Our Flagship Safari—A Truly Exclusive Adventure into the Heart of Wildest Africa
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Day 1: Livingstone, Zambia—Victoria Falls
Our Botswana safari begins just over the border in Zambia, where our Expedition Leader meets you on arrival at the Livingstone airport. We head straight to Victoria Falls for an exhilarating start to our African adventure. Via trails along the top of the gorge where profuse spray has created a rain forest, we find a variety of vantage points on the mile-wide cataract. Then it’s off to Toka Leya to spend the night. This luxury camp sits in a prime location overlooking the mighty Zambezi River upriver from Victoria Falls, surrounded by Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park. The park’s name means “The Smoke that Thunders,” and it’s an apt moniker, as we see mist clouds rising off the falls from miles away.
Days 2–4: Chobe National Park / Linyanti Private Reserve
We depart for Botswana by road and ferry, crossing the Chobe River to enter Chobe National Park. The park is famous for its vast elephant herds—a population that exceeds 70,000. On a boat cruise down the river's meandering channels, we sometimes see as many as 500 elephants in a single day! Hippos and crocodiles also abound, as well as a wide variety of waterbirds including herons, storks and egrets. We often see egrets perched on elephants' backs as they partially submerge themselves in river pools.
This afternoon we fly to the private Linyanti Wildlife Reserve. The Linyanti, joined to the Okavango Delta by the Selinda Spillway, is dramatic big-game country. Remote and unspoiled, its diverse habitats range 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 of buffalo, elephant and zebra that walk well-worn game paths to slake their thirst during the dry season. Predators follow in their footsteps, including lion, leopard, spotted hyena and more rarely seen African wild dog. Birdlife is also exceptional here. We encounter wildlife in thrilling proximity on game drives and, safety permitting, on guided bush walks. In the evenings, relax in camp in a secluded setting that evokes the romance of early safari travel. Through the thorny acacia branches we see more stars than we ever dreamed possible, scattered across a pitch-black sky.
Days 5–7: Okavango Delta—Santawani Private Concession
This morning we fly to Gomoti Tented Camp, located in the private Santawani Concession in the southeast section of the Okavango Delta. Earth’s largest inland water system, the delta’s headwaters lie in Angola’s western highlands and join with other rivers in Namibia and Botswana to meet the Kalahari Desert and create a green oasis that sprawls amid the sands and dry savanna. With its vast network of channels and wetlands, the Okavango is home to a profuse collection of wildlife and vegetation.
While some areas of the delta are permanently flooded, others are a mosaic of varied landscapes, including drier regions like the area surrounding our camp. A mix 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 wild dog. We may even spy the unusual pangolin, an anteater-like mammal covered in an armor of hard scales. The Gomoti River provides a lifeline for animals year-round, while inland waterholes sustain game during the dry season. The Gomoti region's diverse habitats are ideal for all-day 4x4 game drives, picnic lunches in the bush and night drives in search of nocturnal species.
Days 8 & 9: Okavango Delta—Abu Private Concession
Transfer by light aircraft to Seba Camp, set in the private Abu Concession. Bordering the vast Moremi Game Reserve within a dry-ground section of the Okavango Delta, the camp is designed to blend into the surrounding ancient riverine forest. Shaded by majestic hardwood trees such as sycamore fig and leadwood and overlooking a perennial lagoon brimming with prolific birdlife and resident pods of hippo, Seba enjoys a wildlife-rich setting. We explore the environs beyond camp on wildlife drives, nature walks and mokoro rides (water levels and safety permitting), expecting to spot lion, territorial leopard, large buffalo herds and ever-present elephant, plus hoofed game such as giraffe, zebra, and impala. We'll also hope to see some of the delta's uniquely water-adapated species such as red lechwe, a marsh-dwelling antelope. Tonight, muse on all the wonders we've encountered as we spend a final night around the campfire in wild Africa.
Day 10: Maun / Depart
Our Botswana safari comes to an end as we depart by air for Botswana's safari hub of Maun, where we connect with onward flights.
Physical Rating: Easy
Click here to view the seasonal variations of weather and wildlife viewing in Botswana.