Wilderness Dawning offers two very good overland safaris through northern Botswana for the more budget conscious traveller. This 11-day / 10-night Botswana safari will take us to some of Botswana’s best-known safari destinations, as well as some hidden gems. Come experience Victoria falls and beautiful Botswana!
Arrive at Victoria Falls Airport. Upon arrival, you will be met and assisted by our guide who will transfer you to your accommodation for your 3-night stay on a bed and breakfast basis.
Activities while in Victoria Falls will include A guided walking tour of the magnificent Victoria Falls, a group dinner at the award-winning Palm Restaurant, and a breakfast cruise along the Zambezi River on the Ra-Ikane River Cruiser!
The balance of our time here will be spent at leisure, which gives you ample time to explore the town of Victoria Falls or to enjoy a self-booked itinerary (recommended is a helicopter ride over the falls)!
In the morning you are met and transferred to Chobe Bakwena Lodge (or similar) where you spend 2 nights in the Chobe Riverfront on a fully inclusive basis. Flight time permitting you will enjoy an afternoon game drive into Chobe National Park on arrival and the following day a Chobe River Cruise and game drive into the park again.
The Chobe Riverfront is an elephant mecca; home to the largest density of African elephants in the world. Travel here during winter and you’ll fast run out of fingers and toes while you count them drinking at the riverbanks and socializing out on the floodplains.
Thanks to its ease of access from Victoria Falls, the Chobe Riverfront is the busiest part of Botswana (though still a much quieter affair than most South or East African safaris). What Chobe lacks in solitude during the busier months, it more than makes up for with quality game viewing.
Chobe will leave you feeling tiny as giant elephant bulls stroll up next to your vehicle or snorkel alongside your boat. It will make you feel lost as hundreds of hippos and buffaloes crowd you out on the floodplains. It will put your heart in your throat as the pride of lion stalk antelopes by the water’s edge, and it will leave you alone with your thoughts while the classic red sunsets melt over the river to a soundtrack of whistling fish eagles.
Chobe is not just a great introduction to Botswana. It also makes a rewarding repeat journey once you’ve ticked off the big stuff. It’s a place to search for the rare sable antelope, to spot that gem from the birders’ bucket list, and explore the remoter corners.
After breakfast and a morning activity (if flight time permits), transfer to Kasane Airport in time for your light aircraft flight down to the Okavango Delta (included) where you spend 2 nights at Setari Camp (or similar) on a fully inclusive basis.
The Okavango Delta is where the wild things are: an immense, waterlogged oasis alive with elephants and birdlife, adrift in the middle of Kalahari sands. The real magic of the Delta lies in its water, trickling through from far away highlands, and spreading across the channels and floodplains.
During winter in the Kalahari, when the sun has baked the earth bare and turned the desert its driest, water fills the Okavango; transforming the floodplains into Noah’s Ark of African wildlife.
As the water brings life to the delta, its local residents shape and recreate it. Termites slowly build mounds into islands, germinated with palm trees by passing elephants. Waterways open and close on the whim of wide-bottomed hippos, carving out channels where they crash through reeds and leaving room behind them for exploration by mokoro.
The Okavango has many faces, which change throughout the year, prompted by that most unpredictable diva of all: the weather. Water levels rise and drop, expanding and shrinking islands, while animals move where life is easiest and the grass greenest. In a few days, a sandy road driven by a vehicle can become a waterway of unknowable depth, prompting a safari by boat instead.
Where and when you stay in the Okavango Delta will hugely influence what you do in the bush each day, the animals you’re most likely to see, and finally, the safari experience you’ll have.
The delta’s watery heart is best discovered by mokoro through shallow channels and floodplains, as well as crossing the islands on foot. For less water and more of the big game, visit a camp on its drier edges (including Moremi Game Reserve and the Khwai Community Area), jump on a vehicle, and seek out the animals hiding in the woodlands.
This morning we travel east across the Kalahari. The nomadic San people are the hunter-gatherers who call the Kalahari home. Their knowledge cascades down the generations and their affinity with the environment is simply remarkable. Tonight we get a first-hand experience of the San culture which is renowned for its traditions of song, dance, and story-telling.
Day 9: Central Kalahari
The day begins with a guided walk that will introduce some of the secrets of the Kalahari. Later on, we return to the road and travel to the desert town of Kang, the gateway to the Central Kalahari Desert.
Today we cross the border into South Africa and after quite a long, yet scenic drive we arrive in Johannesburg, “city of gold”.
This morning you land back home, bringing with you the memories of all the wonderful sights of Southern Africa.
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Falcon Safaris is a moderate-to-luxury safari operator dedicated to providing guests with the ultimate African experience. Get more ideas on what to do on the Victoria Falls Travel Guide
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We travelled with Falcon Safaris in Zimbabwe and Botswana for 16 days. Falcon designed a wonderful trip with private guide to the most interesting sites in both countries. The organization of the whole trip was excellent, flights within the country, accommodation and activites. The guides were very knowledgable and told us a lot about the countries, their history, people, economy and much more. Wevisited the Great Zimbabwe Ruins, the Victoria Falls and a number of national parks in both countries.
Rhino tracking was a real adventure! We had tremendous further game drives and saw very many animals - we did the Big Five. We had much more activities than planned and enjoyed very much.We strongly recommend Falcon Safaris to everyone planning a trip to Southern Africa and East Africa.
Our Consultant Vimbai was very helpful and accommodating. We stayed at the Elephant hills hotel which was nothing short of amazing.Our activities included a helicopter flight, dinner cruise as well as a morning game drive. All the activities were absolutely amazing.
We worked with Gertrude to schedule and organize everything and she did an excellent job. I asked a lot of questions via e-mail and she answered everyone in a timely helpful manner. Our guide at Victoria Falls was also great. He met us at the airport, provided a thoughtful tour of the Falls and got us to our next guide in Botswana. Our lodgings at River View Lodge were just as described- very comfortable and excellent food. All the staff were so pleasant and helpful. If I had to do it again I would arrange a morning boat ride as well. We only did the sunset boat rides and they were the high point of our entire trip- we saw so many animals and our guide was very knowledgeable. Just a great experience. Our lodgings at Oddball's Enclave was rustic and we loved it. So great to disconnect from the world for a bit. Leo, our guide, was the best - got us out and about, saw fantastic wildlife and got back to camp safely each time. Doc manages the camp so well. This whole trip was planned and organized by Falcon Safaris and we could not have been happier.
Falcon safaris have given my the correct advice with excellent service. The only suggestion will be to work closer with the lodges to confirm bookings as soon as possible. We have booked and pay our deposit a year in advance. We have only receive our final convermation from Chobe Safari lodge a week before departure. I do realize its not within your controle but with limit alternatives and a group of 14 people it becomes an issue to find alternative accomodation if the booking was cancelled.
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