Our Trips

Polar Bear Tours

Polar Bear Tours

African Safaris

African Safaris

Galapagos Cruises & Tours

Galapagos Cruises & Tours

Alaska & Northern Adventures

Alaska & Northern Adventures

U.S. National Parks Tours

U.S. National Parks Tours

Asia & Pacific Adventures

Asia & Pacific Adventures

Mexico & Central America Tours

Mexico & Central America Tours

South America Adventures

South America Adventures

Europe Adventures

Europe Adventures

Antarctica & Arctic Journeys

Antarctica & Arctic Journeys

Adventure Cruises

Adventure Cruises

Photo Adventures

Photo Adventures

Family Adventures

Family Adventures

New Adventures

New Adventures

Get eNews Updates

Privacy Policy

Questions? Call 800-543-8917

Get the Catalog

Secluded Botswana Safari

Secluded Botswana Rhino Discovery Itinerary

Botswana safari mapDay 1: Livingstone, Zambia—Zambezi River Cruise
Our Botswana rhino adventure 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 watch mist clouds rising off the falls from miles away. On a classic sunset cruise, look for hippos and crocodiles on the riverbanks. Afterward, our Expedition Leader hosts a welcome dinner.

Day 2: Victoria Falls / Rhino Viewing in Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park 
This morning, take 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 paths offers varying vantage points over the falls, which span more than a mile. Then, it’s off for Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park on a wildlife drive offering a sampler of the species we're likely to see on safari, and our best chance to encounter white rhinos. Accompanied by a local guide and park rangers tasked with guarding the park's rhinos around the clock, we'll get out of the vehicle frequently for more intimate encounters, learning how to read signs of the rhinos' presence and follow their movements, with plenty of time for interpretation and questions. 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 and wander through the park, too. Time permitting, we’ll visit a nearby village this afternoon to meet local people and learn about their daily lives.

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. 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.

This afternoon, we fly by light aircraft 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, and we expect plentiful close encounters along the Linyanti River and environs. From a newly built hide facing the Linyanti Channel, we're elevated in exciting proximity to elephants, hippos and numerous birds. Get another thrilling vantage on the region's waterways on a 45-minute helicopter flight along the Linyanti Channel to where it meets the Selinda Spillway—important water sources that sustain life in the area, especially during the dry season. 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—Rhino Talk
After a final wildlife drive in the Linyanti wilderness, 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, joining with other rivers in Namibia and Botswana to meet the Kalahari Desert where the Okavango River creates a green oasis sprawling over the sands and dry savanna. With its vast network of waterways and wetlands, the delta is home to a profuse collection of wildlife and vegetation. Located in the delta's watery heart, Jacana Camp is surrounded by a maze of canals and lagoons that sustain a profusion of wildlife.

Explore the constantly shifting marsh by mokoro, the traditional poled dugout canoe of the delta, offering a chance to view wildlife at eye level in complete quiet. These wetlands and islands are home to many rare birds, and we may see wattled crane, Pel’s fishing owl, jacana, moorhen, rails and crakes. Following the reed-fringed channels, we may also glimpse red lechwe—a water-adapted antelope—browsing in the grasses. Depending on water levels and wildlife movements, we hope to take a guided walk for an even more intimate encounter with our marshy environs. (Please note that water levels and activities may vary based on actual amounts of anticipated annual rainfall). While at Jacana we're joined by Sebastian "Baz" Sandenbergh, a pioneer in Botswana's Rhino Reintroduction Project. Baz will share details on the history of rhinos in Botswana and their successful reintroduction in recent years.

Days 9–11: Santawani Private Concession—Helicopter Rhino Search
This morning we fly by light aircraft to Gomoti Tented Camp in 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, plus 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 extended excursions, including traditional 4x4 wildlife drives, picnic lunches and night drives in search of nocturnal species. During our stay in Santawani, we're joined by a local researcher to learn about studies on the wide range of predators in the area, including research projects on wild dog, cheetah and leopard. A special highlight is a one-hour doors-off helicopter flight in search of rhino over the Gomoti River and Okavango Delta. We'll hope for a sighting of the elusive black rhino as we survey one of the richest wildlife enclaves in all of Africa. Rhinos have been spotted more regularly in recent years, and this helicopter adventure offers a chance to cover extensive terrain in hopes of identifying tracks and possibly rhinos as well.

Day 12: Santawani / Maun / Depart
Our rhino-focused Botswana wildlife adventure concludes as we depart by air for Maun, where we connect with homeward flights or continue with onward extensions.

Physical Rating: Easy to Moderate
To participate in this trip, you must be able to walk unassisted at a steady pace for at least one mile over uneven terrain, climb steps to get into and out of our raised safari vehicles, and be able to tolerate daily outdoor excursions that may last 4-5 hours or even a full day at a time, sometimes in hot, windy and/or dusty conditions. Wildlife drives pose a particular type of physical demand on the body, as they require long hours of sitting and take place over terrain that is often very rough and bumpy, including dirt roads with many ruts and potholes. Travelers with back or neck problems, or other health issues that could be exacerbated by such conditions, should take this into consideration. While any walking safaris are considered optional, travelers must be able to walk unassisted to and from the vehicle to our camp accommodations, sometimes walking over uneven ground or on boardwalks. Days spent on safari are often long, as mornings typically start before daybreak and evening meals are served after sundown. Safari accommodations and vehicles are not climate-controlled and, depending on the season, temperatures can range from quite cold to extremely hot, so it is critical that travelers come prepared.
Interested in extending your trip? Link it up with another adventure!
Repeater Layout : horizontal
Namibia Desert Extension

Namibia Desert Extension

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 $3795 (+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 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 $10995 (+air)
Questions?
We've Got Answers!
Talk with an Adventure Specialist
Call Our Boulder Office
800-543-8917
or
We're Proud of the Reputation We’ve Earned
Outside
Voted "World's Best Travel
Company"
by Outside Magazine
Outside
Natural Habitat Adventures Ranked
“Best Outfitter”
NatGeo
Voted Best Winter Trip: Natural Habitat Adventures' Monarch Butterfly Migration, Mexico
VIEW MORE AWARDS
Natural Habitat Adventures 2019 Catalog
GET THE CATALOG
Natural Habitat & WWF – Discovering Our Planet Together
WWF Logo
Get Weekly Updates
Our weekly eNewsletter highlights new adventures, exclusive offers, webinars, nature news, travel ideas, photography tips and more.
Privacy Policy
Get the Inside Scoop on the World of Nature Travel!
Our weekly eNewsletter highlights new adventures, exclusive offers, webinars, nature news, travel ideas, photography tips and more.
Catalog
Privacy Policy

Thank You!


Click here to see your trip details PDF. You should also receive it by email momentarily.
Ask a Question
Fill out the form below to receive additional information about our Secluded Botswana Safari or give us a call at 800-543-8917.
Sign up to receive our travel emails!
Privacy Policy
Download Trip Details
Receive our handy trip PDF by email and have everything you need at your fingertips, including highlights of the trip, itinerary, accommodations, and full details on dates, prices and logistics.
Catalog
Privacy Policy

Thank You!


Click here to see your trip details PDF. You should also receive it by email momentarily.
/africa/secluded-botswana/itinerary/rhino-discovery-itinerary/
Physical Requirements