15 days from £2245pp plus international flights.
This semi-participation mobile camping safari will visit Namibia, Botswana and Zambia. It's an excellent and affordable way to see wonderful wildlife and beautiful scenery, ending with the smoke that thunders, Victoria Falls.
Your adventure will start with a sunset cruise on the calm and placid Chobe River. The number of elephants in Chobe is astounding, more than in the whole of South Africa! Your journey will then continue into the Caprivi Strip in Namibia - a wetlands paradise, before returning to Botswana. Botswana will showcase some of African's finest wildlife sightings along with cultural sites such as the San rock paintings at Tsodilo Hills before you head into the Delta to explore by motorboat, mokoro (dug-out canoe) and on foot. The trip finishes off in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe where you are free to explore and perhaps visit the world famous Victoria Falls.
Don't worry, the whole way you will be in the expert hands of your experienced guide and his assistant. And whilst this is a semi-participation safari, all you have to do is erect and take down your own tent - easy! The camp hands will do all the rest. You will be amazed at the amazing meals that can be rustled up on a fire.
You will be joined on this tour by travellers from other companies and nationalities, we think that adds to the experience. And to set your mind at ease, Amanda, our MD has travelled with this company so she has first hand experience of their safaris, they are highly regarded amongst their peers.
Your safari kicks off in Kasane, Botswana at 13h00. You will meet your fellow travellers and your guide will give you a full briefing as to what's in store for you. The excitement will really start to build. There will be time for shopping to stock up on drinks and snacks for the first part of your trip. Today's highlight takes the form of a magical sunset cruise on the still waters of the Chobe River. This area is home to tens of thousands of elephant. An iconic image is elephant crossing the water in silhoutte with the setting orange sun behind them. You can't beat it. Tonight you will have your first go at setting up your tent, by the end of the trip you will be an expert.
This morning you will have an early start and we will be crossing the border into Namibia, and driving onward to Susuwe National Park, this drive will take between 3 and 4 hours. After setting up camp you will head out to explore the area on an afternoon game drive. The area is beautiful and the Caprivi Strip is known for its excellent birdlife as well as the larger mammals that you may come across. You will return to camp for another delicious meal before getting a good nights sleep to the sounds of the African bush.
This morning we wake to the rising sun. It's an early start, but you'll soon get used to it and early mornings in Africa are a beautiful time of the day to be awake. We pack up the vehilce and head west towards the Okavango River, it's a drive of about 4 hours. The camp will be set up on the very banks of the Okavango River overlooking Popa Falls and you have the opportunity to visit these rapids in the afternoon before returning the camp.
It's another early start so that we have time to visit the beautiful Mahango National Park before crossing the border back to Botswana. We travel south to the incredible UNESCO World Heritage Site of Tsodilo Hills and set up camp. This afternoon you will visit the museum and explore the walking trails around these fascinating ancient hills, home to thousands of traditional Bushmen paintings dating back to 800 AD. The local people consider this area to be spiritual and sacred. Then you will return back to camp in time to freshen up for dinner.
After an early wake up, you will drive to the edge of the Okavango Delta, a very special place on earth, so much so that it was recently declared the 1000th UNESCO World Heritage Site. You will transfer your equipment to motorboats taking just what you need for the next couple of days. You will cruise along the narrow papyrus-lined channels, take the time to absorb the beautiful surroundings and enjoy the exquisite birdlife of the region. Deeper in the Delta you will meet the local polers with their mokoro (a traditional dugout canoe) and they will introduce you to the traditional mode of transport as you enjoy a tranquil transfer to an island. You will spend two days exploring this beautiful area on mokoro excursions and taking guided walks on the islands and floodplains of the Okavango. You will camp wild with bush ablutions, this really is a unique opportunity to experience nature as it was intended.
Today we say goodbye to our polers and return to the vehilce and head onwards to Maun which takes bout 4 hours along tar road. Maun is a town that lives and breathes the safari industry. From here you will have the opportunity to take a scenic flight over the Delta if you wish (added extra), this magical experience provides another perspective of the Okavango Delta’s unique water system. There will be time to relax and set up camp, write a few postcards etc before the late afternoon scenic flight. Your guide will also take everyone into town to stock up on supplies for the next stage of your safari adventure.
We leave Maun behind and head for the famous Moremi Game Reserve. Whilst there will be about 6 hours of driving today, 4 of those will be game driving and wildlife viewing in the reserve. This is one of the best wilderness areas of Botswana which has both swamp and dry areas. The next three days will be spent exploring the various areas of the park for the wide variety of wildlife and birds found here. Early mornings are spent on game drives, we leave as the sun rises and then return to camp for lunch and siesta time. Late afternoon we go out again. On Day 10 we move campsites to explore a different area of this diverse park in search of more wildlife.
Carrying on our way, we move north into the Savuti area of the Chobe National Park. The landscape in Chobe is striking and diverse. Savuti is known for sweeping dry plains and large bull elephants that traverse this vast area. The scenery here is stunning and hopefully you should see some wildlife on the way. It will be a full day of game-driving, between 7 and 8 hours, but we will of course be stopping on the way for refreshments and another lovely lunch.
We continue our journey northwards through the park to the Chobe River area. The transfer is through the park and we should see wildlife along the way and todays drive is between 5 and 6 hours. We spend the next day exploring the area and the game drives will meander along the banks of the river, a contrast to the drier Savuti region. Listen out for the call of the majestic African Fish Eagle, it's haunting and captivating.
This morning, we wake up early and take a final game drive in the park before heading to the border where you will enter Zimbabwe. We drive on to Victoria Falls to our accommodation for the evening, which will be a nice change from the tent. Including the border crossing, this should take no more than 3 hours. This afternoon there will be time to visit the Smoke That Thunders, as Victoria Falls is known locally and there will also be time to shop for curios. Dinner tonight will be at your own expense at the lodge.
The tour ends after breakfast and it's time to say goodbye to your guide and the friends you have made on this wonderful journey. We can easily add on more days for your to enjoy the myriad of exciting trips and excursions you can enjoy around the Victoria Falls. (Please note that airport transfers are extra, but can be easily arranged for you).
Guide price from (pp sharing): £2245 (ex. international flights)
Price notes: 2019 guide price pp sharing: Jan to Jun, Nov & Dec 2019 from £2245. Jul to Oct 2019 from £2445
Guide and camp assistant, activities as shown, park fees in Botswana, 12 days full board, 1 day breakfast & lunch, 1 day breakfast, transport in safari vehicle, camping for 13 nights and 1 night in a comfortable lodge chalet.
Sleeping bag, towels and all other items of a personal nature, travel insurance, visas, vaccinations, tips, drinks (each person buys drinks at the start of the trip to be stored in the trailer), restaurant meals (Livingstone, Zambia), entrance to the Falls, airport transfers, pre or post trip accommodation which we can arrange on request.
International flights UK-Johannesburg-Kasane and Livingstone-Johannesburg-UK will cost from £1000.
Departure dates: This is a small group trip. There are departures every month of the year, usually twice monthly. Please ask us if you'd like to know the specific dates.
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Find the best time to visit Zimbabwe
Time: GMT + 2 hours
Flight time: Flights from UK to Harare or Victoria Falls are usually via Johannesburg and can take 12+ hours, although once the new Victoria Falls airport is fully operational there may be an option of direct flights – watch this space.
Language: English is the official language of Zimbabwe. Shona or Ndebele are also widely spoken by the majority of the population.
Visas: Visas are required for UK passport holders and can be obtained on entry into Zimbabwe.
Health: Malaria is a risk in many areas of Zimbabwe.