Botswana Sample Itinerary:
Botswana Green Season Safari
- Day 1 – Upon arrival to OR Tambo International Airport at Johannesburg, South Africa transfer to City Lodge Hotel
- Day 2 – Following breakfast you will transfer to South African Airways flight departing 11:45 arriving Maun at 13:15 (not included). Upon arrival you will be met by a company representative and transferred to your bush flight for Tau Pan Camp.
- Day 3 – Tau Pan
- Day 4 – Tau Pan
- Day 5 – Following breakfast you will be transferred to your bush flight for Kwara Camp.
- Day 6 – Kwara Camp
- Day 7 – Kwara Camp
- Day 8 – Kwara Camp
- Day 9 – Following breakfast you will be transferred to your bush flight for Lebala Camp.
- Day 10 – Lebala Camp
- Day 11 – Lebala Camp
- Day 12 – Following breakfast you will be transferred by game drive to Lagoon Camp.
- Day 13 – Lagoon Camp
- Day 14 – Lagoon Camp
- Day 15 – Lagoon Camp
- Day 16 – Following breakfast you will be transferred to your bush flight for Kasane. Upon arrival you will be met by a company representative and transferred to Ichobezi Safariboat.
- Day 17 – Ichobezi Safariboat
- Day 18 – Following breakfast you will be transferred to Kasane where you will be met by a company representative who will then transfer you 1 ½ hours by ground to Victoria Falls. Overnight at Ilala Lodge.
- Day 19 – Ilala Lodge
- Day 20 – Following breakfast you will be met and transferred to Victoria Falls in time for South African Airways flight (not included) departing 13:25 arriving OR Tambo Johannesburg 15:10 in time for your connecting flight home.
Details and Costs
Cost for safari is $7,900 per person sharing, $425 single supplement fee*
*In Botswana this includes all internal flights between camps, ground transportation, accommodation, meals, drinks, laundry, park/concession fees and activities. *In Victoria Falls cost includes accommodation and breakfast.
Not Included Out of Pocket Costs to Consider
- International Air to and from Johannesburg, South Africa. International Air to Maun,
- Botswana and from Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe.
- Premium and Import branded drinks
- Zimbabwe Visa ($30 single entry)
- Lunch and dinner in Victoria Falls
- Drinks in Victoria Falls
- Entrance and Park Fees at Victoria Falls
- Activities at Victoria Falls
- Tips – On safari I recommend $25 per person per day — $10 to your guide, $5 to the tracker, and $5 to the staff.
- Travel Insurance – The camps require that you have comprehensive travel insurance with medical coverage. We sell Travel Guard and can provide a quote or you are welcome to purchase it from another provider.
- Health – visit to a Travel Clinic and any medications or vaccines needed.
NOTE: Price quoted is a pay by check or bank wire discounted price. Credit card payments are 4% higher for all charge payments.
Northern Botswana is considered by many to be the premier safari destination. Wildlife sightings are astounding, camps are set in magical locations, service is supreme and the standard of guiding is very high. Due to the remote and wild nature of the camps you will have short flights between locations, an incredibly scenic way to change camps as you take in the scenery and can often spot wildlife below.
This safari is custom designed to take advantage of the best opportunities to observe the diverse wildlife in extremely rich habitat areas. The Green Season is the prime time for wildlife in the Kalahari Desert. Unlike virtually all other safari areas where the rains disperse wildlife, in the Kalahari the rains lead to an eruption of rich grasses and combined with surface water to drink a multitude of animals parade into the desert parks.
This safari is designed to take advantage of this seasonal bounty with a visit to the Central Kalahari Game Reserve. Here you explore a different world of vast open landscapes where the scale and solitude is overwhelming.
Some wildlife is different than the better known areas of Botswana such as oryx, springbok and red hartebeest which are not seen in the Okavango Delta. The open area and more sparse concentrations of predators make these parks the best areas for cheetah in the country and the Kalahari is famed for its enormous black-maned lions.
Smaller predators like honey badgers and jackals thrive here as well and are more visible than most other safari areas. The Kalahari is a magical place where surprises occur and even the violence of a thunderstorm or the never ending sky can be stunning highlights for those who appreciate true wilderness.
Three of these camps are in exclusive private concession areas, which allows for off-road driving and night drives. You also will get to experience the Okavango Delta from the water with the mokoro (traditional dugout canoe), power boat and by foot with bush walks.
The private concessions have a small number of guests traversing extremely large areas ensuring exclusive game viewing without the interference of hordes of other vehicles. The ability to go off-road creates opportunities for incredibly close viewing of predators and greatly increases the chances of finding animals with tracking. These areas are beautiful with great variety of habitats and species, you will likely see between 35 and 40 different mammal species along with a spectacular array of birds.
