Our Most Adventurous Botswana Safari!
Discover the hidden Botswana on this one-of-a-kind land and water excursion. As you cruise the seldom-traveled waterways of the Okavango Delta’s northern panhandle, search for elusive cheetah on the sands of the Savuti Marsh, and witness a vast herd of elephants bathing on the mighty Chobe River, you’ll gather unforgettable experiences few others can claim. Traveling by luxury houseboat, private motorboat, and safari vehicle, you’ll be in prime position to view Botswana’s astonishing variety of game. Your journey includes a visit to mesmerizing Tsodilo Hills, a World Heritage Site boasting over 4,000 San bushman rock paintings, and wraps up at magnificent Victoria Falls. Enjoy a Botswana adventure like no other—only with MTS.
Historical & cultural touring and game viewing by tender boats, houseboat, 4x4 safari vehicles, and motorboat
- Visit the mecca of ancient bushmen religion and culture, revered as the birthplace of the world
- An alternative experience, perfect for those who want a rich cultural experience paired with excellent game viewing
- Enjoy a private river tour on the mighty Chobe River culminating with epic Victoria Falls as the final destination
Duration: 10 days Start Location: Maun End Location: Victoria Falls (Zimbabwe)Download Detailed Itinerary
Day 1 : Arrive Maun & Fly to Okavango Delta Panhandle
Upon arrival in Maun (no later than the midday arrival), we meet an air representative (after customs and immigration) and are escorted for our waiting light aircraft flight into Shakawe (approximately 1 hour), the gateway to the Okavango River, the snaking pan-handle of what is to become the Okavango Delta.
This area is recognized as being amongst the most serene and peaceful places in the Delta, due to its remoteness. Indeed, there are only a handful of folk moving around in this wilderness area - which makes it ideal as the quintessential introduction to the Okavango and its wildlife.
Your houseboat has tender boats which assist in the activities offered. Our activities include bird-watching, boat safaris and a visit to Tsodilo Hills. Our first afternoon sees us taking an afternoon boat trip on tender boats – the perfect way to end a busy day of travel and lulling one into relaxation for the safari ahead. Surrounded by papyrus lined, slow flowing, clear water channels create many places for wildlife to eke out their existence. We can expect to encounter a myriad of colourful birds, as well as perhaps crocodile, water monitor lizard and mammals.
Day 2 : Tsodilo Hills
On our second day, we depart after breakfast and head out by vehicle and boat to Tsodilo Hills, a World Heritage Site locatedabout 40 miles southwest of Shakawe in dry, bush-covered and softly undulating landscapes. Our day trip explores the site that consists of four hills that rise abruptly, to about 1200 feet from the dry expanse of Bushveld. Having been inhabited for about 30,000 years, they're one of the world's oldest historical sites. The Hills are home to more than 4,000 San Bushman paintings - probably the world's most important collection of rock art - perhaps even more remarkable is the resonant atmosphere of spirituality that inhabits Tsodilo Hills. Several walking trails provide helpful routes around the painting sites. Among the interesting paintings are paintings of whales and penguins that suggest contact between the San and other peoples.
Days 3 - 4 : Xakanaxa Region
After a leisurely wake up and breakfast, we depart for our waiting flight over the entire West/East axis of the Okavango Delta to Xakanaxa (pronounced ka-?ka-?ni-?ka), a 40-minute beautiful scenery rich flight over the heart of the Okavango delta.
Moremi was proclaimed a conservation area in 1964-the result of the foresight of Chief Moremi III who sought to protect this wilderness treasure for further Botswana generations…and indeed for people from around the globe.
Upon arrival we game drive to our pre-erected private campsite. Xakanaxa is an integral part of the eastern waters of the Okavango Delta. The area is part of Moremi Game Reserve and boasts some of the best game viewing in Africa. The rich diversity and quantity of wildlife seen here is testament to the range of habitats, from large “islands” rising between vast wetlands, crystal clear water channels on the edges of Mopane and Apple Leaf woodlands. Game viewing takes place alongside these grassland and forest fringed waterways and floodplains.
Our second day in this area focusses on morning and evening game drives, our guide expertly tracking and searching for the rich diversity of mammals and other wildlife this area is famed for. This is our first serious day of game viewing focus, boasting the other habitats of the Okavango…the seasonally inundated floodplains where game concentrates.
Days 5 - 6 : Khwai Region
After an early morning wake up and breakfast (while camp is being broken down), we depart on a short game drive exiting the Xakanaxa region and travelling within tall steeple mopane woodland in Moremi Game Reserve across to the bank of the Khwai region (4-5 hours)…the last Northern and Eastern vestiges of water of the life giving Okavango waters.
