei to view the sunrise over the Namib dunes. The colours of the Namib Desert especially early morning and late afternoon is spectacular.
At the entry to Sossusvlei is Sesriem Canyon, where centuries of erosion have incised a narrow gorge about 1 km in length. At the foot of the gorge, which plunges down to 30 to 40 metres, are pools that become replenished after good rains. Also a must do while at Sesriem.
Today you will drive from Sossusvlei to the coastal town of Swakopmund with its palm fringed streets, cafes and fabulous restaurants.
The drive is nothing short of spectacular and takes you past Solitaire and through the Guab and Kuiseb Passes. You would probably want to stop around every corner to appreciate the next jaw dropping view! It is however a long day, so just keep an eye on the watch and the distance to go…….
Check into the Desert Breeze, a lodge with a spectacular location providing peace and tranquillity with stunning views across the desert landscape on the outskirts of a bustling Swakopmund. Spend two nights here in a room taking a well-deserved break from camping.
Activities around Swakopmund include tours to the coast and the desert and vary from dune boarding, guided nature walks or quad biking, to boat cruises in search of whales and other marine life, or day trips to Sandwich Harbour. The fabulous restaurants of Swakopmund are just a short drive away for a ‘night on the town’ for travellers that have been in the desert for a while…
Today you will head north east and drive to Spitzkoppe, which is one of the most beautiful areas in Namibia, consisting of imposing granite rock formations set on the plains!
Here you can walk in the area and climb up to Bushman’s Paradise, a small basin tucked between the domes of rock, where you can view the rock paintings done by Bushman of the past and gaze at the amazing view. The Spitzkoppe is known to contain at least 37 rock art sites and test excavations at one of these revealed a well-preserved archaeological sequence spanning the last 4000 years.
Camping at Spitzkoppe is world famous! A mountain oasis in the Namib desert, with unique oversized boulders and secret caves, allows the visitor to camp in complete peace and tranquillity. With the majestic Namibian “Matterhorn” as backdrop, and with the next camping site kilometres away, each visitor “owns” the mountain during his time here.
The camp has revamped the restaurant area and added a new ‘lapa’ area all with a ‘shebeen’ themed décor. They are serving breakfast, lunch and dinner. It is also the best spot for the perfect SUNDOWNER with comfortable seats and hammocks!
Sunsets are spectacular, but only when night falls you are reminded what that over used word ‘awesome’ truly means. Living in a city and have forgotten the unearthly potential that stars embody. At Spitzkoppe, they stretch from horizon to horizon, shimmering in the dry air, unfettered by light pollution or air pollution.
Today you head further north into Damaraland towards the World Heritage site of Twyfelfontein and stay for two-nights at the campsite of Mowani Mountain Camp, one of our favourite lodges in Namibia!
Between the Ugab and Huab Rivers in southern Damaraland and in the midst of dusty and stunning landscapes lies the sanctuary called Mowani Mountain Camp. Surrounded by massive ochre boulders and fascinating geological formations, the camp perfectly blends in with its wild surroundings.
The lodge owns a nearby campsite hidden amongst the giant boulders of Damaraland, where you’ll find the seven private campsites. Away from the main lodge, as you’d want, secluded, private and serene. Immersed in nature and by the surrounds that make this area what it is (rugged, arid and bare) the campsites are what you’d expect in the middle of nowhere. A spot to park the car and pitch the tent, a basin and wash up area, a cooking area (over fire), a shaded seating area and an open-air bathroom. Enjoy the ground beneath your feet, surrounded by nature. Add the endless view out over the Damaraland landscape and the quiet of being far from much else and you have found yourself a suitable place to call ‘home’ for the night.
Activities in the area are self-guided nature walks and nature drives in search for the desert adapted elephants and other wildlife. Visit the sights of Twyfelfontein: Burnt Mountain, Organ Pipes and rock engravings. For a hint of culture, visit the Damara Living Museum just down the road. A cultural look into the lives of the local people of the area and how they lived in days gone by.
