9 days, 8 nights
Price Range: $5,928 – $16,497
(all-inclusive price per person, depending on dates & camps selected)
This compact survey encompasses the best of Botswana. Start with two nights at Victoria Falls, just over the border in Zambia. Fly to the Linyanti/Savuti region, where several premier game reserves intersect in a mosaic of habitats that draws stunning numbers of animals. Continue to the Okavango Delta, an inland oasis of channels, marshes, islands and woodlands rich with wildlife. Spend two nights each in two different sections of the delta before concluding your safari at Maun.
Our Expert Says
There's no better place than Botswana for the thrill of spotting wildlife in its truly natural habitat! On this route, you also witness the power and force of Victoria Falls as it pours into the Zambezi Gorge. As you feel the mist erupt from below, you understand why it’s one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World. Another favorite experience of mine is the bird’s-eye view as you fly over the Okavango Delta, seeing the extensive maze of waterways and landscape dotted with wildlife.
– Carolyn O'Connell
Days 1-2: Victoria Falls (Zambia)
You'll see the spray first, visible for miles, called Mosi-oa-Tunya – the “smoke that thunders” – by the local people. The roar of the cataract follows, as the Zambezi River plunges 350 feet over a basalt cliff into the gorge below. View Victoria Falls on rainforest trails, from the famous bridge, or via an exhilarating helicopter or ultralight flight – activities abound in Livingstone, including whitewater rafting, canoeing and sunset cruises.
Days 3-4: Linyanti / Selinda Reserves
These adjacent wildlife reserves in northern Botswana are noted for their shifting landscapes, from riverine to dry pans, woodlands to plains. Perennial water attracts great herds of animals that come to slake their thirst in the dry season. Large prides of lion and other predators steal behind, making for exciting wildlife viewing. Previously dry for 30 years, the Savuti Channel is once again a hippo-filled stream. Elephant, zebra and giraffe are also abundant.
Days 5-6: Okavango Delta
Where the Okavango River meets the Kalahari Desert, a green oasis sprawls amid the sands and parched savanna. The maze of channels sustains a profusion of wildlife in permanently flooded lagoons and on land. Explore the marsh by poled mokoro, a traditional dugout canoe, and wildlife drives on higher ground. Islands and wetlands are home to prolific birdlife, hippo and red lechwe, while elephant, lion, leopard, zebra and more thrive beyond the water’s reach.
Days 7-8: Okavango Delta
The Okavango Delta is one of Africa’s premier safari destinations, a vast and varied wilderness mosaic that encompasses a range of habitats from papyrus-fringed waterways to mopane and acacia woodlands dotted with pans. The delta’s reach varies dramatically depending on seasonal rains and flooding, creating a constantly changing set of environments. Such diverse ecosystems nurture an enormous collection of animals, making a second stop in a different region of the delta essential on any comprehensive safari itinerary.
Day 9: Maun/Home
Your safari adventure ends today in Maun, Botswana.