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Secluded Botswana Safari

Photo Itinerary

Travel with just four guests per vehicle on our Secluded Botswana Photo Safari led by a naturalist guide who is a photography pro. Plus, you'll have an added baggage allowance on internal flights, special expeditions at sunrise and sunset to capture the best light, and an exclusive doors-off helicopter flight over the Gomoti River and Okavango Delta for aerial imagery.
 
Day 1: Livingstone, Zambia—Zambezi River
Our Botswana photo safari begins just over the border in Livingstone, Zambia, where you're met on arrival and transferred 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, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. 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. Great photo opportunities are on offer right away during a classic sunset cruise, as we look for hippos and crocodiles on the riverbanks. Afterward, join our Expedition Leader for a welcome dinner.

Day 2: Victoria Falls / Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park—Rhino Tracking / Village Visit

Our photography adventure begins with a guided walking tour of Victoria Falls, the world’s most astounding cataract. The profuse spray has created a rain forest on the gorge rim, and a network of walkways offers varying vantage points over the falls, which span more than a mile across. Then, it’s off for Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park for a wildlife drive offering a sampler of the species we're likely to see on safari, plus our best chance to photograph a white rhinoceros. Accompanied by a local guide and park rangers tasked with guarding the park's rhinos around the clock, we track them on foot, learning how to read signs of the rhinos' presence and follow their movements. With no predators in the park, we can also walk safely in search of zebra, giraffe, warthog, various antelope species, and other smaller mammals and birds. Elephants regularly cross the river, too, and we frequently get great photos of them wandering throughout the park. Later this afternoon we’ll visit a nearby village to learn about traditions and daily life of the local people.

Days 3–5: Chobe National Park, Botswana / Linyanti Private Reserve

Traveling by road and ferry, we cross the Chobe River into Botswana’s Chobe National Park, famed for its vast elephant herds—a population that exceeds 70,000. On a private boat cruise down the river and its myriad channels, we sometimes see several hundred elephants in a single day, with excellent chances for close-up photos. Waterbirds abound, including herons and storks, and hippos and crocodiles are on display along the muddy banks. Keep an eye out for egrets perched on the backs of elephants cooling off in the water—they make entertaining subjects.

This afternoon, fly to the private Linyanti Wildlife Reserve, some of Africa's most dramatic big-game country. Its tree-dotted plains are home to lion, leopard, spotted hyena and African wild dog, as well as enormous elephant herds. We'll expect to encounter wildlife in amazing proximity along the Linyanti River and surrounding environs. Spend time capturing thrilling close-ups in a newly built hide that faces the Linyanti Channel, elevating us in exciting proximity to elephants, hippos and numerous birds. In the evenings, relax at our secluded camp, where well-appointed walk-in tents evoke an earlier romantic era of safari travel. Through the thorny acacia branches we see more stars than we ever dreamed of, scattered across an impossibly black sky.

Days 6–8: Linyanti / Okavango Delta—Exploring the Flooded Marsh

After a final wildlife drive in the Linyanti wilderness, leave dry land behind as we transfer by light aircraft to the Okavango Delta, Earth’s largest inland water system. The delta’s headwaters lie in the western highlands of Angola and 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 waterways and wetlands, the Okavango is home to a profuse collection of wildlife and vegetation.

Jacana Camp is a wildlife photographer's dream base. Located in the delta’s watery heart, it's surrounded by a maze of canals and lagoons that sustain a profusion of wildlife. We explore the constantly shifting marsh by mokoro, the traditional poled dugout canoe of the delta, offering a chance to photograph wildlife at eye level in complete quiet. These wetlands and islands are home to many rare birds, and we may see wattled cranes, Pel’s fishing owls, jacanas, rails, crakes and moorhens. Following the reed-fringed channels, we may also capture shots of water-adapted antelope such as red lechwe browsing in the grasses. Depending on water levels and wildlife movements, we'll hope to do a guided walk during our time at Jacana Camp, giving your lens an intimate perspective on the small wonders that also surround us.

Days 9–11: Southeast Okavango—Santawani Private Concession

This morning we fly by light aircraft to Gomoti Tented Camp in the heart of the Santawani Concession, a private reserve encompassing nearly 15,000 acres in the southeast corner of the Okavango Delta. Our aerial transfer offers exhilarating views of the landscape below. While some areas of the delta are permanently flooded, other habitats create a mosaic of varied landscapes, including drier regions like the area that surrounds 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, as well as predators including cheetah, leopard, lion and rare wild dog.

The Gomoti River is a year-round lifeline for animals, while inland waterholes also sustain them during the dry season. The diverse range of habitats makes the Gomoti region ideal for all-day photography excursions, including traditional 4x4 wildlife drives, picnic lunches and night drives in search of nocturnal species. A special highlight is a doors-off helicopter flightseeing excursion over the Gomoti River and Okavango Delta, with a chance to get aerial photos as we survey one of the richest wildlife enclaves in all of Africa.

Day 12: Maun / Depart
Our Botswana photo adventure comes to a close when we depart by air for Maun, where we connect with homeward flights or continue with trip extensions.

Physical Rating: Easy


Click here to view the seasonal variations of weather and wildlife viewing in Botswana.
Interested in adding a few days to your trip? See our extensions:
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Namibia Desert Extension

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Namibia’s towering sand dunes, arid canyons and desert-adapted wildlife offer a distinct contrast to other southern Africa safari destinations—look for endangered black rhino, desert elephant and more.
7 Days / Year-Round, From $3695 (+air)
Cape Town Extension

Cape Town Extension

Discover the natural and multicultural highlights of one of the world's most entrancing cities. Explore the Cape Peninsula, visit Cape Point Nature Reserve, see penguins at Boulders Beach and tour the Winelands.
4 Days / Year-Round, From $1595
Sabi Sand Extension

Sabi Sand Extension

An exclusive safari experience on a 160,000-acre private reserve that's one of Africa’s best places to spot the famous Big Five—choose among intimate luxury camps and secluded boutique lodges.
4 Days / Year-Round, From $3075
Madagascar Wildlife Adventure
New Itinerary!

Madagascar Wildlife Adventure

Look for lemurs and much more as you explore the wondrous biodiversity of Madagascar on this small-group expedition to the planet's most unique island. Madagascar is truly a world apart!

  Photo departures available
13 Days / Jun – Nov, From $9995 (+air)
New Itinerary!
Hidden Jewels of Zimbabwe & Zambia
New Itinerary!

Hidden Jewels of Zimbabwe & Zambia

Discover some of Africa's richest wildlife enclaves on this rare treasure for safari aficionados!  Experience remote wild country reminiscent of what Africa was like a century ago, far from tourist crowds.
11 Days / Jul – Oct, From $11695 (+air)
New Itinerary!
Hidden South Africa & Botswana

Hidden South Africa & Botswana

Scout for the Big Five and more with our expert guide on this small-group, big-game safari through private and uncrowded sectors of Southern Africa's greatest wildlife parks.

  Photo departures available
10 Days / Jun – Oct, From $10895 (+air)
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