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Family Botswana Safari

An Exhilarating Family Adventure in One of Our Planet’s Last Truly Wild Places
Days 1 & 2: Maun, Botswana / Okavango Delta
Our family Botswana safari begins on arrival in Maun, where we meet our Expedition Leader who accompanies us on the transfer by light aircraft to Pelo Camp. This brand-new safari camp is located in the permanently flooded heart of the Okavango Delta, the earth’s largest inland water system, created where the Okavango River meets the Kalahari Desert to create a green oasis that sprawls amid the sands and dry savanna.

At our private camp, we find the ultimate experience of the delta, where serene waters flow through a vast maze of channels around isolated islands, nurturing a profusion of plant and animal life. There is no better way to encounter the Okavango than by mokoro, the traditional poled canoe of the region. Here at eye level with the marsh, we may see hippos and water-adapted antelope like red lechwe and the elusive sitatunga. Diverse birdlife includes Pel’s fishing owl, wattled crane, jacanas, crakes, rails and moorhens. 

Days 3-5: Santawani Private Concession
We 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. This diverse combination of habitats offers thrilling wildlife viewing, with the Gomoti River providing a lifeline for animals year-round. Inland waterholes also draw thirsty game during the dry season. 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 lion, cheetah and rare wild dog. We keep an eye out, too, for 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, including leopards on the hunt.

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 region, connected to the Okavango Delta by the Selinda Spillway, is dramatic big game country, with large herds of buffalo, elephant and zebra. Remote and unspoiled, the Linyanti 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
Yet another thrilling day is in store as 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 our boat-cruise safari through the meandering channels of the broad Chobe River, we may see as many as 500 elephants in a single day! Hippos and crocodiles are also here in great numbers, as are many species of water birds, including tall herons and storks. We continue by road to the Kazangula border en route to Livingstone, Zambia, and our destination, 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 falling 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 family Botswana safari comes to a close 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 rainforest 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, filled up with enough amazing memories to last a lifetime and then some!

Physical Rating: Easy

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