After the nights of camping some luxury awaits, with a two-night stay at the fabulous Etendeka Mountain Camp!
So, head further north towards Palmwag turning east towards the Grootberg just past Palmwag. The basalt formations and mountains created by ancient lava flows that surround Etendeka Mountain Camp provide dramatic views and an almost surreal landscape that you will probably never get tired of.
Ten discreet Meru tents are cleverly embedded in the nature around the main building of the solar-powered camp. The focus here is on environmentally friendly accommodations that respect nature and allow guests to access the pristine environment.
Etendeka Mountain Camp is all about experiencing nature, so it offers various leisure activities to explore the surrounding nature and animal kingdom. Your days here are spent exploring the area on foot and in open game drive vehicles with the exceptionally knowledgeable guides. Safaris are not fast paced, but rather a privileged introduction to an environment that holds many of Namibia’s unique natural attractions.
Leaving the remote north-west of Namibia behind, today you will head mostly east towards the western side of Etosha National Park. Enter the Park at the Galton Gate and drive through the Park towards the east covering the less visited western section of the Park. There are a number of fantastic waterholes along the way where you are likely to see large numbers of animals come to drink, including elephant and rhino.
Continue east until you reach your overnight stop Olifantsrus Camp, with what some describe as one of the “greatest wildlife observation hides in southern Africa!”
Olifantsrus is Etosha’s newest camp and the first accommodation option in the park to offer a camping only experience. Situated in the wilder, more remote and previously less-utilized western section of the park, Olifantsrus is approximately 60kms from Galton Gate, 130kms from Okaukuejo and 50kms from Dolomite Camp.
Rare and shy species such as black rhino and black-faced impala are well-established in this quieter part of the park. Significantly, there are numerous waterholes around Olifantsrus Camp, which means its excellent for game viewing.
Aside from a rawer bush experience, Olifantsrus offers unrivalled access to a magnificent state of the art double story hide overlooking a manmade waterhole that has become particularly popular with elephants, hence the camp’s name (which translates as ‘Elephant’s Rest’).
Guests can get up-close to the animals because the hide overlooks the waterhole. The hide offers a safe game viewing opportunity in a second story hut with glass windows, perfect for cold or windy weather. Getting to the hide is easy as there’s a wooden walkway that takes you to your campsite.
In short, Olifantsrus has everything a dedicated camper is looking for, you will love it here!
The next morning continue to drive east through the park covering the 130 km to Okaukuejo Camp.
This a fantastic drive through Etosha and some of the most famous waterholes are along your way. Take your time and make a full day trip of this, stopping frequently at the waterholes. If you are lucky you might just get that once in a lifetime photo with 8 or more species of large mammals in one photo!
Famous for its floodlit waterhole Okaukuejo Rest Camp is also the administrative centre of Etosha. Most visitors travel though this camp with its characteristic stone tower and Etosha Ecological Institute is also situated within the camp.
Accommodation is provided to suit every need, in premier bush chalets overlooking the waterhole, bush chalets and double rooms, or family chalets. Other facilities include a restaurant, bar, shop, swimming pool, kiosk and camping facilities.
After sunset floodlights illuminate the waterhole. This is the best time and place to see the endangered black rhino. This archaic mammal can often be seen drinking alongside lion and elephant. The number and interaction of the animals is the major drawcard of Okaukuejo Camp. Many visitors spend long hours at night watching the spectacle in anticipation of what will happen next, just one of the best experiences in Africa! It is not uncommon to have eight or more rhino at the waterhole at the same time, not to mention large herds of elephant.
The camp can be busy at times, but it is located inside the Park in a great location and the floodlit waterhole is a once in a lifetime experience not to be missed!
Today you will continue to drive east through Etosha along the myriad of small roads, waterholes and the Pan itself.
You have a good chance to see the famous ‘white elephants’ of Etosha along the way. Do a stopover at Halali Camp and continue east making sure to exit the Park before the gate closes at sunset.
