Cruise the Chobe River into Botswana & Namibia & Safari Overland in Private Reserves
Day 1: Maun, Botswana / Okavango Delta—Jao Private Concession
Our grand African adventure begins in Maun, where our Expedition Leader meets you at the airport. From Maun, we transfer by light aircraft to Tubu Tree Camp, located in the private Jao Concession on the edge of Botswana’s famed Moremi Game Reserve. The camp sits on Hunda Island, the largest area of permanently dry land in this part of the Okavango Delta, surrounded by grasslands that attract many species of plains game. Its location amid varied habitats, including water channels and marshes, makes it am optimal base
for both land
- and water-based activities. We begin exploring the area before officially kicking off our safari with a welcome dinner this evening.
Days 2 & 3: Exploring the Moremi Game Reserve
The range of diverse habitats surrounding our camp, from dry Kalahari sandveld
to mopane and riverine forest on the edge of permanent waterways, supports tremendous game populations and ensures outstanding wildlife viewing. Our activities focus on drives in open 4x4 vehicles across the sprawling floodplains in search of elephant, lion, Burchell's zebra, red lechwe, southern giraffe, tsessebe, blue wildebeest and more. In forested areas, look for kudu, impala and
bushbuck. And, of course, we’ll hope to see the predators that track them, including lion and especially leopard, which live on the island in substantial numbers. Night drives reveal nocturnal species such as civet and caracal, and larger predators that hunt at night.
Days 4–6: Linyanti Private Reserve
Fly to Linyanti Tented Camp, an authentic bush camp evoking the atmosphere of early safari travel. The camp is located inside a private reserve in the heart of some of Africa’s most dramatic big-game country. Overlooking the Linyanti waterways at the western border of Chobe National Park, our small camp is secluded and alone in the wilderness—except for the constant company of wildlife, which roams freely in spectacular numbers. The region is home to huge herds of elephant, as well as lion, leopard, spotted hyena and rare wild dog. We explore via open 4x4 vehicles as well as on foot, with guided walks along the Linyanti River when safety permits. After dark, the camp takes on a romantic ambience with the flicker of paraffin lanterns and the glimmer of a campfire under the stars.
Please note: Some 2018 departures stay in Selinda Explorers Camp on the nearby Selinda Concession.
Day 7: Chobe National Park / Board Riverboat
This morning, we fly via light aircraft from Linyanti or Selinda to Kasane, then continue by boat on a 10-minute journey across the Chobe River to Impalila Island in Namibia. We clear border formalities on the island before traveling by tender boat another 20 minutes to reach the boarding point for our African river cruise adventure. The Chobe Princess,
our privately chartered luxury houseboat, is our home for the next three days, and the hospitable crew welcomes us with lunch aboard. Soon, we are meandering through the vast river system along the nexus of four national borders, including Botswana, Namibia, Zambia and
Zimbabwe. While we’ll see plentiful wildlife from the boat deck, we also make more intimate skiff excursions along narrow channels and inlets, for an eye-level look at our environs.
Our first outing happens late this afternoon, after we dock for the evening. Our Expedition Leader packs a cooler with chilled drinks as we head off in the skiffs to explore the various waterways around us, bird book and binoculars in hand. As the orange ball of sun dips behind the river, return to the Chobe Princess
for dinner aboard. There’s plenty of time to get acquainted with the affable staff and learn more about the region, its wildlife, history and
Days 8 & 9: Exploring the Chobe River System
While each day’s discoveries are different, we’ll experience a wide range of wildlife encounters and cultural activities during our riverboat safari. Chobe National Park is known for its tremendous elephant herds, a population that exceeds 70,000. We often see several hundred elephants in a single day! Large herds of buffalo and antelope are also present, and we may get exhilaratingly close on skiff excursions near shore. We’re also likely to see lots of hippos and crocodiles, and birds abound, too—more than 400 species. Look for waterbirds such as storks, herons and
egrets as we ply the channels.
Other activity options include a guided walk on Impalila Island to meet local villagers and a chance to climb an ancient baobab tree, rewarding adventurers with spectacular views of the Chobe and Zambezi confluence and four bordering countries. For those who'd like to try a hand at landing one of the Zambezi’s famed tiger fish
, both fly fishing and rod-and-reel options are available. Each evening we return to our peaceful houseboat for dinner and a comfortable night's rest,
lulled to sleep by the sounds of the African wild all around us.
Day 10: Kasane / Depart
After breakfast, transfer by tender boat from the Chobe Princess
to the customs office on Impalila Island to exit Namibia. Crossing the Chobe River once more, we retrace our steps to re-enter Botswana, where our safari comes to an end in Kasane and we connect with onward flights.
Click here to view the seasonal variations of weather and wildlife viewing in Botswana.