Classic Botswana & Zambia
14 days, 13 nights
Price Range: $10,764 – $29,131
(all-inclusive price per person, depending on dates & camps selected)
For superlative wildlife encounters, few safaris will match this carefully crafted survey of the best of Botswana and Zambia together. From the marshes and channels of the Okavango Delta to the valleys of the Luangwa and Zambezi rivers with their vast floodplains and lagoons, this route follows the water—and with it, the wildlife. Stay in remote wilderness camps where game-viewing access will surpass your most enthusiastic expectations—and add Victoria Falls for the ultimate African adventure.
Our Expert Says
The chance to combine the best of Botswana and Zambia in one trip allows you to incorporate the wonders of the Okavango Delta with Zambia’s premier national parks. Rivers and seasonal floodplains offer a superb setting for wildlife viewing--I never thought it was possible to see so much wildlife concentrated around various sources of water. The scenic backdrops make for some fantastic photography opportunities as well.
– Andrea Reynolds
Days 1-2: 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 3-4: 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.
Days 5-6: Linyanti / Savuti Reserves
The Linyanti and Savuti region of northern Botswana is noted for its 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. The once-flowing Savute Channel, which experiences long, unpredictable intervals of drought, cuts through the reserve. Large prides of lion and other predators steal behind, making for exciting wildlife viewing. Elephant, zebra and giraffe are also abundant.
Days 7-8: 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 9-10: Kafue Nat'l Park
Established in the 1950s, Kafue is the third largest park in Africa. Yet it remains largely unexplored, with 67% designated as wilderness where only walking safaris are permitted. The Busanga Plains are the park’s prized jewel. Seasonal floods generate vast grazing areas for huge herds of buffalo and rare antelope. Kafue is also one of the best places in Africa to see leopard. Lion and cheetah are common, and wild dog are increasingly seen.
Days 11-13: South Luangwa N.P.
The South Luangwa National Park is a legend among safari connoisseurs. The walking safari originated in the Luangwa Valley, whose oxbow lagoons are a magnet for elephant, zebra, 14 species of antelope and huge herds of buffalo that reach 1,000 at the height of the dry season. The river harbors 50 hippos per kilometer. Thornicroft’s giraffe and Cookson’s wildebeest are unique to the park, while wild dog and large prides of lion are notable predators.
Day 14: Lusaka/Home
Your safari adventure ends today in Lusaka, Zambia.