City Lodge at O.R. Tambo International Airport – 1 Night
Based at Africa’s busiest airport, City Lodge at OR Tambo Airport provides the most convenient accommodation for those who just need a night in Johannesburg between flights. There’s no need to shuttle as you have the ultimate ease of travel by staying right at the Airport. City Lodge is a well known value chain in South Africa that delivers a comfortable and secure stay for a good price making it perfect as an airport pass through hotel.
OR Tambo Airport offers a number of services from banking to a wide range of retailers, so whether it’s a good book or a scrumptious meal, the airport’s facilities have everything you need all in easy walking distance.
The hotel boasts boardroom and conference facilities, a fitness room as well as a deck with a pool and a large commercial area with a coffee shop. The hotel also serves an excellent full English breakfast that is included.
- Spacious air-conditioned room with queen or twin beds
- Flat screen Television (MNet and DSTV) – Satellite channels offering exciting sport, breaking news and great movies.
- En-Suite Bathroom with bath and separate shower.
- Tea and coffee making facilities
- Wireless Internet Access available in all rooms
- Electronic safe large enough to accommodate a laptop
- Desk with great lighting and plugs for easy connectivity
Into the Botswana Wild
Fly between camps by bush plane
From Maun you will fly on Moremi Air to your first camp. When your bush plane lands your safari guide from the camp will be waiting to pick you up. Each camp is small and intimate with the surrounding bush. The typical day involves an early wake up (around 5:30 am), meet at the lounge around 6 am for coffee, juice, fruit, cereal, etc. Then about 6:30 its off on an activity, mostly game drives but you will have opportunities for walks and mokoro as well.
In the midst of your activity you will stop for tea (or coke, etc.) and a small snack. Typically you will return to camp around 10:30 for a big brunch, followed by a few hours of relax time while during the heat of the days most of the animals are doing the same. Wildlife might come and go at anytime and the sounds of hippos will be an excitable reminder that you are deep in the Botswana wilderness.
Tea time is around 3:30 p.m. and there will be a hearty snack in preparation for your next activity. By 4:00 you will be out in the bush again enjoying the wildlife. Near the end of daylight you will stop in a beautiful location for one of the most magnificent traditions on earth – The Sundowner. Enjoy your favorite drink to a glorious sunset.
Now the game drive turns to a night drive and the spotlight is turned on as the drive back to camp will be in the dark and with luck you will find some of the secretive nocturnal creatures. Dining is usually a communal event and the guides and camp managers sit in to ensure lively conversation with old African hands.
Following a leisurely meal you might enjoy a night cap or simply retire to your tent before another early morning. Whenever it is dark your guide will escort you to and from your tent, fortunately these camps are not fenced and it is common for elephants, hippos, sometimes even lions to wander through, if you are lucky you will hear some of them from the safety of your tent. Keep in mind this was the typical schedule but nature is unpredictable and here the wild rhythm sets the schedule.
Tau Pan Camp, Central Kalahari Game Reserve – 3 Nights
The Botswana government decided to tender rights for a very limited number of private camps in some of the most wild parks that have previously only been available to mobile safaris and self drive public campers. Kwando Safaris won the right to build one of only two permanent camps being established inside the enormous Central Kalahari Game Reserve. Tau Pan Camp opened on March 1st of 2009 and has delivered a wonderful experience.
Tau Pan Camp will be located inside the Central Kalahari Game Reserve (CKGR), a magical wilderness that is the second largest protected area in all of Africa (over 52,000 sq. km). With a very limited number of public campsites and now the establishment of just two small permanent Camps it remains one of the least visited as well. This is a place to experience solitude and to feel dwarfed by the expansive landscape that surrounds you.
For those with an appreciation of wilderness this vast emptiness can be soul stirring. The CKGR is the opposite of most areas in that the rains correspond with the ideal time for game viewing because the rains actually draw the animals together rather than disperse them.
Typically from December to April the rains produce a wonderful bounty of sweet grasses on the pans and ancient river beds in the northern part of the reserve drawing together thousands of springbok and oryx along with many red hartebeest, eland, and blue wildebeest. Thunder storms can be violent and spectacular and rain is usually short lived.
Predators within the CKGR tend to have enormous ranges and occur at low density but they also converge to take advantage of the congregations of herbivores. Due to the low density of other predators this is one of the strongholds for cheetah.
As for lions the black-maned lions of the Kalahari have an almost mythical status. Lions here often run on the large size, in fact bordering on gigantic, but there is also a curiosity and supreme confidence that seems to go even beyond that of lions in other areas. Lions are sighted with regularity in the company of the herds during the rains and near the dwindling water sources in the dry season.