After a part game viewing and part water experience focus in the Xakanaxa region, due to the little available water and large area of dry woodland and grassland floodplain, we focus on game drives as wildlife concentrate on the Khwai channels to slake their thirst. The Khwai region’s diversity of animals is truly astounding and has quite rightly been rated as one of the best game-viewing areas in the world today.
Birding in this area is also prolific and could include a different variety of species, including Scarlet-chested Sunbird, African Hawk-Eagle, Tawny Eagle, Gabar Goshawk, Long-legged Bustard and Chin-spot Batis.
The majority of our time in the area focusses on morning and evening game drives. We leave as early as is possible after first light and beyond our midday siesta (when game is generally resting) head out on an evening drive, returning just after sunset.
Days 7 - 8 : Savuti Region
After an early rise to the day and breakfast, camp is broken down and we depart to the Savuti region of Chobe National Park.
This is a geologically and most likely also from a wildlife aspect an interesting drive (5-6 hours) through some beautiful habitats, starting with a game drive over the rickety wooden Khwai Bridge and then along the Northern shoreline of the Khwai channel. After leaving the area we travel over the remnant shoreline (what is known today as the Maghikwe sand ridge) of the ancient Paleo-Lake Makgadigadi and then across the Mababe Depression until we enter the Southern fringes of the Savuti Marsh. Due to the fact that the majority of northern Botswana is unfenced, wildlife move according to ancient seasonal patterns developed over the millennia. En route, we have great opportunities to spot wildlife in many different places, some resident to the area and some moving between favoured feeding grounds.
The Savuti Channel seasonally flows into the Savuti Marsh and up until a few years ago was affectionately known as the “Stolen River” as it had not flowed since the early 1980’s. Amazingly on this otherwise flat landscape volcanic outcrops have extruded and proudly stand above the surrounding savannah and are home to some unique species not found commonly elsewhere in the park.
The wide open plains of the marsh itself are home to a myriad of species, including hyena, lions and many herbivores – perfect game viewing country. The area is also renowned for the large populations of bull elephants, calm observers on the African stage that is Savuti.
Birding is rich and diverse here too, including Red-crested Korhaan Chestnut-backed Sparrowlark, Northern Black Korhaan, Rufous-naped Lark and Desert Cisticola. Dickenson’s Kestrel and Red-necked Falcon are also found here, as well as the larger raptors like Martial eagle and the Wahlberg’s Eagle.
Our game driving focus over the next few nights is to enjoy many an hour exploring, searching and viewing the areas highlights. We traverse the “marsh” in search of the elusive cheetah, the Savuti Channel searching for patrolling lion and leopard and even have the opportunity, time permitting, to climb Bushman Painting Hill to view the landscapes and snaking channel below and see some ancient and historic paintings.
Day 9 : Chobe River & Victoria Falls
We journey after breakfast to the airstrip for a 50 minute flight to Kasane, gateway to the Chobe National Park in the North.
The Chobe River is the second largest river (in volume) in Southern Africa and home to the greatest populations of elephant on the planet, as well as large herds of buffalo, pods of hippo and lion prides.
After arrival we are transferred to a jetty for a waiting private boat cruise on this amazing river. The sheer variety of animals, in abundance, make this region a must and truly the best way to end our game viewing in Botswana. At around 11AM game generally comes to the waters edge to slake their thirst, most notably elephant herds. Our experience on the river showcases a completely different view of wildlife…that being from the water itself. If lucky, we could also see huge crocodiles, large pods of hippo and even….swimming elephants!
One of the richest birding areas in the country, the Chobe waterfront boasts Collard Palm-Thrush, Crested Guineafowl and even Grey Crowned Stork at times. Other species may include the Grey Tit-Flycatcher, Paradise Flycatcher, Scarlet-chested Sunbird, Olive-Tree Warbler, Neddicky and Violet-backed Starling.
After our 2 and a half hour boat cruise, we depart towards the Kazungula Border Post, where your guide will ensure that your transfer to Victoria Falls is waiting for the 1 hour transfer to the Victoria Falls Hotel. We bid farewell to the guide at Kazungula border post
Day 10 : Depart
After breakfast you will be met by a guide for an early morning exploration of one of the truly magnificent sights on earth, the Victoria Falls. The Falls cascade over 300 feet and are over a mile wide…effectively the widest curtain of falling water in the world! Witness the power of nature (fully explained by your guide) as an average of 550 000 tons of water thunders into the Zambezi Gorge every minute.
