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Spectacular Botswana Ride – 8 Nights Okavango Delta & Kalahari Desert

This 9-day ride combines the most spectacular areas of Botswana - the Okavango Delta and the Kalahari Desert.

Price $6340 USD
Country
Botswana
When to Go
All Year
Duration
8 Nights
Safari Type
Mobile Safari
Location
Makgadikgadi Pans, Okavango Delta

This is the ultimate horseback safari experience. Experience the overflowing life of the Okavango Delta and the contrasting, spectacular Kalahari Desert on horseback and get an intense insight into the wilderness of Botswana like no other safari.

This 9 day ride through Botswana combines two most fantastic and contrasting region Botswana has to offer – the Okavango Delta and the Kalahari Desert.

The Okavango Delta is a true paradise, especially when you explore it on horseback. While the flood plains are difficult if not impossible to reach by vehicle, by horseback you will access untouched corners of the Delta where no one else can go, and will experience an abundance of wildlife that is especially peaceful to observe on horseback.
During this safari, the camp will be mobile so it can be transported from one place to another by mokoros, traditional wooden boats, and set up and taken down quickly.

The emphasis is on the experience, the beauty of the Okavango and first class guiding. The riding and horses are fabulous, the wildlife is incredible and the food, cooked over a fire, is fantastic.

The Okavango Delta is a unique ecosystem, in the middle of the largest continuous sand area in the world – the Kalahari Desert.
This marshland is an oasis for all creatures in this otherwise hostile region, and therefore boasts an unimaginable diversity of life. In fact, this combination of wide plains, grasslands, forests, swamps and lagoons harbors the highest concentration of wildlife in all of Africa.
This ecosystem is a true wonder of the world and one of the wildest and most beautiful places on earth. It is not for nothing that it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.  

The second part of the safari will take place in the Kalahari Desert on the edge of the Makgadikgadi Pans, which enchants with a completely opposite charm.

Camp Kalahari is located amidst the acacia and mokolwane palms of Brown Hyaena Island, on the edge of the Makgadikgadi pans, adjacent to the Makgadikgadi Nxai Pans National Park.
You can get here either by classic safari vehicle or by light aircraft from Maun.

 The Makgadikgadi Pans are unimaginably vast expanses of pristine white landscape that stretch as far as the eye can see. In fact, the area was originally larger than Switzerland and a huge lake fed by many small rivers.
Today this lake has dried up, but during the rainy season life returns abruptly when over 75,000 zebras and wildebeests migrate to this region, followed by lions, cheetahs and other predatory cats. Hundreds of thousands of flamingos and other species such as meerkats and the brown hyena can then be found in the Makgadikgadi pans.

Itinerary in Brief

Depending on the time of year this safari will consist either of 5 Nights Kalahari/ 3 Nights Okavango (approx. Jan – Mid April)

or

5 Nights Okavango / 3 Nights Kalahari (approx. mid April – November).

Safari Rating

adventure
wilderness
wildlife
comfort
photographic
guiding

highlights

  • A combination of the most beautiful and contrasting regions of Botswana
  • Experienced and safe horses
  • Splashy gallops through the delta
  • Quad tour through the Makgadikgadi salt pans
  • Visit the meerkats in the Kalahari

map and overview

Depending on the season:

(mid April – November)

  • 5 nights in a mobile camp in the Okavango Delta
  • 3 nights at Camp Kalahari in the Makgadikgadi Pans

or

(January – mid April):

  • 3 nights at mobile camp in the Okavango Delta
  • 5 nights at Camp Kalahari in the Makgadikgadi Pans

start dates

5 July 2022 - 13 July 2022
23 August 2022 - 31 August 2022
6 September 2022 - 14 September 2022
20 September 2022 - 28 September 2022
7 October 2022 - 15 October 2022
22 November 2022 - 30 November 2022

suitable for

The ride is only suitable for intermediate to experienced riders. Children are accepted with the condition that they are extremely competent riders. There is a reduced rate for children.

Children are defined as 18 and under.

detailed itinerary

Day 1: Arrival

You land at the small airport of Maun. From here it is only a 30 minute drive to the southern end of the Okavango where the safari begins. The actual delta is marked off by the “buffalo fence” and here the horses are waiting for you.

Your luggage will be transported to the camp by mokoros or pack mules while you mount up and venture into the unknown on horseback!

Day 2 - 5: Experience the Okavango Delta

A typical day begins with an early wake-up call and a light breakfast around the campfire as dawn breaks. 

Then it’s off to the horses for the first ride of the day, which will last all morning. You will follow old elephant trails, keep an eye out for the unimaginable variety of wildlife, enjoy the abundant birdlife and gallop through the recently flooded plains.
There may be herds of buffalo nearby, giraffes strolling by, and red lechwe grazing in the water beside you while kudus hide in the thickets. 

Towards noon you return to camp where you can relax in the cool shade of the huge jackalberry or leadwood trees during the hottest part of the day and enjoy a delicious lunch.