Once the rains halt the wildlife disperses far and wide across the CKGR making game viewing focus on the few remaining water resources and the sightings are sparse compared to most traditional safari areas. During this time, generally May through November the CKGR remains an intriguing place for visitors that can appreciate the pure wilderness of one of the largest protected areas on earth, and those with patience can be rewarded with amazing action at waterholes as well as discover interesting smaller creatures such as meerkats, bat-eared foxes, and leopard tortoises but there are likely to be some quiet hours where little wildlife is seen as well.
Tau Pan Camp is situated on the edge of Tau Pan, one of the most beautiful and wildlife rich areas of the CKGR. From here game drives are able to reach the famed Deception Valley as well, the location of the largest herbivore concentrations during the green season. Tau Pan Camp features 8 desert purpose structures that are thatched with solid insulated walls to stay cool in heat and warm in the cold.
The camp operates on solar power with a generator as back up. All units have ceiling fans, outside showers and private viewing decks.
The main area contains a viewing deck, lounge, dining area, library, curio shop, and pool. Activities focus on game drives in open 4 x 4 vehicles as well as game walks with bushmen learning their ancient skills. Unlike private concessions here you have park rules where you have to stay on road and there are no night drives.
Kwara Camp, Okavango Delta – 4 Nights
Kwara Camp is located within one of the largest (almost half a million acres) private concession areas in all of Botswana, and it is also one of the richest for wildlife. The area is very diverse including permanent waters of the Okavango Delta, wide open plains, mopane woodlands, and palm islands.
Kwara is part of the legendary Kwando Camps, known for their hard core dedication for game viewing. Kwara concession is rich in predators and this area has been one of the most productive for cheetah, leopard, and lion sightings. For a couple years now a coalition of three cheetah brothers have been frequently sighted, and there is an amazing coalition of seven male lions associated with the seven sisters pride.
Kwara Camp is able to offer a great diversity of activities including power boating, mokoro (dug out canoe) trips, walks and game drives. Kwara Camp comprises just 8 twin-bedded rustic safari style tents accommodating a maximum of 16 guests. The tents are built on raised teak decks each with en-suite facilities.
The intimate dining and lounge area is under thatch, built around a large shade tree overlooking the lagoon. Kwara has a small gift shop, lounge, dining room and small plunge pool. The camp is simple but comfortable and the setting is spectacular with wonderful sounds from hippos and birds.
Kwando Lebala Camp, Kwando/Linyanti Area – 3 Nights The renowned Kwando concession is over half a million acres but contains just two small camps that are 30 kilometers apart. Lebala Camp has built its reputation on action packed game viewing, with dedicated tracking, tremendous guiding and making the pursuit of wildlife sightings the priority. Off road driving is allowed here and the Lebala Camp guides put it to good use when tracking predators which allows guests the best chance to witness behavior.
The full complement of predators can be found around Lebala. The are is particularly good for leopard, lion, and spotted hyena but wild dogs and cheetah also include the area as part of their range. Wildlife diversity is excellent in this area and special antelope like red lechwe and roan are seen with regularity.
The serious focus on game viewing and tracking ensures guests have every opportunity to find special sightings.
Lebala Camp received a needed refurbishment during 2008, restoring the simple elegance of this intimate camp of just eight tents.
Each tent is built on a raised teak deck, laid out with comfort and privacy in mind. The tents have an entrance foyer with a reading and writing area, en-suite bathrooms with Victorian clawfoot bathtubs, “his and hers” washbasins and flush toilets. The bathrooms lead out to a reed enclosed open-air shower with hot and cold running water.
Each tent has its own sundeck, and is set in the shade within the trees. The endless vistas from the large windows and decks across the vast plains illustrate the origin of the name Lebala, which in Setswana means wide open spaces.
There is a great lounge area to enjoy during the mid-day where you can observe wildlife wandering across the open plains. There is also a plunge pool to escape any mid-day heat.
Food is hearty and the staff provides a very welcoming atmosphere at this camp. Activities here focus almost entirely on game drives, which is appropriate because it is such a productive area and the guide/tracker system is a point of emphasis to deliver the maximum experience.
Kwando Lagoon Camp, Kwando/Linyanti Area – 4 Nights
The renowned Kwando concession is over half a million acres but contains just two small camps that are 30 kilometers apart. Lagoon Camp has built its reputation on action packed gameviewing, with dedicated tracking, tremendous guiding and making the pursuit of wildlife sightings the priority. Here it is common to follow tracks of predators and once found proceed off road, including following African wild dogs on exciting hunts.