After the activity there is time for a freshen up and then transfer to the Victoria Falls Airport and onward journey.
DATES: Best time to go: March - May, August - November Departures: Mar 31, 2015 - Apr 9, 2015 Green Season Apr 28, 2015 - May 7, 2015 Green Season May 26, 2015 - Jun 4, 2015 Aug 11 - 20, 2015 Aug 25, 2015 - Sep 3, 2015 Sep 8 - 17, 2015 Oct 6 - 15, 2015 Nov 10 - 19, 2015 Green Season
2015 Botswna Culture & Wildlife Safari Prices, per person
$ 4,795 (4-8 members)
Rates quoted are per person, based on sharing double/twin accommodations.
Okavango HouseboatOkavango Delta Panhandle
Accommodation in the Delta panhandle can be in either the //Kabbo houseboat or the Delta Belle houseboat. Both boats offer a good level of comfort and are unique as to being the only boats in the Delta with all en-suite facilities. Both boats are moored next to each other, and by utilizing both boats, we are able to access space and availability.
//Kabbo is a San Bushman word which is a loose translation meaning ‘To dream’ or in a sense, a ‘reflection’ of a story – a story like the wind, a story which comes from a far off place.
It is also the name we have chosen for this charming houseboat, which operates in the ‘Panhandle’ area of the Okavango Delta in Northern Botswana. This area is recognized as being amongst the quietest and most peaceful in the Delta, due to its remoteness. Indeed, there are very few permanent camps and boats operating along this water wilderness .This factor makes it ideal for our discerning guests.
When the Okavango River, originating from the remote mountains of Angola, enters Botswana, it is contained between two distinct geological fault lines which ensure that some 11 billion cubic meters of water form a single, broad channel, over a hundred meters wide and a hundred kilometres long, that snakes along the floodplain in a series of exaggerated S-bends and oxbow lakes. The plant life and desert sands act as a massive filter for this this river, which results in a clarity that has not it’s like anywhere in the world. //Kabbo floats along this water ribbon-offering our guests the opportunity of spending time on this water wilderness, of experiencing the solitude and serenity of this beautiful river, at a cost that is extremely competitive.
Youcan expect a high level of comfort on //Kabbo Houseboat. She consists of 2 decks- the lower deck has eight en-suite cabins with sliding glass doors opening on to the pristine wilderness that is the Okavango Delta. This design offers our guests’ unrivalled views of the crystal clear waterways, abundant bird life and the seas of papyrus. The Upper Deck is approximately three meters above the waterline, where the dining area, bar and sundecks are situated.
This design offers views that are simply breath-taking when having a sundowner, the privacy and convenience of cabins that are en-suite … and ample space for our guests to have some ‘alone’ time.
//Kabbo has tender boats which assist in the optional activities offered. The activities available include fishing, bird-watching, boat safaris and visits to Tsodilo Hills. The latter is a World Heritage Site with possibly the richest concentration of San Rock Paintings in the world.
MTS Private Botswana CampXakanaxa, Khwai, & Savuti Regions
Mountain Travel Sobek offers an above-average level of comfort while camping. Our tents are 3 x 3 meter dome-type, big enough so that someone can stand inside. These tents are made from durable rip-stop canvas and have sewn-in ground sheets. They come equipped with sturdy camp beds, mattresses, fitted sheets, pillow, pillowcases and duvets. Other equipment used on safari to enhance our guests comfort are camping basins, washstands, hot water bucket showers and en suite chemical toilets that flush with clean water straight into the ground. Safari style fold-up chairs and large tables are provided (all meals eaten from the table). Our great back-up staff does all the cooking, cleaning and setting-up and breaking camp, so the difficult aspect of camping is taken away! This setup allows our guests to get as close to nature, wilderness, plants and animals as possible. The essence of what we do is not to insulate guests from the very things they have come to see. In many cases, the camping aspect of our safaris are what guests remember most, due to the use of our private sites which allow our guests closeness to the wild.
Victoria Falls HotelVictoria Falls
The Victoria Falls Hotel is situated on a natural heritage site overlooking the Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe, only a 10-minute walk to the Falls. The hotel has a distinctly colonial design, with Edwardian-style furniture and grand elegance. It is set in lush tropical gardens, with the views and roaring sounds of the Falls as its most distinct feature. All of the 180 en suite rooms have 4-poster or canopied beds and antique furniture.
Properties shown are representative of the accommodations we use on this trip, may not be inclusive of all accommodations we use, and are subject to change.