13 days, 12 nights
Price Range: $11,129 – $37,609
(all-inclusive price per person, depending on dates & camps selected)
The ultimate Botswana safari spends two full weeks immersed in a tremendous range of wildlife habitats. Begin in awe at Victoria Falls. Explore dry savanna and riverine fringe on nature drives in the Linyanti/Savuti region, a magnet for big game and prolific predators. Witness a multitude of animals and birds in the Okavango Delta’s maze of canals, islands, swamps and forests. And cap it off with desert vistas, stunning stars and incredible wildlife in the Central Kalahari Game Reserve.
Our Expert Says
This is a great itinerary for travelers who want to really get the most out of one country on their safari--and what a country for wildlife! Combining two camps in the Okavango Delta, and adding the Kalahari, Linyanti and Savuti, make for an all-inclusive Botswana big-game safari.
– Ben Bressler
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 / 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 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 7-9: 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 10-12: Makgadikgadi / Kalahari
In the legendary Kalahari, the only sound is the silence ringing in your ears. Though arid and austere, the desert abounds with wildlife. Explore the Central Kalahari Game Reserve, where desert-adapted animals browse scrub-grass savanna. Or discover the Makgadikgadi Salt Pans, an immense ancient lakebed that is an important habitat for migrating wildebeest and zebra. Herds follow seasonal rains, trailed by predators like cheetah and the famous black-maned Kalahari lions.
Day 13: Maun/Home
Your safari adventure ends today in Maun, Botswana.