Then do the short drive to Onguma Private Reserve bordering the Park, for an overnight stay at this oasis. At Onguma you have a number of accommodation options from two different campsites to choose from or treat yourself and stay at the fabulous Onguma Etosha Aoba or Onguma Tree Top. Camping or lodge stay, either way this is a great spot to just take it easy and relax after the long days of driving.
If you are going to treat yourself, we recommend Onguma Tree Camp, which is for everyone who would like to truly experience the bush in all its raw splendour. A place where giraffe, zebra, lion, and many other species of antelope come to quench their thirst. The camp is built on wooden stilts amongst the treetops with full views over one of the most beautiful watering holes on Onguma Game Reserve. The Camp consists of 4 thatched rooms with canvas walls, a deck overlooking the waterhole, a lounge, dining room and interactive kitchen.
Onguma Reserve is inhabited by a diversity of around thirty different mammal species such as kudu, giraffe, eland, oryx, zebra, as well as predators such as lion, cheetah and leopard. The latest addition to the already abundant wildlife at Onguma Game Reserve is a family of black rhinos!
You probably won’t want to leave Onguma but it will be time to head east towards the Caprivi and beyond for the next adventure!
So, from Onguma head a little south-east via Tsumeb and Grootfontein, before turning north-east and driving to the town of Rundu on the Kavango River the border with Angola. At Rundu you will turn and drive straight east towards the Caprivi strip. Spend the night at one of the funkiest and most fun campsites in Namibia, Ngepi Camp!
Ngepi (hello) Camp is set on an island under amazing trees with permanent river frontage and surrounded by seasonally flooded swamps. It is a paradise of flooded plains and secret swampy backwaters, teaming with wildlife, as it is nestled between Mahango National park, a few km’s to the south, and Bwabwata National Park directly opposite across the river.
The Camp offers Tree Houses, Family Bush Huts and Campsites. The Camps’ main area has a bar, restaurant, dining area and curio shops and guests can cool off in the unique ‘floating swimming pool’ in the river.
The award-winning Campsites are along the river’s edge, with a grassed camping area and an adjacent parking space for vehicles, trailers and caravans. Take the tour of Ngepi’s world famous funky ablutions – a selection of very unique outdoor showers and toilets!
Ngepi offers the best in adventure and relaxation for everyone such as a Namibian delta experience, sunset & sunrise boat cruises, fishing, mokoro trips, Dragon river rafting, guided nature and village walks, game drives or just relax in the world famous “Croc Pool”!
Today you will drive through the Caprivi strip west to east, around 350 km’s. Take it easy and stopover for as breezy lunch on the Zambezi River at Katima Mulilo.
Then continue on east towards the Botswana border post at Ngoma. However, just before crossing the Chobe River turn left and head to Chobe River Camp for your last night in Namibia. Check in a tent at this fabulous camp in time for a late afternoon boat cruise on the Chobe River.
Chobe River Camp’s location is spectacular, as this peaceful patch of wilderness is a lush home to all kinds of game, but especially to the largest elephant population in Africa just across the river.
The camp has been built discreetly and ecologically right on the banks of the river and the comfortable tent chalets, built on stilts, face the river. Thus the view from the private veranda is an indescribable sight every morning. Each chalet is equipped with a comfortable double bed and attached mosquito nets. The tent walls can be partially opened so that nature can be observed from the bed. Each tent also has its own bathroom with shower and toilet. Extra tents with a third sleeping possibility are available for families.
The main terrace, which houses the breakfast area, a small lounge area and the bar, also offers an equally spectacular view of the river and the wild animals roaming around it. In addition to the camp’s swimming pool, daily game drives and game viewing tours by boat make for an unforgettable stay. It is furthermore possible to participate in guided hikes, bird-watching excursions and canoe trips.
Also use the stay at the Camp to unpack, clean and prepare the vehicle for handover tomorrow in Kasane.
This morning do the short drive to the Ngoma border post and say goodbye to Namibia as you cross into Botswana!