 On the afternoon you will depart for the second ride of the day, during which you can take in the tranquility of the Okavango Delta and admire a fantastic sunset.
Dinner will be under the stars.

Occasionally you or the horses may wish to rest, in which case a quiet ride in a mokoro awaits, the traditional way to observe this wonderful waterscape.

Or you may venture out on foot in search of the smaller animals that inhabit the bush and get some interesting insights into the art of tracking before enjoying the African sunset.

Day 6: Journey to the Kalahari

This day starts leisurely. After breakfast you will be driven back to the edge of the Delta, from where a safari vehicle will take you back to Maun. From here you have the choice of flying by light aircraft to the Makgadikgadi salt pans (50 minutes) or traveling by vehicle (3 hours) to the beautiful Camp Kalahari.

Once at the camp, you will have time to cool off in the swimming pool or enjoy a siesta in the thatched pavilion.

After tea in the beautiful afternoon light, you will set out on an introductory ride – primarily to match horse and rider, but also to learn about the beauty of this magical area.
At sunset you return to camp, have dinner and bring the horses back to the nearby kraal before the lions of the Kalahari begin their nightly forays.

Day 7: Ride through the Makgadikgadi Salt Pans

After rising with the dawn and having a light breakfast, a long morning ride through the “land of a thousand islands” follows. These palm-covered sand dunes lie on what was once a lake bed and are one of the most beautiful and fascinating areas in the Botswana wilderness. At the height of migration, the islands and adjacent grasslands are awash with zebra, wildebeest, springbok and ostrich – and of course the predators that go with them!

Return to the cam for lunch and recover from the heat of the day in the shade of the camel thorn trees or cool off in the camp’s swimming pool.

After tea, head out by vehicle in search of the elusive brown hyena. These consummate desert specialists survive in arid areas where both food and water are scarce. Enjoy a night game drive back to camp, using a spotlight to keep an eye out for nocturnal desert creatures such as aardvarks, bat-eared foxes, aardwolves, porcupines, honey badgers, and perhaps even a black-maned Kalahari lion.

Return to Camp Kalahari in time for dinner.

Day 8: Visit the meerkats

After waking up with a steaming cup of coffee and a light breakfast, we will set out to find the Kalahari’s most fascinating inhabitants, the meerkats, and make our way on foot to the center of the group. Thanks to an ongoing acclimation program by Uncharted Africa Safari Co, we are able to get up close and personal with these fascinating animals.
By spending lots of time with these incredibly social, superbly adapted animals, you can see how they interact with each other and their environment. As the day gets warmer, let the meerkats forage for food.

You will return to camp again for lunch. 

In the late afternoon, you set out on a quad bike for one of the greatest adventures imaginable – a ride into the middle of the old lakebed (you can’t do this on horseback). At the end, all you can see is the vast plain stretching in all directions. Watch the sun set and the stars rise.

This is one of the few places in the world where the silence is so perfect that you can hear the blood circulating in your ears. Far and wide, apart from the ground and the sky, there is no visual stimulus whatsoever, and you quickly lose yourself in the vastness of the 16,000 square kilometers.

Day 9: Zu/'hoasi people

Uncharted Africa Safari Co has worked closely with the Zu/’hoasi people of the Western Kalahari for many years and has the privilege of working with Bushmen, women, men and children spanning four generations.
Through this initiative, the community is able to work together and share their knowledge with each other and with guests, allowing the older generation to pass on their knowledge to the next generation.

After breakfast, you will ride through the bush to a traditionally built Bushman village where the community gathers during the day. The huts provide shelter from the harsh Kalahari environment, but are not the community’s permanent home.
A two-hour walk with these extraordinary people will provide a gentle introduction to the Kalahari and the Bushman way of life. The group will point out the special ecological features of this area and its animal and bird species. At the end of the walk, mount up and ride back to camp in time for your road or air transfer back to Maun.

accommodation

The first 5 days are spent in a mobile camp in the Okavango Delta. The camp is extremely comfortable in lightweight tents with standing height, fully equipped beds, bucket showers and toilets. There are no vehicles and this along with working with the local community provides a truly “green” experience. This is one of the most environmentally friendly safaris around.

 For the remaining days, Camp Kalahari on the edge of the Makgadikgadi salt pans, adjacent to the Makgadikgadi Nxai Pans National Park will be your home. It is set amidst the acacia and mokolwane palms of Brown Hyaena Island.

A thatched central library, living and dining areas with a colorful mix of original African furniture and textiles, paired with traditional campaign-style pieces and colonial antiques, are the perfect place to relax and enjoy the serenity of this enchanting area.

Cool off in the swimming pool or enjoy a siesta in the thatched gazebo!

price

6,340.00 USD per person sharing. 

Price includes:

  • Lodging
  • All meals
  • All rides
  • Airport transfer (there is a 100% surcharge on the quoted road transfer for single travellers. This is waived if there are other travellers on the road transfer)

Not included in the price:

  • Flights
  • Visas
  • Insurances
  • Tips

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