11 days from £5890pp plus international flights.
An enthralling adventure mixing adrenalin-fuelled thrills, cruising on Zambezi River, enjoying exciting game drives, walking with San Bushmen in the Kalahari Desert and last, but by no means least, coming face-to-face with meerkats.
You'll be staying in specially-selected accommodation throughout, including a luxury lodge overlooking a dramatic gorge, a charming 4-tent camp deep in the Botswanan bush, a stylish evocation of a 1950s safari camp and a classic camp on the edge of vast salt plains. All provide the highest levels of service and friendly, smiling staff.
Your adventure starts at Victoria Falls, for a chance to witness this natural wonder at close hand. You'll have a whole day here, to sample as many activities as you wish. It's a fabulous way to begin your holiday. Crossing the border into Botswana, you'll visit three contrasting locations, with opportunities for traditional game drives, guided walks and canoe trips which together create a truly comprehensive safari. Add to this the chance to visit local villages and schools and meet local people and you'll understand why we're so excited about this holiday!
With all this packed into 11 days, you can see that this really is meerkats and much more!
A representative will be waiting to meet you on arrival at Victoria Falls Airport. You'll be welcomed and driven the 30 minutes to Gorges Lodge in Zimbabwe. The rest of the day is free. Go for a swim in the pool or relax on your private balcony enjoying the magnificent views of Batoka Gorge and the Zambezi River 200 metres below. Full board
You have a full day to take advantage of the many activities on offer at Victoria Falls. The lodge offers a free shuttle service to and from the falls and once there you'll have two free activities such as a guided tour of the falls, a cruise on the Zambezi or a village visit. You can also arrange other options locally, including a thrilling helicopter flight over Vic Falls or white-knuckle whitewater rafting trip. If you'd rather spend time near the lodge you can go on a guided black eagle viewing walk in the gorge with snacks and sundowners. Full board
After breakfast you'll be driven to Kasane Airport in Botswana where you'll catch a light aircraft bound for Selinda. On arrival you'll be met by your guide and driven to your bushcamp deep in the Selinda Reserve, a journey of about 45 minutes. With just 4 tents the camp has an intimate feel. While the sun's at its hottest you can rest beneath the shade of large trees, enjoying your new surroundings. Later, as the temperature cools a little you can venture out on foot or by canoe with your guide for an initial glimpse of Selinda's varied flora and fauna. Full board
This morning you can choose between a guided walk and a gentle canoe trip, both excellent ways to get close to the natural environment. Wildlife is plentiful here and you should see large numbers of elephant, buffalo, sable and roan antelope, lion and wild dog. Exploring by canoe and on foot you'll also have the chance to observe smaller creatures. On land you can follow footprints, and on the water you'll spot wildlife on the banks, and, with no motor noise you'll be able to hear the calls of animals and birds. Full board
Today you have a flight from Selinda to the airstrip at Khwai, followed by a 20-minute drive to your next camp, Machaba. The camp is on the banks of the Khwai River in the eastern section of the Okavango Delta. Soak up some sun on the deck, then cool off in the pool. In the late afternoon you can embark on a game drive in the Delta, known for its profuse wildlife. You'll return to camp in time for a delicious dinner. Full board
Another day dawns and you may opt to start the day with a guided walk. You'll be amazed by the extent and depth of your guide's knowledge, as you learn about the importance of the various animals that you see and find out about the medicinal properties of the plants. Relaxing over lunch you'll spot hippos and elephants by the river, your very own wildlife show! Later you can head out in the vehicle to the flood plains, where zebra, impala and giraffe roam free - a photographer's delight. Back in camp you'll have time to enjoy a candlelit dinner. Full board
It's time to leave the Okavango Delta for the next, and possibly best, part of your adventure! You'll fly to the Kalahari and transfer to a traditional safari camp on the edge of the Madgadikgadi Pans. Over a tasty home-cooked lunch you'll get to know your fellow guests. Later, as the heat abates, you can explore your surroundings by 4x4 vehicle. In the wet season the water-filled pans attract flocks of flamingos and diverse wildlife, while in the dry you'll be treated to a show of desert animals. You'll return after dark, your guide using spotlights to pick out nocturnal species. Full board
Today's the day! You'll need to be an early bird, setting off on a dawn walk or drive in the Kalahari keeping your eyes peeled for meerkats. At this early hour they start to emerge from their burrows, woken by the sunlight, and prepare to set off on foraging trips. It's the classic pose, standing tall, surveying their surroundings. It's made all the more magical by the meerkats' apparent lack of fear of humans. You can spend time with them before they head off to feed, watching the family members interacting. It's a very special experience. Not forgetting other animals, later in the day you can take a safari in the national park, returning for dinner. Full board
You can enjoy a second encounter with the irresistable meerkats this morning. You'll never tire of watching these enchanting creatures. Keep still and quiet and they'll approach you. To be so close to wild animals is a rare privilege and delight. Later in the day you can accompany San Bushmen who live in this apparently harsh environment and are custodians of generations of ancient lore. It's a fascinating insight into a unique way of life, so different from your own. Tonight is your farewell dinner, a chance to look back over your African adventure and maybe start planning the next! Full board
Guide price from (pp sharing): £5890 (ex. international flights)
Price notes: 2018 guide price pp sharing from: April-May and November £6165. 1-14 June £6820. 15-13 July, September and October £7650. August £7810.
10 nights accommodation on a twin-share basis; full board throughout; soft drinks, beers, wines and local spirits at Gorges Lodge; soft and alcoholic drinks (exc. imported and premium drinks) at Selinda Explorers, Machaba and Camp Kalahari; free return shuttle to Vic Falls on day 2 plus 2 activities; wildlife activities and conservation fees at Selinda Explorers; lodge activities at Machaba; activities, guiding and park fees at Camp Kalahari; laundry at all camps; domestic flights and transfers as specified.
International flights and taxes; visas; travel insurance; vaccinations; premium and imported drinks; optional activities at Gorges Lodge; tips; items of a personal nature.
Getting there: This holiday begins at Victoria Falls Airport and ends at Maun Airport. It would be best to get an international flight via Johannesburg, possibly using South African Airways. Return flights from the UK into Victoria Falls and out of Maun will cost from about £1100 per person, depending on season and availability.
Departure dates: This is a tailor-made holiday, running from March to the end of November, and can begin on the day of your choice.
A traditional safari camp in the Kalahari, ideal for fun and families.
In a stunning setting above a dramatic gorge, Gorges Lodge is just 22kms from Victoria Falls and offers various excursions and activities.
A classic style safari camp set along the banks of the Khwai River offering exemplary service.
A 4-tent camp on the Selinda Spillway with the emphasis on walking and canoeing.
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Find the best time to visit Botswana
Time: GMT +2hrs
Flight time: Overnight flights to Johannesburg then connections to Maun, total flying time about 13 hours.
Language: The official language is English. Tswana is spoken widely.
Visas: Not required for British travellers (up to 90 days). EC nationals can ask us for further advice.
Health: There are no compulsory vaccinations, except yellow fever if you are coming from an infected area. Malaria prophylactics are recommended in the north.