Continue on the tar road to Kasane about an hour away. Stop at the Kasane International Airport where the vehicle rental company will meet you and do the handover procedure. It is time to say goodbye to your trusted 4×4 which will have been ‘home’ for the last 3 weeks…. have a coffee at the airport café from where you will be picked up for the hour and half road transfer to Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe.
Settle in at Bayete Lodge in Vic Falls home for the next two-nights, in time for a late afternoon boat cruise on the majestic Zambezi River!
Bayete Guest Lodge offers comfortable and affordable accommodation in the heart of the Victoria Falls residential area. It is situated 3km from Victoria Falls Town, and 22km from Victoria Falls International Airport. It is family owned and operated and offers 25 rooms that are set in a lush tropical garden. Central to the lodge is the large teardrop swimming pool, which is hugged by the Caldecott Dining Boma and the Ingwezi Tavern. The Ingwezi Tavern, steeped in history and character, is central to the communal area where guests are able to gather, have refreshments and socialize.
Lodge management are also able to book all of your Victoria Falls transfers and activities. Activities to get the heart racing range from the world-famous bungee jump and gorge swing, to canoeing and some of the best white water rafting on earth. Or if you’d prefer to admire the majestic Falls from above you may like to treat yourself to a micro-light / helicopter flight.
While in town ensure you make time to enjoy a meal at either the River Café, Three Monkey Café, the Zambezi House restaurant on the river, or be sure to watch the sun set on a dinner river cruise on the Boathouse. On the last night consider dining at the Boma for a great African cuisine experience.
Note: If you would like to do white-water rafting, or swim in the Devil’s Pool on the Zambia side, a 3-night stay at Victoria Falls is recommended.
This morning you will do a road transfer back to Kasane where you will again be dropped off at the Kasane airport before lunch.
Today is the BIG day and the start of the small group serviced mobile safari through the Botswana wilderness, the highlight of the whole trip! The safari that you will join is the Botswana Explorer- 8 Night Mobile Safari.
Your guide will pick you up around lunch time at the Kasane Airport and you will head out in an open game viewing vehicle into Chobe National Park. He will do a leisurely drive along the Chobe River towards Camp arriving late in the afternoon.
The approach into Camp takes you along the Chobe River front, where depending on the season; thousands of zebra, buffalo and other wildlife can be seen grazing along the floodplains. There is good sable antelope, roan antelope and great birdlife along the river and the adjacent teak woodland. There is also a rare antelope here only seen in Chobe called puku.
After your arrival, and introduction to the crew in Camp, your guide will give a thorough briefing on safety. It is important that you pay attention to all of the safety briefing and adhere to these safety precautions at all times while you are on safari. Afterwards, you will be showed the workings of your accommodations and it will be time for a chilled drink and a hot bucket shower, followed by a delicious three course dinner, and a nightcap by the fire.
After morning breakfast, you set off on an early morning drive along the Chobe River in a north easterly direction towards Kasane town. Chobe wildlife, including Cape buffalo is drawn to the river in the afternoons and stays on to graze on sweet grasses along the river at night, leaving the floodplains in the morning after sunrise. Chobe lions are very often seen in tow behind the buffalo, looking for an opportunity or weakness.
You will have brunch at The Old House in the town of Kasane. At noon walk onto the jetty to start a 3-hour boat cruise on the Chobe River, before returning to Camp by road, arriving at sunset. The sundowner is in Camp, then a hot bucket shower before dinner.
Accommodations: Chobe River Front Mobile Camp
Today you will do the transfer from the Chobe River south towards Savuti in the central area of Chobe National Park. It is a long day of 4×4 driving in some thick sand in the open game viewing vehicle, but it will be exciting as this is where it gets REAL wild!
So, after the early morning breakfast, you head out for the last game viewing along the Chobe River towards the west exiting Chobe NP at Ngoma Gate. You will then leisurely head south towards Savuti, with a picnic lunch along the way. The route takes you towards Ghoga Hills Gate re-entry into Chobe NP and along the way you drive through the Chobe Enclave area that has small villages of Kachikau, Kavimba and Mabele followed by a drive through Teak woodland.