Predators are diverse with lion, wild dog, hyena, leopard and cheetah all frequently seen, currently wild dogs and cheetah are especially prevalent. Night drives can be particularly productive with lots of smaller carnivores in the area such as serval, caracal, honey badger, African wildcat, genet and civet.
In areas of open grasslands and pan systems there is a plentiful variety of game with impala, red lechwe, steenbok, reedbuck, wildebeest, buffalo, giraffe, tsessebe, kudu, zebra, waterbuck, sable, and roan in the area.
Kwando Lagoon Camp was just rebuilt in March 2011 and comprises 8 spaciously designed tents with views over the private lagoon formed by the ever-changing Kwando River. Each tent comprises a bedroom area with a spacious bathroom en suite.
The bathroom has a double basin set in an indigenous Mukwa wood stand and a flush loo. The spacious outdoor reeded showers capture the essence of Africa that is Kwando.
The tents are furnished in the best teak furniture that Zimbabwean master craftsmen can create. The shady cool interiors are produced by a canvas flysheet under shade cloth, which are also set under massive Ebony and Marula trees with shady lawns.
A small plunge pool is available to cool off during the long summer days. The resident hippos entertain our guests as they sit in the deck chairs, on the decks in front of their tents.
There is a wonderful communal area to relax during the mid-day where you may possibly see an elephant approach, as well as a plunge pool. Food is hearty and the staff provides a very welcoming atmosphere at this camp.
Activities here focus on game drives and boat cruises, which is appropriate because it is such a productive area and the guide/tracker system is a point of emphasis to deliver the maximum experience.
Ichobezi Safariboat, Chobe National Park by River – 2 Nights
Chobe is the most well known National Park and wildlife area in Botswana. It is famed for its enormous elephant populations and the exceptional viewing possible by boat on the Chobe River, most likely the best water based wildlife viewing opportunity in the World.
The best time to visit is the dry season from May through October as thousands of elephants come to the Chobe riverfront early and late in the day. Buffalo herds up to 1,500 individuals also use the river’s edge for grazing. A boat trip is the ultimate way to see the variety of animals along the river.
This is a unique opportunity that is perfect for the water lover who will be happy with a few days of relaxed game viewing by boat. Since the best wildlife viewing in Chobe is on the riverfront this is a great way to view it, best of all the boat is registered in Namibia, which means it can stay on the water while the park is closed and the Botswana boats all have to leave.
Using spotlights you can actually do some nighttime game viewing from the boat as well as catch sunrise and sunset on the water. You can often hear lions roaring while laying in your bed on the boat and surprising to many, lions and even leopards are often sighted as well as the abundant elephants, buffalo and various antelope species. Birding is supreme as well.
The boat drags a smaller motorboat that can be used for close to shore viewing as well as access to other activities such as walks and fishing. The boat is staffed with an excellent crew of 5 who deliver luxury service.
The boat contains just four rooms and the focal feature of each room is the large sliding window that allows for your own personal view of the changing landscapes before you. The cabins also have an en-suite bathroom, each tastefully fitted with a modern shower, toilet and hand basin.
Climbing the staircase that connects the accommodation deck to the entertainment deck you will have access to a spacious lounge and bar area that encourages you to take time-out and simply enjoy the view. This deck also has a relaxed open-air dining area where guests can enjoy superb meals prepared by a skillful chef in the full-size onboard kitchen.
At the front of the entertainment deck, guests can cool off in the plunge pool or simply soak up the African sun on deck chairs while enjoying an ice-cold beverage and the outstanding scenery.
Following your stay on the Safariboat you will be returned to Kasane where a driver will be waiting to drive you to Livingstone, Zambia. From Kasane it will take approximately 1 ½ hours to reach Livingstone.
Ilala Lodge, Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe – 2 Nights
As the view is much better from the Zimbabwe side I recommend a stay there. This area is the adrenaline capital of Africa and the numerous activities range from helicopter and microlight flights over the falls to whitewater rafting, bungee jumping, and elephant back rides, as well as simple walking tours, boat cruises and island picnics on the edge of the falls.
The Ilala Lodge is ideally located as it is the closest hotel to both the Falls and the town center, all within easy walking distance. The Zimbabwe side of Victoria Falls has the best views and a large walking path to gain many special vantage points.
Ilala Lodge is a small and intimate hotel with 32 rooms. All rooms have en suite bathroom with separate shower, air conditioning, overhead fan, satellite TV and have individual coffee and tea facilities.
The rooms are spacious with railway sleeper teak furnishings and patio doors leading onto either open lawn or a balcony where you are afforded a view of the spray of the falls from the upper level rooms.
There is a huge range of activities available in the Victoria Falls area, we can pre-book anything you want or you can make arrangements with the activities desk at Ilala.