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Botswana Explorer Safari

A Classic Tented Safari That Reveals the Best of Remote Botswana
Days 1 & 2: Maun, Botswana / Okavango Delta
Our Botswana safari begins on arrival in Maun. We transfer by light aircraft to Pelo Camp, a brand-new safari camp located in the very heart of the Okavango Delta. The delta is the earth’s largest inland water system—its headwaters in Angola’s western highlands join with other rivers in Namibia and Botswana to meet the Kalahari Desert, where a green oasis sprawls amid the sands and dry savanna.

With its vast network of channels and lagoons, the Okavango is home to a profuse collection of wildlife and vegetation. Our camp is located in a permanently flooded section of the delta, which we’ll explore by mokoro, the traditional dugout canoe used by local poeple, offering a chance to observe wildlife at eye level in complete quiet. Islands and wetlands among the channels are home to many rare birds; we may see wattled cranes, Pel’s fishing owls, jacanas, rails, crakes and moorhens. We also keep an eye out for the region's unique water-adapted antelope, including red lechwe and the rare sitatunga, browsing in the grasses.

Days 3-5: Santawani Private Concession
Transfer by light aircraft to Gomoti Tented Camp, located in the private Santawani Concession in the southeast section of the delta. While some areas of the delta are permanently flooded, other are a mosaic of varied landscapes, including drier regions like the area that surrounds our camp. A diverse array of vegetation covers this habitat, sustaining a wide variety of wildlife. The Gomoti River provides a lifeline for animals year-round, while inland waterholes draw game during the dry season. A combination of dense riverine woodland, open savanna and acacia scrub provide ample food for a large array of browsers and grazing species, which in turn support predators such as cheetah, leopard, lion and rare wild dog. We may even spy the unusual pangolin, an anteater-like mammal covered in an armor of hard scales. The varied terrain of the Gomoti region makes it ideal for all-day excursions by 4x4, picnic lunches in the bush, and night drives in search of nocturnal species.

Days 6-8: Linyanti Private Reserve
Yet another side of wild Botswana is revealed today as we fly by light aircraft to the private Linyanti Wildlife Reserve. The Linyanti, joined by the Selinda Spillway to the Okavango Delta, is dramatic big game country, with large herds of buffalo, elephant and zebra. Remote and unspoiled, the Linyanti concession comprises a range of diverse habitats from riverine forest to open plains, laced with waterways and dotted with palm islands. While wildlife numbers are excellent here year-round, the Linyanti’s perennial water attracts great herds that walk well-worn game paths to slake their thirst during the dry season. Predators follow in their footsteps, making for exciting game viewing. Birdlife is also exceptional here.

Day 9: Chobe National Park / Livingstone, Zambia
We fly via light aircraft from Linyanti to Kasane this morning, our gateway to Chobe National Park. Chobe is known for its vast elephant herds, a population that exceeds 70,000. On a boat cruise through the meandering channels of the broad Chobe River, we sometime see as many as 500 elephants in a single day! Hippos and crocodiles are also abundant, as is a wide variety of waterbirds, including herons and storks. We continue by road to the Kazangula border en route to Livingstone, Zambia, and Toka Leya Camp. Toka Leya overlooks the mighty Zambezi River and lies within Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park near Victoria Falls. More than a mile wide, Victoria Falls is the most expansive curtain of water in the world, plummeting more than 300 feet into the Zambezi Gorge. The cataract’s local name, which the park shares, means “the Smoke that Thunders.”

Day 10: Victoria Falls / Home
This morning our safari culminates with a guided tour to Victoria Falls. We’ll experience the tremendous cataract from a variety of vantage points as we walk on trails through the rain forest near the brink of the falls—the perpetual spray has created a profusion of lush vegetation. After our tour, we transfer by road to nearby Livingstone Airport for flights home.

Physical Rating: Easy

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