After a picnic lunch, you arrive in the greater Savuti area early afternoon. You may just have enough time to drive past some of Savuti’s famous waterholes. Many elephant, roan antelope, zebra, wildebeest, warthog, giraffe, tsessebe, ostrich, impala are seen at these waterholes daily. It is not a surprise that lions, hyenas and occasionally leopard are seen here too. Hundreds of Burchell’s sandgrouse arrive at these waterholes every afternoon to drink and collect water to carry to their chicks’ tens of kilometres away.
Your will arrive in Camp late afternoon. A drink in Camp and an early shower is followed by a delicious dinner cooked over open fire. A night cap is a norm by the fire while recapping the day’s sightings.
The next day after the early morning breakfast, you set off into Savuti to catch up with the Savuti predator life.
The Savuti lions have been a subject of many documentaries because of their unique skill of hunting elephant. They are a regular sighting at Savuti waterholes. There are two prides in Savuti with the Northern Pride at Harvey’s Pan and Pump Pan area, and the bigger Marsh Pride at Marabou Pan, Rhino Vlei and Jackal Island. The other predators usually skirt around these two lion prides, while hyenas compete directly with them for food. You return to Camp late morning to a hearty brunch, followed by some down time in Camp.
The afternoon game drive starts after the afternoon tea. Most of the wildlife particularly elephant visit the waterholes later in the day when it is hottest. The afternoon game drives will inevitably stop by one or two of the waterholes to enjoy the interactions of the different species including predators sometimes. You return to Camp for a shower and dinner just after sunset.
The following day again after morning breakfast, you set off to get more into the Savuti wildlife.
The beauty of a 3-night stay in a place like Savuti, is that it allows more time to follow up on some of the activity seen the day before. An early visit to Savuti waterholes is always rewarding particularly with the Savuti predators. You get back to camp late morning. After brunch you can read a book, shower or catch up with much needed sleep.
The afternoon drive starts after afternoon tea, and ends at sunset with a Gin & Tonic, while enjoying the rich colours of the African sun setting behind the Sand Ridge. You arrive back in Camp for a hot bucket shower and an exquisite three course dinner.
Accommodations: Savuti Mobile Camp
Today it is ‘transfer day’ again as you will leave the Savuti area heading south-west towards the Okavango Delta.
So, after the early morning breakfast, you head out for game viewing along the Savuti Marsh and later leisurely cruise to the Khwai Concession area, with a picnic lunch along the way. The transit to Khwai takes you through the Mababe Depression, once part of a gigantic lake that spread across northern Botswana. The sweet grasses of the depression are much sought after by grazing species like buffalo, zebra and wildebeest. But there are many other types of wildlife encountered daily on this route.
You will arrive into Khwai Mobile Camp late afternoon in time in time for a sunset drink on the Khwai River followed by a hot shower, another delicious dinner and time around the campfire to discuss the events of the day with your fellow travellers.
The next day after morning breakfast, you set off for a morning game drive, which takes you along the Khwai River and its floodplains looking for lion, leopard and hunting wild dogs.
African rivers have resident species like hippopotamus, crocodiles and great birdlife. They are also a draw for thirsty wildlife, which in turn attracts predator life. The other species seen here are red lechwe, common reedbuck, waterbuck, giraffe, impala, herds of Cape buffalo, elephant, sable antelope, black backed and side striped jackal, zebra and wildebeest. There is a good chance of lessor jacana, the rare Pel’s fishing owl, saddle billed stork, wattled crane, malachite kingfisher, red-billed and hottentot teal at Leopard Lagoon.
After the afternoon tea, you head off for the afternoon game drive, normally in a different direction to the morning activity. This activity can include a short hike/game walk before returning to the vehicle for a sundowner, which is usually by the river while watching wildlife drinking. You will arrive in camp for a hot bucket shower and a delicious three course dinner. A night game drive may follow before sleep time. But this is an optional activity for those that are interested….
The Khwai river front, Matswere area, Leopard Lagoon, Lechwe plains, Sable Alley and the Chobe boundary area offer a lot to be seen. Much of the Khwai wildlife roams between these habitats, and after the morning breakfast you will be heading into some of these areas to find good wildlife. You will head back to Camp late morning to a delicious brunch before settling in camp for some downtime and a shower.
After afternoon tea, you are off for an afternoon game drive and a sundowner by the river watching hippopotami getting ready to head out for their nightly feed. You drive back to Camp much later than normal, with a spotlight to catch some of the nightly wildlife coming out.
Accommodations: Khwai Magotho Mobile Camp
Today will be the end of the mobile safari and time to say goodbye to the Camp crew and your guide!
Your guide will do a slow game drive from Camp to the Khwai airstrip where you will board a light aircraft for your flight over the Delta to Maun. The flight is another great experience and the Delta from the air is a sight to behold, especially in winter when it is flooding.
On arrival at Maun Airport late morning, head to Avis or one of the other car rental companies and pick up a rental car for the next few days. Then do a lunch at Marc’s eatery which is fantastic and will not disappoint!
In the early afternoon head out of Maun due east towards the Makgadikgadi Pan, destination Planet Baobab. The drive is on a tar road and will take around 3 hours. On arrival check into a traditional hut and enjoy a cool drink and dinner around the Baobab trees in camp.
Planet Baobab is a unique and quirky lodge set just off the main road from Maun to Kasane. The lodge is spread out in an area dotted with many Baobab trees, of which most are more than a thousand years old. The area is close to the northern edge of the Makgadikgadi Salt Pans which are the major attraction.
The accommodation on offer includes 18 comfortable thatched huts of which three are family rooms. They are all spread out amongst the Baobabs and contain en-suite bathrooms. The main area contains a large stylish bar with ice cold beverages and an a la carte menu for meals. There is also an amazingly cool and large swimming pool providing a welcome retreat from the warm days.
The next morning take it easy and use the Wi-Fi to catch up with friends and family. After lunch you will be driven out onto the edge of the Pan where you will be allocated your quad bike for the trip out onto the Pan. You will also stop for a fantastic experience with the habituated meerkat colony on the edge of the Pan. The quad bike drive onto the Pan is an incredible experience as you drive out until all that you can see in all directions is just the white of the Pan!
On arrival at the mobile camp on the Pan have a G&T and dinner around the fire, before grabbing your bedroll (very comfy and warm!) and ‘walking away a bit’ onto the vast expanse and setting up for the night. The sleep under the stars with nothing around you as far as the eye can see is just magic, a once in a lifetime experience!
Wake up the to the sunrise the next morning and after a hearty breakfast head back to Planet Baobab for a shower before driving back to Maun.
On arrival in Maun drop the vehicle and at the airport, board a light plane flight to Oddballs in the Delta. This is a 30 min flight and again the Delta from the air will be very special. On arrival the guide will await you at the airstrip and transfer you to Oddballs which will be home for the next 3 nights, the last stop of the tour.
Oddballs is a simplistic but comfortable bush camp, consisting of 15 dome tents set on elevated wooden decks each with their own bush en-suite. The main lodge is built into the tree line, seamlessly blending with the natural setting. The overall structure is open offering views from wherever you are positioned, this camp is all about the wildlife experience! The viewing deck and fire pit are always a popular spot to relax and share stories of the day’s adventures.
The activities on offer are one of the main attractions of Oddballs, walking and mokoro (wooden dugout canoe) safaris with a local guide will offer a rare and experience as you venture deep into the Delta and into the African wilderness. Picnics and overnight expeditions can also be arranged. This camp is not for everyone but ideal for those wanting an adventure filled safari, one of our favourites!
On the last morning do the short flight back to Maun in time for your international connection home, after what would have been a truly fantastic experience, Africa at its very BEST!
Contact safariFRANK to get started on your safari of a lifetime!